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You are goblins of the Licktoad tribe, who live deep in Brinestump Marsh, south of the hated man-town called Sandpoint. Once, other goblins 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, your tribe discovered that one of your own had been using forbidden arts and was engaged in one of greatest of taboos—writing things down. In fact, rumor holds that what he was writing was a history of your tribe! There’s no swifter way to bring about bad luck than stealing words out of your mind by writing them down, and so your tribe had no choice. You branded the goblin’s face with letters to punish him, which is why everyone calls him Scribbleface now, and then you ran him out of town, took all of his stuff, and burned down his hut.
That’s where things got interesting, because before you all 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 decisions. But perhaps even more exciting, all of you have been secretly invited to meet at Chief Gutwad’s Moot House. Why would the chief want to speak to you? It can only mean that he’s got an important mission for you all... one that the other goblins of the tribe couldn’t pull off. This could be your chance to go down in Licktoad history!
As usual, its very hot here in the village, buzzy flies buzzing, muddy roads muddy, smelly smells smelly. Before you lot for even you all appear and gather is the familiar sight of the chief's Moot house wherein lies a collection of a trophies and examples of Licktoad tribe heriocs.
Before you, outside, stands a goblin named Slorb, Chief Gutwad's duly appointed adviser, an overdressed and stuffy goblin who the chief whispers instructions to as not to overwhelm his subjects with his MIGHTY and POWERFUL voice that it could frightened all the words away in the heads of lesser goblins.
<Introduce yourselves to eachother even if you may, may know eachother>
Naknuk took his time to arrive at the chief's house, as he knew where his house resided. After a few minutes, though, did he arrive at the chief's house. As he entered, he saw another goblin there, most likely invited by the chief as well. Remaining silent as he usually is, he awaited the others. Speaking wasn't really his thing, and when he did speak, it's only a few words to get his point across, while very rarely did he say a fair amount of words.
Suddenly there comes a rustling from the trees
From the shadows of the boughs and branches
From above, there plummets, lands easy as you please
Lands on his large fists and feet, already clad in armoured harness
He bears many weapons, this scarred goblin
Shield's rim sinks into the soft soil
The chief's son bows and hisses but makes no din
Hiding his small smile at not meeting with screeching sister's many a boil.
Hey, you. Yes, you. Come on. SMILE.
Skortch rushed to the meeting. He'd taken so long to pack. Well and gloat to his siblings. They were going to finally burn down that cursed Sandpoint. It had been his dream for as long as he had dreams. HE had been sent to do it! It never occurred to him that the mission was perhaps something else until stupid Skawld had said he was probably just being sent away from the Licktoad's to stop the random fires that weren't his fault at all. That's when Skawld's foot mysteriously caught on fire. That shut up his stupid brother.
So after he lost that big ol' bully Skawld who had chased for starting his foot on fire, which he totally deserved, Skortch finally got to the meeting. He did his best to stay quiet and look fierce despite his excitement, and quite often lost having to fight back a big toothy grin and force himself to stop fidgeting.
"Hello fellow goblins!" Squeeb voice cracked as he walked to the meeting. He nodded his head low, well lower than normal, to Slorb. "And also hello to you Slorb. Wait... you're a goblin. Hello again!" Squeeb smiled the smile of someone whose mind was already far away before he had even finished talking. "I'm Sir Squeeb!" he announced, he wasn't exactly sure what a "Sir" was, but all the heroes were called sir in the stories, so he figured he'd call himself that now so he'd be used to it when he becomes a big amazing hero.
"Yes...hiiiiii...Squeeb," Sounded the high pitch nasally voice of Slorb who picked his nose and wiped himself on his dirty fancy stuffy shirt. "I see all of youse dung bungs is here so...we gunna go inside where da' chief is waiting for ya. Follow me."
Inside the Moot House of Chief Gutwad, twas filled with odds and ends and shelves of past trophies and mounted heads and feets of fallen enemies. Stolen weapons and shiny bits of treasure about. There on a solitary shelf was Chief Gutwad's pickled in brine finger. His prized token of when he survived the dreaded Lotsalegs, a gobby baby eating giant spider that has felled many gobby folk for a snack. Along with other brine-pickled bodies of other animals
There in all his chiefy fatdom sat Chief Gutwad, a large chunky example of a goblin who munched on too many gnome fingers in his day. He was greyish scabby looking goblin with tufts of hair under his wrinkly chin and cheeks. Atop his *Teeter Chair, balancing precariously. He looks at them with a judging eye and and scratch of his belly, acknowledging each of them.
