Ourgikon (Arachnids): A Race for Savage Worlds

I created the Ourgikon race for a Pathfinder game back in 2012. I’ve adapted the idea for a Savage Worlds game. Hope you find it useful!

Here is the PDF.

Ourgikon aka. Arachnids

Although humans call them Arachnids (or just “Spiders”), this race calls themselves the Ourgikon (“Weavers” or “Makers”), or more formally the Battourgikon (“Deep Weavers” or “Deep Makers”). The singular form is Ourgikos.

Physical Description:

The Ourgikon are a medium-sized race similar enough to humans in form to pass for one in the dark. They have four limbs and walk upright although their form seems somewhat hunched. Observed closely, there is little confusion over their identity. Their heads are the most spider-like, with two primary eyes and four secondary eyes, mandibles, and coarse hairs that cover their body (usually brown or black, turning gray and white with age). Most do not have an exoskeleton, but their bones have begun to hollow and move closer to the surface.

The Ourgikon were once more human in appearance than they are now but over the ages they have grown away from humanity, and humanity has reciprocated. Ourgikon are typically viewed as monsters and are rarely seen on the surface. They can occasionally be found in the service of Lawful Evil Lords as assassins. Ourgikon assassins are masters of poison, skilled climbers, and silent killers.

Ecology & Society:

Ourgikon life is centered around the female. Once her egg sack is full, she usually distances herself from the male, sometimes killing him to make sure he does not return and disturb the nest. The children are born fully formed and mobile, but often cling to the mother for months before leaving. Many die before reaching maturity.

Relations:

Ourgikon have a close affinity to humans, at least those who are not repulsed by their appearance and affinity to blood sacrifice to Ayiyi. There are a variety of races that likewise descend from the worship of Ayiyi, including Arachs, Drow, Driders, Bugbears, Mites, Aranea, & Ettercaps.

Arachs compete with the Ourgikon in the Deep Underground, but they will often act as allies against common enemies.

Drow and Driders may be allies or enemies, depending on the DM. Both Drow and Ourgikon worship a spider god, and the Driders and Arachs demonstrate that Lolth and Ayiyi were probably once the same goddess. The DM may rule that the Drow and Ourgikon are allies because of their common worship, or that they are bitter enemies because each considers the other race to be heretics.

Bugbears are a servant race of the Ourgikon and will usually follow their commands without question.

Mites are friendly to the Ourgikon, but are viewed with disdain.

Aranea and Ettercaps are not friendly with the Ourgikon.

As for other races, Orcs are disliked, but sometimes also allies. Halflings are viewed with humor and disdain, and are a preferred offering to Ayiyi as they are so fat and delicious. Dwarves and Gnomes are enemies. Elves are the most hated enemy of the Ourgikon.

Alignment and Religion:

The Ourgikon worship the female aspect of the Spider God Ayiyi. As a female, Ayiyi is the Weaver of the World, a god of Law and of creation. In his male form, Ayiyi is a Trickster god, and a god of mischief and Chaos. The Arachs are a degenerate remnant of the worshippers of the male form as are the Bugbears, who still drink spider venom in search of mystic visions. According to the Ourgikon, Ayiyi’s female aspect was the most important. There is some evidence of that in that the Bugbears will still usually take commands from the Ourgikon.

Other Characteristics:

Medium: They have no bonuses or penalties due to size.

Normal Speed: They have the same base land speed as humans.

Languages: Common & Spider. Ourgikon with high intelligence scores can choose any normally available languages they want.

Random Starting Age: as human
Random Height and Weight: as human

Racial Abilities

Web Weaver (+2 Racial Ability): Ourgikon can create webs that can be used as ropes, baskets, and as traps. It can also be used to Entangle (p. 113). See description of Giant spider webbing p. 140

Spider Climb (+1 Racial Ability) — as Wall Walker p.

Darkvision (+1 Racial ability) — as Low Light vision p.

Freakishly long arms (+1 Racial Ability) — +1 Reach (p. 4 of Fantasy Companion)

Eight Eyes are better than Two (+1 Racial ability) — As with Keen Sense, +2 to notice

A Face from the Depths of Hell (-3 Racial Ability) — CHA can never advanced beyond a d6, even in play.

Elf Foe (-1 Racial Ability): Elves are racial enemies of Ourgikon, and Ourgikon have an additional -4 CHA reaction with elves.

