We be Licktoads! We make raid!
Put the longshanks to the blade!
Burn them up from feet to head,
Make them hurt, make them dead!
Put the parents into ham,
Smush the babies into jam,
All the rest in pot get stewed,
We be Licktoads – you be food!
The goblins of the Licktoad tribe live deep in Brinestump Marsh, south of the hated man-town called Sandpoint. Once, the goblins of Thistletop (a small island north of the city) tried to burn Sandpoint down, and they would have been legends if they had succeeded. But they didn’t bring enough fire, and got themselves killed as a result.
Yesterday, the Licktoad goblins discovered that one of their own had been using forbidden arts and was engaged in one of the greatest of taboos – writing things down. In fact, rumor holds that what he was writing was a history of the Licktoad tribe! There’s no swifter way to bring about bad luck than stealing words out of a goblin’s mind by writing them down, and so the tribe had no choice. They branded the goblin’s face with letters to punish him, which is why everyone calls him Scribbleface now, and then ran him out of town, took all his stuff, and burned down his hut.
That’s where things got interesting, because before they burned down his hut, Chief Gutwad found a weird box within the building. Inside was a map and a lot of fireworks – fireworks that immediately came to use in burning the hut down. Then, this morning, Gutwad announced that tonight there would be a feast in order to drive out any lingering bad luck from Scribbleface’s poor decision. But perhaps even more exciting, four Licktoad heroes have been secretly invited to meet at Chief Gutwad’s Moot House. All four similarly wondered, ‘Why would the chief want to speak to me? It can only mean that he’s got an important mission for us… one that the other goblins of the tribe couldn’t pull off. This could mean my chance to go down in Licktoad history!’
Lying at the center of the village, the chief’s Moot House is a veritable museum of Licktoad heroics – crammed with trophies such as stolen weapons, shiny bits of treasure, and the brine-pickled bodies of dozens of brutally slaughtered small furry animals (mostly dogs). His Mighty Girthness Chief Rendwattle Gutwad rules Licktoad Village from atop the great Teeter Chair, which is 6 feet high and allows him to more properly look down on his subjects. By tradition, Chief Gutwad does not speak directly to his subjects. Instead, he employs an advisor and through him he whispers instructions, for the Licktoad goblins understand that the words that come out of the chief’s mouth are so mighty that they might frighten away all the words in the heads of the lesser goblins. Only his duly appointed advisor, the overdressed, pompous goblin named Slorb, can handle the might of the chief’s words without fainting from fear.
As the story begins, the four Licktoad heroes are all gathered before the entrance to the Moot House, awaiting invitation from Slorb to enter. (adapted from from Pathfinder Module: We Be Goblins, pp. 3-4)
Poog , a frightening little cleric of the goblin deity Zaronge,l is so excited and nervous at the thought of going inside the chief’s hut he pees his pants a little bit.
Drubbus, the nature shaman of the Licktoads, shifts around nervously. Consciously or not, he keeps trying to work himself into the middle of the group.
Reta Bigbad, a fearless goblin female warrior, sneaks up beside Drubbus and licks his ear then screeches, “Stop It Drubbus!” and slugs him in the gut. She then eyes Chuffy’s caged spider, wishing she could squish it just to see the color of its ick.
Drubbus gives a clicking growl over the licked ear and punch to the gut, but he’s got bigger things on his mind than a rumble. Since the others all know him well, they can practically hear the words in his head. ‘Bein’ pointed at for a small raid izz only lil lezz killy than being pointed at only! ‘N goblinz what pointed at izz usual tossed in stewpot on way or other ‘n quick!’
Mogmurch, the deranged Licktoad alchemist, laughs and says, “Hey Reta, forget about that tweak! Let’s go to my hut and you can lick my,” he pauses, to increase the suggestiveness, “… face… all you want.” As he finishes, he gives Drubbus an irreverent shove.
Chuffy Lickwound, the tribe’s most ardent arsonists and sneak, smiles into his pet spider Stankrush’s cage. While waving a smoldering twig says, “Hey Stankrush, what kinda of fun can we have wif dis?”
After long interminable seconds of waiting, the high-pitched nasal voice of chief advisor Slorb calls out for them all to enter. Inside, the corpulent Chief Gutwad sits precariously atop the Teeter Chair.
“You may have the great honor of sitting in the dirt before Chief Gutwad.” Slorb gestures to the filthy area littered with bones below the Teeter Chair.
After they have all gathered around, with much pushing and shoving, and found a space amid the debris they are amazed and shocked to be addressed by Chief Gutwad. They are also all relieved to find that their heads are not exploding after all as the chief speaks to them directly in a deep, booming voice. It must be because, as they always assumed, they are all the elitist of the elite among goblin-kind, and probably any other kind as well.
“You all be heroes. Each of you. You are best Licktoads but for me. And maybe but for Slorb. That you aren’t fleeing in terror from the mighty sound of my voice is all the proof that you should need. Yet soon, all Licktoad goblins will know your might, for I have picked you for a dangerous mission.
“You know about fireworks and map we found in Scribbleface’s hut. Fireworks were fun. But map is more fun. It shows a route to a place near the coast where Scribbleface found fireworks. And it says there are more fireworks there!
“I want then for Licktoads. You all go get them tomorrow. Tonight we have a big bonfire to burn bad luck away from you, and we play many games. Much fun. Tomorrow you fetch me fireworks. If you meet men, you make them dead. If you meet dogs, you make them dead. If you meet horses, you make them dead. If you meets Lotslegs Eat Goblin Babies Many, you maybe should run. And if you not find fireworks, you not come back or we feed you to Squealy Nord!” (the above paragraphs in italics from Ibid, p. 4)
When the chief finishes his speech, he reaches behind him and digs around for a bit. Then he produces the map and flings it down at them all. “Take the map,” Chief Gutwad bellows. “Now get out! Slorb and I have a feast to plan!”
Chuffy slinks back a few steps. A wide grin breaks across his face, his large eyes squinting to yellow slits. He stands there rocking on his heels. Poog eyes the map greedily and sticks his foot out to trip Mogmurch after the latter jabs him in the side. Unfortunately for Poog, he only ends up losing his own balance as Mogmurch leaps over Poog’s foot and dives on top of the map. Drubbus joins in the general dive for the map, landing hard atop Mogmurch. Mogmurch gasps as Drubbus lands on him. Reta pushes aside Chuffy, almost nicking herself on the dogslicer he has drawn, and piles on trying to grab the map away from Mogmurch. Trying to throw off his competitors, Mogmurch bares his teeth and hisses viciously at Drubbus and Reta, trying to scare them off.
Chuffy steps back, watching eagerly, dogslicer at the ready, to see who emerges from the tussle with the map. Slorb waves at Chuffy to put away his dogslicer and starts kicking at the goblins on the ground, yelling at them to get up and be on their way. Chuffy continues to grin, but his eyes go wide. He turns the dogslicer over and scans the edge. As quickly as it was drawn, the sword is sheathed. Looking at Slorb, Chuffy shrugs with an upturned palm, and then whispers into the cage held in his other hand.
