Saturday, January 01, 2005



Dear Reader,

This book series is about a fantasy land called Entria. The inhabitants of Entria are dwarves, men, goblins, and Iks. I will tell you about these creatures.

The dwarves are like many of their kin in other books, grumpy, but witty. They love to drink a few mugs of ale around their fires and hear stories about the glory of previous battles. These creatures also like to dig in their cold and snowy mountains in the south of Entria for jewels and medals which these skilled smiths hammer into beautiful weapons and merchandise. The dwarves usually do not cause wars, but they do not mind helping to finish them.

The humans in this story are both bad and evil as you shall see. They are the ones usually responsible for the wars that break out in Entria. But there are good humans in this tale and the humans are the most intelligent of the inhabitants of Entria. The humans live in the middle of Entria and have built a wall around their land to keep the unwanted visitors out.

The goblins are the truly evil people in this story; they live in the west of Entria where there are many hills. The goblins forge crude, but lethal weapons and constantly are sending raiders mounted on Lesers against the dwarves, humans, and Iks villages where they attack, plundering and burning villages. Lesers are to the goblins, as the horse is to humans. A full grown Leser is about the size of a Saint Bernard dog, they grow two one foot long horns that grow on the animal’s head. They also have two inch teeth which create long gashes in the enemies of their masters. They are the most terrifying creature in Entria.

The Iks are a small creature about two feet tall with a single hair on the top of their heads; this hair grows a couple inches every day. So every day they line up before their village leader who cuts off the hair with a pair of large scissors. These creatures farm in the east of Entria which has rich farming soil. They grow all manner of produce and sell the extras to the dwarves for small throwing daggers and larger ones. The Iks can split an apple in half from fifty feet away with their smaller daggers.

In the north of Entria lies a barren wasteland where the Lesers live before being captured by the goblins. No inhabitants live there except a few goblins that capture the Lesers. Well I think I have introduced my fictional land to you, dear reader, so I hope you enjoy this tale.

The Author, Caleb Henley Angell

Chapter 1: The Ranger

On the night of Ketenber 12, 1261, a young man that had recently become a ranger of the forest of Lennon (which was situated 100 miles outside the wall that surrounded the farming land and castles of men in the center of Entria) was walking slowly and quietly through the cool of the forest to his small cabin. He soon saw his cabin’s silhouette in the middle of a clearing. A light was on in the cabin, so the ranger cautiously opened his door. The young man then saw a boy in his teenage years he recognized as the son of the village’s chief of the guard who had befriended him from the nearest village 13 miles away. The boy was standing before the hearth shivering; the man could tell the boy was not shivering from the cold, but fright and grief. The ranger had shivered like that the night that his parents had been slaughtered by a raiding party of goblins, the boy then spoke. “The village was destroyed”, he said. The ranger threw a few logs on the fire. Then he asked, “Goblins?” The boy sadly replied, “Yes”. “How many?” he asked. The boy replied, “I was hunting a herd of deer that had passed by our village, when I saw smoke rising in the sky. I ran back to village and hid behind a tree. The whole village was on fire and I saw the goblins riding through the village and shooting the helpless villagers with fire arrows.” The boy paused to wipe a tear from his cheek. “I counted about thirty goblins though and then I did not know what to do so I decided to come to you”. The ranger asked another question to the boy, “What about the village guard and your family?” The boy replied, “My mother and sisters were killed, and my father and the guards went yesterday to another village to help attack a camp of goblins. But I guess the goblins decided to attack our village instead.” The ranger had been taught to be a man of action, so he donned a cloak and buckled his sword that had been given to him when he had graduated from the war college of Onega on. He took down his bow made of the strongest oak that the ranger could find and quiver from where they had been hanging from the antlers of an unfortunate buck that (like most targets moving or still) had been shot down by the ranger’s bow. The ranger motioned to the boy to step outside and handed the boy a cloak. The man then picked up a pail of water and threw it unto the fire. He then picked up his pack that contained everything useful to him and slung the pack onto his shoulders with a thump. The ranger then locked the door and strode of with the boy into the dark and cold of the forest towards the village that now lay in ashes.

