Art By: Faile35

The message from Miranda’s sister had said that the treasure was hidden somewhere in the ancient vaults under The Black Shadows Inn and that she was going to break in that very night. It was the last time she had been heard from and Miranda was determined to discover what had happened and rescue Adreana from whatever trouble had befallen her. Notorious as the hangout of thugs and criminals, The Black Shadows Inn was not the sort of place a young, attractive girl would risk visiting on her own and although Miranda was quite skilled in the use of the heavy club, the Morning Star she carried everywhere with her, commonsense dictated that she copy her sister and make her visit at dead of night, too.

Two nights later, the glow of her lantern showed Miranda the hole her sister had smashed through the old brick wall of the cellars beneath the Inn and as she gazed through the rough opening at the pitch black cavern, she couldn’t help but remember the old tales of eerie happenings and strange, fierce creatures that were rumoured to live in the darkness of such places. She had never believed them and scoffed at those who did, but so had her sister and shehad disappeared ...

Telling herself not to be so foolish, Miranda forced down her misgivings and climbed through the hole, her Morningstar in hand and lantern held high to cast its dim light ahead of her as she made her way past the few sacks and barrels littering the newer part of the cellar, still in use as storage, then deeper into the stygian gloom of the ancient vaults.

Minutes later and much further into the dark and silent catacombs, Miranda saw an object on the floor ahead of her and sank to one knee to examine it, her eyes widening in dismay when she recognised it as her sister’s shoe. The discovery intensified her concerns for her sister, for Adreana would hardly have left her shoe behind if she had any choice about it.

Something awful must have happened to her and as Miranda tried to come to terms with her find, she heard a soft, scuttling noise from behind her. Leaping to her feet, she whirled around, the Morningstar raised in her right hand, ready to fight whatever had made the noise. She stared into the darkness, but could see nothing threatening and after a few seconds, relaxed, assuming that it must have been a rat.

Miranda was wrong, for just beyond the limits of her vision, many eyes were watching her and plotting her downfall. Unaware that she was being stalked, Miranda began to examine the shoe more closely, hoping for some clue as to what might have become of her sister. Engrossed, she didn’t know that many enemies were silently closing in all around her and when something fell on her left shoulder, Miranda squealed in fright and twisted her head to see what it was ... to find herself staring at close range into the yellow eyes of a dark-skinned, pointy-eared creature somewhat resembling a human, but only a foot and a half tall.

Instantly, all the terrifying stories of monsters and ghouls Miranda had heard at her mother’s knee, raced through her brain and she froze in horror, paralysed and unable to move at the realisation that she was face-to-face with a goblin.

Of all her fears as a child, goblins had been one of the worst, for her mother had told her that they were cruel, cunning, ruthless, hated humans and although small, very strong for their size. Growing to adulthood, Miranda had always assumed that the stories her mother told were merely tales made up to frighten children into being good, but as the goblin’s eyes bored deep into hers, she realised that they were true and that monsters really did exist.

Nor was the goblin alone, for even in her paralysis, she was aware of other figures emerging from the shadows all around her and of tiny hands at her lower legs. The goblin grinned evilly, then seized a handful of her long blonde hair, yanking hard and as pain shot through her scalp, the spell broke and Miranda screamed in terror, raising her Morningstar and turning to flee. She ran one pace, then a second, but at the third, her leg was held and she began to fall, her eyes wild with horror as she saw that, while the goblin on her shoulder had distracted her, others had knotted ropes around her ankles and these, springing taut and gripped by a dozen or more of the little men, had brought her down.

Crashing to the stone floor, momentarily stunned and winded, she fought for breath as many more goblins ran from the darkness and threw themselves on her, some clinging to her legs and arms, others carrying more ropes and looping them around her limbs where they could. Their intentions were only too clear and Miranda knew she had only moments to stop them from binding her and making her their prisoner.