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Game Store Review: Flights of Fantasy in Albany, NY

This one was a treat to discover. They have a big collection of used games and used books, plus new books and games as well. They didn’t have any MERP, RQ, Stormbringer, or other BRP expansions, but they had one Harn module and bunch of Rifts stuff. They had back issues of White Dwarf, Dragon, White Wolf, etc., but I already had those. I picked up a couple fantasy novels I haven’t seen in a long time, and some Pathfinder map packs. I highly recommend this place — it has been a long time since I found a game store (or book store) this nice. They have tables for playing, and a very loving Maine Coon Cat rescue.

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Game Store Review: Play the Game, Read the Story, in Syracuse, NY

It’s been five years since I visited this store, but I had fond memories of it so we stopped in on our way back from Rochester. It is still as good as ever. This time I picked up some of the Pathfinder flip-mats and the “Fairy Tales” expansion for “Once Upon a Time.” Good to know it is still there!

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MERP: Zombies on the Sea of Rhun

The rest of the night was relatively unpleasant. Feldeneith demonstrated that the silver that Capt. Barlen had paid them was silver coated lead.

They held off on dealing with the Captain while Drogo led the interrogation of the prisoners. They began with pregnant woman. She was at first reticient, but since Drogo believed her to be an evil shapechanger and the other wished to kill her outright, she began to speak. It was not quick enough for Drogo, however, so he cut off her pinkie toe, something he hated to do but largely unavoidable. She claimed the mage was behind it all, and that he had cast an illusion over various parts of the ship to hide his involvement. She claimed that she had fought the children of the long night and being wounded, was forced to move her spirit to the preserved body of a pregnant woman that Lorfalmas had brought aboard in one of her trunks. She claimed that Lorfalmas was evil, and was aboard to buy the location of a palantir from Redmane, just as she was. Lorfalmas had more money and was evil, so Lomeilinde had killed her.

They then interrogated Redmane, and he admitted bringing the Children of the Night (to which he belonged) onto the ship to kill Lorfalmas but that it had all gone wrong when Lomeilinde fought them and killed his men. He said that only he knew where the palantir was, and that if the party let him live and gave him half of Lorfalmas’s money, he would show them. The party then knocked him unconscious.

They gave Barlen a choice, either go for a very long swim with a great number of weights, or sign a compact that split ownership of the ship between the six survivors. Barlen kept a share, and signed.

Feldeneith and Delcaranan went downstairs to check Lomeilinde’s stories, and indeed found a much different scene than before. Feldeneith took the time to rob the various dead bodies, gave a small portion to Delcaranan, and told him to keep it a secret.

Meanwhile, on the main deck, Drogo told Grafalig to knock Lomeilinde unconscious as well, to make sure any illusions she might have cast would also fail. No change took place, corroborating her story, but the dead below came back to life and attacked Feldeneith and Delcaranan. Grafalig went below to help them, as did Elias. Drogo stayed up top to guard the prisoners and Barlen. He would be little good below anyways, so he simply prepared a Teleport spell in case Barlen or a zombie attacked. He would try to teleport them out to sea.

Below decks, Feldeneith and Grafalig made short work of the zombies. Elias had a harder time, but Delcaranan aided by hurling lightning bolts. Eventually they finished them off, decapitated them, and tossed the bodies into the sea.

When they came up, Delcaranan told the others of Feldeneith’s thievery, and the rogue was forced to split the take evenly.

They then resumed interrogation of the prisoners. The enemy captain and the captured Child of the Night quickly demonstrated their guilt, as did Grimwasa the cook. Redmane shared more information, and then all were stripped and gagged. Lomeilinde was questioned again and told her full story, and the party elected to throw the four men into the sea (which they did), and then kept Lomeilinde alive, largely because the body she was in was pregnant, and they did not want to kill an innocent baby, if it was actually innocent. She was 7 months pregnant, so it would not be long until the child was born. Until then, the supply hold was transformed into a prison. She was chained to the wall and locked in. The party then swabbed the bloody decks.