Chapter 2: The Village

The ranger and the boy could see the smoke rising from the ashes of the village long before they arrived. The ranger motioned to the boy to walk quietly now just in case the goblins were still looking around for plunder. They both walked silently now walking through the aged trees that appeared to be mourning the loss of the village that they had protected from the wind and weather with their leafy limbs. As they came closer to the village they saw that the goblins had done a thorough job. All that was left was the carcasses of the dead villagers and the skeletons of small cabins. The ranger felt hatred rising in him for the goblins that had committed such an offense to man. Dead bodies lay everywhere with arrows rising out of them, some had long gashes in them inflicted by the Lesers. The remainder of dead had been mowed down by the goblins with swords. The ranger and the boy walked through the bodies of the dead looking for any that had life in them. They finally found a young man lying in a hut; he had an arrow sticking out of his ribs. But the man’s heart was still beating, though the man was unconscious. The ranger pulled the arrow out with a flick of his hand, for living in the forest and building his cabin had enlarged his muscles. He tore off a strip of a dead person’s tunic and bound the wound with all of his experience in medical procedures he had. The ranger studied the man: he had good features and brown hair that was neck length. He also appeared to be in his early twenties. But the strange thing about him was the sword he carried at his side and the dagger that had been hidden in a pocket in the trousers. The ranger then turned to the boy and asked, “Have you ever seen him before?” The boy answered, “No”. The ranger saw on the wounded man’s tunic that a viper’s head (this was the sign of mercenary) had been stitched in it. The ranger guessed that he was a traveling swordsman, who offered his sword for hire. Then the ranger heard gruff talking outside the hut he and the boy were in. He leapt up and cocked an arrow to his bow, then carefully stepped outside the hut. He saw a number of goblins tearing open the dead bodies’ clothes to see if they held any plunder. The man was overcome by hatred once again, and saw a way to take revenge for the slaughtering. The ranger let loose an arrow, which flew into the heart of the nearest goblin. A goblin that had just found a ring on the finger of the body he was searching turned around startled, and was shot dead through the throat. The arrow had come from the boy’s bow, for he too wanted to take his revenge on those that had snuffed out the life of his mother and sister. The goblins saw the man and boy shooting from the door of the hut, and approached the door. Two more goblins where killed by arrows before they could reach the hut. The ranger then pulled his sword and leaped in the middle of the stunned goblins. He killed the two goblins in front of him and dodged a blow just missed him. Then he buried his sword into the side of the goblin on his left. But then the ranger heard a scream behind him and saw a goblin push his sword into the boy’s body. He turned around and threw his knife into the belly of the goblin with such force that the knife passed through and buried itself in the wall of the hut. He finished of the last goblin on with a sweep of his now bloodied sword. The ranger quickly wiped his sword with the tunic of a goblin and sheathed his sword. He then picked up the boy and carried him into the hut, and laid him of his cloak. But it was too late, the boy was. The ranger sat in the hut with the dead boy and wounded man as the sun peaked over the trees.

Chapter 3: Carleton the Mercenary

The ranger worked for the rest of the morning piling up dead bodies. Finally as the sun was halfway through its journey the man drew flint and steel from his pack and walked over to the pile of the dead (among them was the boy). He then picked up an armful of straw and dumped it on the bodies. The ranger then struck the flint and steel together. Soon the pile was on fire and he walked back to the hut where the wounded man lay. The ranger entered the hut and saw that the mercenary was leaning his back against the hut’s wall. The man’s face was pale and gaunt and his expression was firm. But the ranger noted that he had risen even though he had lost a lot of blood, which showed that he was a man who could take a great deal of pain.

The mercenary spoke, “The name is Carleton of Iscaria”.

The ranger replied, “I am Aldred of Braxton, a ranger in this forest.”

Carleton spoke again, “I guess you’re wondering why I ended up here, with an arrow in my side.”

Aldred said, “It’s none of my business, but yes, I am”.

“Well, I was thinking of coming to see how it was in the village for my mother’s sister lived here. So I was walking to her hut when the goblins attacked. Before I knew it I felt a great pain, and everything went completely black.”

“Well, are you hungry? I know I am, I have worked all morning and haven’t had anything since yesterday afternoon,” said Aldred.