"Youse lot with sit on the ground. Youse is honored to do so before His Mighty Girthness Chief Rendwattle Gutwad," Announced Slorb to them as he pointed at the dirt floor and then scrambled over to the chief's side on a steppy stool.
Khhhhhhh-hnnnnnnn! Khuraargh, long since effectively mute from surviving a rent throat in his youth, hisses in greeting at the seemingly overeager Skortch and Squeeb.
Khuraargh shuffles into what had once been his home. He shambles in, limbs all flexed, walking on all four overlarge hands and feet, past the curtain of beads and bones that forms the Moot-House's door. Khuraargh casts his gaze this way and that, then bows to his father while making himself comfortable by squatting with his back against the doorframe.
The scarred goblin looks down and suppresses a smile on seeing one of the myriad finger-trophies his adoptive father had hanging... ah, there... He sucks in a line of spittle that dripped from his slack jaw as he recalled his old "spidey-wattle".
Hey, you. Yes, you. Come on. SMILE.
"My leach!" Squeeb said as he knelt before the chief, and attempted to bow his head so low his long nose nearly touched the floor. Squeeb stayed their for a second contemplating what to do next. He'd never figured to ask what the knights and big folk did after kneeling. So after a couple seconds waiting patiently on his knee he plopped to the ground.
Naknuk entered the building, following the others as he looked at the items and decorations inside of the house. He noticed the several trophies of sorts as he was observing. Upon seeing the chief, he knelt down out of respect, before sitting down on the ground.
Follows the others in, bounding past to sit front and center as he's instructed. Sure that he's moments from being named leader to a glorious quest against the humans. He's visibly struggling to maintain control and behave.
The Chief eyed them all with a judging red eye (especially that Khuraargh, his adopted son), his other one milky white. He stared at Squeeb and gave the wannabe knight goblin an acknowledging head nod. He then made a sweeping motion with hand over the lot and cleared his throat. To probably mostly everyone's surprise, he spoke to them instead of having Slorb.
“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 mighty sound of my voice is all the proof 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 them for Licktoads. You all go get them tomorrow. Tonight we have 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 meet Lotslegs Eat Goblin Babies Many, you maybe should run or kill it and bring back a leg! And if you not find fireworks, you not come back or we feed you to *Squealy Nord!”
* a fearsome boar who lives in a muddy pit in the middle of the village, though its really just a hyperactive piglet that escaped from a nearby farm.
The let down that he was wrong and they're not being sent to burn down Sandpoint was almost overlooked in the excitement. They were great heroes! Fireworks!! The little goblin didn't even process the potential danger or the frightening consequences of failure. He was already lost in thoughts of victory hero parties and lighting off fireworks, and maybe shooting one at stupid Skawld when no one was looking.
Hhhhhkkkk... he hisses in surprise. Khuraargh's wide-brimmed turtle-shell helmet tilts as he hears his father speak directly for the first time in seasons.
The scarred goblin's right little finger twitches and a cold shudder runs up his spine as he recalls the times he'd hung from the trees outside Scribbleface's hut, guilty yet intrigued by the heresy within. Is one's soul price enough to be able to talk? He hadn't moved, though, he hadn't moved, he hadn't moved, hadn't moved until he joined the pogrom to cast him out and purge the unclean with flame.
The fireworks were indeed fun.
Suddenly, Khuraargh stops. It seems he'd inadvertently scooped up and balled a good deal of dirt within his twitching, grasping fist. He forces himself to relax and release, uttering a long Rrrrrrrrrggggggmmmm as he does so.
Hey, you. Yes, you. Come on. SMILE.
Squeeb scrambled to his feet and thumped his hand on his chest in salute, slightly too hard causing a slight cough, but that didn't slow the overeager goblin down at all. "I'd be honored to go," he squeaked, his voice cracking in the middle of honored. "It'll be a grand adventure, filled with... adventure! And fireworks! Thank you Chief Gutwad for picking me for this dangerous task."
Naknuk remained an air of calmness as he listened to the chief's speech. Even though he was well aware of these dangers, and he didn't seem it, he was excited. In his mind, he thought, *Naknuk get chance make stinky man dead and be hero same time! Me wait ages for moment!* Unlike eager Sparky, however, he just gave a simple nod in response. He at least had some control over his reactions. Yet inside, he was ecstatic.
Chief Gutward waved a dismissing hand wave at the two more eager ones. "Yes, yes, you be honored, its good, you is welcomed. Now anyone have questions about this? Speak now before I don't want to answer anymore."
The turtleshell helm dips as the face beneath scrunches in thought. A hand stained with sap and soil slowly rises, two fingers held up.