They found the money that Lorfalmas brought aboard, and there was a great deal of it. Each party member (and the Captain and Elias) received 1,151 sp & 63 cp. They then went ashore and Drogo sought out the men whom Captain Barlen had swindled in the past, giving all of them (and probably some who had never sailed with the Captain) 20 s. each, the pay for a complete circuit of the Sea of Rhun. Drogo spent 580 sp. in this way, and was pleased when Grafalig gave him 650 sp. of her money and Delcarnanan gave him 180 sp. of his. That brought Drogo back to 1,315 sp., 63 cp; more than he had started with. He plans in the next game to pay for plate mail for Drafalig, which should cost 1309 sp. After all, it was Drogo who stole money from Drafalig before the campaign began, and he felt he needed to repay her. Meantime, Feldeneith went to talk to members of the Syndicate. The party hoped to recruit sailors from the Syndicate and from the sailors who had been reimbursed by Drogo, and continue their journey. Capt. Barlen, it seemed, had fallen again into his old bad habits and was gambling away his share of the take.

Drogo still believes it likely that Lomeilinde’s story was false; that she was an evil shapechanger who simply bought two more months of life by faking pregnancy. But perhaps she was telling the truth. Perhaps she might be of use later, if they paid her enough. Time will tell.

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MERP: A Cruise on the Sea of Rhun

We started a new MERP campaign tonight, with Matt DMing for the first time. He did a great job; an awesome job for a first-timer.

Our party included four members. First was Grafarlig the Dwarvish warrior, a doughty warrior in chainmail but altogether too naïve to be left on her own. Second is Delcaranan, a Sindarin fire mage who seems aimed down the wrong path. He is far too interested in throwing lightning bolts and fireballs, even against defenseless foes, and it seems likely that corruption will stalk him. Opposed to him is Drogo Longfoot, a Hobbit mage who excels at movement spells but tries to make the world a better place wherever he goes. Finally there is Feldeneith the Dorwinian rogue, skilled both in combat and cunning. He is an old sailing comrade of Drogo’s, though Drogo views him with some suspicion because of his involvement with smugglers and the Cult of the Long Night.

They met in the Dead Bear Inn in Shrel-Kain, capital of Dorwinion. As they sipped their Blackbeary Wine, Captain Leif Barlen entered to offer them positions on his boat. He was leaving late in the season and needed hands. He paid Drogo and Feldeneith three quarters up front, and even paid the other two half up front. He was that desperate.

On the first night aboard the Ocean Noise, the adventurers attended a lively dinner at which Capt. Barlen told of the sunken treasure of Tulric Hamrammr, a popular legend. All were having a gay old time, when a wealthy female elven passenger named Lorfalmas abruptly died. Drogo came to check on her, and while doing so, slipped the expensive bracelet she was wearing into his pouch. He was observed by a slender figure who left the room, and was later tentatively identified as Lomeilinde, another female passenger. Drogo noticed the white substance coming from her ears and identified it as a sign of Catharnon powder, a deadly poison. Grimwasa the cook had prepared a special chicken dish for her, one that no-one else had touched. It was clear that was the vector for the poison, but Grimwasa claimed ignorance.  Everyone was questioned, and Lomeilinde was searched, but no powder was found.

It was at this point that pirates associated with the Cult of the Long Night attacked the ship. Drogo and Grimwasa were downstairs, along with the men of the Second Watch, who were guarding the various private cabins. Grimwasa proved to be a pirate himself, but Drogo escaped and ran into Lothmeilinde’s room, where a locked door kept him safe while he chatted pointlessly but pleasantly with the woman he now believed to be some sort of spy or thief. He did not drink the wine offered, but instead departed and headed for the Fo’c’sle.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party was engaged in a desperate battle. Grafarlig was dealing out destruction on the poorly armed and armored pirates, as was Capt. Barlen. Feldeneith was also holding his own. Redmane, the ship’s wizard, ran downstairs to hide but Delcaranan tried various fire and light spells with little success. When Drogo came on deck, he found himself behind one of the pirates. He had hoped to jump to the pirate ship and wreak havoc, but could not spot it, so he clobbered one of the pirates over the head. He was about to flee the angry pirate when they gave up the ghost and fled. Only three remained. One went over the port side into a longboat and escaped. The enemy captain was downed by Feldeneith and then Delcaranan fired a lightning bolt at him that thankfully failed. The last went over the starboard side and smashed his already aching head on the side of the boat and slipped under the water. Drogo jumped into the longboat and gaffed the pirate up again and into the boat with the hook on his staff that he usually used to hang his lantern.

