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F e a t u r e ö Misunderstood Monsters

by Raj V. Speckles
September 2000

Goblins. Hobgoblins. Ogres. Monsters undoubtedly. But these fearsome creatures have a gentler side as correspondent Raj V. Speckles recently learned.

Most people faced with a muscle-bound, red-eyed, slavering creature whose gimlet eye seems intent on judging whether you'd make a toothsome snack would run screaming from the room. Not Vlad Dracul. This renowed researcher stood firm and in the process taught me a thing or two about the nature of fear and sheer animal magnetism.

Things That Go bump in the Night

Vlad and I were on our way back the castle after a midnight stroll when we heard a terrible racket issue from a clump of gorse bushes. Before I could even blink, a creature stood before us. A goblin. Horrible it was. My knees shook and a scream caught in my throat. Sensing my fear, Vlad grabbed my arm in one white-fingered hand, while in the same motion raising a palm toward the monster about to leap. To my utter surprise, the Goblin sank to what, in a human, I'd call his haunches.

Seven Come Eleven by the Light of the Moon

The Goblin grunted and by all that is unholy, Vlad sat down and played a spirited game of dice with the creature! Being something of a dab hand at bones, I soon joined in. As we returned to the castle, 100 dollars to the richer, Vlad assured me he often throws the dice with such monsters. Goblins, hobgoblins and ogres all adore games of chance. I later tried this with the hobgoblin in my closet and won 10 dollars.

Editor's note

Raj completed this article from his hospital bed. The doctors assure us he'll almost certainly regain full use of his arm.

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