“I wouldn’t mind some food.”


Aldred took a hunk of dried beran (that is a smaller version of what we call a bear) meat from his pack, along with a flask of water. He cut two slices off with his knife and handed one slice to Carleton; Aldred then replaced the meat to his pack. Aldred took a long swig out of the flask then passed it to his new companion. They ate in silence, until Aldred said,” I am leaving right now for the village where the chief guard of this town is, to let him know what happened.”

“I will come; I have no other place to go, for traveling is my trade”, said Carleton.

Aldred nodded his head and stepped outside the hut with Carleton and walked away from the village into the forest without looking back.

Chapter Four: The Adventure in the Woods

Aldred and Carleton walked along in silence. The fall sun shone brightly down through the trees. The birds that inhabited the dense forest chirped and the squirrels chatted with eachother overhead. But Aldred paid no attention to the beauty of nature; he was too lost in thought about what he was to do after he told the captain of the guards that his village was destroyed and no inhabitants where alive, including his own family. He couldn’t just go back to his cabin and ignore the world, but then what was he, a mere ranger of the forest, supposed to do. Maybe he could go with the captain to destroy the rest of the goblins and maybe even make a raid on the goblins with the captain. Yes, that was it. It was the best way to show the goblins how to take some of their own medicine.

Aldred was so deep in thought that he didn’t notice an animal leap from a tree on to Carleton. But he was broken out of thought by the yells of Carleton and the growling from the animal. Aldred swiftly turned around and saw a giant tree leopard standing over Carleton. Aldred pulled his sword out of his scabbard and advanced on the leopard. The leopard got off Carleton and turned toward the ranger. As quick as a flash Aldred vaulted into the air and landed with his sword pointed straight down on the leopard’s back, while the leopard gave way beneath him, Aldred jumped off. He then walked over to Carleton who had a gaping wound on his shoulder, compliments of the tree leopard. Carleton slowly sat up, only to sink back down again and faint. Obviously both of his wounds were too much for him to handle. Aldred created a pillow for Carleton with his bedroll and bathed the wound. He then wound a strip of cloth around Carleton’s arm and tied it tightly.

Then the ranger began to cut up the leopard into strips to use as dried meat. When he finished he threw the remains of the big cat over the side of the trail and started a fire to dry the meat. After the meat was done cooking he extracted a block of salt from his pack and began to salt the meat. By this time the sun was about to set and he finished the whole process with wrapping up the strips of meat in a cloth. Aldred tied to bundle up and placed in his pack. As he closed up the pack, Carleton came to and asked for a drink of water. Aldred picked up his canteen that was made of sheepskin and poured its contents down Carleton’s throat. The ranger spoke, “There is only five miles left to go and I will carry you to the village tomorrow morning so you can receive proper care.” Carleton nodded his head and drifted off to sleep. Aldred got up and collected sticks that lay among the trees. He walked back to where his new companion lay sleeping by the fire. Aldred dumped the armload of sticks on the fire, which soon began to crackle. A bright fire was needed in that part of the forest to keep the wild animals at bay. As the moon rose in the crisp night air, the ranger sat looking into the fire and pondering the thoughts that were crowded into his mind.

Chapter Five: Captain Stanley

Aldred awoke when the sun was still sleeping. The embers of the fire lay glowing in the dark. Aldred sat up and glanced at Carleton who was sleeping quietly. He found more firewood among the trees and soon the fire was blazing once again. He took a chunk of tree leopard meat from his pack and began to gnaw on it. When he finished eating, he put out the fire. Then he picked up Carleton and slung him over his shoulder. Aldred walked through the forest on his way to the village, but laden with his burden he came to the town when the sun was halfway on its daily journey through the sky. The entire village was surrounded by a wooden fence. The ends of pointed branches had been stuck in the ground to make the fence. A village guard halted him as he came to the gate in the stockade. Aldred said, “My friend is wounded and sick. I need to take him to the medicine man. And I need to see Captain Stanley.” The guard moved aside and opened the gate. Aldred walked through the gate and quickly found the medicine man’s hut.

