One of Avistan’s largest wetlands, the swath of swamp known as the Mushfens stretches along the entire southern border of Varisia. This trackless region has resisted every attempt at colonization so far, and to this day remains a wildland in every sense of the term.
Boggards, marsh giants, and stranger creatures are said to rule here.
"Stupid Gazetteer and Longshanks know nothing!!! Goblins rules in the Marshes and Breakbag tribe rules most of all. Chief Smashface Oddle of Breakbags saw star fall from sky three moons ago... gone to fetch it for great power that going to make Breakbags master of all of marsh...maybe one day rule even more than marsh then we can stop eating filthy toads and swampboggles"
"Problem is no one seen chief for a while... maybe me be new chief!!!"
Several Days Later
5th Lamashan, 4715AR
It's been days since anyone has seen or heard the goblins of the Breakbag tribe - stories swept across the fens of their great chief having pulled a star from the sky...and then silence; undoubtedly a relief to the few human families scratching out an existence in this forsaken region of Varisia but, to some who had heard tale of this story of the fallen star - and coveted the star's power for themselves - a mystery that must be solved.
...two such groups seeking the same prize arrive at the sodden trail that, to the south, leads to the Breakbag village...
Ravboom grunts and grumbles as he follows Palomia and Reles, his leather armor creaking and his body bent under the oversized pack on his back. "Need get pack dog, or pack saddle for dumb cat. Not fair make Ravboom carry all supplies!" Of course, he's only carrying his own equipment, but his small frame doesn't accommodate much equipment in the first place. Especially with all the metal nick knacks and brick bracks he keeps collecting and dumping into his back pack.
"Better be sky glow in stupid stinky ugly gobbie village. No want get nasty flesh eating diseases for nothing." He grumbles, then blinks. "Frogs be in swampses, yes? Frogs taste good! Maybe can get frogs while in swamp, eat good!" The small goblin begins to grin and whistle off key.
"Hey! I am not dumb!"
The indignant voice comes from what appears to be a rather large panther who walks alongside a young woman with blonde hair. Against all odds, the creature pauses and turns to look back at the small goblin walking behind them.
"If you thought that either of us were dumb, you wouldn't be here with us now would you?" the creature continues. "Although...he does have a good point Palo. Why don't we have a pack saddle? I mean, it might make it awkward if I had to fight something but it'd be easier on you and Rav both with me carrying some of the gear."
He pauses a beat and then cocks his head curiously at the goblin. "Frog legs? What do they taste like?"
The young woman also stops and turns to look at the goblin. "Quit your grumbling! Wasn't it your idea to come out here to look for this 'fallen star' in the first place, risk of flesh-eating diseases be damned? Well, we're almost to this Breakbag place so there's no way we're turning around and leaving now," she says, ignoring the fact that she's done her fair share of grumbling on the trip as well.
"Relas, we don't have a pack saddle because we never needed one before," she continues, now addressing the panther. "If I'd known we were going to be traveling on foot with more than just the two of us I'd have bought one already. But since I can't predict the future we're just going to have to lug our own gear until we get back to proper civilization and can go shopping."
Ravboom grunts. "No, it wasn't Ravboom idea! Was dumb cat's idea. Is why Ravboom said Reles was dumb. Remember? You are goblin, you should help goblins! You should help us help goblins! Palomia, tell Rav he should help goblins, owe it to blood he said. Ravboom said no want to go stinky swamp, deal with stupid noisy disease ridden gobbies. Reles say swamp no be bad, no be diseases. Reles idiot." The goblin grumbles, then looks at the swamp land, and listens to the croaks of frogs. "Frog taste good! Eat whole thing, not just legs. Crunch crunch slurp slurp!"
Solie frowns and scratches her head as she follows a map on a piece of scrap parchment. It wasn't actually a map so much as a few lines and a big red X she had drawn herself on the back of an old drawing one of her followers had done for her. It was useless, but it was all about keeping up appearances. She was on an adventure and so clearly needed a map, regardless of it's levels of usefulness.
