The Retrievers Guild
John F. Sasso
Cast of Characters:
The Chronicles of Moldank the Goblin:
Moldank was in the final weeks of his apprenticeship at the
Retriever's Guild in Schteinberg. Business was slow. He heard
someone talking in the main room, and the hairs at the base of
his next stood on end. He stopped sweeping and poked his
head through the drapery. Snarlutzok, Moldank's instructor in
the arts of retrieving, handed some papers to
a cloaked shadowy figure, who signed them without reading them, turned,
and quickly left through the front door into the stormy night. Moldank
went back to his sweeping.
In the morning Moldank was awakened as usual, by a kick to the back
of the head from Snarlutzok's boot. He spent the day collecting
provisions and preparing the horses. When the sun began to set,
the two of them rode off north through the winding mountain pass
toward Tharko. Snarlutzok occasionally consulted a map. Two days
later they arrived at a narrow staircase carved into the rock face
of a looming cliff. They ascended the stairs, kicking bones
and rocks out of the way. On the top of the plateau stood a ruined
fortress town. Snarlutzok prodded Moldank ahead, and they entered
a gaping hole down into the bowls of the ruins.
Inside they fought zombies, centipedes, and a giant spider, before
Moldank found a golden crown hidden behind an ancient throne.
Snarlutzok took the crown, cuffed the goblin on the side of the
head, and led him back home to the guild hall.
A couple of days later, the shadowy figure returned to take the
crown and pay for the retrieving services. The figure cackled
evilly and left. Moldank shuddered and went back to his