The city of Dorter was about to begin its first day of spring doing what Dorter does best, trading. Fish was fresh and supple, fruit and vegetable colored the stalls, and the smell of freshly baked bread wafted throughout the market. The Farmer and Baker markets once again this year command the eyes of the customers now trickling into the streets. They also command the eye of a force more sinister than mere thieves.
In the woods surrounding Dorter, a horde of goblins plan the first raid of the spring. It has been a long and cold winter and their foodstuffs have been depleted; they all look forward to breaking their winter fast. Camouflaged in leaves and brush, they use telescopes swiped from humans in previous raids to spy upon a blissfully unaware public. The younger goblins are impatient and are asking the older goblins to start the raid immediately. They are particularly enthusiastic to begin so they can try out the new weapons they've been training with all winter.
They received them at the tail end of last fall when goblin traders, both coming from foreign tribes around Ivalice and their own returning from trading with other tribes throughout the land. It was a miracle so many came. Usually, only 2 or 3 make it from Mandalia, occasionally, a foreigner from Germinas Peak, or Barius Valley comes, and rarely do the ones they send out make it back.
Yes, this year, never has a tribe of goblins been this well armed before. Despite their arsenal, the older goblins tell the younger ones to stay put. They have seen many raids before, and the most productive raids happen just before the most humans are out. They sit and watch silently as the shadows shorten and the bustle of the human city increases.
The market was now packed with humans, cavorting and carrying on in their nasally and squeaky gibberish. How do they carry those freakishly large heads on those glass necks of theirs? Or walk on those twiggy legs all day? Humans crush and break like dead trees. The goblins gathered their weapons and armor, and gave them a final look over. Then, a select few armed with spears jumped up on their chocobos and on the elder's signal, charged the market.
The food stalls mostly lay deeper in the market area, mostly to delay the yearly goblin raids and to minimize the damage they do. In order to get to them, the goblins have to charge through the rest of the marketplace. It was a minor inconvenient at best. As they charged the stalls, they let out their goblin war cry, banging on their shields, and swinging their spears wildly to send the panicking humans fleeing, making their way to the food markets, occasionally cutting down one of the slower or unlucky humans to complete their threat.
The guards that were present didn't dare strike at the raiders, opting instead to evacuate everyone out of the area until reinforcements arrived. Try as they might, the guards could not prevent the streets from being congested with the crowd, slowing down the evacuation and more importantly, preventing the Dorter Guard from getting to the goblins.
Despite the bulk of the city guard were trapped behind panicking citizens, it did not stop the more agile members of the guard, bounding from rooftop to rooftop over the crowd, while the archers scrambled to their crow's nests, and searched the city below them for the goblin intruders. Spotting them, they took up their Ice bows and fired at will at the goblins coming in after the mounted goblins.
The goblins, anticipating the barrage of icy arrows, raise their shields to cover them from the blizzard arrow storm. The arrows make a deep plunk as they hit the crudely made wooden shields. Only a few arrows manage to slip through and bury themselves into some of the raiders' flesh. Despite their thick hide stopping the arrow itself from dealing serious damage to their muscles, the unforgiving cold rapidly drained their life force.
The older goblins knew they had to get to cover and quickly before the archers picked them off. They led the horde to the shadows of the various buildings that populated the city sector and between and into the tight and complex walkways of the stalls. With the threat of icy arrows reduced, they can now get to pillage the food stalls. They pulled out their bags and started stuffing everything they could get their hands on, taking turns to watch the skies and streets for threats. And then, here came the first wave of guards, jumping off the buildings and throwing an icy barrage of knives, was the Dorter's Rooftop Patrol.
The pillagers blocked most of the volley and proceeded to ready their own projectiles, rocks half the size of a human head. They put them into their rough looking slings and flung them at the guards with wall cratering force. This was not a new tactics to the guards as deftly dodged and deflected them with their capes, moving in to cut these beasts to ribbons with their short blades and knives. However, they did not expect one of the goblins to be pulling out a crossbow and shoot them. It caught one of the rooftop guards below the collarbone, the force of the bolt blasted him against the wall he just jumped down from.