"They get stars from sky? We make them get SUN from sky!" she grumbles enthusiastically to herself, not for the first time since they started their journey.
Her grammar had dropped off significantly since joining the tribe, but she either didn't care or didn't notice. "Biggun, you see over bushes? Don't want no incident like last giant toad!"
"Son of a succubus, that's right," Palomia groans, shaking her head. "Listening to you two grumble and jabber away for days on end must have addled my brain! At any rate, maybe we can salvage something from this, though right now I'm not sure what."
Yeah, that was totally Palo derping and not her player derping and forgetting what was discussed in the Discussion thread due to posting while tired. Nope, not at all. *whistles*
Ravboom sticks his chin out, basking in being right. "Course Ravboom right, Ravboom always right! Cept when wrong, but not count those." He struts a little more. "Salvage good, not sure what stinky gobbies have that be worth salv..." He breaks off as he hears someone in the bushes. He pulls off his bow, and points an arrow in the bushes direction.
"WHO BE IN BUSHES! RAVBOOM SAY COME OUT OR SEND ARROW IN FIND OUT!"
LOL, I think this works better anyway, Palomia! Oh, and Sollie, hope you don't mind me 'overhearing' Sollie, I'd guess as loudly as the trio were arguing, that Biggun or any of the other goblins with their big ears would have heard it even if the small eared gnome didn't. ;)
No worries! Going to give the others a chance to jump in before Solie reacts. If there's nothing before this evening, I'll post anyways to keep things moving!
Kaloora looked at Solie, Sparky and Biggun with tired eyes. He didn't want to walk anymore, although the promises of such endeavor were very tempting to him. He stopped for seconds to wonder what he was still doing with them - especially the gnome! - but eventually smiled and reminded that he somehow liked them.
Sparky was funny and destructive. Biggun was big and dumb, and Kaloora loved to pull his plugs with Sparky and bug the bossy one as much as they could. Solie, by other hands, was different than most Goblins and had an ugly pink skin, but Kaloora felt many times she was more Goblin than lots of other ones he knew before, and appreciated being in her company.
Heh! Heh! Last giant toad!
Kaloora laughed, looking at Solie. A little louder than desirable, and that apparently caught the attention of someone on the other side of the bushes.
Send arrow? Who sends arrow? - he screamed, in Goblin - You be in bushes! We are out of the bushes. You hiding! Why you hide?
He pulled his immense weapon - much bigger than his own size - and pointed to the direction of the bush, shaking in fear and as confused as a Goblin can be.
Sorry, sorry! Forgot to check on this since it wasn't in my campaign tab.
Biggun Walker, the giant goblin, grinned and whistled as he walked down the forest path. The gnome he followed, who was really more of a goblin at this point anyway, was looking at her map and not really paying much attention. It was a good day for him. They heard rumors of another tribe that pulled down a star! If they could do that, then they can bring the Sun! The Sun was so pretty up there, but it'd look so much better with them.
When Solie said to investigate the bushes, and he really didn't want to encounter another giant, he made his way over before being stopped by a new voice. "Me be Biggun Walker, the Giant Goblin. Who be you, Ravboom?" he called back.
Sparky glances back yet again as Solie consults his hand drawn map for the umpteenth time and he welled with pride, then bounded forward to scout ahead a bit more. Sparky was determined to get the priestess (shaman? Which do you prefer?) to the Breakbag tribe and something minor like "getting lost" wouldn't stop him!
Then the group heard something to the side in one of the bushes and Sparky made scarce and hid within a set of bushes off to the left (or was that the not-left side? Sparky forgets), drawing a golden Dagger as he did so.
Peeping Tom: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (11) + 6 = 17
Sneaky Sneakers: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (2) + 12 = 14
And while he had managed to keep his eyes peeled he had unintentionally disturbed a squirrel within his hidey bush and the mad thing just would not stop chittering away in annoyance!
Stupid squirrel, be shutting up or dis Dagger goes into YOU!
Sparky then waits and tries to see what is going to happen, either he is going to send a Dagger downwind at whoever shows himself from the bush or rush out if it looks like Solie is even remotely threatened.
