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My Scribes Contest entry:

It had been a long journey, the Tilean thought to himself. Years ago he found a treasure map inside a bottle that washed up on shore...and it was signed by Captain Stonebeard, a notorious Chaos Dwarf pirate who disappeared decades ago. Legends spoke that he was dead, his treasure hidden in a cave with walls of gold.

The map was crude, it could be any island, in any sea. But the glass bottle itself was a clue, it was embossed with a brewery name. Years of searching had led the Tilean to find the brewery in a small northern seaport, and sitting in the brewery pub, drinking grog, was a Hobgoblin wearing an eye patch. The pub owner said that the Hobgoblin was a smuggler, who knew the local sea better than anyone, if anyone could find a hidden island, it would be the Hobgoblin.

Looking at the map, the Hobgoblin said he knew where to go, and as payment, the Hobgoblin asked the Tilean to pay his bar tab, and buy one more bottle of grog for the journey.

Hours later they arrived at a small rocky island, the Tilean eagerly exploring the sole cave. But he quickly realized that the walls of the cave weren't gold, they were iron pyrite, "fools gold". And then he saw it, a stone statue of a Chaos Dwarf...with only one eye.

Calmly, the Hobgoblin spoke:

"Dat's Stonebeard hisself, sorcerers curse, turned 'im to stone. First mate I was, Master he still is. He's dying word, keep his treasure secret, keep et safe. And fer loyalty, he gave me he's Daemonsmith eye"

The Hobgoblin took off his eye patch, revealing a prosthetic copper eye with an arcane rune. With one glance of the eye, the Tilean fell over dead, his soul ripped from his body and bound forever to the iron pyrite walls of the cave.

"Fools gold" the Hobgoblin casually remarked, as he took the treasure map from the dead hand of the Tilean.

He then uncorked the bottle of grog that the Tilean had bought him for the journey, drank it down, and then deftly rolled up the treasure map and sealed it inside the empty bottle.

After paying respects to his stone Master, he tossed the treasure map bottle back into the sea...his smile revealing his sharp copper plated teeth.


Thanks again to everyone who voted for my story, I'm sure that some of you recognized my storytelling style, that intertwines both Hobgoblin treachery and servitude.
(The story also has a hidden Easter Egg)
Takes Hat off
Ahh, it's sooo good! The treacherous Hobgoblin truely is a mainstay in general fantasy, and it is so classically deployed here, I love it. Evil ideaPirate
Golden story indeed!
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