Mask Campaign Chapter 9a: Shaving Day
After several weeks in the Goblins
Hold Mountains, the characters are lost. They have seen no sign
of any civilized beings for days and definitely no signs of their
destination. They are climbing a steep ridge, as they come over
the top they are delighted to find that this mountain top is a flat
topped mesa. There is some plant life growing here and the rocky
protrusions are not too steep. After a few minutes of exploring
around they can see movement in the distance. Peering that way they
can spot a large group of individuals (no details at this distance).
The wind carries sounds of weeping voices and occasional pleas of
As the characters approach they can see a ragged
group of about 20 being menaced by some goblins with wolves. Looks
to be dozen or so goblins and wolves, exact amounts are 15 goblins
and 11 wolves. The ragged group is huddled together while the goblins
seem to be torturing or killing 1 of their number. A group of 4
goblins has surrounded 1 of the dwarves on the ground. The goblins
will not spot the PCs till they: 1. make some loud noise, 2. attack
from a distance, and 3. approach within 50 feet. If the PCs get
closer before attacking they can see the ragged group seems to be
composed of dwarves including some children (5 males, 8 females,
6 children). They also can see that the goblins are forcing a dwarven
male (a 6th) to shave himself with a dagger. He has shaved most
of his beard and hair off already, he is covered in small cuts and
occasionally cries out in pain.
The goblins are armed with short swords MM
107 3E, and shields. 7 of them are armed with short bows
and 12 arrows. The goblins are not interested in fighting, as soon
as 2 are wounded or 1 is killed they will flee on the wolves. The
PCs should not be able to catch them since they are on foot. If
they do the goblins will turn and fight if cornered or surrender
if no other choice presents itself.
The dwarves will weep with joy at their rescue
, they will embarrass the characters with their gratitude. Things
like kissing shoes or cloak hems, prostrating themselves before
them, etc. It will take a few minutes before they can compose themselves
enough to speak coherently with the party. The dwarf who was being
shaved will introduce himself as Regner
of the Stonefist clan.
He will thank the characters for their rescue,
his cheeks will go red with shame as he then asks if they perhaps
could spare some food for the children. If asked, he states that
the goblins have taken all they have and their beards were the only
thing left to take. The party can see that many of the dwarves are
starving, wounded, sick, and dressed in little more than rags.
Regner will explain that they are trying to make
it to a human town somewhere before the winter snows freeze them.
Their homes have been taken over and they are the only ones to escape
the slavery that claimed their families. He tells the party that
3 months ago they lived underground and one day without warning
the cursed Duergar tunneled their way into the bottom levels of
the cavern that as their clan home. They were led by a terrible
being, "A great round and hideous orb
that was covered with eyes. These eyes shot out beams of magic that
killed or harmed those who stood against it."
Note: Enjoy the looks of horror on the faces of your players
as they assume the creature described is a beholder)
Regner will suddenly beg the characters for help.
He tells them that the goblins will return and destroy them eventually,
if the party could help them get to a place of safety they would
be eternally grateful. He will promise any thing that seems conceivable
to him. Wealth, food, maps of the area, being a guide, indentured
servitude (himself), whatever might tempt the characters.
The problem here being that the party is lost
and has no knowledge of a safe place. Regner asks if they can accompany
them till a safe place is reached. The party will probably think
this a bad idea. They are already lost and possibly low on supplies,
adding a group of ragged refugees who have no food, warm clothing
or weapons will slow them down considerably.
However the decision is forced quite quickly.
While the debate is going on amongst the party. A goblin approaches
bearing a white flag or some other symbol of truce, free passage,
etc. If allowed to approach the goblin in halting common, states
that "War leader Davrus
wishes to speak to the mighty warriors." If the players
agree to a neutral parley, Davrus and 2 aides meet the party a short
way always from the dwarves. Davrus approaches a warrior-type who
has no facial hair, or the least amount if possible. After making
compliments on their obvious battle prowess Davrus explains that
he and his warriors hold no ill will toward the party BUT they must
slay the dwarves and the party must stay out of the way............