After the battle, they found Grimwasa weeping and scared, and Redmane, also with lost nerve. The entire second watch was found murdered and neatly stacked, and Lomeilinde was gone. While the rest of the party guarded the captives, Barlen, Grafarlig, and Drogo went searching for Lomeilinde. Drogo cast Wolf Senses and smelled someone in the supplies in the hold. Grafarlig entered and found a pregnant woman who claimed innocence. Inconceivable! The party returned to the deck. Drogo asserted that none of the captives (including Redmane, now tied up) smelled like Lomeilinde, but he did detect a scent coming from the room with the dead bodies. The party feared that one or more of the captives were shapeshifters, and Delcaranan argued that they should be killed outright. Drogo resisted this without further proof. The party decided to go back to the dead bodies, but feared what they might find there. And there we ended for the night.

MERP module - Perils on the sea of Rhun

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Navah: An Unwanted Pregnancy

The party decided to exit the Red Elf’s lair, but when they came to the room of the ancient pouka statues, Alexios spotted a bubbling black ooze (a Jaldak) come straight for him. He slammed the door on it, trapping Josette’s fire elemental on the other side. Its last commands had been to return to Josette, so it began to burn through the door. On the other side, the party was plunged into darkness; the fire elemental had been their only light source. Alexios flung open the door, trapping the fire elemental between door and wall. The Jaldak extruded three black tentacles that whipped Alexios’s left lower leg. It did only minor damage to his leg, and then to his chest as the party retreated. Josette called for the fire elemental to burn the ooze, and it tried to do so but failed. The party ran headlong down the way they had come. No-one smashed into the corner as they took the turn into the hallway, but Brendan, Ian, and Alexios all smashed into the wall at the t-intersection and piled up one on another. No one was badly hurt. Josette called for the fire elemental to return, and they once again had light. They continued fleeing down the hallway, as the Jaldak was moving slowly. Now that she could see it, Josette banished the demon.

Alexios cast Body Control to heal his minor wounds, but fumbled and fell unconscious for 56 hours. Nothing could wake him, not Josette’s Sorcery, Brendan’s shouting, or Ian’s rough shaking, though Ian was pretty sure he heard something pop in the vicinity of Alexios’s neck the last time he tried.

The party now decided to explore the areas they had not seen already. They came to the door of a prison cell, in which was a gorgeous green-skinned woman. “Help me,” she cried, explaining that she was Lithoniel, a Green Elf ranger captured by Menaithelen (the Red Elf) during a scouting mission. The party debated, with Ian, Brendan, and Alexios agreeing it was a trap before releasing her. She proved very thankful, and lavished her attentions on Ian. Ian resisted her advances; he was already going out with his Seeress. As they continued to adventure, she made her charms apparent, jiggling as she ran and bending over in provocative ways when asked to help search for traps. Ian continued to resist, but Brendan started to weaken. Alexios was still unconscious, and was carried by the earth elemental and Brendan.

The other rooms were largely empty. They found a summoning chamber and Josette destroyed the pentacle with Shaping. They found a ruined bedroom, and they found another cell, this time with Bubbles the Monaciello. Menaithelen had not appreciated Bubbles leading the party to him, and showed this by cutting parts of Bubbles off. The fingers of his left hand, the toes of his right foot, his left eye, and several teeth were missing. Ultimately the party took pity on Bubbles and freed him. In return, Bubbles promised to guide them to others involved in the Dreamwax trade.

They exited the secret hatch in the Downmarket like clowns getting out of a car. Four humans in animal masks, a cat pouka,a Selkie breastfeeding a human baby, a crippled Monaciello, a gorgeous and nearly naked Green Elf, a fire elemental, and an earth elemental. It was quite the procession, and yet the guards did not notice them. For once the dice were in the party’s favor. Brendan took the opportunity to buy a set of mithril lockpicks, returning Alexios’s to his still-conscious body. Ian bought clothes for both the Monaciello and Lithoniel.

They then headed for the Downlow, where they were spotted by the guards. Brendan tried a humorous but ill-advised misdirection (“look! what’s that over there?!”) which fooled no-one, and the rest of the party disappeared down nearby alleys while the centaur tried to kill Brendan. Brendan escaped and the party returned to Auntie Pig’s place, except for Bubbles and Garryan, who had both taken the opportunity to skedaddle.

