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The Goblin Chronicles

Young Adult Fantasy Audiobook touching on themes of displacement, family and childhood.When the elves come to Ruraux, a goblin and her child are forced on a journey that will change their lives and the world they live in
8/19/2022

TGC 26 In which Manquer makes another sacrifice

Season 1, Ep. 26
“When the elves came, Father Leiter, Brother Dezent, and Sister Gutig came to protect us. We left the house at night and-” but that was as far as I got in telling the story to my father as he started to shake. I was scared to look at him. His face was contorted and he was shaking uncontrollably. His shoulders were heaving up and down. “What is it?” I asked, concerned for him in spite of his behaviour since our arrival. Tears were rolling down his red face as he sobbed – but no he wasn’t sobbing. He was laughing!“Lei- ter!” He managed to get the name out through the tears and the laughs. “Leiter came to protect you – that coward.” He roared again with laughter. “Leiter thought he could protect you from the elves!” He thumped the table with his fist. “I notice he’s not here now. How long did he last before he fled to save himself? Did he make it through the night?”“No.” My mother answered him quietly from the curtain.“Scheren,” My father said her name – cruelty dripping from his voice. “Nice of you to rejoin the conversation. You were always quite the Leiter follower weren’t you. You always wished I was a little more like him didn’t you. That must have hurt you mustn’t it. He left you before the night was out – that’s impressive even by Leiter’s cowardly standards.”“He sacrificed himself for us.” My mother spoke quietly, “The last thing he said was that we should find you. He’s the bravest goblin I’ve ever known.”The room went silent then for a moment that seemed to stretch out into an eternity. Eventually, my father lifted himself from his chair, drained his glass and flung it with all his might at the opposite wall. “Leiter,” he roared at my mother, “is nothing but a coward who was never prepared to make the sacrifices that needed to be made to protect our kind.”“He’s the bravest goblin I’ve ever known.” My mother repeated – quietly but determinedly.“He. Is. A. Coward” My father roared back at her.It was at that moment that I felt the light building up within me. A tingling sensation burst from deep within me and ran all across my skin. There was nothing I could do to stop the light from coming. It didn’t matter that I wanted my mother to see me conjure light in a joyful moment. The light was coming and there was nothing that could be done to stop it. It started with my body glowing and I felt the room fall silent and all their eyes lock onto me. But the light didn’t stop there, it lit up the whole room. I saw my father’s face painted white by my light. My mother shone ethereal in the light I provided. The light forced itself upon Handeln and Manquer and the light continued to grow. It threw the door and the curtains open. The curtain fluttered in the light. The light grew brighter and brighter and brighter until suddenly I had no more light left within me to conjure and collapsed back in my chair.The room fell back into silence but only for an instant. My father now looked panicked.“There’s no way they won’t have noticed that. The elves will be coming. We need to be ready.”“What are you talki-” My mother was asking him.“Scheren,” My father spoke again, calmly but firmly – there was no cruelty in his voice this time. “I am sorry. I am sorry for – for everything I have done.” He paused, “I am sorry for everything I will do but right now I need you to listen to me. The elves will be coming and when they see that our child can summon the light, they will – they will - I can’t say it. You all need to listen to me. Dwarf, Manquer get behind me. Protect Scheren. Protect our child. There is a balloon in the middle of the yard. It is our only chance of getting out of here alive.”
8/19/2022