Struggling to a sitting position, she raised her Morningstar to smite the goblins before her, but as she tried to use the weapon, its blow was halted in mid-swing and she gazed numbly at the rope knotted around its shaft and held by yet more goblins resisting her frantic efforts to defend herself.

Assailed on all sides by dozens of enemies, Miranda could not counter all of their attacks and even as she fought to tear her weapon free from the grasp of one group, others threw fresh ropes around her arms, while still more cut the laces of her armour and began to tear it from her body. She managed to catch one of the goblins in her left hand and hurl him far away, into the darkness, but he was only one of far too many and Miranda knew with a sinking heart, that she was losing not only her protective armour, but the one-sided battle against them.

On their own, each goblin was no match for her, but in numbers and working together, their combined strength was greater than hers and as more and still more of the creatures ran from the darkness to join the fight, Miranda screamed in anger and fear, knowing it could only be a matter of time before she was overwhelmed and overpowered. Her worst fears proved only too real, for in her struggle to free the Morningstar, she had not realised that ropes had been looped around her elbows. Until, as a large group of goblins heaved on the ropes, her arms were dragged behind her back and together.

Miranda fought with every atom of her strength, understanding that if the goblins succeeded in tying her arms, she would be helpless and at their mercy, but as another wave of goblins hurried to add their weight to the ropes and those holding her bound ankles dragged her legs out straight before her, her elbows were forced closer and closer together despite everything she could do.

In a last desperate bid to save herself, Miranda gave up her efforts to free her Morningstar and twisted her left hand behind her back, hoping to make enough slack in the ropes to be able to slide them down her right arm before it was too late.

It did her no good, for the goblins instantly countered her move by pulling harder and taking up what little slack she had managed to achieve before her scrabbling fingers were able to loosen the ropes. Worse off than before, she moaned in pained anguish as her elbows were forced closer, then gasped when one goblin jumped onto her shoulders and began knotting another rope into her long hair, while others linked her ankles together with a short rope hobble.

Jumping down to the floor behind her, the goblin who had tied his rope to her hair, pulled cruelly hard, bringing a squeal of pain from Miranda as her head was jerked sharply backwards. As he did so, yet more ropes encircled her wrists and Miranda winced as they were forced together, crossed and knotted tightly behind her back.

Helpless, she could only moan as each loop of rope on her arms was tightened still further, removing any possibility of escape and when a goblin reached up and passed loops of rope around her slim throat, Miranda shuddered in despair. With her head arched back and arms hopelessly bound, Miranda struggled to her knees when the goblin holding the leash around her throat jumped down and tugged commandingly. She had no choice, for the knot he had used was a slip-knot and at his tug, the rope tightened alarmingly, threatening to choke her unless she did exactly as he wished.

Caught between the competing tensions of her leash and the rope knotted into her hair, Miranda could move neither forward nor back without suffering and when another goblin tugged the belt from around her waist, she could not prevent it. Her eyes widened with horror when a goblin climbed onto her shoulder and with a thin, razor-sharp knife slashed the seams of her leather jerkin so that the garment slipped down to bare her shoulders and reveal the upper slopes of her corseted breasts.

Desperate to prevent the exposure of her body, Miranda tried to twist her bound arms around her waist to hold her jerkin closed, but her clawing fingers were unable to reach and when the goblin holding her leash jumped up and swung his whole weight on it, she coughed and retched as the rope tightened around her throat and her air supply was cut off.

For 20 endless, terrifying seconds, Miranda couldn’t breathe and thought she was going to die, but then the dreadful grip on her throat eased when the goblin dropped back to the floor and she was finally able to suck life-giving air into her tortured lungs. Appalled by the horrifying extent of the goblins’ power over her, Miranda trembled wildly as they ripped and tore her jerkin from her body, her brain quailing at the dreadful possibility that they meant to strip her completely naked....and the even more dreadful knowledge that she was unable to stop them.

