The Curse of the Goblins

“Pop-op will you tell us a campfire story?”

“Yeah! A super scary one!”

“One that’s soooo scary Tommy will drop his marshmallows!”

“Hey! But not that scary, right pop-op?”

“Ha ha, alright you four. Which one shall I tell? The one where your great, great grandfather slayed a Dragon?”

“No, not that one again. We remember it all, from the message written by the king-”

“To the weight and balance of the perfect sword crafted by the best blacksmith of the land-”

“To the part where you can never remember the color of the monsters scales!”

“The first time it was green, then red, and the last time you told it they were purple!”

“Ho ho, is that so? I always remember them being black.”


“Alright then, what about the time a titan besieged the capital of our kingdom?”

“That one’s not believable enough,”

“Yeah, there’s no such thing as a creature two castles high……is there?”

“Well you’re all so picky tonight! If you’re so tired of my stories why don’t you just stare at the fire instead!?”

“Aww pop-op, come oooon, just one story we haven’t heard before.”


“Hmm, well what about ‘smirk’ The Curse of the Goblins?”

“That one doesn’t sound too scary…”

“My interest is piqu- pick- peak-…I’m curious!”

“Hush then children and let me tell you the story, of a settlement not long ago. Our great kingdom was expanding and bordering nearer and nearer the realms in which monsters dwell. This particular settlement had wandered too close, and this foolish band of pioneers would soon face the wrath of an especially vengeful population of the little green beasts.”

Long before the realm of man existed, the empire of beasts reigned supreme, and of those beasts the most powerful were not the strongest. Nay. Nor were they the smartest. The ones who proved mightiest of all were the ones whom seemed infinite. And so it was that so vast were the number of goblins, that no creature, man or beast, could dare oppose them. But as history would have it, their hordes were soon rivaled by that of the human variety, and their meek composition would force them back into the darkness of the nightmares they came from. A beast however, is still a beast, and children you should never corner one.

The settlement of Great Oak, by name of which it came to be called, was funded and backed by powerful merchants seeking the rich veins of ore in the area. The settlers, all debtors to the many companies, were forced into the journey. All their hopes and wishes all poured into one ancient oak near the center of town, for they were now powerless spectators in their own plays of life.

Like any town funded by merchants and traders, Great Oak grew quickly and its value became renowned. So far had the rumors of wealth spread that they began to attract the eyes of others. Soon caravans and peddlers alike began roaming through the lands of this settlement, each hoping to get a hand in the cookie jar so to speak. And when enough food, and the people looked friendly enough, a new citizen would join. The town was bursting with life and goodness, Shepherds tending to flocks in fields, craftsmen tending to their trade, even exotic pets being acquired by hunters. All watched from the shadows by less human eyes, eyes full of disgust, eyes full of disdain.

Before long, night raids were being conducted by armed goblins. The green devils stole goods from houses and materials from stockpiles, and what did they do with it all?


But the merchants would have no pesky intrusion on their profits, and the citizens of Great Oak were conscripted into service in “defense of the town” for the greater benefit of the people who had grown dependant of its trading. The peace loving people who had settled in the land of the ancient oak, were trained in the art of war, and the fields that had birthed life and food, were stained in the blood of an ancient enemy. On that day leaves fell from the ancient oak like tears from a mourners eyes.

That was not the only thing to fall on that day however. For each goblin carried on his person a small wooden token, in representation of their honor. Such a small token. So precious were they to the warriors who needed to prove themselves to their superiors, that they horded them. For it was simple, one token, one goblin removed. It was simple so that everyone would know how mighty a warrior was simply through the amount of tokens they had.

The tokens flowed in as goblin blood flowed out, and soon the stockpiles were filled with them. A greater blow could the goblins deal by stealing back the small medal, than by looting the farms.

And so it was that when the goblin menace was finally removed from the area around Great Oak that the tokens ceased.

But the greed of man is a far greater foe

Soon the villagers began crafting their own tokens, symbolizing their own wealth. As a black sickness grew over the hearts of the villagers, even the ancient oak was weighed for its tokens, and then carved by shaking hands 'till it was no more. For the vengeful goblins had not cursed them with theft, but gifted them with greed

“The only thing left of the Great oak now is a plethora of old buildings, and wooden tokens leaking out of each one.”


