His feet strode softly across the worn cobblestone. The moon shined brightly overhead, seeming to illuminate the guild hall as he passed it. As he walked past the door, he heard a voice. A voice so soft, it easily could have been mistaken for the wind.
“There is one in here who is not welcome. He has forced his way in. He seeks to take from you,” the voice whispered in Pythes’ ear.
Pythes spun around, expecting to see someone behind him. But instead he saw just an empty street. Looking around warily for the source of the voice, Pythes continued walking.
“He will escape with it!” It whispered again
Again, Pythes looked around frantically for the source of the voice, but found no one.
“This lack of sleep is really getting to me.” He murmured to himself, shaking his head, “But I guess it couldn't hurt to check the hall quickly, just in case.”
Turning back to the guild hall door, he entered.
The only sound inside was the soft snoring of those who had decided to spend the night in the guest bunks. Pythes grabbed the torch from next to the front door and held it high. Nothing out of the ordinary leapt out at him. Shrugging he continued to look around, finding nothing unusual. He opened the door to his office and held the torch high. Again, nothing. He closed the door and headed for the exit when the voice whispered to him again.
“No, no! Back behind that door! The one who doesn’t belong!” it hissed.
Without looking for a source this time, Pythes headed back to his office, slamming the door open. As the door banged against the wall, he heard a squeal and a curse in a different tongue. Throwing his torch into the fireplace, he closed the door and held a menacing hand up at the small figure crouched near the wall.
“Owwwwww” A tiny goblin in all black lay clutching his crooked nose as blood spilled out of it. In his hand was a crumpled piece of parchment.
“Vuz dat wewwy necessawy?” It moaned in common through it’s cupped hands. Between the heavy accent and the nasally voice, Pythes could barely understand it.
“How did you get in here?” Pythes demanded, not lowering his hands “What do you want?”
The goblin smirked, lowering his hands. “Look here sonny, why don’t you and yer fancy dress just move on aside and let me and this pretty little intel leave in peace eh? Then I don’t have to get yer blood er’rywhere”
Pythes smiled dangerously. “Or….” A shadow wrapped itself around one of his hands “…you could tell me what you want before this turns ugly for you”
The goblin smirked even wider, and fingered one of his daggers. With lightning speed he threw it at Pythes’ throat. It bounced harmlessly off the air a half a foot away from Pythes.
The priest winked “Fine then, have it your way” and clenched his right fist. A beam of opaque blackness exploded out of Pythes’ hand and connected itself to the Goblin’s temple. He dropped the paper and fell to his knees, grunting in pain.
“Leave this place!” Pythes boomed “Never return, give back what you took and I will spare your life. I have no stomach for senseless killing tonight”
“Alright!....Alright! Have it your way” The goblin moaned. Pythes opened his hand and the beam disappeared. The creature got shakily to his feet and began to move toward the door.
“This is not the last you’ve seen of me. I will not return to my home until I’ve retrieved what I was sent for.” The Goblin’s hand rested on the door latch.
“Return here, and you will die quickly.” Pythes said sternly, his eyes locked on the tiny Goblin.
“Do not let him leave!” The voice was back, whispering urgently in Pythes’ ear. “He will kill your guildmates in their sleep, to let him leave is to risk their lives!”