Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fires Over Brinestump, They Be Goblins

The original map of the Licktoad Village, suspended on 10' stilts.
My version of the Licktoad Village, 10' stilts left to the imagination.
For a behind the scenes look at the maps and encounters from this adventure, check out Behind the Screen: They Be Goblins.

The players accept Walthus' help and the group paddles through the swamp toward the goblin village. Adrezi smells goblins in the distance so the group disembarks, only to find the ship once occupied by the goblin Vorka (see We Be Goblins, Parts 1 & 2). The ship is empty, but Locke notices that the name of the ship is the "Kaijitsu Star". Shocked by seeing her last name on the ship, Locke and Paz take the nameplate off the ship to show Ameiko.

The group also locates the lair of the S.R.M. (see The Beasts of the Bog), filled with humanoid bones and several personal items, including a locket engraved with the name "Claire" (see the Rumors and In-Character Knowledge sample for the rumor about Harold Olver's sister).

Adrezi and Antax swim through the water to scout out the goblin village. All seems quiet and the front gates have been blockaded. Several dead goblins can be seen inside.

The party enters. Though the village is quiet, everyone is on edge.

Rillka and an enlarged, feral-mutated Locke
Rillka locates several human-booted footprints in the mud. Oddly, the prints are almost too light for humans as they enter the Licktoad village, but then get heavier on the way out.

Though there are a dozen dead goblins scattered around the yard, the party hears movement in the structure. Paz has everyone hide while he frees Squeely Nord from his pen to try to draw out the goblins. The ruckus leads a goblin to look out its door. The group tries to break in unsuccessfully, then is ambushed by several goblins with fireworks.

Locke enlarges and mutates, but the tight quarters makes fighting enlarged very difficult. Paz summons numerous eagles and wolves as more goblins pour out of the windows and doors. The fight weaves in and out of the buildings until the group finally locates Chief Gutwad's throne room.

Reeta and Poog from We Be Goblins try to keep
the celestial hordes out of the throne room
Working together, Antax, two wolves and Locke manage to break through the door, only to have the player's goblin alter-egos from We Be Goblins unload bombs, fireworks and bolts on them. Antax and Locke, as well as numerous celestial eagles and wolves take serious damage, while Paz directs his minions from a barricaded room, watching for more goblins to flank the group.

Rillka continues to pick locks and explore rooms while the group wonders if she's dead. Paz in particular is concerned.

Celestial eagles overwhelm Gutwad just as Rillka reaches the fight.

Antax slashes Rillka across the chest and pins her against the wall, accusing her of betrayal by abandoning her partners during the fight. Rillka tries to explain that she was looking for more goblins, trying to prevent ambush, but Antax, Locke and Paz are all angry.

Rillka, having been trained by Shelalu to work fluidly without discussion, doesn't understand why everyone is angry with her.

On the trip back, Adrezi spends time talking to Rillka. The snake and halfling have built a bond as the scouts of the group and Adrezi's empathy and perception helps Rillka work through what happened.

Chief Gutwad, buried in eagles
After the group returns to Walthus' and the adrenaline of combat fades, the party talks. Antax has been betrayed and abandoned his entire life, and expects it whether it's happening or not. Paz was as worried about Rillka's well-being as his own safety, so having her show up toward the end of the fight without a story of life-threatening combat strained even his significant diplomatic skills. Though irked, Locke has developed a bond with both Antax and Rillka and wants to give them both the benefit of the doubt.

Rillka apologizes and promises to be a better friend and support. Antax realizes that his actions and assumptions were no better than others of him and also apologizes. Paz apologizes to them both and offers up a toast, encouraging the others to do the same.

The pressure of their first life-threatening combat is lifted and the first steps of character growth are established.

See below for more photos from the game.

Locke and Antax corner a group of goblin warriors

A celestial menagerie batters the doors to Gutwad's throne room

Mogmurch throws bombs at the incoming group

Locke takes down Mogmurch. Lauren feels a past-life shudder.
I did my best to team up the players with their goblin alter egos.

The wolf on the right has Chuffy pinned behind a statue

Mitch and Rillka

Antax vs Reeta
Another past-life team up

More eagles manage to get through to attack Gutwad,
while Rillka enters the fight. Paz can be seen hiding in the background.

You can almost hear his high-pitch squeels

Antax confronts Rillka

Paz, Locke, and Antax storm out after the fight...

...leaving Rillka to wonder what went so horribly wrong.

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