He knocked on the door and a wrinkled old man opened it. Aldred spoke, “This man has been wounded by an arrow and bit by a tree leopard.” The man motioned him inside. In the middle of the hut was a table with a white sheet draped over it. Standing next to the table was an old table which held a few tools. Aldred gently laid down Carleton on the table and turned to the medicine man. Aldred pressed ten golden ruppys (this was the currency of Entria) into the man’s hand. “Do whatever you can for him, okay?” The old man nodded, astonished by the money that lay in his hand. It was enough to buy all his possessions twice over. Aldred said, “I will be back later.”

He closed the door and headed for the tavern called the Golden Mug. It was the only tavern in the village, so it did not take him long to find it. He stepped through the doorway and walked farther in. A few serving girls were serving food and drink to their customers. Aldred spotted a man in silver armor sitting at a table in the corner of the room. The man had a brown mustache and a sword hung at his side. It was Captain Stanley. Aldred walked over to the table and said, “Captain Stanley, can I have a word with you?” The man looked up and said, “Hello Aldred, sit down.” Aldred settled into the bench and told the captain all that had happened from the beginning to the end. When he finished, the captain’s face was grim and sad. The captain was not a man for tears, but this was an exception. Stanley said, “I leave tomorrow, come if you want to.” The captain left the tavern. Aldred followed.

Chapter 6: The March

Aldred walked beside Captain Stanley as they led the Captain’s men (three score strong) out of the gate in the wall that surrounded the village. The men proceeded two by two through the gate. The sun had not risen yet, so the small troop was marching in the ghostly pallor of dawn. Entering the forest, they headed west toward the Goblin Lands where they might give the goblins a small retaliatory taste of their own medicine. “The idea isn’t very smart”, pondered Aldred, knowing that they might be doomed facing such greater numbers, “but then I am not in command.” He knew that these soldiers no longer had any wives, children, or land; everything they lived for had been destroyed. He continued in thought, “It is a sad thing when a man had nothing to live for anymore.” But, the men were willing to die fighting goblins – maybe they weren’t the goblins that had destroyed their village, but they were goblins after all.

The troop traipsed through the woods for days only stopping to eat and sleep. One cold afternoon two scouts, who had been ahead of the group looking for a camping ground for the night, came running back to report. The larger scout spoke, “There is a goblin village just up ahead.”

“How far?” asked Captain Stanley.

“Just over the ridge,” replied the smaller scout.

The small troop advanced over the ridge and down into the village. It was deserted and the men began to enter the huts. There were no goblins to be found! Aldred walked over to a fenced-in area. The fence had only one gate, and it had wire strung along the top of it. It was the lesser pens. Apparently, the entire inhabitants of the village had set out on a raiding party. The captain said, “We will camp here tonight.” The soldiers entered the huts and dumped their burdens on the dirt floors. Aldred chose a hut next to Captain Stanley’s and heaved his pack to the ground. He unrolled his blanket and unbuckled his sword, which he placed on the table, the only furniture in the hut. Using his pack as a pillow, he fell fast asleep. He was awakened by shouts and the heavy pounding of feet. Jumping out of his blanket, Aldred quickly buckled on his sword, and stepped out of the hut. The goblins’ raiding party had returned to their village!

Chapter 7: Captured by the Goblins

Captain Stanley’s men were running towards the advancing goblins. Aldred ran to join them. The goblins were five score strong and two score of them rode on Lesers. The goblins drew nearer until they were 30 paws (paws is the equivalent of our meter) away, then 20 paws, then 10 paw, until the mounted goblins crashed into the men. The Lesers destroyed the front line in a couple minutes, only losing three goblins.

The goblins on foot then began to finish off the rest of the men. A mounted goblin drew near Aldred which he shot in the chest. The goblin fell off with a thump unto the ground. Two goblins on foot drew near and held out their swords in front of him menacingly. Aldred quickly blocked their blows, and swung his sword into their faces. One fell down dead, his days of raiding over, but the other goblin was still standing. Aldred swung his sword in an arc blocking the goblin’s blow, and then he carried out a swift lower cut. The goblin blocked the blow, but before he could stop him Aldred had swung his sword up and with a right upper cut, he decapitated him.

