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Boozer knew that his mace and staff would be too clumsy for working through the underbrush. He laid them aside and thought for a moment. There were at least 6 elves hiding in the forest–maybe more. Some of them would be in the branches far above. They’d all have bows–cowardly elves would never stand and fight if they could shoot a body full of arrows instead.

 

In fact, Boozer was completely correct about all these things. One elf had gone ahead for reinforcements when the wagon overturned, and there were now some 20 elves in the area, waiting to see what the goblin would do. They remained in hiding and it became a game of nerves.

Slowly, slowly Boozer began to inch forward, trying to stay under the undergrowth, He was good, and cautious, but . . . he moved some leaves, he pushed a stem aside. He made it nearly ten feet before he heard a shrill whistle–a signal from the elf leader to fire.

They couldn’t see him, but they could see about where he must be. Twenty heavy hunting arrows cut into his cover. Most of them missed or were deflected by branches. Three of them hit him, one in the leg, one in the shoulder, one in the ribs. (72 hits of damage.) Boozer cried out–he couldn’t help himself. Nine of the next volley of arrows hit him, and 11 of the the third volley.

Goblin pincushion.

Three days later Ogmar crawled into Srak Arhan, telling a tale of marauding elves, stolen food, and a failed attempt at rescue. She had been left for dead when the elves finally left the scene. A day later she had regenerated enough to pull herself from the broken wagon, and she found Boozer’s remains.

The End

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