TGC 25 In which we meet Betrüger

Season 1, Ep. 25
“Send for!” The voice was disbelieving. It came from behind me. It was my mother’s voice. “You did not send for our child!” She emerged from behind the curtain. “You’ve been away all these years!” Her voice had cracked a little and had a faint madness to it now. “Away from us! Away from your child! Living here as some elven prince! All this time you send for things! And you never once ‘sent for us’! Your family! How dare you Lehre!”My father did not seemed in the slightest troubled by my mother’s accusation. Nor did he seem remotely concerned by Handeln and Manquer following my mother out from behind the curtain.“They call me Betrüger now Scheren.” he said coldly.“Betrüger!” My mother spat the name at him in disgust. “Was your goblin name not good enough for the elves? You’re pathetic! You’re a traitor! You’re – You’re a coward!” Her voice rose with every insult.“Scheren,” He replied, as evenly as ever, “I know I’m none of those things but right now that is immaterial. You need to calm down.”“Calm dow-” My mother began to scream but my father cut her off before she had the chance. In a flash, he’d crossed the room impossibly quickly to hold his hand over her mouth.“Yes, you need to calm down and keep your voice down or the elves will here you. You may think I am their ‘prince’ but I assure you that I would be powerless to stop them from harming you, from harming the child, should they find you all here.” He paused before adding. “Why have you come here?” He frowned down at me emotionlessly. “And why did you bring our child?”When he took his hand away from my mother’s mouth, she turned away from him and walked back to the entrance to the tunnel.“They came to free you.” It was Manquer who spoke. Her hood for once was pulled down and her eyes blazed with hatred as she stared at my father.“Hello Manquer,” my father replied emotionlessly. “It’s been - quite - a while.”“Not long enough.” Manquer replied – her voice strangely calm and yet simultaneously boiling with rage.My father poured a golden liquid from a decanter into a small tumbler on the table in the middle of the room. A table that I noticed now was covered in grains of a fine black powder. Looking around, I saw black powder seemed to cover every surface. Whatever my father had been doing here, this black powder must surely be at the heart of it.“Would anyone care for a drink?” My father frowned as Handeln shrugged and took a glass from him. “And who are you?”“Handeln.” Handeln replied in his usual gruff voice.“Have you kept my child safe?”Handeln shrugged before nodding at Manquer, “Haven’t done as much as she has.”“Thank you,” my father nodded at Handeln ignoring Manquer entirely. “But, I still don’t know why you have come. Scheren, please stop this nonsense. You must talk to me at some point. Why are you here? Why have you come? Why didn’t you stay in Ruraux?”
8/19/2022

TGC 24 In which we reach Nirvaasan

Season 1, Ep. 24
In the tunnel, an eerie chill seeped into my bones with every step and though it could not have been possible, it seemed as though the pitch black darkness grew darker still. I shivered.“This isn’t right,” Handeln was moaning, “I’ve been down many a tunnel - but never one like this.”I felt a dull ache - starting in my toes and travelling up my legs - spreading into my knees. The ache grew quickly until it had spread through my entire body so that my every step was a labour.“Be quiet Dwarf.” Manquer hissed.A fire had been lit inside me – quite in spite of the chill that surrounded us in the tunnel. My feet burnt with every step. My throat burnt - desperate for liquid. The cold air burnt my throat with every breath I took. Invisible flames burnt through the darkness to tear at my flesh with every step I took.“Listen Manquer,” Handeln snapped back, “I’ve had it -”A huge weight was weighing down on me. Pushing me down into the floor of the tunnel. Grinding me into the floor. I couldn’t take another step. Instead, I shuffled forward not even lifting my feet. I tripped over a small rock on the floor of the tunnel and crashed into the back of Handeln’s legs, sending him tumbling into Manquer.“I warned you,” Manquer whispered, drawing her knife from her belt in a flash and holding it out – point very definitely aimed at Handeln.“Stop it both of you,” my mother cried. “For goodness sake, can’t you feel it. It’s the tunnel. It’s Nirvaasan. The elf warned us to expect this.” She pulled me up and held me close. “We have come this far,” my mother carried on. “We can’t let this place stop us now; we are stronger than a little dark magic.”Irritably, Manquer grunted, stashed her knife back in her belt and untangled herself from Handeln. Breathing heavily, Handeln stared murderously at Manquer - but said nothing. Mother still held me and as she did the heat of the tunnel cooled a little. She kept hold of me and the load pushing down on me lessened. She placed her lips on my forehead and the aches subsided.“You’re safe darling,” she whispered in my ear and I knew that for as long as she was next to me – I was.I took a step after Handeln. It was easier than it had been before. I took another step and then another. It seemed to me that there was actually some light coming from far away. A small pinprick of light in the distance. Further we walked, and the pinprick turned into a fingernail. Still further we went until suddenly I could clearly make it out. There was a sheet of fabric covering this end’s entrance to the tunnel.We had made it; We had reached Nirvaasan. I smiled to myself and felt delirious laughter begin to consume me. I opened my mouth to laugh only to find my mother had clamped her hand over my mouth. I turned to look at her and saw her hold a finger to her lips then point to her ears. Following her lead, I listened closely.“They’re taking care of the traitor Hinweisgeber,” one voice was saying.“What had she done?” another voice replied.“I have not heard.”“It must have been something severe for the council to have got involved.”The other elf grunted its agreement.“Do you think it has anything to do with Betrüger.”“Most things do.”From behind the fabric, the creak of a door opening could be heard followed by it clicking shut.“Ahh Betrüger,” one of the elves greeted the figure – their voice suddenly nervous. “This will please you. The council have sent for Hinweisgeber.” “They’ve taken Hinweisgeber, well that does indeed please me,” Betrüger spoke in a strange cold emotionless voice. Each word was said the same as another. “Do you know when she was taken.”“They took her an hour or so ago.”
8/19/2022