Eight hours later, it became apparent that Lithoniel was most appreciative of aid and that Ian had not been able to resist any longer. Auntie didn’t notice, and the party went to the Lost to prepare for the return to Anthavar. Ian and Brendan then went to the Outsiders to retrieve Garryan, while the others stayed with the Lost. When they returned, Ian noted that Lithoniel had been very appreciative, and so were about six of the Lost. He was not surprised.

The party returned home safely, Alexios still unconscious. A Healer’s Restoration revived him. Before returning Bailey, Ian found his old Sergeant and got him to apologize. Then Ian found the parents of two of the Lost. One was wealthy and paid a large reward. Another of the Lost proved to be Gerald, a stolen baby from thousands of years ago, and the subject of an ancient folktale about such thefts. Apparently, time passes strangely in Faerie.

They learned that Rametta Walshe was dead. She had been assassinated in a very secure prison. The legendary assassin had done his job, and the Walshe gang was now down to four people. The party learned later that Edolina Waller was dead as well, but Waller gang simply found new leadership and moved on.

Finally, Ian began gaining weight inexplicably, and discovered that he was six months pregnant. He was not pleased. Going to the Imperial College of Wizardry, they consulted with the wizards (50 s. consultancy fee) and learned that likely Lithoniel had been a Succubus, and that Ian would give birth to a demon child. Ian refused, and had Waverick the Vivisectionist cut him open like a fish and take them out. Waverick administered a sedative (moonshine) and did as he was told (at a cost of 700 s.!), but he only managed to kill one of the five bat-winged demon children in Ian; the rest escaped. He sewed the warrior up and Restored him, leaving an enormous scar up Ian’s stomach. To make matters worse, Ian’s Seeress did not believe that he had done all of this against his will, and broke up with him. None of the Lost suffered a pregnancy; Ian had fumbled an important roll but the rest had made theirs.

On the positive side, the rest of the Lost are now linked to the party. Alexios took six and began his own gang. He didn’t have a high enough Reputation yet to gather the surviving members of the Walshe gang. Ian took ten and began to mold them into a fighting unit. Brendan went hunting with six, and Josette began to teach two of them the basic elements of magic.

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MERP: Escaping the Mines, Rashomon Style

The MERP campaign is on hold for the summer, due to work concerns. Since this left us hanging, we decided to each write a tale of how the Escape from the Mines adventure ended. These are those stories.

Story, the First

The Heroes struggle valiantly against overwhelming odds as they cover the escapee’s flight. Hamrammr, in bear form, begins flinging orcs into the water as Araluth beheads others and disembowels the rest.

On the other side of the underground lake, Joranilithin and Leosil bravely help Osric lead the escapees in holding back the tides of Orcs, until all have crossed the lake.

With a lunge, the party throws the orcs back! Bregor heroically cuts the raft rope, and uses it to drown many orcs upon the raft!

Suddenly the orcs rush forward with their Cave Troll poised to smash the lines – and that’s when Jor, battered, bruised and exhausted, steps forth. He reaches down, deep down, and pulls the last of his magical essence from his tattered soul to cast a critically successful fireball and incinerate the troll and the orcs.

“I … I didn’t – didn’t know I could do that!” he gasps — and then, to his companions’ horror, his head explodes in a fiery, gory spray, and his body falls on the ground, smoke pouring from the ruin of his neck.

His companions bear his body out, plowing through the remnants of the orcs, to take his body outside. They bring him to Maethelburg, and his grave marker reads, “In the end, he became one with magic.”

Story, the Second

Theyn Osric leads his men against the Stone Troll, followed by Leosil. Though the troll initially pulps several of the men, including Bregor, but Osric cuts the Troll’s left leg from under him and they swarm atop him. Leosil delivers the final blow and then leads the survivors towards the daylight visible at the end of the tunnel. Ten goblins attack the men from a side tunnel, and another hard battle is fought. Jor, though exhausted, prepares another spell.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the lake, Hamrammr is taking too much damage to continue. Poorly armed men rush to fill the gap and pull him to the rear. Araluth and Elentari fight on but everyone is forced to retreat and more goblins swell the attacking force. All seems lost when suddenly giant otters leap from the lake and hurl themselves into the attacking force. “Fly you fools!” yells a figure whose upheld staff sheds a blinding light. The defenders stare in amazement, and in a mere fifteen minutes, manage to ferry the rest over the lake.