Poog is dismayed that his attempt to trip Mogmurch failed and he ended up on the floor himself. He tries to look as if nothing happened and is now on his hands and knees looking out the door of the chief’s hut. He sees the goblins gathering a great amount of wood for a fire! His eyes light up and he starts to sing.
Fire is sweet,
So nice and neat,
It burns bright in the dead of night
And makes things dead and right.
Poog picks himself up and as he is dusting himself off he notices his pants are wet from when he pissed himself earlier. He smells his fingers and smiles momentarily blissed out on the smell of his own pee. He casually wipes his hands on Chuffy’s back as he walks past him to where the other goblins are toiling to build a bonfire out of branches, sticks, and unburnt timbers taken from the ruins of Scribbleface’s hut.
Chuffy chases after Poog. When he gets to the bonfire, he rocks on his heels and from time to time whispers to his pet spider. Each time he smiles and gives a satisfied nod.
Stepping up to Mogmurch, hands behind her back and smiling seductively, Reta forces herself to speak low, “Hey ‘Murchy. Can I see that map puuhleese? I won’t try and steals it. Really!” As she speaks, her voice slowly raises to its normal loud screechy level so that the word ‘Really’ can be easily heard by anybody nearby.
Leering greedily, Mogmurch asks Reta, “Oh ReeeAALLY? Well, what’ll ya gimme for a look?”
Reta looks coyly out of her halfling wedding veil then produces a rather plump caterpillar from her pocket. Eyeing the morsel she half yells excitedly, “We can squish it together!”
Drubbus takes out his sack of salty beetles and noisily crunches one. “Mmmm! So salty and crunchy! Mog, if you want a few, I could hold your map.”
Tongue lolling in anticipation of salty goodness, Mogmurch shouts, “Gimme!” and snatches at the salted beetles, tossing the map toward Drubbus.
He tries to eat as many beetles as possible before Drubbus can stop him or anyone else tries to take them. In a flash he greedily devours all of them.
Reta peers over Drubbus’ shoulder at the map. The map is relatively simple, showing little more than the Licktoad village, the old shipwreck on the coast that supposedly contains the fireworks, and the creek that runs between the two locations. By following the creek they should be able to easily reach the old wreck. Unfortunately, the old wreck is also located in the part of the swamp that all Licktoads know to be the territory of Vorka the cannibal. (italicized portion from ibid, p. 5)
Reta screeches, “That’s where Vorka lives, look!” and points to the location of the shipwreck. This loud proclamation in Drubbus’ ear is also overheard by Mogmurch standing nearby noisily crunching on beetles, and also Chuffy and Poog over by the bonfire.
Several other goblins that were piling wood on the bonfire look over at Reta and then begin chuckling and sneering. “Hey Reta, youz afraid a Vorka? Har har!”
Reta rounds on the goblins and barks out, “You is stupid you don’t take her seriously. That why goblins like you only good as lunch for others!”
The goblin gulps, quickly ducks his head and gets back to work.
“Get away from me, Reta!” Drubus growls. “I got the map, so youz gots to do my sez so! And what the heck is a Vorka anywayz?”
Through his beetle-stuffed mouth Mogmurch says, “Hah! Dummy, Drubbuth! Vorka’th that goblin eatth other goblinth — thpethially oneth with mapth hahaha!” Swallowing, he continues. “We’ll feed you to ‘er tomorrow. Then she’ll let us get to the ship and take the fireworks and all the shinies.”
Drubus grumbles something in the secret Druidic speech and says aloud, to Mogmurch, “Peas, carrots, taters and bit o’ garlic and you might be worth eating yourself.”
Turning back to the map, Reta puts her arm around Drubbus’ shoulders, “Pay no ‘tension to Mog. He be eaten himself with those others soon as old Vorka sets her pitch black eyes on ‘em,” she motions to Mogmurch and the other goblin hecklers.
As night falls, a group of four struggling goblins carry the Teeter Chair (with Chief Gutwad sitting atop it) out to the bonfire. With great ceremony the chief produces a foot long wooden tube with a fuse at the top. The chief sets this in the middle of the bonfire and lights it with a burning branch. The fuse quickly burns down and then the tube flares up full of sparks and begins firing out tiny fireballs up into the air. Some of these land and hit the goblins gathered around the fire burning hair or the arms and hands flung up to ward off the flames. Those who are not hit find this gut-achingly hilarious. Other fireballs actually land back and ignite the bonfire. This signals the start of an all-night party that features lots of good things to eat (snails, fish, and snakes) and also a barrel of fermenting cider apples that the chief has rolled out.
Poog had overheard the jibber jabbering about shipwrecks and vorka-thingies behind him, but didn’t have a clue what they are talking about, nor could he care less. The pretty flames now completely captivate him. His eyes light up and he starts to sing, “Fire is sweet, so nice and neat, it burns bright in the dead of night and makes things dead and right.”
Drubbus has two mugs of cider, but keeps a death grip on the map.
Poog cavorts, leaping and jumping around the bonfire while practicing making little fireballs with his fingers. He consumes three ciders relatively quickly.
Reta chugs back an entire mug of the stuff.
Chuffy takes a few sips of his first mug, and then throws the rest down in a single gulp. After his second mug, he’s feeling just about right.
Mogmurch has two drinks before the first of the dares begins.
As the drinking progresses the other goblins begins whispering and pointing to Poog, Reta, Drubbus, Mogmurch, and Chuffy. It is obvious that someone has spilled the beans about them being sent off on a mission. Finally, a scrawny wretch named Gawg says, “Hey I bet dese guys can’t even dance with Squealy Nord, how are they gonna get us some fireworks?”
“Yeeeaaah! We dare you to ride Squealy Nord and show us what youz can do” his equally scrawny brother Mogawg adds.
“Yes,” says Slorb after a whispered consultation with the chief. “Let the dares begin, and I will provide the prizes. If any of you win a dare, I’ll see that you have nice things to help you in your mission.”
A little goblin girl, fresh out of the baby cages hesitantly asks, “If it could help them get the fireworks, why not just give them what they’ll need?”
All the goblins fall silent at such audacious stupidity. Chief Gutwad glowers and even Slorb seems speechless. Finally a nearby goblin smacks the goblin girl hard on the back of the head, almost causing her to fall into the bonfire. “Don’t be stupid!” says the smacker. “That’s just not how things are done in the Licktoad tribe. You wanna prize, you gotta take a dare!”
At this all the goblins begin shouting, “Squaly Nord! Squealy Nord! Squealy Nord!” as they all, pushing and shoving one another, make their way to the muddy pit by the goblin baby cages. The pit itself is circular, nearly 20’ in diameter, and just over 10’ deep. In the center of the pit, snorting and rooting through the mud, is Squealy Nord – the fiercest boar in the whole of Brinestump Marsh and the mascot of the Licktoad tribe. A more cynical and irreverent human viewing the scene might point out that Squealy Nord is not quite a fierce boar and has more than a passing resemblance to a missing piglet named Wilbur from one of the nearby farms, but fortunately there are no longshanks about to say such a thing.
“So, who has the first dance?” asks Slorb looking at them all. “How about you Poog? I’ve heard you’re quite a rider.” This is greeted with hoots, chortles, and snickering from the surrounding mob. “All you have to do is stay on for a count of…” Slorb starts counting off the fingers of his hands and then realizes he doesn’t have enough. He looks at his toes for a moment and wiggles them a bit in the mud surrounding the pit. Finally he looks up and says, “Until I get tired of counting.”
