After recently ousting a member of their tribe for performing the hideous ritual of writing things down (as a history of the Licktoad Tribe, no less!), a secret stash of fireworks and a map leading to more were located in the writer-downer’s hut (forever known today as Scribbleface).
His Mighty Girthness, Chief Rendwattle Gutwad called forth the tribes four greatest heroes and presented them with a mission: follow Scribbleface’s map to a shipwreck near the coast of the Brinestump Swamp and come back with the rest of the fireworks!
The four heroes: Reta Bigbad, a loud-mouthed and obnoxious creature with an over-sized head; Chuffy Lickwound, a goblin preferring to lurk in the shadows, although taking great pride in the amount of pus he can squeeze from the many pustular pimples and boils that cover his entire body; Poog of Zarongel, a priest just trying to live up to his god’s values but generally failing miserably; and Mogmurch, an overly-excited 10-year old who loves nothing more than blowing things up; were all graciously allowed to sit in the dirt in front of Chief Gutwad’s Teeter Chair, and were outright shocked when he spoke directly to them rather than through his chief advisor, Slorb.
The mission was very simple: follow the map to the old shipwreck and return to the goblin village. Obvious perils along the way, such as Lotslegs Eat Goblin Babies Many and Vorka, the terrifying cannibalistic goblin among many others. That night, the Licktoad tribe would celebrate with a huge bonfire to help burn away any remaining bad luck caused by Scribbleface’s debauchery, and also give the heroes a proper going away party, filled with lots of drinking and dares aimed at seeing if these, in fact, WERE the goblin heroes most likely to succeed in getting back these fireworks.
The festivities began when several goblins brought Chief Gutwad (still perched atop the Teeter Chair) out of the Moot House and placed him, chair and all, near the pile of wood that was to be the bonfire. In dramatic fashion, Chief Gutwad lit one of the fireworks taken from Scribbleface’s hut (a particularly nasty one called a Desnan candle) and fired it at the large pile of wood, officially starting the festivities.
Early in the party, the Chief orders several goblins to roll out barrels of fermenting cider apples, which the heroes eagerly partake in (although Poog proves himself a little bit of a lightweight and doesn’t feel very good after eating a couple). This does not stop him from taking part in (along with the rest of the heroes) in the first of the evening’s grand dares: Dancing with Squealy Nord.
Dare 1: Dance with Squealy Nord
Everyone knows that Squealy Nord is a terror to behold. In fact, Squealy Nord is confined to a 10-foot deep pit near the center of the village (along with the baby cages) and is renown throughout the village as loving the taste of goblin flesh. The first dare is quite simple: whoever can last a mere 18 seconds riding on the back of Squealy Nord will be awarded with a special prize from the Chief’s own stash of goodies.
Reta was the first to attempt this dare, and would have succeeded except for a sharp turn made by Squealy Nord and the immense size of Reta’s head that caused her to careen off the evil boar and land in the muck below, much to the tribes delight.
Second up was Chuffy Lickwound, who was quickly tossed onto Squealy Nord who was almost immediately released from the narrow gated area where he begins the dare and was summarily shot off, landing in a thick layer of fecal matter directly behind the bucking pig.
Third, Mogmurch and his crazy skull helmet, spectacles, and eye patch gave it a go. Just as he was being lowered onto the pig’s back, however, one of the goblins got over-excited and released Squealy Nord, and Mogmurch landed face-down in the muck created by the pig mucking around in its own droppings.
Lastly, Poog (still feeling horribly under the weather from eating so many of the fermented cider apples) was drug over to where he was quickly dropped upon the back of Squealy Nord. The pig was set loose and by the divine grace of Zarongel himself (although the sticky vomit that was covering the front of Poog’s shirt helped a bit), Poog managed to stay on for the full 18 seconds and was rewarded by Chief Gutwad with a Dragon Brew Gourd, his favorite item of loot.
Dare 2: Eat a Bag of Slugs Real Quick
Not wanting to be outdone by Poog, Chuffy stepped right up when the second challenge was announced. In order to succeed, Chuffy would need to eat FIVE bull slugs in a minute or less. Bull slugs are the size of sausages, exude quite a bit of slime, wriggle about, taste of rotten fish, and let out a little squeal every time you bite into one. Chuffy elected not to spit out the slugs’ mildly poisonous slime bladder and try to cram in as many slugs as he could possibly do in a minute. Chuffy’s intestinal fortitude allowed him to finish the slugs with only a minor case of indigestion and an odd side-effect of having a raging erection the rest of the evening. Impressed with the hero’s culinary might, Chief Gutwad loaned Chuffy his favorite item, the Gorge of Gluttons.