Jor and Leosil defeat the goblins from the side tunnel with great difficulty. Theyn Osric is tired, but aids as well. United again, the little army gratefully enters the daylight and marches to Goblin’s Gate, killing the few goblins brave enough to face them. They throw open the gates and make their escape on the giant eagles parked outside.

Story, the Third

Osric valiantly stands up to the oncoming cave troll, holding it back for several minutes of violent combat as his men, Leosil, and Jor harry it from all sides with all manner of pickaxes, daggers, and magically induced hot feet. But then, enraged, it strikes Osric in the chest, smashing his rib cage and flinging him up against the wall violently. He smashes into the stone and slides down it, dying. Horrified, the escaped slaves scatter, some of them running down into the cave and others retreating into the cold waters.

Meanwhile, tentacles rise up from the water, as the great underwater beast that had plagued Araluth earlier returns and begins to wrench slaves off of the ferry. Bregor valiantly slices tentacles away, screaming in terror as he does this, single-handedly keeping the men on the ferry alive, at least until a tentacle wraps around his leg and pulls him into the water. Most of the escaped slaves on the ferry desperately try to cross the river faster as others are pulled underneath by the beast, never to be seen again.

On the other side, the endless horde is overwhelming the party, even as Araluth and Elentari cut down goblins faster than they can be replaced. Hamrammr the bear, roaring in pain and cut and sliced from a dozen different wounds, charges the goblins and begins ripping off heads, biting skulls, and tearing off limbs and beating the owners with them with even greater fury. Still, he is soon dealt the mortal blow of dozens of different wounds and, with the last of his strength, begins smashing the pillars of the mine (because I’m saying there are mine pillars now) and causing a cave in that crushes him. He turns back into himself in the last moments before he dies with a smile. Araluth and Elantari stare grimly for a moment, then turn, for they have been saved from death by horde only to meet death by horrifying tentacle beast.

At the same time, the troll is eating the men on the other side quite gleefully, and the goblins are chopping down those who remain. Leosil remarks that none of this would have happened if he had his sweet dagger, and begins weaving in and out of the creatures, cutting throats and Achilles tendons, and being very dishonorable about hiding in corners while doing it. Still, the party appears doomed and that they have nowhere to go, but then Jor starts screaming inarticulately, waving his hands at the goblins so fervently and belligerently that the goblins become totally unnerved and begin to retreat. “Run!” they scream. “He must be performing some great magic!” The cave troll looks as if it doesn’t care and is going to eat him anyway, but then Bregor bursts out of the water, chopping away severed tentacles from him with his eyes bugged out and screaming insanely as he charges the troll, spears it through the heart, and then begins stabbing madly.

Meanwhile, Araluth offers to carry Eentari across the water using his water-walking powers. She rolls her eyes and says, “Please, I’ve been able to do that this whole time,” and runs out in front of him onto the water. Embarrassed, Araluth runs after her, saying “Wait for me honey!” The two of them race across the water, chopping away tentacles that rise up out of the deep. Halfway across, a great mouth larger than can be conceived of by human minds opens itself from the water and goes, “MWAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!! I AM HONGRY!!”, tentacles waving about. Araluth howls, “GAH! It is the unkillable mouth of madness of the deep! I will kill it!” He then charges the beast, leaping on to one of its tentacles and running up it, avoiding the lethal suckers, slicing away errant tentacles and then leaping through the air with a howl and stabbing it in the great eye with his blade. It roars in rage and begins thrashing about. Elentari rolls her eyes at this display and shoots all the waving tentacles that threaten to rip apart her husband.

Meanwhile, on the other side, Bregor continues to stab the dead cave troll, sobbing, having been driven quite mad already by his underwater battle the tentacle beast. Leosil turns to Jor and says, “Should we, you know, do something?” At that point, a Balrog bursts from the cave floor in a shower of rock and lava and shadow, incinerating Bregor and the troll. It roars and Jor drops his staff, delighted, and goes, “We’re saved!” Leosil’s eyes nearly bug out, but then the Balrog stops roaring and it turns out it was only yawning. It shrugs its shoulders, sees them, and says, “Sorry, guysSlept Badly last night.” Then it sees Leosil and goes, “Hey bro, this is yours, right?” It hands him his magic dagger, Leosil goes, “Sweet!”, and they all smile happily. Then the Balrog launches itself out into the water straight at the tentacle beast, flies into its maw and down its throat, the great beast’s eyes bug out, and flames shoot out its mouth as it begins to dissolves as if its blood and flesh have become lava. Araluth pulls loose his sword, falls to the water, and runs away from the water that is being set aflame just behind his feet. He and Elentari retreat for shore, just barely making it, and the entire party turns as the unkillable monster of the deep sinks below into the water.