Reta knows she is the biggest badass present. She walks to the pen and jumps on Squealy Nord.
Mogmurch scowls at Poog like he’s a real pansy. “You let her go first?!” and spits at the ground by Poog’s feet. He turns to watch Reta, eagerly waiting for his own turn.
Poog snarls back at Mogmurch, picks a booger and flicks it at the back of his head.
While Reta is riding, Drubbus tries to slip away from the crowd, map still clutched firmly in hand.
Poog, noticing Drubbus sneaking off under cover of all the excitement, yells out loud enough for all the Licktoad tribe to hear. “Where’s ya goin’ Drubbie-boy?”
Hurriedly attempting to hide the map behind his back Drubbus whines, “Youz don’t needz to know!”
As for Reta, she is thrown after half a minute but is unharmed – to the disappointment of the howling mob.
Mogmurch gulps down one of his vile concoctions and transforms into something that looks like a cross between a goblin and a feral cat. With a bound he mounts the poor piglet and manages to stay on for at least a minute before Squealy Nord collapses in the mud from terror and sheer exhaustion.
Poog curses and spits, “dirty little cheetah boyz.” He goes and sulks by the fire until the piglet has recovered and it is his turn. He manages to stay on for half a minute before he leaps off.
Chuffy is thrown after a minute but manages to land on his feet. Chuffy jumps and cheers for himself until he realizes he didn’t stay on long enough to beat Mogmurch’s time.
As Drubbus walks over to the pig he calls out, “I don’t have no spelly drinks, so I’ll have to do this on my only!” He folds up the map first and hides it in his tunic before hopping on the piglet. It is not quite a minute before he too is thrown, and unfortunately he lands hard on his elbow.
Chief Gutwad whispers to Slorb and the latter announces that Mogmurch has been declared the winner, “Even though he cheated! But of course it’s not about how you play the game… it’s about winning! Ha ha hah!” Slorb then hands Mogmurch a vial that was taken from a band of travelers who made the mistake of sleeping on the side of the road without a guard dog or anyone on watch. Mogmurch almost weeps when it is handed to him – for it is the fabled Dragon Brew Gourd.
“What’s next?” Slorb asks the mob with an evil grin.
Gronky, a bloated goblin with a deep voice, calls out, “They might get hungry on their mission. Let’s feed ‘em!” With that, covered wicker baskets are brought out along with soggy leaves for napkins. “Who wants a little somethin’ to chow down on?”
Poog slyly looks at the basket Gronky is holding and tries to sniff it but it’s too far away to smell anything. He looks greedily over at the Dragoon Brew Gourd and wants one too. He marches over to Gronky and says, “Gimmee deez nasteez, Poog not fraid to eatz dem all.”
“Be my guest,” Gronky says. “There’s plenty for all, heh heh heh…”
Mogmurch shoves Gronky out of the way to get at the food. Drubbus, Poog, and Chuffy also grab a basket. When the five of them uncover them they see that within is a slimy squirmy bag of bull slugs. Once their leaf napkins are tucked into their tunics like a bib, Slorb announces that it is time to begin. They have a minute to choke down at least five of the bull slugs.
Eating the slugs is not a problem even though they wriggle, taste of rotten fish, and burst with a little squal when chewed. Eating a full bag is the hard part. and every goblin knows that when eating bull slugs it is prudent to spit out the slug’s mildly poisonous slime bladder though it takes longer than simply gulping them down.
Just to show he’s extra tough, Mogmurch chews each bite, making yummy noises and feigning delight.
Chuffy pokes at the food a bit, and then goes at it by the handful.
Reta gulps them down as fast as she can.
When Slorb calls the time (with a battered digital stopwatch looted from Numerian merchants) Poog, Mogmurch, and Chuffy were only able to consume three of the slugs each. Drubbus did a little better and was able to consume five. Reta, however, takes the prize having swallowed nine live bull slugs. She in fact looks even greener than goblins normally look. Before she can get away, Slorb grabs her and declares her the winner of the “eat a bag of slugs real quick dare” and therefore gets the prize. The chief hands her the famed Gorge of Gluttons, an enchanted dogslicer that is particularly good at killing horses.
“This is from Chief Gutwad’s horde,” says Slorb. “This is loan only. You bring it back or we take it back along with your head as interest.”
“Nice one Reta,” croaks Chuffy.
Reta tries to smile back at Chuffy, but only manages to burp loudly as slug drool runs down her cheek. She tucks the Gorge of Gluttons into her belt and attempts to not look sick.
Poog looks at Reta and giggles hysterically seeing her light green skin turn a bright chartreuse color. ”Reta you be lookin’ funny!”
Drubbus gives her a congratulatory punch in the stomach.
Drubbu’s gut punch causes Reta to vomit half-digested slugs (and their slime bladders) all over Drubbus. This causes Drubbus to begin retching and then vomiting as well. The other goblins of course find this hilarious.
Reta belches loudly for a third time and wipes her mouth on her sleeve. “Oh that feels better! Thanks, Drubby.”
The next dare that Slorb announces is the ever popular “Hide or Get Clubbed,” the goblin version of hide and seek. The dare-takers must rush into the marsh without any weapons and attempt to find a good hiding spot. The other goblins try to find him (or her), and if they do, the finder is allowed to whack the previously hidden goblin with a club. The goblin with the best hiding spot who remains undiscovered the longest will win the loan of the mystical Ring that Lets You Climb Real Good from the chief’s hoard.
Mogmurch, looks nervously around at the other competitors. He does not relish getting clubbed. He hesitates just a bit as the others start running into the marsh, then rushes after to find his own hiding place and hoping the others didn’t notice the delay.
Poog looks at Slorb and says, “I’m in!” and skips out into the marsh singing, “Can’t find me, no you won’t, I be hiding under some tree.”
Poog thinks craftily to himself, “I am very stealthy yes indeedy. I will use my speak to animals spell to ask them where to hide so no one will find me!” He then casts his spell and seeks guidance from an old marsh rat about where to hide.
The swamp rat tells Poog, “There’s a rotten log over there by the crick. You should be able to fit in there,” and he then scampers off. Poog hears the band of goblins tromping through the woods behind him so it’s the log or nothing.
Poog races over and slips into the rotten log and pulls some moss over the opening to cover his tracks. He is thrilled to find some nice crawly bugs to munch on while he hides. He happily watches the Licktoads searching through the moss while he eats bugs. He can barely contain his giggles. Unfortunately his giggling gives him away and he soon has a bump on his head for all his troubles.
Drubbus is found very soon after hiding behind a tree and also given a thump.
Reta, Mogmurch, and Chuffy hide so well that they have to be called in after enough time passes (a few minutes) that the other goblins start to get bored. Since fewer goblins came even close to Chuffy’s hiding place, Slorb hands the Ring that Lets You Climb Real Good to him with a warning that it is also a loaner from the chief.
Reta slaps Chuffy upside the head in congratulations and says pointing at the ring, “Nice one Chuff.”