TGC 23 In which I overhear a conversation

Season 1, Ep. 23
I woke early the next morning, long before the sun had risen. I was cold. I was cold, confused and lonely. And Hinweisgeber’s words from the night before still chased themselves around my head, “He’s changed. He’s different.” How had my father changed? How was he different? Would he look the same? Would he sound the same? Suddenly, another question – a particularly unwelcome question - lodged itself in my mind. Would he remember me?It was too much for me; I couldn’t bear the prospect that I may see my father again only to have him not recognise me. With a sob, I slipped out of bed and shuffled bleary-eyed to the door. Pushing it open I came out onto the landing. Barely awake, I tried to remember which room was which. Handeln was in the room next to mine and next to him was Manquer, which left mother in the room opposite mine. I approached the door, reached for the handle and paused. I could hear hushed voices from behind the door. Was Hinweisgeber inside talking to my mother? Preparing her for what we would find in Nirvaasan. I didn’t know what to do; I didn’t want to eavesdrop but I wanted to speak to my mother; I was lonely. Unsure what to do, I pressed my ear to the door to hear whether it was acceptable for me to intrude.“I’m sorry, I never knew. They never told me.” It was my mother’s voice. Who was she apologising to? Who never told her what? I fought back the urge to throw the door open.“I was there waiting.” It was Manquer. “I waited for two years. Two years I waited for you. Do you have any idea what it was like?” I heard a muffled sob through the door. “I – I -. You were the only one.”“I’m sorry,” my mother’s voice again – low and strained, “If I’d known, I’d have been there. The world couldn’t have stopped me.”“He could though,” Manquer replied bitterly. “He did. He stopped you from getting that message.”“I’m sorry,” my mother was sobbing now, “If I’d known, I would have been there. I – I – felt the same way. I always felt the same way. I – I – I feel that way still.”“Hello little goblin,” Handeln’s gruff voice came from behind me; loudly as though hoping to be heard from behind the door. “Are you alright there?”“I -” I turned to him, and unable to look him in the eye I started to cry.“C-mere little goblin,” Handeln pulled me into a warm embrace. “We’ve nearly made it. We’ve nearly got back to your old father. Only a couple of hours now and you’ll have your father back.”This didn’t help and I sobbed all the more until the door opened and my mother stood over us.“Darling,” she said in a quavering voice. “Whatever’s the matter?” When she knelt down to pull me close to her, I couldn’t help but notice: how wet her cheeks were; how red her eyes were and I couldn’t help but feel that my distress was not the only cause.A short while later, once I’d managed to stop crying we ascended - as a four - to the room we had eaten in the night before to see Hinweisgeber already waiting for us.“My dear guests,” Hinweisgeber began as we entered the room. “You must accept my apologies. I fear my tale caused much upset last night. Please take this.” Hinweisgeber passed us each a loaf of bread. “Eat this and know that it will give you strength. Now, we don’t have much time so listen to me closely. The elves will be coming here shortly. No, don’t interrupt me. I will hold them for as long as I am able. Descend the staircase. All the way until you are beneath the roots of my home. There you will find a door. Behind the door is a tunnel. The way will be dark but you will pass through.” As these last words were spoken, Hinweisgeber eyes seemed to linger awkwardly upon me.
8/19/2022