Everything is quiet for a moment, then Jor says, “See. I told you Balrogs were nice.”

Anyway, Elentari briskly goes over to Osric, who begins sputtering out his last words for his daughter, and she tells him to shut up. She mutters a few words, heals him briskly, and he blinks in surprise and gives thanks. She says, “Yeah, well, I do what I do.” Araluth then points into the deep of the cave and says, “Quickly, we must find our escape!” And Hamrammr, naked and smiling and standing right next to him, laughs, and says, “Yes! That makes sense! Ha ha ha!” The entire party turns in shock, with Araluth saying, “We thought you had died!” And Hamrammr just shrugs and says, “Yes, well, I have +10 to caving, so…”

And so they went further into the deep, and eventually found the escape. And Osric stopped the war between the Hillmen and the Northmen, and a great statue was built for Bregor, and his bravery was passed down to schoolchildren forever. The end.

Story, the Fourth

Araluth, Elentari, and Hammrammr were failing and being driven back to the lake, when the escaped prisoners pushed forward bearing pickets. “Great Goblin Unfair.” “Goblins & Slaves Unite!” “Where There’s a Whip, There’s a Nay!” But the one that truly stopped the goblins in their tracks was, “Goblins are People Too!” “You care, you really care!” screamed the Uruk in the front, as he collapsed in tears. All dropped their weapons and embraced, immediately forming the Misty Mountains Goblin-Slave Friendship Society. That night, the goblins slept the first peaceful sleep of their lives, for at last they knew the contentment of friendship. And that night, when they were all fast asleep dreaming happy thoughts, the escaped slaves gently crept in and slit the throats of every last one. “What losers!” they chortled as they tried to relight their lanterns with flint and steel. And everyone lived happily ever after.

Story, the Fifth

One troll became forty. What the forward half of the party had failed to notice was the nature of the cavern housing the troll. You see trolls are a close relative to barnacles and as such will coat surfaces waiting for nourishment to pass by. Seeing a batch of humans triggered them all and whipped them into a rampage.

The mountain shook with a bellowing fury. Eighty trunk-like arms and sixty brain cells thundered into a cavern of cowering humans, demanding their tribute of terrified nourishment. Having few options and no time, the group escorting the thane executed a strategic bail as did the rear front of goblins. Cave trolls will attack indiscriminately in a bloodlust and the local goblins had long since learned not to be in the way.

Though the party was terrified by the lake and its inhabitants, the cave trolls were not. Throwing water like an angry lawnmower, the wave of muscle and teeth bore down on the escaping raft. Jor was enveloped in a desperate flash of light as the trolls met their target, sending pieces of the raft, thane, and party members about. Araluth watched his new friends die in horror. Such monstrous beasts could not be outrun, certainly not here. “I will fight!” he declared, scraping the tip of an arrow through the remnants of their burning oil trap. “I will die, but I will take some monsters with me! They won’t see me flinch!” Araluth notched the arrow and drew it, fire in his eye and on his weapon.

What the rear half of the party had failed to notice was that Jor had worked a phenomenal final bit of magic. Tapping into his garment soiling terror, Jor had converted several hundred tons of water into pure hydrogen. Araluth loosed his arrow, his finger slick with oil. The shot sailed past the sea of hollow heads into the lake.

And that’s how Goblin Crater was formed.

 Story, the Sixth

When last we left our intrepid adventurers, things were looking very dire indeed.  Half the party was stuck on one side of the river with an ever-increasing horde of well-armed goblins with mad fighting skills.  The other half was across the river facing a large cave troll.  The ferry to move people across was small and slow.  There didn’t seem any chance for the party to survive, let alone escape from Goblins’ Gate.  Hamrammr and Araluth were wounded but fighting on with the help of the stronger of the remaining slaves.  Elentari was behind, getting ready to step in as needed, when she noticed a commotion from the cave passage.  The goblins, eager to replace fallen comrades and get into the action, were now looking behind themselves.  They turned to fight some unseen throng.  It appeared that reinforcements had arrived and the great goblin force was now fighting on two fronts. And losing!  But where had these reinforcements come from?