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Ravboom yells at the bush in a loud, annoyed sounding voice.
"RAVBOOOM NO IN BUSHES! STUPID GOBBIE VOICE! ME BE RAVBOOM! ME BE ON ROAD! STUPID BUSH GOBBIE BE IN BUSHES!" The goblin yells back in goblin, sounding annoyed. "RAVBOOM NO FEAR GIANT GOBBIE! MEAN GOBBIE EASIER FILL WITH ARROWS! COME OUT NOW! NO BE WEAPONIZED!"
Ravboom moves a bit back, closer to Reles and Palomia. "Bush gobbie say Ravboom be in bush, stupid gobbie, Ravboom be on road, bush gobbie be in bush. Bush gobbie say he be giant gobbie, dumb dumb be giant gobbie, if he be giant gobbie. Make easier hit with arrows. Better be small gobbie with big BOOM maker." His ears droop. "Wish had boom maker." Now that he knows it's goblins, Ravboom seems not all that concerned.
Neither group has apparently noticed the two roads merge together a few hundred feet further on...
Though unable to understand a word of the gibberish that comes from Ravboom's mouth after he initially stops to yell at the bushes as well as most the gibberish that comes from the bushes in return, Palomia groans when her small companion starts talking about more goblins.
"Great...I was hoping we'd be able to make it to this place without running into any patrols," she mutters. She looks slightly surprised as Rav's demeanor shifts to disappointment at not having a 'boom maker', but the look is gone in the blink of an eye, replaced with her usual expression of vague annoyance.
What do you expect? He's a goblin and all goblins want to blow things up. It's as much a 'feature' of the race as their tendency to pickle and eat everything they come across.
"So there's giant goblins in the bushes and you're not concerned about this why?" she hisses, finding herself unsure of how to proceed and hating the feeling very much.
"Nothing worry about, they just be stupid dumb gobbies. Not like Ravboom. Ravboom schmart gobbie! Ravboom worth three dumb gobbies, Reles worth three too, he got sharp teeth and claws. You can probably take one gobbie, if you careful."
"Solie demands to know why we all yelling! This is swamp! Bog! Nature! We all in the bushes!"
If there was on thing Solie hated, it was interruptions. She was on a mission for the greater good and nothing was going to stop her.
"Now show youself and take Solie to the star!" she demanded, stomping her feet in the marshy terrain with a squelching sound.
Actually, I thought the GM said we were all on the roads to the village, where they meet. :)
Ravboom digs a finger into a big floppy ear. "Sounded like dumb gobbie spoke Varsan. Must have above average bright gobbie. Have to refigger, might lose Palomia in fight... she no match for above average gobbie..." He tells Reles with a sad sigh.
I'm making loose assumptions about the state of roads and paths in a rather wild and uninhabited marshland tended to only by goblins. I'm assuming they aren't much more than maybe a few wooden planks here and there if anything more than just more trodden paths made by the wear of infrequent feet. But I could easily be wrong!
"You lose you in a fight, too!"
Ah, I had envisioned us outside the swamp proper. Just goes to show 'minds eye theatre' is just that, mind's eye. :)
Biggun laughed at the goblin in the bushes. This goblin was a dumby to not fear the Giant Goblin. Hefting his giant chain, he looked to his companions, only knowing where Sparky was due to an angry squirrel, and said, [b]"Me go see this goblin, see if goblin knows where star tribe is. If they no want to show us, me beat them till they do."[b]
With that, Biggun walked through the bushes, his chain tossed over his shoulder, to go greet this 'Ravboom'.
I had sort of envisaged everywhere within the Mushfens being quite marshy... and 'trail' is probably quite a subjective word when it comes to Goblin villages!!! I certainly wasn't thinking 'road'!!!
Enjoying this... Looks like the party should be able to get together without 'accidentally' killing each other.
Biggun steps through the bushes, and finds himself looking at...
...the biggest, blackest, nastiest looking cat he's ever seen. White fangs and claws, and with a blonde maned human behind it, both as big as the 'giant' goblin.