Aldred heard movements behind him and he turned around swinging his sword in front of him. His sword shot into the goblin’s chest and the goblin fell to the ground. The goblins had finished off most of Captain Stanley’s men, and Captain Stanley was standing back to back with his second in command. As the captain and his officer fell under the savage attack of the goblins, Aldred ran for the woods, hoping to escape the goblins.

But it was too late. The goblins surrounded Aldred; some had small bows which shot crude arrows pointed (which they didn’t look very hesitant to use) at him. The leader of the goblins made his way through the mob of goblins, roughly pushing them aside. The chief goblin cut the string of the nearest goblin’s bow and roughly shouted in Goblin, “Zix vis lis thet en get." (We take him prisoner). The goblins shoved him into a hut taking away his sword and bow, a little later a dwarf and an Ik were thrown in beside him. Aldred guessed that they had been taken prisoner during the goblin raids. Goblins were known to take the best fighters in villages captive, just to kill them later on.

Aldred turned to the Ik, “I am Aldred the Ranger, what is your name?”

The Ik smiled, “Zik the Thief. I was a thief in the human city of Echnot, before I went back to my village where I was born. I took up farming for a while, but then the goblins showed up.

Aldred asked the dwarf, “What is your name?”

“Kanni”, the dwarf replied. “I was a smith in a village in the Ik lands. At least I was until the village was burnt to the ground.”

As the goblins began to unload their loot into their huts, a nearly full moon rose into the night sky over the prisoners in the hut.

Chapter 8: Escape

The next morning as the sun began to shine, Aldred woke and stood up. Kanni and Zik had already woken and Zik said, “I heard the goblins talking (Zik knew Goblin) and they said we are going to be executed later this morning in honor of a high ranking spy that works for the goblins, who is visiting the village.” Aldred fell back against the cabin wall, stunned. It was one thing to die in battle, but to die with your hands tied behind your back was another thing. Zik said, “Don’t worry, I have a plan.”

Kanni said, “Really?”

Aldred listened intently as Zik unfolded his plan.

Two hours later the captives were hauled roughly out the cabin door. In the center of the goblin village the village leader was sitting next to the guest of honor and was hemmed in by guards. As he, Kanni, and Zik were dragged nearer to waiting goblins, he saw that the high ranking goblin spy was taller than the goblins and was wearing a black mask over his face. In the middle of the ring of goblins a goblin was waiting with a giant battle axe in his hand. Then Aldred was pulled away from the dwarf and Ik. He was forced in the opposite direction of the executioner, toward the spy and goblin chief. Aldred was stopped only a few paws from them. The spy spoke in a strangely familiar voice, “Aldred, don’t you remember me?” The spy pulled away his mask. It was Carleton!

Aldred was shocked. But he spoke calmly, “Hello Carleton, how are your wounds?”

“Quite fine”, replied Carleton. “Thanks to the medicine man, I was completely healed in two days.”

Aldred still had more questions, “How did you get here so fast and how did you know I was here?”

“Lesers are very fast, and as a spy, I make it my business to know a lot.”

Aldred suddenly realized that the arrow he had pulled from Carleton’s stomach had not been a goblin arrow, but a villager’s.

Carleton grinned evilly, “You saved my life twice. But know I will repay you with death. Good-bye, Aldred.”

And he motioned for the goblins to take Aldred to the execution block. His head was forced unto the block. The goblin raised the axe over his head and down came the axe. Quick as a flash, he pulled up his head and put his hands just so that the axe severed the bonds that held his hands. Aldred shot up and grabbed the axe from the startled goblin. Then with a stroke he clove the goblin in two. He ran over to where Zik and Kanni were. He killed the guards that surrounded them with mighty strokes. Then he severed the Ik’s and dwarf’s bonds as they began to run toward the forest. The goblins were startled by this and seemed dazed. But then Carleton’s voice rang out, “Xiv than wev (Kill them)." The goblins then started running and firing arrows at the fleeing figures. Aldred was hit by one in the back, but he kept on running. They ran for their lives, dashing under trees and bushes. The goblins’ shouts faded as the fugitives ran away from them. But the arrow in Aldred’s back caused him too much pain. He sank to his knees. Zik and Kanni turned around and looked at him. They cried out and ran back towards him. Then Aldred hit the dirt and lay there unconscious.