Despite the surprise of such advanced technology from the goblins, they bravely closed the gap and clashed with the raiders, slashing and weaving through their shields. Even with a combination of arrow fire and guards remaining on the rooftops to harass the plunderers with more freezing projectiles, they easily withstood and repelled the attacks. Patrol opted to play defensive until the main bulk of the guard arrives, aiming to distract and hold their attention, their knives and short blades only leaving light scratches against their tough skin. As they dodged and weaved though their attacks, they noticed that the crossbow wasn't their only un-goblinlike technology.
They wielded metal swords, axes and spears, crafted with a finesse no goblin was ever capable of. A few even had full metal armor and shields. It was a stark contrast with the crude and crooked weapons the goblins traditional made: wooden clubs, some with bits of sharp flint and rarely, obsidian hammered into them; misshapen spears not out of place from the Stone Age; slings fashioned out of grass or wool; and the occasional stone sword and axehead. There was no mistake to be made here; these new weapons of theirs were made by man.
And they used them quite well; their efficient cutting edges combined with the goblin's monstrous strength, devastated any human it made contact with. The elder raiders instinctively knew it was time to make their escape. There was no way they could take on what was coming for them. They did not fear the burly knights wielding icy swords or the flying leaps of the dragoons, no, they feared the wiry people cloaked in darkness and pointy hats. And there, in the very distance, they were, coming up from behind their armored brethren.
The goblins immediately retreated upon seeing the main force coming up to them, taking their ill gotten gain and handing them to their mounted goblins. They couldn't have retreated at a sooner time, then did the Geomancers and other light units seemingly came out of thin air; the humans had almost surrounded them. As they made a beeline towards the safety of the forest, the Geomancers barraged them with stone and dirt bursting out of the ground.
The pillagers dared not stop, as mounted wizards and knights were gaining on them rapidly. The goblins were starting to drop. Arrows impaling them, an ice dart too many, the earth consuming them in stone or dazing them, sending them reeling into the pursuing forces, who skewered the unfortunate creatures with a vengeance. As they neared the edge of the wood, the head of the mounted force had caught up with them.
At the very tip of the force was the captain of the guard, readying his Ice Brand to launch a holy smiting on these disgusting little monsters and behind him and other knights, were the wizards they feared so much, now in range to channel a powered Blizzara. The captain swung down his sword and an aura of absolute power roared straight ahead of him. Each goblin it hit, a phantasmal pillar of cold exploded to the heavens, and a pathetic cry of a goblin followed all but the last one, a particularly tough goblin, barely managing to stay on his feet. Then, the wizard raised his cold rod to the sky and immediately an avalanche of ice smashed down on a unlucky few, ice exploding from their bodies, ripping and freezing their little bodies to bloody pieces. A well charged shot of one of the archers pierced one of the goblin's ribcage, traveling through its core, just barely sticking out of the other side. It sent him hurdling to the ground like a rag doll.
In spite of the series of terrific attacks, the goblins finally made it to the safety of their wood, the guard stopping just before the forest began. The guard had no problem letting them go as their hasty retreat meant they could not cover their little tracks this time and they would led a trail directly to their tribe. After a few moments more to make sure they really left, they let out a collective sigh of relief.
The captain dismounted his chocobo and walked up to one of the dying goblins, its life force ebbing away all over the ground and through the giant ice shard sticking out of him. He adjusted his glasses, picked up its metal sword and inspected it. It was a sword for a goblin, but a short blade for a human. Its fine grain edge and while it looked plain and basic by human standards, its consistent shape was downright elegant compared to the twisted and crude shapes of goblin clubs and swords. This was indeed forged with human precision. “It looks like, the Goblins have gone from the Ice Age," adjusting his glasses again, "to the Iron Age.” he uttered.