Dare 3: Hide or Get Clubbed
A little sore after her failed attempt to break the evil creature called Squealy Nord, Reta stepped up to play a nice game of Hide or Get Clubbed. Giving the other goblins a count to 10 (although most of them stopped at around 2, the extent of most goblin counting), Reta cunningly hid among the mangrove trees near the edge of the Licktoad camp. Luckily, only one goblin managed to come snooping around her way, and after a quick verbal exchange between them (“Are you hiding over here?” and “No!”), Reta was declared the winner and received Chief Gutwad’s favorite item: the mystical Ring That Lets You Climb Real Good.
Dare 4: The Rusty Earbiter
The final dare of the evening fell to poor Mogmurch, still covered in pig excrement and trying in vain to clean off his spectacles. After the typical number of slashed fingers and stabbed legs inflicted upon the half-dozen goblins that rolled the Rusty Earbiter out from behind the Moot House, the rest of the tribe waited in anticipation of what could be a very bloody and drawn-out death while being stuck inside this infernal contraption. Amid chants of encouragement for the Rusty Earbiter, broken up occasionally by the sound of Poog vomiting all over himself and others, disaster almost struck Mogmurch as he got stuck about halfway through the Rusty Earbiter. Taking care to extract himself mostly intact, Mogmurch took his time (so much time that by the time he exited, no one was left to watch him as everyone was too busy throwing more wood on the fire and eating fermented cider apples) and finally escaped the infernal contraption made by the half-insane tinker that was last seen being carried off by a large eagle after his first attempt at using a new bird-attracting hat.
Once everyone realized that Mogmurch was actually out of the Rusty Earbiter mostly intact, the Chief rewarded him with a loan of his most prized possession: the Chief’s Personal Very Useful Robe That Is Useful! Upon inspection, only a handful of patches remained on the robes, consisting of a ladder, a three-legged turtle, a horseshoe, and a bullhorn.
Setting out the next morning
Although Poog had seen better days, and the minor cuts about Mogmurch’s head and shoulders were of minor concern (since Poog had healed him the night before, Mogmurch was disappointed that there wouldn’t be any good scarring), the four heroes set out to the north in search of this shipwreck and the fireworks within.
Only a few hours of following the creek toward the coast, the trees began to become quite thick, prompting Reta to cock her head to the side and stare at something. Poog, not paying attention, bumped into her from behind. “Go around” was her curt reply and Poog stepped directly into a huge spider web that was strung up from tree to tree.
Lotslegs Eat Goblin Babies Many
The webs were from none other than the terror of this part of the swamp: the giant spider known as Lotslegs Eat Goblin Babies Many. Unfortunately for the heroes, Mogmurch and Reta were the only one to spot the spider slinking amongst the tree tops and was able to ready a quick bomb to hopefully fend off the terrifying beast. Lotslegs attempted to root Reta in place with a well-placed gob of webbing, although miscalculated her actual size due to her rather abnormally large head. Reta charged the tree in an attempt to scare the tree enough to tip it over while Mogmurch launched his hastily created bomb at the treetop. The treetop exploded in flames, as did Lotslegs who didn’t waste any time fleeing back to its lair in order to lick its wounds (no pun intended, Chuffy).
The group still had to deal with the entangled mess that Poog had wandered into, and after several tense minutes, both Chuffy and Mogmurch were able to assist Poog in extricating himself by pulling really hard on his ears as Reta chopped vainly at the sticky webbing, almost losing her weapon in the process.
The danger averted, the heroes pressed on, giving the webbed stand of trees a wide berth and keeping an eye out for a somewhat crispy giant spider.
The Old Shipwreck
Upon breaking through a dense stand of vines and trees, the heroes finally catch a glimpse of smoke on the horizon. Minutes later, they find the source: a chimney extending from an odd-shaped structure at the very top of an old shipwreck, somehow moored inside a fenced in area with barely any water to speak of.
Entering the gate, the heroes find the ground a churned up muddy mess, and as they begin mucking their way to the front gangplank, they hear the distinctive snort of a horse and see it charging around from the tail end of the ship straight at them! Soon, barking dogs join a chorus of terror as the heroes find themselves in a fight for their lives.