Likely unnoticed until it speaks is the small goblin standing slightly behind and to the right of the heavily muscled feline. It spews out some goblin words at Biggun, after spitting on the ground.
"Pthui! Ravboom say gobbie dum, drop chain, told dum gobbie no be weaponized! Else cat gonna eat gobbie for lunch! Been long walk, long long walk, and cat hungry... cat favorite food is dum gobbie..."
Once done talking in goblin, the small goblin looks over at the cat. "Gobbie taste like chicken, hungry yes?" He says with a grin that shows off a few dozen razor sharp teeth. "Told dum gobbie be Reles lunch if not drop weapon."
Relas had been watching and listening to the yelling match occurring over the bushes with interest, but he seems startled when Ravboom explains that this new, rather large goblin is supposed to be lunch if he doesn't lay down his...
Is that a spiky chain?
Quickly realizing that this strange goblin and however many others that might be hiding nearby could certainly pose a threat to his two companions, he bares his teeth in an attempt to look fierce.
"Rrr! That's uh, that's right! I normally eat three goblins for breakfast...but we had to skip today, so you'd better put down your weapon-chain-thing like Ravboom says!"
Bluff: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
Although capable of doing some damage, the cat would really rather avoid a fight, so his words are mostly just bluster. Whether or not he really does eat goblins for breakfast is still up for debate, however.
The sounds of the marsh fill the air as the goblins 'introduce themselves' to each other... delicious sounding frogs croak from some vile pool to the north, a horribly flatulent sound announces something larger being sucked into the swamp and overhead, carrion burds circle...
...and then, to the south, a new sound... fizzing and whistling followed by an enormous reverberating explosion. Even in the daylight, the violet starburst that momentarily fills the sky is something to behold...
WIs: 1d20 ⇒ 20
Ravboom keeps his bow on the big gobbie.
Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 20
Biggun laughed at the big kitty. "Ha! Biggun no scared of big kitty!" he exclaimed. "Biggun eat kitty, and little goblin, if they get too rough! Biggun on way to star tribe, get them to pull down Sun for Solid!"
Suddenly, a bright explosion offered in the distance, making everything taste violet for a moment.
Wisdom: 1d20 ⇒ 18
Fireworks! Pretty lights! Biggun was entranced while the lightshow was happening, and when it stopped, he called to his companions, "Biggun find goblin tribe! Biggun get us close to having Sun!"
Wis (DC 10): 1d20 ⇒ 1 Wow.
Palomia nearly jumps out of her skin at the sound of the explosion further south. "Ye gods! What in the world was that!?" she exclaims, spinning around and raising her crossbow.
Solie was just about to let that 'Ravboom' fellow know to hold on to his Palominas and Releses because she was about to show them what for when a brilliant purple light sprang into the sky.
Wisdumb: 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (5) + 0 = 5
Solie gawked at the sky until the purple faded away, then shrieked with delight at the display.
"THE SKY IS FALLING THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SUN IS COMING!"
She spreads her arms wide to the sky as if she's ready to quite literally catch the sun should it happen to come hurling down towards her.
Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 11 Lol I lost 2 because he threatened us!
Wisdom: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Kaloora didn't feel minimally intimidated by the cat's bluff, but as soon as the explosions started, he jumped in the floor shaking his ass in fear and screamed in Goblin.
The cat isn't dangerous, but we're under attack! Attack!
He completely agreed with Solie that the sky was falling, not having the faintest idea of what was happening.
Biggun! Biggun! Hide! Hide! - he said to the other Goblin that didn't feel threatened by the fireworks...
Wis (DC 10): 1d20 ⇒ 17
"It's okay Palo, it's just fireworks!" Relas says reassuringly before turning his attention back to the large goblin. "Um...what was that about pulling down the sun?"
The additional screaming that comes from behind the big goblin makes the cat jump, but he rallies and holds his ground. "Can you tell the rest of your friends to come out? It sounds like we might be going to the same place."
Biggun laughed at the panicking others, he found it hilarious. "Calm down, little goblins!" he shouted. "It just be goblins having fun. We go see them, make them bring down Sun for Solie."
