Here...We...Go

Aneira's Story 11

How could any of us have known… How could it be that this one person has fallen so deep into despair that they brought about all of this hatred and destruction. For anyone else, these are questions that seem to not have answers. Unfortunately, I know all too well what Nualia has gone through. We share similar stories of persecution, hatred at not being like everyone else, and where Sarenrae found me and shaped me to be what I am, Lamashtu had found her first. I can’t blame myself, or any of us for her fate as she believed she only had one path to take. Sarenrae, watch over Nualia’s soul. Guide it through the afterlife and lead her away from Lamashtu, who twisted her body and mind. Show her soul the goodness and love that you have for all the world. Set the world ablaze with your hope and healing to those who have none so that no one can fall into this despair again.


Orik wasn’t himself when I spoke with him after the funeral right I performed for Nualia. I felt at the very least that I had to thank him for his services, however grim they were. Surely without him, we maybe have lost a lot more than a bit of blood. Regardless, he was not the gruff, uncaring mercenary we encountered on our first meeting. I was a little worried at first when I went looking for him, afraid that he may not want to see me, or worse, want to harm me. Rather, he was remorseful.. He gave me a brief insight into his life and the choices he’s made, how he ended up here, and how he thought getting revenge on Nualia was the right path. The people that have been attracted to this place, they truly need help. I can only hope that Orik heeds my advice and seeks out the temple in Sandpoint.


My heart pours out for Bugga now more than ever… Gorn… Why did you leave like this? Not so much as a word to anybody. You helped Pitticus and I carry out Nualia’s funeral right, and before I fell into my prayers, I felt your presence beside me as the pyre burned. I could only assume you had left to rejoin the others when I awoke. Instead, I found Bugga holding your whip and a letter. You’ve been Bugga’s companion for so long, and then to disappear without a word… I worry for Bugga’s progress that she might withdraw into herself and jeopardize the gobl.. no, person that she’s become.

I can only hope that the timing of your departure is right. The word of a beast further into this third level of Thistletop makes me worry that your departure was too abrupt. Why couldn’t you have waited until we left this place, or at the very least, spoken to one or all of us. Maybe we could’ve helped with what you were feeling…Despite all of this, I hope that your travels are safe, and someday we meet again.

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Letters Home - 10 - 07/28/2013
Gorn's Letters

Mother and Father,

Continuing on…

We moved down to the lowest lair of the fortress, not knowing what we would find, only that we needed to find Nualia. When we entered, we discovered that unlike the floors above, this floor had been trapped, and showed signs of ancient times and of a Runelord who had likely inhabited the place long ago.

We pushed on and came to a room with a closed door. I opened the door and was shocked to find not only Nualia, but yet another of those brutish hounds. Chaos erupted as the group struggled to find an optimal position to fight from. I tore back and grabbed Bugga to make sure she was out of harm’s way before jumping back into the fray.

When Orik and Davros put down the hound, I made a bolt to get into the room behind Nualia and some of the others followed. She fought like the demon she was trying to become but our combined might seemed as though it might be a match. Suddenly she was beside me, swinging a sword and the next thing I knew, I was dead.

Don’t ask me how I ‘know’ I was dead. I just do. And that’s when I discovered that all the stories I’d heard, and the tales that had been spun of glory in the afterlife to those who pursued it in life was all a lie. There was nothing. No glory, no praise, nothing but what appeared to be a lineup of souls to nowhere. Suddenly I had a vision, not of my loved ones as the stories would say, but of more human cruelty. A young girl, taken and abused as a monster until she became one herself, a woman manipulated by the darkness until she became darkness herself, and still more. And in the end, nothing good mattered as it was all overrun by evil. The vision faded and I was left to contemplate what I had seen for what felt like hours in the nothingness.

Suddenly I was awake, with Aneira kneeling over me whispering what I can only assume was a prayer. When I opened my mouth to thank her, I discovered that not only had Nualia taken my life, she had taken my tongue from me as well. It was split up the middle. In shock I sank into a nearby chair while Bugga tried to comfort me (or was she comforting herself).

We burned Nualia’s body and I continued to think and struggle until finally I made a decision.