The infamous Rusty Earbiter is a hollow coil of rusty wires, barrel hoops, bent swords, and thorny branches and vines that’s kept behind the Moot House when not in use. So named for the fact that it’s claimed a number of goblin ears in the past (at any one time up to three partially severed goblin ears can be found tangled in its sharp internal coils), the Rusty Earbiter is both an object of fascination and fear for the Licktoads. The half-insane tinkerer who invented the thing has long since died (carried off one night by a giant bird of some sort after his first and only test of a prototype bird-attracting hat), but his legacy lives on. The other goblins cheer and hoot when Drubbus, Reta, Poog, Chuffy, and Mogmurch are dared to crawl through the Rusty Earbiter, and a half-dozen eager goblins roll the 20 foot coil out from behind the Moot House with the typical number of slashed fingers and stabbed legs such a task normally brings. A goblin who agrees to this dare must climb into one end of the Rusty Earbiter and then wriggle through it, coming out the other side. There’s no time limit to get it done, but the faster the better! (italicized section from ibid, p. 6)
Reta pushes Drubbus forward, thus volunteering him to go first. “Show us how it’s done big guy!”
Drubbus grabs her and pushes her forward, “You do it, Vomit-head! I need my ears to listen to the ancient spirits, and tell them to haunt you if you do that again!”
To hide his own terror at the thought of being cut up inside that thing, Mogmurch helps Drubbus push Reta toward the device. “Reta goes! Reta Goes!” he shouts, cheering as he considers the mayhem about to happen to her.
Poog looks at the Rusty Earbiter and says, “No no no. I iz not gonna go in dat ting. I needz my earz to hear the words of Zarongel!” He is mad too that he has no bright shiny prizes to play with either. He is beginning to think the entire goblin dares games aren’t as fun as they used to be watching them.
Chuffy spends a few moments studying the Earbiter with slight trepidation. Then a grin cracks across his face, as he seems to have gained some sort of insight on the inner workings… or it could be the wind he broke. He starts his way through.
Reta stops pushing and fighting with the others and grins at Chuffy. Slowly and quietly she starts to chant, “Chuffy, Chuffy, Chuffy…” looking around at the other goblins and motioning for them to join in.
Drubbus joins in as well, but after a few moments he drops his voice and changes the chant to, “Not me! Not me!”
Poog can’t stop giggling, “Chuffy’s in de tube, he needz to sneeze some lube! If he getz stuckz hez so outta luck!” He is now giggling so hard he slobbers all over himself with spit and snot. He then wipes it and running over to the tube throws it in!
Right as he goes in Chuffy gets an ear snagged, but after that he moves through swiftly and gets out after less than half a minute.
As the only one to take the dare, Slorb awards Chuffy with one of the tribe’s most coveted items: the chief’s Personal Very Useful Robe That Is Useful. He places it on Chuffy as the surrounding goblins cheer (or boo).
Slorb announces one more dare: Grab the Stone. Chief Gutwad hands Slorb a jagged egg-shaped stone that shines with a faint red glow. Slorb drops it inside a large rotten stump with several holes in it that had been set before him by a team of goblins.
“There are many holes in this log,” Slorb leers at them all as he states the obvious. “All you must do is reach in and grab the Stone of Fixing Broken Stuff. But first…” Slorb is handed a leather sack bound at the top with a rope. He thumps it about a bit and then unties the sack and dumps an angry water moccasin into the top of the stump. “Now I believe we have a snake bite cure somewhere. We’ll send someone to see if it can be found if we need to. But it would be better if you just grab the stone and not the snake. Heh heh.”
Poog sticks out his tongue and makes a raspberry noise, “No wayz.”
Reta watches and waits for any of the others to step up.
Chuffy is still massaging his wound from the Rusty Earbiter. “Nope, that’s one dare you can’t get me to take,” has says and steps back.
“Snake! Rake! Eat the cake! I’m not afraid of that little slithery worm!” Mogmurch steps up to reach in for the stone but comes up with nothing.
Drubbus steps up to the stump, he says some words in the secret Druid tongue and scatters some mistletoe leaves.
Mogmuch shouts “Frack!!” in disappointment, and reaches into another hole but comes up with more nothing.
Drubbus spits on Mogmurch for luck. Then he shoves his hand into a hole to find still more nothing.
Drubbus tries yet another hole – nothing.
“Mog, you really wanna get snake bit? You just as like to grab a snake as a stone, an’ I can’t helps you if’n ya do.”
“Slinky snake won’t get me! I’ll get the stone!” Mogmurch tries the tenth hole.
Drubbus reaches in again but again comes up with nothing. He turns to Mogmuch and says, “I can tell you what hole the snake is in, so’z ya don’t get bit. What’s that worth to ya?”
Reta belts out laughing at the increased agitation of both Drubbus and Mogmurch, very happy that she is not thrusting anything into those nasty holes.
“Which hole? Tell me!” screams Mogmurch as he thrusts his hand into another hole. Then his eyes go wide and he pulls it out again triumphantly, shrieking “I win! I win!”
All of them are expected to set off into Brinestump Marsh the next morning, lingering sickness from the previous night’s party or not. As it is, Poog recovers fully, Reta is no longer sick, but Chuffy and Drubbus are still feeling their cuts and bruises respectively. They are all brought before the chief again at dawn, whereupon he instructs them all to “Get fireworks and bring them here to me.” To help, he gives them the remaining fireworks from Scribbleface’s stash – two Desnan candles, four paper candles, and a skyrocket. The chief leaves it to them to decide how to divide these up.
“Ooo, me likes the big boomy one,” say Chuffy. He reaches into the stash and tries to grab one of the paper candles instead though. ”This looks just perfect for Chuffy,” he says with a grin.
Poog says, “Gimmee deh rocket onez!” He makes a grab for the skyrocket.
Drubbus attempts to be sly and avoid a fight over the skyrocket, he makes a grab for the paper candles trying to get one in each hand.
Two hands, two fireworks. Reta grabs a Desnan candle but sees that Poog has already grabbed the skyrocket so she grabs a paper candle that is closer to hand! Reta is too engrossed in her new toys to mind much about not getting the big one. She grins from ear to ear and waves the Desnen candle about, imagining it throwing forth fireballs of doom upon all her enemies.
Mogmurch gets what’s left as he found it too hard to decide what to grab for first. This turns out to be the other Desnan candle.
Next, they organize themselves into the semblance of a marching order.
Drubbus tries to move up in front of Chuffy, so he has someone behind him if something sneaks up on them.
Poog is too busy with his skyrocket to care where he is in the line singing to himself, ”Across the sky shooting stars… fiery lights leaving scars, making fire is my delight, eating nasteez in the night.”
Reta tries to take command. “Poog, you be in front. I will stay way up ahead of you guys cuz I make less noise. If I see something I will come back and tell ya.”
“What?!” Poog screeches at Reta. Hopping from leg to leg and spinning around several times, Poog is clearly quite distressed. “Eyez not gonna walk in front, yooz do it.”
Reta sighs, “I will be in front… a lot in front. You just in front of da rest!”
Poog casts a sneaky sideways glance at Reta, and says, “Okee dokee Ugly Reeeta Marsh Maid.”
Reta squints her eyes in anger then turns away and moves up ahead, putting around 60 feet of distance between the group and herself.