Marty scuttled through the cave passages, muttering about “Damn fools and their damn rebellions.”  The goblin caves were in chaos and he was going to use this opportunity to get out of this hellhole.  He ducked into a small crevice as a group of goblins hurried by, roaring and ready to fight.  He spotted a light ahead and peeked around the corner into another large cavern with slaves and their goblin guards.  There were fewer guards than normal here; clearly the passing group had come from here.  Marty looked carefully and decided he could sneak through the cavern along the darker side of the room on his way to freedom. He shambled on, past the dumbfounded slaves who quickly spotted him and questioned him. As he explained about the rebellion that had started in his slave area, the slaves realized this was their chance to rise up and fight the guards as well.  The odds were in their favor.

Araluth and Hamrammr noticed the change in the goblins they were fighting, and were able to divert all their skill to defense, holding the line without further injuries.  By the time the ferry had delivered Bregor plus others to the other side and returned, the fight was over.  The party took a moment to recover then loaded up the next group of slaves while Araluth stepped forward to talk to the new arrivals.  It turned out that goblin guards from the other slave rooms had been called to help capture the escaping slaves.  When the slaves heard Marty’s story, the stronger of the slaves in those rooms had quickly formed an attack group to take out the remaining guards.  Then they followed the goblins and had overwhelmed them with sheer numbers.

Meanwhile, when Bregor reached the other side of the river, he joined the others who were keeping the cave troll at bay by throwing anything they could find at the troll.  Bregor was badly wounded, but he bravely stepped forward.  Over the course of the journey, he had realized that he alone was blessed by Lady Luck and it would be his duty to defeat the cave troll.  Fortunately for Jor, Leosil, and Osric, his luck did continue and he was able to land a series of devastating hits on the beast.  By the time the last of the remaining fighters arrived, Bregor was practically being worshipped by the slaves.  The ferry continued to bring over slaves, but without any goblins to fight, the slaves could take over from there.  The large party marched on their way to the outside and freedom.  The party led Thane Osric, his men, and all the slaves to the nearby village, where they recuperated for a few days before returning to their homes (except for the freed slaves who decided to follow Bregor the Bold).  Thane Osric traveled to his daughter’s wedding and the party celebrated for many days before their next adventure.

Story, the Seventh

After guiding the party to the secret back entrance to Goblin’s Gate, Rennel returned to Dulin, where he and his father celebrated their new mules. Rennel began to tell the tale of the brave, foolish heroes and the story spread like wildfire. Soon Hammrammr’s far-flung family began to hear the tale. “Hammrammr’s in trouble,” each said, and then packed up their few belongings and headed for Goblin’s Gate. The family was a large one, and as they approached the mountains they kicked up trouble in every town, village, and burrow.

There was Lorrammr, the tall Woodsman from Southern Mirkwood, who brought his deadly curved axe. There was Gringrammr, the famous knife-fighter of Dunland, and Borrammr, the outlaw of the Old Forest Road. Jimrammr left his hobbit wife and ten kids in Buckland, and came running. He had a far distance to travel, and he got there last, but he got there. Hornrammr, the Pirate King of the Anduin, came, along with his entire crew of swarthy Amazons. Glumrammr, the lone fisherman of Gladden Fields was there, along with his traveling companion, The Creepy Guy. Yumrammr, Master of Bear-style gong-fu, arrived with his older brother Vimrammr, a gifted lawyer who terrified all who saw him. “We’ll pursue this matter in the highest court of the land,” he yelled, and the glint in his eye showed he meant it. There was Duckrammr, who gouged out the eyes of anyone who made fun of his name. There were few who taunted him a second time. And there was Rumrammr, the drunken minstrel from Dimriff Dale, who… well… really wasn’t much of an asset. Let’s just forget him.

Anyways, there was a hell of a lot of Rammrs, an army of Beornings. By the time they hit the Gate, they were an army of bears, enraged and powerful. They tore the Gate apart with their claws and then did the same to the goblins. When there were no goblins left, they descended into the caverns, slaughtering stone trolls and whatever else got in their way. The devastation they wrought became legend.

They were too late of course. The party had been killed weeks before, but still, it was really impressive.

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