Bound, leashed, at their mercy and with even the air she must breathe to live, controlled and regulated by the goblins, she dared not defy them or resist their demands, no matter how much she wanted to, or how humiliating it was to give in and let herself be stripped.

Acutely conscious of the taut swells of her breasts in the tightly-laced corset exposed by the destruction of her leather jerkin, Miranda was hugely relieved when the goblins didn’t continue slicing her clothes from her, seemingly content to leave her with at least some of her garments intact. Almost grateful to them for even that small mercy, she made no effort to resist when one of them climbed onto her left shoulder and made an upward pointing gesture with his finger.

She didn’t understand what he wanted at first, but when he jerked the leash to her throat and repeated his gesture, she guessed that he wanted her to stand up. With her arms useless to her and her ankles closely hobbled, it was not easy for Miranda to obey, but mindful of the leash on her throat and the horrible sensations of suffocation that could easily be imposed upon her, she rose awkwardly to her feet. Standing, she towered over the goblins surrounding her, but, giantess though she seemed compared to their tiny size, it was she who was their helpless captive and when the rope to her hair drew taut and the creature on her shoulder tightened her leash, she was forced to arch and turn her head to her left.

Preventing her from looking down and seeing a large group of knife-wielding goblins stealing towards her. Taken by surprise, Miranda squealed shrilly when the goblins leapt upon her, their sharp little knives ripping and slashing at the seams of her leather trousers and the laces of her corset.

Reacting instinctively, she jerked her head forward and down to see what was happening, then squealed again a second later, in pain, when the rope to her hair was yanked viciously, dragging her head back. Her horror and defeat made complete as the leash around her throat tightened again to constrict her breathing and force her to keep still while her clothes were cut from her. Her corset was first to go, its laces sliced apart and the tight-fitting material pulled down and away from her firm breasts by the grasping hands of several of the goblins.

Miranda wailed a futile protest when the pale flesh of her rounded breasts and flat belly was revealed to her captors, whimpering in fearful anguish as dozens of pitiless yellow eyes gazed boldly at her nakedness, drinking in the soft curves of her body and the tawny aureoles surrounding her prominent nipples.

Eyes that, although non-human, gleamed with a hot glow of lust that was universal and could not be mistaken. Terrified by what she had seen in their eyes, Miranda shuddered as her leather trousers were pulled and slashed and torn by more of the goblins, her own eyes wide with dread as her last protection was ripped from her trembling body to leave her utterly exposed and vulnerable.

There was no doubt in her mind what the goblins intended her fate to be and as she faced the unthinkable prospect, she was filled with such horror that all thoughts of pain and punishment and even suffocation were driven from her brain. Unthinking and uncaring of the possible consequences, she writhed and jerked and kicked and twisted madly, her sudden violent struggles throwing the goblin from her shoulders and incapacitating several of the others on her body and at her feet. For a few brief instants, the rest of the goblins were caught off guard and in those precious moments, Miranda made a wild dash for freedom.

Staggering and stumbling, tripping and almost falling as the rope hobble between her ankles snapped taut, but somehow managing to stay on her feet, she made it to the cellar below The Black Shadows Inn just a few feet ahead the pursuing horde of goblins and threw herself up the stone steps, screaming for help at the top of her voice.

Halfway up the steps, she tripped and fell, but to her delight, the goblins had not followed and no tiny hands seized her to drag her back. Elated, she crawled higher and a few steps from the top, gasped in relief when the heavy door to the cellar swung open and light flooded in. Silhouetted against the open doorway was the figure of a huge man and as her eyes grew accustomed to the light, Miranda saw that he carried a large knife in his right hand and a white cloth in the other.

Enormously grateful to have escaped from the goblins’ clutches, relief flooded through her mind and she let her head rest on the cool stone, closing her eyes as the man came down the steps.

His boots stopped beside her and she opened her eyes, expecting to see him preparing to cut her free of her bonds, but instead, to her confusion, he simply sat down and began to clean his knife on the cloth, ignoring her completely.