Poog lets Reta get out ahead and then starts to follow her whispering to himself, “Oh yez, Poog is following right behind Reta with his big stick.” He makes several thrusting motions with his skyrocket towards Reta. He then begins to giggle so much he trips and falls on his face in the mud with a splat and mud flies everywhere.
The journey to the fireworks stash, as indicated on the map is relatively short – a slog not quite a mile-long through the swamp along a creek’s northern bank. The journey takes only one hour to make. The marsh itself is relatively difficult to navigate, with numerous stretches of deep water that must be skirted and thick tangles of stinging nettles, but they are all at home in these swamps and so are not worried about getting stuck or lost. Still they need to be wary of other larger predators. (italicized section from ibid, p. 6)
The point indicated on Scribbleface’s map isn’t quite on the coast, but it’s close enough to hear the faint susurrus of waves crashing on an unseen swampy shoreline. The site itself is obvious once it is approached. A two-masted ship lies mired in the mud in a clearing, its rigging thick with moss and decorated with lanterns and windchimes made from goblin skulls and bones. Strange writing is faintly visible along the ship’s prow, while the soggy, swampy “yard” that surrounds the wreck is encircled by a rickety wooden fence. A thin curl of smoke wafts up from a chimney that protrudes from an unusual box-like structure near the ship’s bow. (italicized section from ibid, p. 9)
As he’s bringing up the rear, Chuffy glances behind to make sure there is no one following. He casually squeezes one of the boils on his face.
Thinking very highly of herself, Reta says, “Somebody lives here, let me sneaks up and look. Stay here.” She waits a few seconds for anybody to contradict her, then starts heading towards the gate to get a better look.
Poog grasps Reta’s arm lightly, and whispers, “Wait Reta. Lemme check for magic trapz before yooz stepz in it.”
“Yes, good. Do that,” Reta says and waits to hear back what Poog discovers.
“Ya, Reta.” Drubbus whispers roughly “An, when hez done, I can give you a spelly to keep you safe from any guard dogs.”
“Good, Drubbus, do that too. When you are done I can sees what there is to see… Hey, wherez Poog going?”
While waiting for his dog hiding-ness spell from Drubbus, Reta watches Poog head towards the fence. She crouches down and waits, mumbling “Stupid Poog.”
Poog doesn’t sense any magic from the fence or the yard; however, all of the goblins hear the barking of dogs – seemingly from the ship and somewhere farther off the neighing of a horse. Poog creeps as close to the fence as he needs to scan the whole ship. He moves counterclockwise along the fence, for why would a goblin do anything else?
Mogmurch goes with him. Whispering to Poog, he says, “Hiss! Horse and dogs! What kind of creepies keep horses and dogs?”
When Poog and Mogmurch reach the north side of the fence they see that the main deck of the shipwreck is cluttered with objects both natural and artificial. Thick swaths of leafy vines grow over the deck, and shiny green patches of algae and moss grow where the vines do not. The central cabin’s roof has a wide edge, creating a canopied walkway along the ship’s sides. A flight of steps leads up to the roof of the ship’s main cabin, the entrance to which is blocked by a door decorated by a large number of rodent and bird skulls. A smoking stovepipe chimney extends up from the ship’s highest point above. Two rickety wooden platforms – crow’s nests – sit on the masts, ten feet above the ship’s decks below. Each is linked by a pair of thick ropes, and additional ropes hang down from the platform on the stern-most mast to the deck. (adapted from ibid, p.
They can see clearly that there are not just one but two dogs on the ship (and hear what might be a third). One mangy hound with a blue eye and a brown eye is chained to the central mast on the upper deck, and the other is a scruffy mongrel with a crooked tail chained to the aft mast below on the main deck. Both dogs are barking ceaselessly and straining at their chains as they smell the presence of the goblins. Even more horrifying than the dogs, however, is the filthy, dark grey stallion on the other side of the fence. At the sound of the dogs it neighs and runs off behind the wreck to the southern side of the yard, churning up mud with its hooves. Despite all this, Poog is able to maintain his concentration and he detects the presence of magic within the main cabin. There are two sources of magic within the cabin, both faint. Because he cannot see them, Poog is unable to discover anything more.
“Let’s go back an’ get the others to kill the dogs, ‘kay?” asks Mogmurch, but Poog is already heading back the way they came.
“Yes yes yess! I hatez dogz.”
Meanwhile, Reta and the others hear the dogs barking and the neighing of the horse as it rounds the wreck. Reta loses all sight of the mission in a blood lust for the horse, empowered by her new weapon. “Let’s get it boyz!” she screeches to Drubbus and Chuffy. Reta draws the magical dogslicer and sneaks up on the horse.
Reta slips stealthily over the fence and sneaks quietly up to the unsuspecting horse, obscured from its notice by Drubbus’ spell. Unfortunately for her, she lunges at it just as it steps away and she misses. Her aggressive intention causes the spell to fail and the horse immediately rears up and lashes out at her with its hooves. One hoof hits Reta in the shoulder. Nothing seems broken but Reta knows she will feel that in the morning. Enraged, Reta fells the horse with a single blow. The horse collapses in agony, badly injured and unable to get up.
“Hehehe! That’s how it should be! Kill a horse!” says Mogmurch as he and Poog get back and see what Reta has done.
Poog reports there are two minor sources of magic inside the ship but nothing too strong.
Reta stops hacking at the horse and says, “We can take those mutts with bows, just need to find a good spot.”
Drubbus looks up to the ship for any sign of movement.
Reta hacks at the horse’s head one more time then joins Drubbus in looking at the ship. Since there is none, she says, “C’mon boyz, lets board” and starts heading for it.
Reta grins and says, “You boyz go up to the front. I’ll take out the dogs. She drinks her spider climbing potion, climbs a nearby tree and starts firing on the dogs. Her first two shots miss, but her third shot hits the dog that is on the upper deck but only wounds it. The fourth shot isn’t really a miss but it careens off the side of the dog. Both dogs are now in a frothing fury and both actually manage to break the rusty chains tethering them to the masts. But since Reta is up in the tree all they can do is leap up to the railings howling and barking.
Meanwhile, Drubbus isn’t sure what to do… he hesitantly starts toward the gangplank as does Poog, Mogmurch, and Chuffy. They come to a vine-choked gangplank with mossy handrails that ascends sharply up to the ship’s bow from the muddy ground. One handrail seems to be encrusted with a large ball of dried mud.
Chuffy whispers, “Let me take a look at this thing.” He doesn’t see anything to be alarmed about though. Drubbus however, points out that the ball of mud is actually a wasp’s nest and when he looks further he sees it is connected to a vine on the gangplank. Drubbus feels very good about himself for spotting this!
Mogmurch had concocted a potion for boosting his agility. He doesn’t drink it yet though. Then he checks his bomb supplies, and (almost hyperventilating) mutters, “Boom and burn. Boom and burn! Boom and burn!” over and over to himself.
Drubbus feels the heightening anxiety of the group, “Easy fellas, there are fouler things than dogs on this ship.”
Chuffy does his best to safely dislodge the wasp nest trap, but only ends up causing it to fall and burst at the bottom of the gangplank. He is even stung by a few angry wasps for his troubles. Fortunately he is not stung enough to cause any severe swelling.