TGC 22 In which an elf tells a story

Season 1, Ep. 22
We ate a feast that night. Entering the room, we were greeted by a plate full of warm strangely-shaped pastries filled with crushed mushrooms - richer than anything I’d ever eaten before. Next, the elf served us a parsnip and potato soup that warmed my toes, my fingers and my soul. And last but not least, we ate an apple pie so delicious that I lost count of how many portions Handeln ate.As he finished one of his many helpings, my mother addressed the elf. “Thank you, most sincerely for your incredible kindness, but may I ask you a question.”The elf nodded evenly.“Why are you doing this?”“May I suggest,” the elf spoke slowly, “that it may be easier for me to tell you a story and then I give you my word. I will answer any questions you may have – that are mine to answer.”It was my mother’s turn to slowly nod.“Long ago, before I was – separate. I was sent by the council of the high elves. There was concern - regarding the rumours coming out of Ruraux. Rumours of dark sciences that could split the sky and split the earth. Naturally, like many elves, I couldn’t believe that Goblins could wield a power like that and dismissed it as little more than rumour - but as the dutiful being that I was, I travelled there.” The elf fixed its eyes on me. “I saw you there, crawling over your father in a park. I was amazed. I’d never seen somewhere so beautiful. It’s something we elves could never have built. I don’t know whether you’ve seen an elven city. White marble – all white marble. All the same. All uniform. There’s no grit in an elven city, no character. So imagine how impressed I was by your Ruraux. Built on stones thousands and thousands of stones. And cobbled roads,” The elf smiled for a moment, pausing before continuing, “what a dream they were. The idea that a road doesn’t have to be perfectly level. How magical that was. I must confess that the thought crossed my mind many times to simply live there in Ruraux amongst the goblins – but I was still aware that I was there for a reason.“I found Lehre easily enough and followed him. I followed him to the park with both of you. I followed him to the inn. I followed him back from the inn and watched him throw you into the night air.” The elf smiled again, “but I could never see what he was doing. In the end, I waited until he was in the inn one night. I enchanted all of the clientele and bought him drink after drink. He was proud in the end of what he’d built. ‘It’s going to change the world.’ He said. ‘Us goblins will be free to choose our own paths.’“’Fantastic,’ I said to him somewhat sincerely. Don’t forget that at this point I was quite the admirer of Ruraux. ‘How will you do it?’ I asked him.” Here our host paused, breathed deeply and closed her eyes. “And your Lehre, your father offered to show me. We left the tavern and walked away. I won’t say where to, that knowledge is still too dangerous, but I followed him and he showed me and he was quite right. He certainly would have changed the world. Goblins would have been free to choose their own paths. The world would have been free to choose its path – but one path of destruction is much like any other. And Ruraux would have been at the centre point of an empty world if I hadn’t stopped him.”“You stopped him?” I cried in surprise. “How? What did you do?”
8/19/2022

TGC 21 In which we receive the hospitality of an elf

Season 1, Ep. 21
Several thing happened at once. In a flash, Handeln had drawn his club from his belt and launched it violently at the elf. Simultaneous to this, Manquer had drawn her knife and sent it gliding through the air. As these two objects flew across the clearing, time seemed to slow down. Stepping away from me the elf plucked first the club then the knife from the air as easily as one might pluck a plum from a tree.Laying both at my feet, the elf spoke to my mother again, “I mean you no harm. I am,” the elf paused before repeating the words she had spoken to me, “separate from the rest of my kind.” There was something in the eerie calmness of the elf’s voice that seemed familiar but I couldn’t place what it was.At that moment however, everyone’s attention was demanded by Handeln. With his fists clenched, he roared and charged at the elf. With every step, his pace increased and his roar grew louder. He was going so fast that there could be no doubt. The elf was going to be split in two. Handeln ducked as he ran and dived into the elf… except… The elf was no longer there. Handeln went flying head first into a tree trunk and fell back – dazed onto the forest floor.The elf, who had simply taken half a step back, turned to Manquer and raised its eyebrows, “And you Manquer, do I need to put you into a tree along with your dwarf friend.”Manquer almost smiled before she replied, “I don’t think that will be necessary.”“Who are you? Why are you here? And how do you know so much about us?” It was my mother speaking now.“I am an elf, separate from my kind. I have been waiting for you. As for how I know so much about you – I think you may be rather surprised by how much the world knows of the mother and child who entered the mines. The mother and child, who fought a mermaid. The mother and child, who burnt down Hafen. The mother and child, who feasted with orcs.”“But that’s not true,” I cried, “you are a liar!”The elf spoke without looking at me, “Little in this world is true little one, and less by the day. I, however, am not a liar. I did not say this of you; this is what the world has said of you. It talks of little else these days, from the moment the sun rises to the moment the moon floats into the sky the world whispers of the mother-goblin and her child,” the elf paused, before calmly adding, “The mother-goblin and her child and the light in the darkness that they represent.”The elf stopped speaking then and an uneasy silence fell upon the clearing. A silence that none seemed willing to break. I had not realised our journey was so well known; I had thought we had made no impact. I had thought we had passed through the world like an ant; The world on the other hand thought we had passed through it like a dragon burning all in its path. I felt tears start to well behind my eyes and was grateful when the elf spoke again, “Come, you must all be exhausted. I would like to think I have proved I can be trusted.” The elf paused, “You are all still breathing after all.”