Miranda stared at him, not understanding what was happening when he casually laid his knife down on the step above her, then took the cloth in his powerful hands and began to roll it into a long, fat strip.

When he finally did look down at her, Miranda blushed redly as she belatedly remembered that she was naked, but her shame vanished instantly and was replaced with shocked disbelief when he chuckled that a nice, tight gag would add the finishing touch to her bondage.

She squealed a frantic protest at his words, but he took no notice and when he moved towards her with the rolled cloth gag in his hands, she twisted her body and stretched her fingers towards the knife in a desperate bid to free herself before she was gagged.

He was upon her before she could even touch the blade, pulling her back by her long hair and wedging the roll of cloth between her jaws, ending her squeals and pleas when he knotted the cloth securely behind her neck.

Tightly gagged and whimpering in horror, Miranda tugged vainly at the ropes binding her when the man bent to pick up the leash to her throat, her brain reeling to the knowledge that she was even more helpless and even more of a captive than she had been before her short-lived escape from the goblins.

Her eyes filled with despair when he chuckled that her capture would bring him another fifty pieces of gold as a reward from the goblins when he handed her back to them. It was amazing, he sneered, how many foolish, gullible young women had been lured by the false rumours the goblins had spread of a vast treasure hidden under his Inn. The unattractive ones he turned away, but the pretty girls he invited to make their own search of his cellars and they were the ones the goblins captured to train and use as their servants and slaves. Girls like her. She was the second one this last week and with her reward added to his savings, he now had enough gold to buy his own slave from the goblins. She was pretty. Perhaps he might buy her to warm his bed.
Miranda shuddered as his eyes, glittering with the same hot glow she had seen in the goblins’ yellow gaze, roamed over her nakedness and his tongue licked at his thick lips, then she gasped when she heard that another girl had been captured by the goblins earlier in the week. It had to be her sister, Adreana and she must be a prisoner down in the vaults. Which meant that Miranda was her sister’s only hope. She had to escape in order to rescue Adreana. She simply had to.

When his right hand stretched out towards her breasts, Miranda’s instinctive reaction was to flinch and try to keep as far away from him as possible. Until she realised that his desire for her body might be her best, and perhaps only chance, to escape and save her sister. Forcing down her distaste, she made herself arch her back and push her breasts towards him in blatant invitation, surreptitiously doubling her left leg at the same time. Suspecting nothing and focused intently on her outthrust breasts, the innkeeper moved forward and as he did so, she kicked upwards as hard as she could.

To her delighted surprise, the solid heel of her leather boot caught him flush on his jaw and as his eyes rolled back in his head, he collapsed on the steps without a sound. Hardly able to believe her sketchy plan had actually succeeded, Miranda scrambled to her feet and raced up the stairs towards the half-closed door, casting anxious glances back at the slumped body of the innkeeper in case he woke up and came after her.

At the top of the stairs, she leaned her shoulder against the heavy oak door, pushing it open and giving a muffled cry of joy as she stepped through into the back room of the Inn, only a few steps from freedom.

Two paces into the room and already planning the rescue of her captured sister, Miranda gave a brief, gag-muffled squeal of anguish and bitter despair as the leash around her neck snapped taut and then jerked sharply, her feet slipping from under her as she lost her balance and was pulled backwards, crashing to the floor.

With the leash tight around her throat, Miranda could barely breathe, her naked breasts heaving to suck in air as was dragged back to the door and her eyes bulging in dreadful fear at the sight of the innkeeper with blood streaming down his face from a deep gash where his head must have hit the stone step.

Much too late, she remembered seeing her leash looped around his fist when he had slumped unconscious, but she had been so excited that she had missed the significance of it. It would have been so easy to pull the leash out of his hand and then he wouldn’t have been able to recapture her, but she hadn’t and as she read the grim, determined expression on his hard face, Miranda felt an icy chill run up her naked spine. She had so nearly beaten him, so nearly made good her escape, so nearly been in a position to rescue her sister. Now, she was in no position to do any of those things and as he climbed the last few steps to her, Miranda whimpered in misery, fearing his revenge and what her future might hold.