And so I am coming home. Yes your son is coming home, alone. Fearing that Bugga would try to join me if she could not stop me, I snuck off. It’s not that I wouldn’t have enjoyed her company coming home, or that I feared that you would not welcome her, I just feel like she would be much better off with people more capable of looking out for her. And she has her responsibilities as Queen now you know? She’s grown so much…

You should see me a few days after this letter arrives. All that has happened has made me realise, it is better to tell the story, than to become a tragic one yourself.

See you soon.

Your son,
Gorn

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Letter To Bugga
Gorn's Letters

Bugga,

This is where our stories part ways my friend. I will miss you. I am sorry that I cannot do this in person as I would love one more hug. I know you will be confused as to why we are parting ways but please try to understand. When we first met, you were young, and nearly helpless. We both were. And we found that together we were quite a force. Since then you have grown not only in strength but in character. Bugga you are a GOOD goblin. No other before you has been like you. And I can only hope that you will continue to grow. Look at you! Queen of your own tribe now, with all that entails. But as much as you have grown, I have reduced. I would love to see you continue to grow but I fear that now I would only hold you back.

Continue to strive for peace, to protect what is important to you, and to be good. And stick close to War-Leader Pinchy, she has a kind heart and I know she and the others will keep you safe.

Gorn

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Bugga's Story 6

1/In the lowest (known) level of Thistletop, Bugga and Mister Sniffles return to the room where Nualia died, taking advantage of Davros’ distraction and Pitticus’ conversation with Aneira. Bugga stands staring at the blood where Gorn fell for a few moments, then moves further within the chamber as the eidolon speaks up in their shared language./

Mister Sniffles: … We warned you. You would not listen, but We warned you.

Bugga: Bugga doesn’t want to discuss this.

MS: We knew the stink of cowardice upon the dancing one. We knew he would leave you, and that you trusted him too much.

B: Don’t speak about Gorn that way, Mister Sniffles. Nobody speaks about Gorn that way; Gorn’s… Bugga…

/she sighs/ … Just stop. Leave Bugga alone. Bugga needs to think about things that happened; things happened that Bugga doesn’t understand–

MS: We think you do. We think you are pretending that you do not. Remember the bad dream? Where you were attacked by human skel–

/Bugga stamps her foot and wheels from staring at the font of water to face her eidolon, jabbing a pudgy finger at the shadowy beast./

B: Shut up!! Bugga needs to think!

MS: … Think about this, then: your Gorn did not need anything from you; you needed him. You were not a mate to him; you were not food, you were not home… you were only heavy, and trouble. Why would the dancing one keep you? We know how these ones desire ‘function’ from their companions; it is the same among The Formless: you provide Us with connection, form, and power, and We protect you; truly protect you. That is the First Contract, and We always honor it. Such things do not exist among your kind. Why would the dancing one keep you and protect you when home and mates called him? The memories of the fouled female awoke this knowledge for him… and We told you it would happen eventually.

B:

MS: The story of the fouled female is famili-

B: Bugga doesn’t want to discuss the humie, or the stupid humie story. It was a sad story. It made Bugga sad.

MS: … ‘Nobody would ever love a monster’, did she not say?

B:

/Bugga looks forlornly at the chair in the chamber, where she sat with Gorn as he recovered from his near-death brush. She takes out some more food and begins to eat./

/Both are silent in the room, watching Davros inspect the torso-bereft statue outside of the door. After a long moment, Aneira and Pitticus can be heard moving to join the slayer in the hallway; they are ready to continue exploring within the dungeon of Thistletop./

MS: … Mark Our words once more.

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Aneira's Story 10

I wonder what compels the creatures and beings of this land to do the things that they do, more specifically this time the goblin-bugbear hybrids. It seems physically impossible! How does she not get torn apart?! Regardless of that, I need to check my curiosity it seems…

It is certainly clear, however, what drives most humans, or anything resembling humans. This “Orik” is a testament to that. With the offer of more gold than what he was initially offered, he agreed to fight for us… not that any of us really had a choice as Gorn offered it up without a second thought. Also, I’m not sure if he aligns himself with Pitticus’ train of thought and has disdain for all the gods, or just Sarenrae, but he makes significantly less effort that Pitticus to be amicable towards any creature of faith.