Khuraargh gestures with his index finger, then lets go of his shield, leaving it embedded by its rim in the loam. He points at his eyes, then spreads his hands as if smoothing out a map. He meets his adoptive father's gaze, then makes a clearly questioning frown. He shields his eyes with one hand and squints into the distance, again makes as if reading a map, fingers tracing out a rectangle with squiggles in the middle upon the ground, shrugs exaggeratedly, then spreads his hands as if asking for something to be given.
Khuraargh then gestures with index and middle fingers, turns his hand down then turns the counting gesture into a walking-man-gesture. He then jabs a thumb at the hut's eastern wall and thrusts his open hand towards the hut's floor. With a stupid grin, he pats the giant lizard-skull that serves as his right shoulder's pauldron. Once again, he makes the walking-man-gesture, this time repeatedly, with both hands. Khuraargh then mimes drinking, eating and making merry, then points once again at Chief Gutwad and then mimes holding a baby apiece in the crooks of his arms.
Hey, you. Yes, you. Come on. SMILE.
An exasperated palm slaps a shadowed forehead but Khuraargh shrugs and fixes his gaze on Squeeb's overeager peepers.
He then holds up two fingers and draws one of his dogslicers. Using the tip of the blade, he scratches a design into the ground--- a large rectangle, then gives a slight shrug as he goes on to sketch a rough approximation of the tribe's territory. He then looks into Squeeb's eyes again, points at his eyes, then points at the map and shrugs.
Next, he scratches his chin in thought, then holds up seven fingers. He draws both of his dogslicers, then sheathes them again. He taps the giant lizard* skull that serves as his pauldron, then cranes his neck over to lick it. Khuraargh then seizes a nearby spear, poses fiercely and makes as if to throw it, before setting it back down. He then cups his hands and executes some pelvic thrusts, stomps on the ground, then crooks his arms as if holding babies. Khuraargh then throws his hands up and leaps about, miming dancing and feasting... then stops and looks once more at Squeeb, the mute goblin's face a pleading and exasperated mask beneath his turtleshell hat-helm.
W'elp. Ha-ha. That was inevitable.
*Hmm. Looking at goblins' size, could well be simply a monitor or a Komodo Dragon equivalent.
Cheat-sheet: See/where map? Lizardlick wife and grandkids coming for feast.
Hey, you. Yes, you. Come on. SMILE.
The small goblin's excitement finally gets the better of him and his squeaky voice bursts out. "Where are the fireworks? Scribbleface or humans could steal fireworks. Go fast not play in dirt and dance word games. Hurry.. maybe rain! Must go fast!." His thoughts jumbling together during the outburst as he jumped to his feet and started for the door to the hut after, a quick ungraceful bow given to the chief as an afterthought.
"Fireworks somewhere in shipwreck on coast, it on map, Slorb give it to you in morning, tonight bon fire and games!" Chief Gutwad replied scratching his belly with a hand and stroked his tufts of hair under his chin afterward.
Squeeb stared intently at Khuraargh, and nodded and mumbled a few words under his breath as he tried to piece what was happening before him together.
"I think I have it!" he squeaked. "Our silent friend wants to see the map. Is that right?"
But before he could get an answer the goblin was already moving about.
"Seven. Seven words!" Squeeb shouted trying to keep up. "First word is? Lizard? Tasty lizard? Delicious lizard? Lizard stew? Licking Lizard? Wait is that closer? Lick Lizard, Lick Lizard... Lizard lick? Lizardlick! Ok right, next word. Spear? Attack? Throwing. No, you're going onto the next thing then... oh. Oh my." Squeeb looks abashed as the mute starts to move his pelvis forward and back. "I think I know what that is there, Khuraargh yes, thank you. And then a baby? You wanna go bang bang with a baby? That's disgusting! No you shouldn't be celebratin' when someone does that to a baby!"
It took Squeeb a few seconds to try and fix his mistake. "Ok you don't wanna go bang bang with a Lizardlick baby. But you wanna go bang bang? No. Alright well, as far as I can tell great Chief Gutwad. Khuraargh wants to look at the map. He also wants to have the Lizardlick over so there can be much partying and uhh, good times all around." As far as it is possible for a goblin, Squeeb blushes at this last sentiment.
"Ughk...grandbaby gobbies.....feh..." Chief Gutwad made a face and sighed with a facepalm as he ran his hand down his face. "Yes...they come...okay...fine." Chief Gutwad liked his grandbabies, but sometimes they were just too much to handle.
"Many thanks Squeeb....as for map..tomorrow in morn, you all will have much time to look at it...for now....I, for now I tire of talking to you lot. Go before I change mind and feed you to Squealy Nord!" He dismissed them with a wave of his hand.