Poog can’t stop himself from stalking the dog, so compelled is he with killing it. “Dirty dizguzting nazty dogz.” He moves along the port side of the cabin closer to the dog aft of the cabin that is barking furiously at Reta in the tree and shoots his fire bolt at it. The dog yelps and collapses on the deck, whining piteously. Poog is momentarily speechless seeing his fire bolt strike fell the dog.
Mogmurch laughs as the dog’s last blood leaks out. “Ha har! Good job, Poog!” and gives him a hard congratulatory slap on the back.
That is when the cabin door crashes open and out steps a female goblin with a too wide, even by goblin standards, snaggletooth grin of mismatched file sharpened teeth that leaves little doubt as to her preference for tough, stringy meat (for instance, goblin meat). All but Poog and Drubbus recognize that she must be Vorka the cannibal. She wears rags and bits of stained cloth – trophies harvested from her hapless victims – over her equally patchwork leather armor. Atop her large, misshapen head is a floppy, pointy leather hat. She screeches, “What’re you doin’ to my doggies?!” A torch-like flame then flares up on her outstretched hand and she uses it to light a Desnan candle that she immediately fires at Reta (being the first goblin in sight). The first pyrotechnic candle fired hits Reta square in the chest and give her a nasty burn.
Then another monstrous thing leaps out of the cabin. It is a frog about the size of a human and probably weighing around 200 lbs. “Get them Lord Longtung!” screams Reta pointing down the walkway. With a few hops the giant frog blocks the walkway and its long tongue flashes out and almost catches Poog who ducks beneath it with a startled yelp.
The dog atop the cabin races over to the flight of steps down to the main deck to Vorka’s side, ready to mangle any intruder who comes within reach. “Good doggy, Tickletooth!” Vorka says, “Look what they did to poor Scabtongue!”
Reta scuttles down the tree to get cover from the branches and looses another arrow, this time at Vorka. She hits her in the left shoulder and though it causes her to curse all the more doesn’t seem to be enough to put her down for good.
While Vorka raves, Poog steps in closer to the frog, calls upon Zarongel, the god of fires, and lets loose with a burst of flames from his hands. Unfortunately, the giant frog is too quick and leaps back away from them.
Mogmurch drinks his potion to boost his throwing accuracy and stays behind the cabin out of the way of the mayhem along the port side.
Drubbus casts his entangle spell to keep Vorka and her tongue-flailing boyfriend away from the goblins. The vines all over half the ship, from the stern forward, all begin wrapping themselves around the dog Tickletooth and Longtung the frog, and also Poog who is halfway down the port walkway. Vorka, however, manages to slip free of them, at least for the moment.
Poog, failing to disentangle himself is cursing mightily and shrieks, “Drubbie yooz dumaz. Now what are we supposed to do!” Poog is good and thoroughly stuck, from where he is he tries a desperate throw of his javelin at the frog.
“Suits you right, Poog!” responds Drubbus.
Chuffy runs around to the starboard walkway, but has to stop as he finds the writhing vines blocking his way.
Vorka fires another candle at Reta but this time only hits a branch over Reta’s head. Vorka dances about cursing and manages to keep away from the encircling vines. “I’ll have your eyeballs pickled in sauce before this night’s over!”
The frog and the remaining dog try to break free of the vines but fail. Lord Longtung, however, tries again to grab Poog with its tongue to drag him closer. The tongue hits but Poog slips through it. Poog hurtles his javelin back at the frog but it gets knocked off the ship by one of the vines.
Reta looses another arrow at Vorka and hits her left thigh.
Poog is desperate now, seeing his last javelin casts fail and he is still entangled with the frog attacking him. He slaps his head and says, “Zilly Poog! Poog forgets he has skyrocketz!” As the frog once more tries, and fails, to get a grip on him with its tongue, he grabs the skyrocket slung by a string from his back and holds it up to his right hand just as he shoots another fire bolt at the frog – which hits it on the tip of its head and certainly hurts it but doesn’t kill it. The fire bolt lights the skyrocket that begins to shake and emit bright white sparks out of its tail. “Herez sum pretty colors for you, you ugly frog prinze!”
Drubbus advances down the port walkway until he’s just outside of the entangling vines and beside Poog. He holds a dart at the ready.
Vorka fires a third candle at Reta but once again it bursts against the covering branches. “I’ll roast you maggots and pick my teeth with your bones!” she howls. Finally the vines catch her and, like her pets, they wrap around her as well.
Again Lord Longtung hits Poog with his tongue but is unable to get a firm enough grip to pull the goblin priest of Zarongel towards it.
On the starboard side, Chuffy pockets his tindertwig and paper candle and draws his own dart, ready to throw it at the first enemy that comes around the corner.
Reta looses another arrow at Vorka, but this time the cover between she and the cannibal works against her and the arrow lodges itself in the gunwale of the wreck.
Poog’s skyrocket finally takes off with a roar, tearing itself out of Poog’s hand and hitting Lord Longtung in the belly whereupon it explodes into a cascade of multi-colored light. The frog is badly burned and lets out a piteous bellow. It blinks its eyes and shakes its head, blinded (at least temporarily) by the lights.
To add insult to injury, Drubbus hurls a dart at it that sticks into its head right between its eyes and dangles there for a few moments before the frog shakes it off.
Mogmurch comes up behind Drubbus, so he can get a good throw at Vorka with one of his bombs.
Vorka screeches, “Cuddles! Cuddles! Get out here, your momma’s in trouble!” From up above a third dog, sounding even larger and more ferocious than the other two, can be heard barking in rage and hurling itself at the door of the upper galley in an attempt to break it open. Vorka casts the Desnan candle overboard (it fires one last candle into the mud), ducks down behind the gunwale, takes out a potion from a pocket in her rags with her left hand (a magical fire is still burning in her right), bites off the cork, and quickly consumes it. She licks her lips and mutters, “That’s a little better.”
The dog Tickeltooth finally bites through the vines holding it and it bounds past Vorka and even Longtung to get at Poog.
The frog, Lord Longtung, keeps shaking its head and trying again and again to break free of the vines holding it in place but is unable to do it.
Reta moves up to the higher branches to get a better shot at the frog, but her arrow goes amiss and just sticks in the cabin by the frog’s head.
Poog screeches, “Drubbie, curse yooz! When I getta outta here eyz gonna trim yooz earz!”
With a mighty effort, Poog finally strains against and breaks the vines, Drubbus helping in the effort by grabbing him around the waist and hauling him out. Finally, Poog is free and with Drubbus they are both able to move towards the bow, leaving Mogmurch a clear path to hurl his bomb at the frog or Reta.
Mogmurch lofts the bomb at Vorka, watching its flight and chuckling softly as it lands on Vorka’s head and explodes, burning her hat into cinders and leaving her face covered in soot. The burst of flaming debris also lands on Scabtongue who lets out a final whimper and passes out.
Mogmurch screams, “Yes yes yes! Boom boom boom!” as the smoke clears, delighted with the effects.
Reta calls out, “Yeah! Good shot! Take that ya old witch!”