After a few moments of waiting for the sun to descend into her arms, and of course being exceptionally disappointed that it didn't, she stomps around and over to Biggun, and consequently, Ravboom, Palomia, and Relas.
"Sparky! Kallora! You come out. We show that we best! Outnumber! They come with us as prisoners!" she says, pointing at the group of three before her. "You help bring sun down, too."
Seeing a human made Solie blink at her own words. When did she start talking like a goblin? She scowled at nothing in particular. "What are you even doing here?" she asked Palomia, each word sounding more like a demand than a question.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (17) + 6 = 23
Wis Check: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16
Sparky knew immediately that the big cat was a little more intimidated then it seemed, and he didnt think that it would really eat them if it had the chance, still he was not one to risk it, or maybe he was?..
Just then a big BOOM! happened from out of nowhere and startled the little guy. Fireworks! Solie likes fire, and Fireworks are like fire...
The little goblin started piecing it together, I knows! I gets fireworks for Solie!
Now he just needed to get past the current problem at hand, and Solie had just called them out, so out he went.
You all see a smallish goblin come from on of the other bushes and approach the group then quip up.
We be with Solie the Shaman! We be going to the Breakbag tribe to get sun! And fireworks! You no be from Bigbag tribe?
We go together?
For her part, Palomia looks rather surprised to see a small, green-skinned gnome emerge with the rest of the goblins. "Funny thing, I could ask the same of you," she scowls in return. "And no, we're not from the Breakbag tribe," she adds in response to one of the smaller goblins.
She points at the panther. "Blame my friend Relas; he thought it would be a good idea for us to come and check out these rumors about falling stars and other nasty things. Apparently this Breakbag tribe might need our help," she continues, rolling her eyes slightly. "In my experience and based on what stories I've heard, you goblins help yourselves just fine. Personally, I suspect that if there's any truth to this falling star story, then there's likely money to be made somehow - which would be the only redeeming thing about this whole trip out here!"
Though she doesn't drop her crossbow, she does lower it slightly since this strange group doesn't seem inclined to violence just yet. "And what do you mean, 'bring down the sun'?"
Even if they don't need help... Maybe they get food there!
Kaloora finally comes out of the bushes with his big musket in hands. He doesn't point at anyone needs act in a threatening way. He uses the weapon, however, to point towards the village.
We should go there. If you're not Breakbag. We all help Breakbags.
As the conversation switches back to common, Ravboom begins to say something, and then Sollie comes out. "Oh no! Not a crazy gnome! Palo, Reles, Ravboom grow up with gnome. All gnomes missing brain! Make Gobbie look schmart! Make Gobbie look like have so many brains be oozing out ears!"
He humphs as Sollie makes her proclamation. "You try make prisoner, Ravboom put arrow through eye. Nothing behind it be stopping arrow, go right through back of head and into big dumb gobbie." He nods, showing not the slightest lick of fear of the gnome and her companions. If anything, he seems even more confident as if the gnome were a net negative on the balance of power scale...
Then he gets a good look at Plimp. "BOOM POLE! GOBBIE HAVE BOOM POLE!" He begins to let out a string of curse words in at least 14 languages, each one strong enough to peal the skin off a horse at 40 paces. "RAVBOOM TOLD THAT STUPID CRAZY GNOME THAT OTHER GOBBIES HAD BOOM POLES! RAVBOOM HAD TO LEAVE HIS FAVORITE BOOM POLE BEHIND FOR NOTHING! AUGHT GO BACK AND SKIN STUPID CRAZY GNOME AND PUSH INTO ANT HILL!" The goblin goes back to spitting out vile curses.
You no call Solie Stupid! You is stupid! See, we even has Boom Stick an you dont, dat automatically makes us better!
Oi, Longlegs, you no is from Breakbag tribe, so you no can lead us there. But you can tag along, I guesses. If its ok with Solie, an you no can call Solie names!
Sparky looks at the newcomers, then up at Solie to see if she approves of them heading to the Breakbag tribe together, or is she disapproves.