Though…. He may be more than what he shows initially… We encountered a person locked in a cell and he didn’t hesitate to help us in attempting to free and help her and he certainly showed physical prowess in combat. I’ll have to watch him closely, but perhaps I’ve judged too soon…

Perhaps all of this is a test set on by Sarenrae for me… I must work harder to be more accepting and slower at judgement of the people who I encounter…

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Letters Home - 9 - 07/21/2013
Gorn's Letters

Mother and Father,

To continue my story…

Once everyone had recouped a little bit thanks to the hospitalitiy of the now dead Goblin Chief, we returned to our mission. Heading back to the doors we had been engrossed with earlier we decided to make sure no one else would sneak upon us from behind anymore, and when Davros detected a draft we headed in that direction to make sure we couldn’t be ambushed. We discovered what appeared to be a cliff-side dwelling for some sort of creature before…maybe a small drake?…that had been since taken over by large birds and used as storage by the goblins and their masters. After clearing the room we found a door at the other end that we decided would be good to explore.

We came upon a room with dog pelts, several doors, and a set of stairs. I quickly poked my head up the stairs to get my bearings while Bugga explored a room with Pitticus. Turns out that someone was trying to make goblin/bugbear hybrids. The thought of overly strong goblins made Bugga excited and she wanted to raise them as part of her new tribe. I think Pitticus may have wanted to study them? I’m not certain what knowledge he could have hoped to glean from those feral creatures, but I’m sure he would have found something about them to fascinate himself with.

While Bugga and Pitticus were talking, I heard a loud banging coming from the other side of the room I was in. For some unknown reason I thought perhaps something was being held against its will and I knocked on the door. To my surprise, it opened from the inside to a putrid smell and trio of Goblin Wives. Caught slightly off-guard I put on my most commanding face and told them to stop making such a racket. They apologized and suggested that I join them in the room. It was as I started to decline that Aneira stuck her head through the door to see what was going on and nearly got it taken clean off by a bugbear! Mystery solved as to where the hybrids had come from. The fight was fierce but over quickly when Bugga’s desire to command a goblin tribe surfaced and she convinced the wives to turn on the Bugbear! Davros and Mr. Sniffles then finished him off. The Wives agreed to be part of Bugga’s tribe if Bugga agreed to destroy the abominations that they had birthed. Bugga was very torn about this but told them she would think about it.

The group split to explore a couple of different areas, I was checking a door where I was certain I heard someone in distress. I sent Aneira to gather the others as I did not want to walk into a situation that could potentially overwhelm us, and to try and keep her head from leaving her shoulders too soon should something come through the door. She had been gone a while when I heard Bugga call for Mr Sniffles and saw him take off. Well she only calls for him when she’s in trouble so I followed. I came upon the group locked in combat with a hulking brute of a man! Davros was already cut open and the group seemed to be struggling to deal with him in the tight quarters of the hallway. Out of nowhere Lyrie showed up and hit him with some kind of magical ray. He surrendered quickly after that.

Turns out he was a mercenary named Orik who had been hired on as a body guard but found himself quickly being asked to go beyond into areas he wasn’t comfortable. Or at least areas he wasn’t being paid to go into. When he found out Tsuto had died at our hands he lightened to us. Turns out he had a thing for Lyrie and Tsuto was in the way. He offered his services to us in return for coin, and his life. Hard to say which he valued more, but I guessed his life. So I reminded him that should the mission to kill Nualia fail, his life was surely forfeit as I’m certain she does not take betrayal lightly. I could only hope that little reminder would be enough to keep him from betraying US as well. That and the 500g we offered.

There looked to be some trouble within the group as Orik seemed to be highly irreverant towards Sarenrae which caused him to fall on Aneira’s bad side, and Bugga was not a fan of a human who would turn just for a better offer (though she had just done it with three Goblin wives… sometimes I just don’t understand her). I convinced Bugga to leave the room while negotiating, Piticus went with her as he had cast his vote in favor of the man. While they were out, Bugga apparently made her decision to kill the hybrids. I’m not sure what convinced her or how she did it but when we walked past the doorway again the room which had been loud with feral snarling and growling had gone deathly silent.

