Burthode Bronzefist, a Dwarven scout, hid in the brush alongside Firna, a Goblin spotter. Below them, a seemingly endless parade of undead streamed along the old imperial road.
“I see a legion of spearmen, from the…” Burthode paused, “Vantovian Principality.”
“Roight,” said Firna as she recorded it in her notebook.
As the skeletal spearmen clattered past, Burthode furrowed his brow. His eyebrows were very bushy and so it was quite a silent statement of consternation.
“May I ask you a question?” inquired the Dwarf.
“’Cours. Ask away.”
“Does this seem weird to you?”
“Spyin’on an army o’ da dead ‘taint my idea o’ a regular day, Oy must confess.”
“That’s not exactly what I meant.”
“Den speak plain.”
“We are a Dwarf and a Goblin, working side by side.”
“’An you think dat’s weird?”
“Until recently, it would have been unlikely, to say the least.”
“Oiy can’t argue dat point. So Oiy won’t.”
They sat for a while, the only sound was the clack of skeletal troops marching.
“May I ask another question?”
The Goblin shrugged to indicate, ‘why not?’
“Do you hate me?”
Firna closed her book and regarded Burthode.
“Why would I?”
Burthode sighed, and said, “There have been many terrible wars between our peoples. Myself, I have killed many, many Goblins.”
“So, I ask you once more, do you hate me.”
Chewing on the end of her quill, Firna stared at the Dwarf for a moment, then spoke, “Der’s no denyin’ da oceans o’ bad blood twixt our respective folk. Lots o’ red in dat list.”
“You speak true.”
“Some folk, dey ‘ave trouble lettin’ go of da past. Dey got der reasons, ‘n dey ain’t wit out merit.”
“I see,” replied Burthode as a bead of sweat rolled down his face.
“On da utter hand, it seems ta me dat doin’ da same ting and expectin’ it to end different… Well, dats daft that is.”
“Hold on!” uttered Burthode.
Pointing at the road below, a skeletal Giant strode alongside the spearmen.
“Dats not good,” muttered Firna as she made a note of this new development.
Once it had passed out of sight, the Dwarf spoke, “I agree with you.”
“Undead Giant ‘taint no joke.”
“Yes, but I meant about what you said before. We’ve all been dancing to someone else’s song. Time we wrote our own.”
“Da way I see it, dems whats on da top, it’s in their interest to keep da rest of us in ‘r place. Leastways what dey tink ‘r place is.”
“There are some powerful individuals who will not like this.”
“Oiy suspect yer roight ‘bout dat.”
“More blood will be spilt.”
“I wonder if this will all end in ruin. Evil on the march, chaos is on the rise, tomorrow is uncertain.”
“Cheer up mate! Everyting is all elbows ‘n knees, true enuff. On dey utter hand, Goblins are free, yer adventurer’s guild is bein’ reformed, and a Dwarf and a Goblin can work ta’getter and have some civil discourse. Oiy call dat progress.”
Burthode smiled and said, “You speak true. I would be honored to call you friend.”
“Roight back attacha!”
As they shook hands, the sound of breaking branches and cursing could be heard from the underbrush. Both Goblin and Dwarf drew their weapons and stood ready to fight. With an explosion of branches and leaves, a figure dressed in battle raiments and riding a Dentre-Bird skidded in front of them.
“Pardon me. Have either of you seen a bandit carrying a holy satchel?” asked Brother-Sargent Xoran.