Vorka tries again to break free of the vines but with no luck. Nevertheless she raises her right hand and blows the flame in it towards Mogmurch, a new flame spring up in her upraised palm immediately after. Mogmurch yelps as he is badly burned on the arms he flings up to protect himself by the fist-sized ball of flame.
Tickeltooth managed to avoid getting caught again by the vines and hurls itself at Mogmurch snapping at him viciously.
Lord Longtung finally snaps the vines wrapped around its legs. It backs up and hops up onto the upper deck where it finds more vines waiting to embrace it, though it manages to evade them for the moment.
Cuddles, the dog in the galley up above can still be heard howling in rage and attempting to smash through the door barring its way.
Reta sings, “Doggie die, doggie die,” as she lets loose an arrow at Tickeltooth who yelps as it pierces him in the side.
Poog, unsheathing his dogslicer, slips away to the bow. “Go get ‘em Moggie Boy!” Poog clasps a dirty dog-leather pouch he has around his neck and utters strange guttural sounds that build to a crescendo of raw noise. He steps up and touches Drubbus bestowing upon him the divine guidance of Zarongel.
Mogmurch pushes back, away from the dog, his elation turning into scowling horror. He pops the cork on the Dragon Brew Gourd and tosses the strangely bubbly contents down his throat. He then burps up a gout of flame that engulfs Tickeltooth and leaves him smoking and still on the now defoliated and charred patch of deck.
With great fanfare, Drubbus takes a clump of mistletoe out of his pocket and cast resistance on Mogmurch.
Desperate and enraged beyond all reason, Vorka pulls free of the vines and blows another ball of flame at Mogmurch but her aim is thrown off by the vines and the ball hurtles harmlessly into the mossy trees.
Without warning Lord Longtung drops down from the upper deck behind Poog and opens its sharp-toothed maw to engulf him.
Up above the other dog is still trying to get out of the galley.
Reta looses another arrow at Vorka but it overshoots her and is lost to view on the other side of the wreck.
Mogmurch steps in a bit towards Vorka and then breathes forth another gout of flame that hits her from 25’ away. Vorka screams in agony and starts to run, evading the grasping vines around her.
Poog turns at the thud behind him and shrieks! “Itza rainin’ frogzz!” He slashes with his dogslicer at one of the frogs legs leaving a nasty cut. ”Itz frogs legs for dinner boyz and girlz!”
Drubbus slips around the corner from the walkway to the bow and brings down the scythe onto the frog, but it easily hops away from the swing.
Vorka runs to the steps leading to the upper deck. This gives Chuffy a chance to hurl his readied dart at her (there are no risers so he can try to throw it between the steps). In his excitement, however, he trips over a vine (an inert one but still hazardous) and slams into the deck, where he lies stunned. Vorka cackles when she sees this and keeps going right up to the main deck – too quickly for the vines to catch her again.
Lord Longtung finally succeeds in wrapping Poog up with its tongue and begins pulling the goblin into his mouth. Reta looses an arrow at the frog but it goes right over its head (and Poog’s as well).
Drubbus attempts to keep the frog from eating Poog. “Ancient spirits, guide me!” Unfrotunately, with not quite enough room to swing, his blow fails to cut through the Longtung’s rubbery hide.
Mogmurch, being momentarily left to his own devices, takes a moment to quaff one of his extracts. He is soon feeling almost as good as new.
Desperate, Poog calls upon Zarongel and a wave of life-killing energy radiates from him in all directions. It is still not enough to kill the frog however.
Vorka makes it to the upper deck and to the door of the galley. Reta scrambles into the upper branches of the tree to get another clear shot at her. The arrow whistles past her, causing Vorka no small amount of consternation that she is still being fired upon.
Longtung bites down on Poog and the evil goblin priest stops squirming at last. As Poog loses consciousness he mutters his death song:
And Poog lies bleeding on the deck
Killed from the bite of a former man
Zarongel’s cleric, lover of fire and hater of dogs
The lick spitter tribe couldn’t protect Poog
Poog lies bleeding on the deck
As Longtung munches on Poog, Drubbus brings his scythe down once more and this time pierces the brain of the frog, putting an end to it.
Mogmurch takes a quick look around. He sees Vorka fleeing and desperately wants to burn her, but also see’s Poog and realizes they may need his help soon, if he can be saved. So Mogmurch changes direction and pulls Poog out of the frog’s jaws.
Vorka rushes into the galley and slams the door shut behind her.
As Mogmurch lays Poog on the deck, Drubbus takes out his potion of wound curing and pours it down the fallen goblin’s throat. With a cough and a splutter, Poog is revived. Poog looks good enough to Mogmurch’s practiced medical eye, so he leaves him as he is.
“Stop the tanglies! Stop the tanglies or we’ll never get to Vorka!” screams Mogmurch to no one in particular.
Poog opens his eyes and blinks a half dozen times, then he carefully runs his hands over his body while he whimpers. Once he realizes he not dead he is so happy and cries out, “Lord Zarongel is great!” He springs to his feet and says to Mogmurch and Drubbus, “Do yooz twoz needz zome healin’z beforez weez continue?”
“Not now.” Drubbus shakes his head “But prolly later!” He hands a firework to Poog “Give this to Vorka for me!”
“Tankz Drubbie,” replies Poog. Poog is animated in his childish delight with his new paper candle. He giggles with anticipation to light it off, “Com’erz Vorka! I has a present for yooz!” He then makes little thrusting motions and pantomimes turning his back and covering his ears.
“I wanna boomer too! Gimme one!” cries Mogmurch.
“I’m gonna keep the entanglement goin’ ’tilz we getz a looksee at dat dog I hearz.” Drubbus sayz as he hands over his last firework with a grimace. His greed for it overcome by the realization that he has no way of lighting it anyway.
Reta climbs from where she is onto the upper deck, slinging the bow and taking out her dogslicer. She finds a place to hide up there and wait for Vorka (and the dog) to come out.
The entangling vines finally stop their writhing and return to their usual inanimate condition. The goblins walk to the stern to go up the upper deck after Vorka.
While following the others, Drubbus whistles to his goblin dog and calls out, “Mangy! Get over here you disgusting, little beast!” Mangy then scrambles up the gangplank and joins them.
Poog walks over to the rigging and makes the grab for the rope but it is covered with moss and fungus and he slips and falls back to the main deck with a resounding boom!
“Need that other healy drink now, Dufus?” Drubbus laughs.
Poog laying there now seeing quite a few more stars in the sky lets out a weak squeak, “yez pa-weez.”
Chuffy gets up, glad that no one saw him take a fall, and pulls out his paper candle and tindertwig as he follow the others up the steps.
Drubbus motions for everyone to group up to one side of the door to the galley. “Don’t cross in front of that door, boyz! Da Vorka can maybe throw more fire at us!” He whispers.
Poog is tired of getting his as kicked and is fine leading from the back, “Good idea Drubbie, yooz go first!”