I won’t lie, the idea of her running a goblin tribe has me somewhat worried. I think she’s been removed from tribe life so long that she has forgotten what happens when a chief (or “queen” as she has styled herself) is absent for an extended period. They tend to be replaced quickly. On the other hand she has learned so much about how to properly interact with other races that I have hope, however small it may be at the moment, that she may be able to help inspire a movement of the goblins towards more civilized behavior and society.

I was unable to talk to her at the time as we quickly moved into what looked to be a prison to find a prisoner, tortured almost beyond recognition, dying in one of the cells. Aneira quickly worked to heal her, yes her. Bugga got bored and went to explore a bit and it’s good that she did because she found the keys to the cells. When she was able to speak we learned that her name was Karis, that she was a member of a Wizards guild that was based in Absalom but were more nomadic than anything. Apprently their goal is the preservation of artifacts, magic, and knowledge. Glorified archivists if you must have it in the simplest terms. She then assured us she would see to her own safety, but that we would see her again, and we moved on.

We found what appeared to be a side door to the chamber that Aneira had identified as a possible shrine to Lamashtu. We decided to enter the room from multiple points in an effort to both contain whatever lay inside, if anything, and to split it’s attention. Using Bugga’s abilities to share a mental link with myself we timed it perfectly, we burst into the room to be greeted by what looked like two hounds from the pits of hell itself… but they were floating! They let out a terrifying howl, and Bugga went screaming from the room. I ran up to the first one in an attempt to pull it down to earth with my whip, but the creature slipped from the whip’s hold. Then it turned on me and bit me, hard. I was injured badly but still managed to daze the creature before I fell unconscious. When I awoke again, there was only one creature left and the others took it down quickly.

Taking stock of our situation, we went back to the rooms where we had encountered Orik and set ourselves to rest. Readying ourselves for whatever may lay ahead in our adventure.

Your Son,
Gorn,

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Observation Notes, #186

- Dear lord, it’s like I was…actually right. Though we’ve been blundering along, and quite jarringly, succeeding (like a blind baboon that clears a room because you’ve pissed him off sufficiently by insulting his sister and poking him with an iron prod, thrashing with unholy rage), it is amazing what happens when you coordinate your tactics, actually behave in your own best self interest, and demonstrate a modicum of skill. Finally, our quiet, aloof military man gave proof of that station by taking charge and issuing orders, dispensing with stabbing himself in his own kidneys and allowing our impulsive religious neophyte from flinging herself into the fray yet again.

- After having to snatch our shockingly fragile warpriestess from the throws of death yet again, this proves further confirmation of my overarching hypothesis: the gods are nothing more that hedonistic puppetmasters controlling the naive or insecure. Though her deity continues to toy with her, abandoning the follower in time of greatest peril, she has become even more resolute. How can this be? How can one bestow their trust upon sources that continually fail to show up?… Without the remarkably elementary applications of medical science and skilled alchemy, I fear she will be the first to perish. Misguided, it is imperative that she recognize the error in her judgment…

- Though not all seem to be thrilled with the decision, I am glad the mage be allowed to continue her study in peace. The avenues for unadulterated academic study continue to narrow as society’s blind religious fervour continues to overwhelm the objective empirical and quantitative benefits that follow disciplined application of rationalism. I hope that she proves to be trustworthy. If not, at least she will be intimately familiar with her sarcophagus…

- The goblin is proving herself to be remarkably resourceful…and somewhat amusing. For such an diabolical, spastic species, her cowardice is somewhat surprising. Perhaps we need to give her a little bit of a show…

- (Scribbled into left margin) Cask #6 continues to show a strong, robust character, with hints of smoke, old leather, and a hint of … peaches? Need to transfer that to a bourbon barrel…and perhaps clean the implements…

- (Scribbled into right margin) bomb velocity sub-optimal. switch to Tian-crafted vials. less drag … chemical composition of frost bomb adjustment: horizontal explosion radius (y) = frost catalyst rate (z) * (NH4)(NO3) * Al …. More wrist flick ….

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Bugga's Story 5

1/Bugga’s talking to herself while locked in a closet:/

Let’s take stock of the situation…

Bugga and Gorn formed a warband in the humie town of Sandpoint, so Bugga calls them the Sandpoint Warband. The warband was strong, and when finished fighting found where the bad humie Spoon Punch came from; it was a humie castle called “Thistletop”. Spoon Punch was Nice Inn Humie Soup Spoon’s brother, and the baby of the yelly old humie who yelled at everyone, “you’re the probrem here, ruh ruh ruh!” and then got melted in the glass… shush, Bugga just had to remind the audience of the characters!