Keeping firm tension on her leash, the giant innkeeper trudged slowly over to where Miranda sat on her buttocks, then without a word, put his boot against her hip and pushed her down onto her back. Lying naked at his feet, she lifted her right leg, as if to kick him again, but this time he was ready for her, his left hand clamping like a vice on her ankle.

She tried to pull her limb from his grasp, but he was far too strong and held her leg with contemptuous ease, his thick lips curving into a cruel grin as he demonstrated his vastly superior strength and savoured her ineffectual struggles, clearly enjoying his power over her and the sight of her nude body spread below him. Unable to conceal herself from his gaze, Miranda was forced to endure his humiliating scrutiny until, with a harsh twist of her ankle that brought a gasp of pain from her, he rolled her over onto her front. Belly-down, with her breasts squashed against the cold, unforgiving stone of the floor, Miranda was powerless against him when he pinned both of her arms in one massive hand, then methodically and regardless of her muffled screams and pleas for mercy, tightened every loop of rope that bound her wrists and elbows, removing every fraction of slack and clamping her limbs into a single, cruelly-stressed column behind her back.

She knew there was no way she would ever be able to free herself from the horribly uncomfortable tie and when he moved to her feet to cross and tie her ankles equally tightly, great hot tears trickled down Miranda’s gagged cheeks as her last, faint hopes of escape and freedom were crushed to dust.

Finishing the task, he turned her over and gazed down at her, telling her that the goblins were going to be very happy to see her again and would make quite sure that she would never get away from them a second time. They were proud little creatures and did not like to be made to look foolish. Especially by human females. By the time they had finished training her, she would have become utterly docile and totally obedient, as befitted a humble, lifelong slave. At least she would have the company of another slave to share her troubles, so she was luckier than most of the goblin’s captives. Although not as lucky as her new owner would be when she was eventually sold. He’d like to see her kneeling at his feet himself, so maybe he would buy her when the time came. She could think about that while she was being trained to serve the goblins and whoever her human Master might eventually be.

Picking her up and slinging her over his shoulder as if she weighed no more than a feather, the innkeeper strode to the steps and turned to pull the door shut behind him. Head down, naked, gagged and inescapably bound, Miranda could only stare longingly at the narrowing slice of light until the closing door snuffed it out and the gloom of the vault took its place.

Racking sobs shook her body as the innkeeper descended the steps, for Miranda knew that her fate was sealed and she would never be free again. She had hoped to rescue her sister and find a treasure, but would now join Adreana in captivity, both of them to be trained as slaves, forced to serve the pitiless goblins and then sold to new Masters, while far from discovering a treasure and becoming rich, her capture would benefit only the innkeeper.

It was clearly not the first time he had helped the goblins to capture and enslave young women like herself and she could only pray that he wouldn’t really buy her from the goblins after she was trained. She didn’t want to be anyone’s slave and certainly not his, but if what he had told her was true, she would have no choice about who she served, for after the goblins had finished with her, her subjugation and conditioning would be so deep and strong that she wouldn’t ever be able to be anything but a slave.

From the bottom of the stairs, the innkeeper carried Miranda into the furthest depths of the ancient vaults, retracing the path of her frantic escape bid, then deeper still, twisting and turning until she was so completely lost that even if he had set her free, Miranda knew she wouldn’t be able to find her way out of the maze. Thoroughly terrified, she couldn’t hold back her shrill squeals of total, abject misery and despair when, in a huge, gloomy cavern, the innkeeper finally lowered her to the floor and walked away without a word or a backward glance, leaving her bound, gagged and alone.

Or so Miranda thought, until all around her helpless body, cruel yellow eyes began to gleam in the deep shadows and she screamed and screamed again as her goblin Masters came to claim their newest slave.

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