The Tales of the Red Lion I
The whip cracked and created another split in the skin of the young man, who was on his knees and chained to the wall. His back was covered in lashes, all open, bleeding, and pouring over his bare back. The torturer laughed and walked out.
“Make sure he doesn’t die,” the torturer said on his way out.
Someone hobbled up to the young man as he sobbed quietly.
“If shieldboy do as told, less whippycracks shieldboy get,” Merrick heard in low mumbles.
“Chewix here now. Chewix take care.”
The goblin took a warm wet wash cloth and cleaned the wounds. Next he applied a salve of his own making over the boy’s wounds and bandaged them up.
The door slammed open and a large person could be heard stomping in. A hit was delivered and a body hit the floor. Merrick could only guess that it was the goblin who fell.
“I said to make sure he doesn’t die! If you keep babying the gladiators, HOW are they going to fight?! Our clients pay to see DEATH! They just need to be able to walk into the arena and stay upright!”
Behind him, Merrick could hear the beating continue and the goblin crying out with every hit.(edited)
Merrick woke up suddenly. He couldn’t move. He couldn’t see. Everything was dark around him. Light began to fill his vision as rubble was cleared away. A hand reached to him.
“Red Lion!” a woman yelled. “Dammit, Merrick, please tell me you’re alive!”
“Wha.. what happened?” Merrick managed to ask after some effort.
“No time! We NEED to move NOW!” She yelled at him. A tall slender male Xaelan continue to move rubble off of the Highlander. “We thought we lost you, brother,” the Xaelan told him.
“The main Garlean force is approaching. They’ll have us surrounded if we don’t move!” The woman yelled. She helped the highlander up.
“Arslajin... Did we get them all out in time?” Merrick asked painfully. His throat felt like he had eaten hot embers.
“No...” the Xaelan responded solemnly. “It was a trap. They’re all dead.”
“And they’re coming to finish us off, which they will if we don’t leave NOW,” the woman urged.
“No...” Merrick said quietly as he started to pull himself up from the wreckage of the fallen building. The Xaelan and the woman backed away. Merrick drew his axe and marched forward.
“Red Lion, no, this way!” He could hear behind him. Merrick turned around to face his companions. His eyes were completely bloodshot, the whites of his eyes were solid red.
“No...” he repeated before he turned back to continue walking. His two companions knew there was no stopping him in this state. They both drew shields and swords and ran to join him.
Merrick awoke again in a jolt. The wagon had stopped and Jack let out a loud WARK.
“Pssssh shkohh Chewix will feed Jack. Jack have tummygrumblies,” the goblin said in his low mumbly voice. “Chewix got Merrick and strange girl to ferryboat shortstop.”
“It’s not nice to call her ‘strange,’ Chewie,” Merrick responded, still trying to shake the dreams from his head.