Anyways! There was a worse humie at the thistley place? So, Warleader Pinchy and Fartbutt… Butt… Fart… you know, just between Mister Sniffles and Bugga, Fart and Butts and Farts needs a better name. He’s not a Buttfart, he’s smart! He says “everyone hide around the corner!” and everyone does and then the bad gobrins die! He tells Mister Sniffles where to tickle and then the bad monsters die! So he should beeeee… Warchanter Snickersnack! So Warchanter Snickersnack, Dizzy Kaboom, Gorn, and Warleader Pinchy said that they were going to go to Fistlesnot, and Bugga went with… where else would Bugga go, Mister Sniffles?? BUGGA THOUGHT SO.

So Bugga and the Sandpoint Warband went to the Whistlebop and fought some gobrin dogs and played with Gogmurt, and then took a nap. Gogmurt was nice after a bit of a fight, but first Gorn had to sort him out. When Gogmurt tried to sneak away (as all smart gobrins do), Gorn was able to get him in the wall with a rumble-boom, and even though Mister Sniffles was sent away, Bugga’s stone friend Mister Crumbles helped stop Gogmurt’s playing and kill his kitty. Tickley kitty! It tickled all of the red out of Warleader Pinchy!

So in an attempt to prevent unnecessary gobrin deaths (because Bugga likes gobrins, hehe), Bugga made friends, and said that Gogmurt was her friend and that was that. Gogmurt didn’t like Bugga’s humies but Bugga isn’t with humies, she’s guiding them in the gobrin ways and they are a true warband! Gogmurt seemed to be okay with that, so he gave Bugga his nice doggy cape and Bugga promised to play with him later.

Then, Gorn told Bugga some stories from his new book! Bugga thinks that Gorn is taking unnecessary risks with the book but Gorn says he’s special and the words aren’t stolen from his head. Bugga needs to learn this trick… so much to learn from Gorn! If Bugga can learn Gorn’s tricks will she become as strong as him? Bugga knows that the strongest Spirit Callers and Magic-Makers use the books, but it is still beyond her. Gotta learn the- wait! What’s that sound, Mister Sniffles?!

2/Bugga got interrupted from her recap by sounds of fighting and the horse again outside of her door. She cowered, then when goblins came by to finish off the horse (she heard it dying), she joined in with them, convinced one to introduce her to the chief, and talked his ear off as he escorted her to the tribe’s leader./

… So Bugga was saying that Gorn has power over books, and he told Bugga more stories before bed. The next day, Bugga was woken up by Warleader Pinchy and Dizzy Kaboom; there was a surprise coming! Bugga would stay quiet, then jump out and use all of her best tricks on the humie outside; Bugga was so excited!!

So Gorn pushed the door right off the wall and smooshed two gobrins who were obviously guarding the party cake, and Bugga and everyone else fighted the lady humie. Stupid lady humie! Wasn’t supposed to let her get to the cake, but she ran away, and Bugga chased… and then Bugga was on the bridge, and the bridge went away! Warleader Pinchy felllll downnnnnn… splash! … What? Yes, Bugga’s getting to that part, shut up!

So Bugga climbed Dizzy Kaboom and Dizzy Kaboom got kicked in the face by someone and then Gorn fixed the bridge because Bugga was scared and then the Sizzlepop gobrins tried to stop Bugga and Gorn and the warband from joining the party. Then things happened and Bugga was tired so Bugga hid in the bushes and told Gorn to hide too… yes, that’s where Bugga and Gorn went! Bugga knows, it WAS tricksy; thank you, peon gobrin!

… Oh, that’s the chief? Okay, Bugga will tell the rest later. Okay, Bugga promises!

3/Bugga’s tale continues as the party arranges the surrender of the tribe; it seems her audience grew a tiny bit, and the Thistletop POWs are rather interested in the telling of the tale./

Oh? Yes, Bugga can tell the rest… let’s see… So, the chief chased Bugga… Oh, before that? Okay, well Bugga hid in a bush and then the Sandpoint Warband asked her to ask her way inside to join the party, so Bugga did her best hello and then stuff happened and there was gobrins and food… yes, Bugga’s hungry too; shoosh.