"po- po- pop-op, tha- tha- that stories not re- re- real is it?

"ye- ye- yeah, there’s no way a small little thing could kill a to- to- town is there?


“He he he, don’t worry children ‘tosses it into the fire’ greed can only get to you if you let it.”

as the children and the grandfather reside to their homes, the fire dies down slowly, and a green glow emits from a cracked and burned wooden eye.


Hi @SprungCardinal8 I almost missed your story because of the amount of posts on the discourse lately (not complaining or anything) so sorry that I am a bit late in my comments.

As per usual I like to give comments and critique on the short stories on the discourse. I like how your short story is a story within a story.

First of all I think that in the beginning dialgue you should sepcify who is talking when (e. x. “ahgagha” tom said)

The truth of the matter is that 99% of grammer rules don’t apply to your story because the entire thing is in quotes (btw you should probably put the bold “story” in quotes as well as it is the grandfather speaking.

The entire story has a problem called economy, the more there is of something the less value it has. So towards the end people would stop caring about it all together. And tokens value would become the equivalent of fire wood. That being said I understand that it is more of “metaphoric story”

I really like that line :smiley:

“weighed” is not such a good word for what you are saying maybe “felled” or “chopped down” or “analyzed” etc.

Although this sentence is quite good from a literature standpoint, it really doesn’t work with the rest of the story. “gifted them with greed” should be “cursed them double with greed” or something like that.

And also it wasn’t the goblins who gave them greed, they already had it in their psychology.

I really enjoyed your story and I think the best thing for you to do would basically say this is a metaphor/fable against greed. Otherwise you have to take realism into account. The story really gets the point across in a good way.

Btw with your talent you may want to join the writer’s workshop competition.
Submission thread - Writer’s Workshop 3: Submissions (Round Two)
Discussion thread - Writer’s Workshop 3: The Wrath of Mer!

Also I added this story to the unofficial Lore Index - Stonehearth lore index, and epochs


thanks for the critique turtle :smiley: I’m not sure if you’re used to getting replies or not… I’d just like to ask some questions if I could.

When I wrote that the ancient oak was weighed, I wanted it to sound like this pillar of hope had been objectified, like it was nothing more than a chunk of wood to be carved. I thought weighed sounded more mysterious xD but I dunno if there’s a better word?

I was hoping that the whole inversion of curse and gift would be kind of funny, though looking at it again, gift probably wasn’t the best word :T also I didn’t wanna use curse again cause pop-op is old, wise, and pretty verbose so reusing a word so soon after would undermine his vocabulary. Any ideas on a better word?

So you know how movies sometimes have a talking scene that moves into a cinematic flashback? I was hoping the bold would help people get creative and play a little movie in their head :3 oh and I left out the who said what stuff cause it didn’t really matter who said what and it would slow the momentum. I just wanted people to make up who was who x3

Finally (phew, sorry I’m so long winded) should I have made it clearer that the tokens were actually cursed? I dunno, I guess it doesn’t matter cause it is fable for the kids, but the whole story was inspired by how fast my stockpiles kept getting full of tokens in the game x)

Anyway thanks for all the nice things you said about it :smiley: this is really the first time a stranger has ever complimented me for something I’ve written. I hope you get to critique me a lot more in the future!

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The truth is that you can stick with weighed and just say that “weighed” in this case means measured.

I whipped out a thesaurus and I couldn’t find any better entries which fit here well.
–Paging @Teleros can you think of a better word for “For the vengeful goblins had not cursed them with theft, but gifted them with greed.”

It definitely did. Just I was suggesting also adding quotes around the whole bold part (aka one in the beginning and one all the way at the end)

No problem, us writers need to support each other.

Not to worry, you write i’ll critique :smile:

[quote=“TurtleSquish, post:4, topic:10149”][quote=“SprungCardinal8, post:3, topic:10149”]
Any ideas on a better word?
I whipped out a thesaurus and I couldn’t find any better entries which fit here well.
–Paging @Teleros can you think of a better word for “For the vengeful goblins had not cursed them with theft, but gifted them with greed.”[/quote]
I would probably have written “… not cursed them with further thefts, but with greed” and left it at that.

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