Above the galley, Reta sneaks across the roof and bends over the side to take a quick peek through. She sees that the room is a blood-spattered chamber of horror. Dead rodents, snakes, and birds have been variously nailed, tied, and hung around the walls. Between the two portholes, a large cauldron bubbles over an iron stove set against the bow wall, its stovepipe chimney extending up through the ceiling. A bloody burlap sack sits on the floor next to the stove. The center of the room contains a long, rickety table surrounded by chairs that contain several grisly decorations of a whole family of skeletal goblins, their bones bleached white and bound together by reeds and twine. Vorka is standing right by the door, and it looks as though she is about to undo the latch, swing open the door and cast another spell. Two discarded vials lie at her feet (yes, healing potions). At her side is a hulking, rheumy-eyed, lumbering cur of a dog bigger than most goblins. It is growling and tense and ready to spring through the door. (italicized section from ibid, p.
Reta waves, silently, for everybody to move away from the door.
As the door opens, Chuffy quickly lights his paper candle with a tindertwig and throws it into the galley at Vorka who can be seen within casting a spell.
Drubbus runs past the doorway, and takes a swipe at Vorka with his scythe but doesn’t even come close to hitting her.
Mangy leaps for the doorway and snaps at Vorka as well, but comes no closer to hitting her than Drubbus.
Mogmurch gets a light from Chuffy for his smokestick, which he then tosses through the open door into the galley. The galley quickly fills with a thick puke green smoke.
Poog also lights his paper candle from Chuffy’s tindertwig and throws it into the galley but a little further in.
Vorka, alarmed by the first paper candle thrown at her feet and the smoke backs away from the doorway and continues casting her spell. The length of the casting is in fact beginning to worry Drubbus and Poog who realize that it must be some kind of summoning.
Then Cuddles lunges at Mangy, chomps down on his neck, worries him for a bit and then drops him, dying, to the deck.
Reta climbs down into the galley clinging to the ceiling, only to find that she cannot see because of the thick green smoke that fills it. She scuttles over to the far corner and emerges from the worst of it. She can just see the silhouette of Vorka within the smoke. Reta takes a swipe at Vorka’s head with her dogslicer but only cuts through smoke.
Chuffy, eager to kill Cuddles, attacks the dog with his dogslicer and succeeds in cutting it. At the same time the paper candle he threw explodes, momentarily blinding the dog.
Drubbus tries to hit Cuddles with his scythe but is unable to get a good angle of attack with the doorframe in the way.
Mogmurch, behind Chuffy and the others tries to get a clear shot at the dog in the doorway but in unable. He shouts, “Move move move!” to the others (as inarticulate as any goblin), hoping for a good shot at the dog Cuddles.
Poog unleashes a fire bolt at Cuddles, but it goes over the dog’s head and disappears into the smoky room. His paper candle goes off and Vorka is also blinded but is able to maintain her concentration and continues her spell.
Inside, Reta tries again to hit Vorka and this time draws blood and disrupts her spell casting.
Vorka screeches in frustration, leaps to the ceiling and scuttles away deeper into the smoke away from Reta. Under cover of the smoke she casts another, and shorter spell.
Cuddles bites Chuffy but the latter is protected by his leather armor, this time.
Chuffy takes another fruitless swing at Cuddles, before backing away until he is by Drubbus.
Drubbus finally hits the dog with his scythe, opening up a large gash in its side.
Mogmurch breathes his last gout of flame at Cuddles and finishes off the vicious monstrosity of a guard dog. Mogmurch eyes widen with glee! “Mogmurch toasts the puppy! Oh, isn’t fire wonderful?
Poog sees Cuddles go up in flames and with an evil gleeful grin says, “Nice work Moggyie-Boy! Now itza Poog’s turn! Poog dives through the open doorway over the flaming mutt, tucking into a ball he lands in a somersault, rolling up onto his knees sliding into the corner of the room looking up at the ceiling for Vorka, all the while humming a well known globlin battle song, “Dah dah Dah deh Dah dah… deh nah dah… deh nah dah, DAH DAH!” He spots her hanging from the ceiling amidst the smoke towards the back of the galley and unleashes a fireball at her that sets her hair on fire.
Then Reta comes running across the ceiling screaming “Reta kill! Reta kill!” Reta plunges her dogslicer into Vorka who falls, toasted and stabbed, into the stew pot with a loud splash.
The battle over at last, Drubbus bends down and casts stabilize on Mangy.
Reta fishes out then searches Vorka’s body, all the while cackling evilly. She also finds a goblin’s left arm and heart floating around in the stew.
Poog also cast detect magic to see if it can guide him to anything of value but there are no indications of anything magic on either Vorka’s body or in the room.
Mogmurch looks for any shiny things but finds nothing. Seeing through the smoke is difficult, so he opens the portholes wider to let the smoke dissipate. He throws the still smoking smokestick outside.
Reta turns to the bloody burlap bag and dumps its contents onto the deck. As she supposed, the rest of the goblin in the stewpot is now rolling around on the deck, including a uniquely branded face. All turn and consider how Scribbleface’s hideous fate should serve as yet further proof to all that writing words can, in the end, only bring bad luck – or worse!
“Me’s gonna look elsewhere” screeches Reta and she looks for the hold. Poog follows her. Mogmurch follows, eager to find the stash of fireworks (and other goodies). Chuffy follows along with the others, his dogslicer still drawn and ready.
Drubbus cries out in a pathetic wail, eyes wet with tears, “Can’t anyone help me with my poor little Mangy?”
Poog utters some guttural sounds while he clasps a small leather pouch made from the scrotum of a large bull mastiff and filled with his sacred goblin talisman of Zarongel then lays his hands on the poor goblin dog and says, “Healz yooz, arizez and be ready for battlez!”
The air in the main cabin is thick and close, stinking of swamp and sweat, with a thick glistening layer of mud on the floor and swaths of oily fungus clinging to the walls. Even more dangling decorations of goblin bone and animal-part fetishes hang from the ceiling on lengths of sinew here, and what appears to be a nest made of rags, sticks, mud, and cast-off bits of clothing lies against the westernmost wall But scattered amid the filth and clutter are several exotic-looking man-made objects – including a tantalizing red chest. (italicized section from ibid, p. 9)
Mogmurch says “Ooh! Shinies!” and starts checking out the items in the room.
The majority of the man-made objects are filthy and broken, but 10 minutes of sorting and scavenging turns up some interesting finds. All of these items (broken and functional alike) are strangely decorative, depicting colorful serpentine dragons, towering cliffs, delicate humanoid figures, and strangely ornate towers with large eaves. They all seem to be made of bamboo, exotic wood, and in some cases paper, so they are all going to be a lot of fun to burn! Among the more obviously valuable pieces are 140 gold pieces that don’t look like they were minted in Korvosa, a bejeweled silver and jade lantern built to look like a coiled dragon, a dozen sharp flat metal stars, a long hairpin with a red pearl at one end, and an ivory and gold fan depicting a gecko walking amid cherry blossoms on one side and on the reverse side is a crude map of Brinestump probably drawn by Vorka. Two other items register as magic when Poog uses his spell: a wand and a crystal vial shaped like a heart with some liquid in it. (italicized section from ibid, p. 11)
Reta smiles with delighted greed and pounces on the chest. As Poog is saying, “Lemme scanz it first for magic trapz,” Reta opens it quickly to see what is inside! What she finds is exactly what they were all hoping to find: 14 Desnan candles, 20 paper candles, and seven skyrockets.
Reta gives out a loud screech and points into the chest, “Fires works!”