So then there was a BIIIIG big-bites-scream-and-stomp in the room. Yes, Bugga doesn’t understand why Bissledrop gobrins kept the stupid big-bites; so screamy and stompy! Just part of the systemic dissolution of gobrin societal values, clearly. Rather a sign of the times, Bugga thinks. Yes, it is a sign of our decaying culture and… Oh, make POOPY, Bugga misheard. Yes, go ahead.

So, Bugga was a little scared of the big-bites-scream-and-stomp, and Gorn hid her in the closet… well, Bugga doesn’t remember that part so well. Then, Bugga met the chief- uh, former chief Ripnugget, but Chief Ripnugget not very good at listening to good plans, and Bugga had to runnnnnn… thankfully, Bugga is clever and went past where the big-bites-scream-and-stomp was and found Gorn! THEN! THE! CHIEF! DIED! /Bugga fails to suppress her glee./ Should have listened to Bugga about Gorn~!

So, now Bugga is queen, and that’s okay with Bugga, but Bugga has adventures with Gorn to do… Oh, you want to know more about how king died? Okay, well Bugga ran, then turned! And Ripnugget chased too far and was in the big room but Bugga already went into the big big-bites room. Bugga knew Gorn would go this way because Gorn went all of the other ways! Ripnugget didn’t, hee!

But Ripnugget was fast, and Ripnugget’s buggy monster almost caught Bugga again! It hurt last time so Bugga had to RUNNNNNN and Bugga did; Bugga went to end of hall and then the stairs because where else? No time to pick! Bugga heard downstairs, too: Warchanter Snickersnack said “get ready here come gobrins hur hur” or something and Bugga jumped down and hid. Then, Ripnugget came in SUPER FAST but Bugga wasn’t afraid because Gorn was there! And Warleader Pinchy and Warchanter Snickersnack and Dizzy Kaboom! And Gorn pulled Ripnugget off his buggy and they all chopped at himmm…. and Bugga hid! Bugga’s smart! Chief Ripnugget didn’t like Bugga’s words but Bugga knew that he’d like Gorn’s whip less!

So, now chief is dead, but it’s okay; Bugga loves the Gristlemop gobrins, and Gogmurt didn’t want to be chief or king so Bugga is chief and queen! Bugga will make sure her tribe is safe; Bugga’s very nice to gobrins and learned from the best: Kuzmog the Never-Dead said Bugga would be queen one day, and taught Bugga about queening! Bugga is the roundest gobrin around now so that means Bugga’s a good chief! Bugga knows how to get food best; give shinies to humies for it! Then all the Blobblebop gobrins get big like Queen Bugga!

… Now, first question from queen: what’s downstairs that Bugga and Gorn and and Dizzy Kaboom and the other ones should worry about?

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Aneira's Story 9

I saw her. I saw Sarenrae…

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Letters Home - 8 - 07/13/2013
Gorn's Letters

As we explored the fortress further, we suddenly noticed a noise coming from behind us. “Goblins!” I might have yelled a little louder than I meant to. I rushed the door to bar it, allowing my companions time to set up around the door for when it would eventually open. WHUMP, WHUMP Two heavy thuds as the door was battered by goblins. Thwack as what I can only assume was an arrow nearly pierced the wood. When my friends were ready I opened the door, to find two goblins prostrate before me. I let them feel the wrath of my whip while dodging arrows from another at the far end of the hall. The others joined in the attack and we made quick work of our pursuit.

While we were resting I suddenly realized that they had come from the direction we had left Bugga! No sooner had I voiced my concern when she came flying down the stairs, and right under a table while being pursued by one of the biggest and ugliest goblins I’ve yet seen. I can only assume this was the Chief of the local tribe. I believe his name was Ripnugget… well we ripped his nuggets clean off as I don’t believe he was expecting to see so many of us at the end of the stairs.

With his death and the death of one of his War-Chanters the rest of the goblins took off. Leaving us to discover what else may lie inside the foul fortress.

More to come!

Your Son,
Gorn

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