Solie pats Sparky on the head, clearly her ego is swelling with each word. Honestly, it was a miracle all that ego hadn't swollen her head to goblin proportions yet.
"We go. They come. We'll keep a close eye on 'em. No funny business," she states before starting to consult her map again. "This way!" she exclaims, pointing in the direction the bright light had come from. It's certainly not the direction that the map showed the red X being in. Oh well.
"I gobbie now," she grumbled under her breath as she started off, not waiting to see who followed and who didn't.
Biggun grinned at the new people, his large mouth revealing rows of jagged teeth. "You follow, help bring Sun down for Solie. Then maybe Biggun no eat you, little goblin an kitty," Biggun said before following his leader.
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Kaloora looked at Biggun with curiosity. He sincerely didn't know if the threat of eating the others was sincere or not, and he particularly hoped it was sincere and they'd eventually eat the cat. He couldn't help but google it for a moment and imagine it slowly rolling over a campfire, tied to a pole. The next second, however, he imagined his companions were only bluffing and the new people would become friends too - so he tried to avoid drooling too much.
The trail towards the Breakbag village is, at times, no more than a lightly trodden path with the occasional semi-rotten plank across the most threatening of mudpools. After the sudden explosion of the firework, the ambient sound of the swamp had quietened but now, ten minutes later, the sound of insects, toads and bubbling ponds has fully returned...
...but the one thing that you can't hear is Goblins... There are tell-tale signs everywhere that tell of the village being close by: piles of refuse, fetishes made of twig and bone, mis-spelt and highly offensive warning signs... But not one single goblin...
...until, navigating a precarious bridge, a figure - goblin sized and with the requisitely oversized ears - can be seen leaning against a tree... thus far, it doesn't appear to have noticed the arrival of the other goblins, the gnome nor Palomia and her panther...
...you would have thought it would have noticed the panther!!!
Palomia looks back and forth between Ravboom and Relas to Solie and her goblin escort before sighing and throwing her hands up in the air. "F*** it, might as well go all-in while we're at it," she grumbles. "If nothing else now there's more targets if we run across something dangerous."
Seeing little other choice, she shoulders her pack and makes to follow the others.
Weird...you'd think there'd be a lot more noise with us this close...
As the lounging goblin comes into view, she gives Ravboom and the others an expectant look. "What? I don't speak Goblin!"
"Come on Palo, maybe it won't be that bad," Relas says reassuringly as they fall in line with Solie and her entourage. "They've not killed us yet, so that's a start right?"
As they walk, he turns to Ravboom. "What was that about boom sticks and crazy gnomes and ant hills? Why did you have to leave yours behind?"
When they come upon the lone goblin, the eidolon halts and waits expectantly for orders or for something else to happen...
Ravboom fires an arrow into the tree about six foot above the goblin. Then he calls out in goblin.
"Hey Stinky! Ravboom say you be lousy watch gobbie! No see longshanks gobbie or blacky cat or crazy gnome!"
Perception: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
Biggun peered closer at the little goblin at the tree before breaking off into manic giggles. "Little tree goblin deader than dead," he said with a grin. "Little Ravvie now down arrow. Maybe we take dead goblin for food? Might still be good to eat."
Paranoid Goblin is Alive Goblin, not Beheaded Goblin!
Ravboom nods. "Thought so, Ravboom never see a quiet gobbie before. Especially female gobbies, nag nag nag nag whine whine whine!" He frowns at the dead goblin. "Never eat what you didn't kill, never know who left it out as bait."
Kaloora approached the body to inspect it.
Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16
While people are distracted, and assuming he doesn't see anything poisonous or strange with the body, he will start chewing at the hand. Just some bony fingers and marrow, why not?
Solie hardly has time to notice the apparently dead goblin before meal preparations are being made. "Dumb gobbies. Don't eat it yet! Check for safety first! Whatever kill this one, might kill you, too, if you not careful!"
She moves up a bit closer, inching her way forward and looking about for any signs of danger or clues as to what exactly happened here.
Perception: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 20
Sense Motive to see if Solie can't piece anything together about the whole situation.