Mogmurch quickly (as quick as the knee-deep mud allows) makes it to the bottom of the gangplank while the horse moves in. Poog uses his gift from Zarongel to speak with the animal who simply replies with an eerily goblin-esque saying: ‘YOU BE FEWD!’ Chuffy moves to intercept the horse, neglecting to draw the mighty Gorge of Gluttons he received from eating all those delicious slugs the night before. Reta also moves toward the horse in hopes of having someone throw her atop it so she could ride it.
Mogmurch finally makes it up on the deck, not noticing a vine that wiggled itself loose as he ascended the gangplank. The horse finally enters melee from across the open area as Poog unleashes a fire bolt at the creature, scoring a hit (another boon from Zarongel). Chuffy moves into position and draws the Gorge of Gluttons while Reta engages the horse and deals a solid hit with her dogslicer.
Mogmurch digs through his pack and finds a vial of alchemist’s fire and throws it at the horse below, scoring a direct hit. The horse (a gaunt thing that is obviously neglected) misses its attacks toward Reta. Poog wisely throws a javelin into melee combat, missing everyone by a mile. Chuffy attempts to sneak behind the horse, and is lucky to evade the horse’s flailing hooves. Reta winds up and drops the horse, but that’s just when everyone hears a dog barking coming from above on the ship.
Mogmurch’s ‘on a boat’ dance is interrupted when a large muddy ball swings down from a vine attached somewhere from above. Upon further inspection he deduces that it is, in fact, a wasp’s nest. Both Poog and Chuffy make their way through the deep mud to the bottom of the gangplank while Reta climbs atop the horse. Near the back of the boat, several of the heroes hear more growls and some rattling of chains.
Mogmurch does what any goblin would do and tosses the wasp nest off the side of the boat…right into the waiting hands of Poog. Poog quickly tosses the wasp nest to Reta, but misses badly. As the nest breaks open, Reta is covered in wasps, stinging her several times and causing her head to swell up into preposterous proportions. Chuffy ascends the gangplank out of harm’s way and quickly Reta escapes the confines of the wasp swarm to join her two comrades above decks. The heroes hear more growling and barking and a distinctive snap of a chain breaking somewhere above.
Unbeknownst to the heroes (but knownst to us), all the racket above decks has awoken something terrible in the main cabin of the ship: the cannibal goblin, Vorka.
Mogmurch pulls out an acid flask from his pack and takes off down one side of the main deck. Poog takes the opposite side that Mogmurch took, as does Chuffy. Reta’s head swells even larger due to the wasp venom flowing through her veins and takes off after the other two goblins, pushing past them but in her haste, got her head stuck between the rungs of a ladder that leads up to the next deck. A chained dog on the same level as the heroes attacks the now mostly-helpless Reta, who continues to spurt out curses like they’re going out of style. Another dog bounds down the stairs from the deck above and also attempts to bite at Reta, but her position mostly behind the steps (aside from her swelling head) provides her with some cover. The door to the main cabin opens and out steps a sinister-looking goblin, sharpened teeth and claws, wearing an odd-shaped wide-brimmed hat with slots cut into it, allowing her large ears to protrude at odd angles. In one hand she holds a potion. Vorka demands to know what is going on here and drinks the potion.
Mogmurch sticks to the shadows and peeks around the corner to see Vorka wearing a blood-stained apron and holding an empty potion bottle. Chuffy backtracks after seeing that his current path is blocked by Reta and her fat head as well as Poog. Poog attempts to help Reta extract herself from the staircase but Reta only sees red and attacks the chained up dog, actually dropping it to the deck in a bloody heap. The other dog is still having a hard time getting a clean shot at Reta and misses another bite. Vorka begins casting a spell as a naked flame springs into life from her open palm. She reaches to her belt and retrieves a Desnan candle and cackles maniacally.
Springing around the corner, Mogmurch flings his vial of acid at Vorka, but bounces off the mast, splashing harmlessly off to the right. Poog still tries to help Reta extricate herself, but to no avail. Chuffy score a wicked hit on Vorka, scarring her deeply across the face. This does nothing to add to her already frightful appearance. Reta, still stuck in the stairs almost loses her weapon in a vain attempt to attack the unchained dog. In return, the dog sees its opening, biting Reta and moving away to easier prey out in the open on the main deck. Vorka attempts to grab Chuffy by the face with her flaming hand, but he deftly dodges away. She backtracks out of range and prepares her next move.