So here's a map:
I cannot believe we've just been drawing maps this whole time like a bunch of fucking plebs. LRN 2 HISTROY GUYS. Anyway. This is a coastal goblin fortress. The players - a crabman bard, a dwelf (half dwarf half elf) cleric and a human (probably) negapaladin - are sugar traders on the Silicon Sea who were lured by false lights onto the rocks of an uncharted island and awaken face down in a bunch of shallow graves. Goblins are extremely bad at telling when things that are not goblins are alive or dead.
- None of the PCs have a very clear memory of the shipwreck. The dwelf has a carnelian scarab-shaped amulet in his pocket. He doesn't know where it came from.
- They awaken in the Burying Ground, obviously. The soil is full of bones and bits of corpse. Not all were put there by the goblins. Some are thousands of years old.
- The kiln is an ancient black ziggurat that the goblins have converted into a crematorium. Ancient bones are fed into the hole at top along with pieces of smouldering charcoal, goblin guano and raw sugar. The shaft narrows as it gets deeper and there is a chamber in the base into which a viscous black liquid - "corpse honey" - slowly drips. A couple of goblins can always be found on top of the pyramid, stirring and pressing the mixture.
- The gun battery is a gun battery. Most of this stuff is just exactly what it says it is. That includes the arsenal + bakehouse.
- What's left of the PCs' boat is being kept in the harbour. To get to the harbour you either have to cross the pond (which is full of vicious sand dolphins), go around the rocks to the north (same deal with the sand dolphins) or persuade the guards at the Brouillan Battalion to let you in across the moat. They can be bribed with corpse honey, which is a goblin delicacy. They can point you in the general direction of any other NPC.
- The harbour chain can only be lifted by the goblin princess, her vizier or her sergeant-at-arms. Goblins are like bees - queens, drones, larvae, royal jelly, you know the drill. This goblin princess has taken a bunch of followers and gone off to found a new hive.
- The chain is drawn back with a giant iron wheel up on the Spar that it takes forty goblins, or one ogre, to man. The only ogre on the island is currently asleep in the Bastion Pond. He has one eye and is named Grumpus. It would take a bucket of water to take him and water on the Silicon Sea is incredibly scarce. The sergeant-at-arms cannot currently spare forty goblins.
- The princess can be found in the King's Bastion. She is paranoid because she thinks the Red Pharaoh is about to launch an attack against her in protest at the desecration of his ancestor's bones. She won't open the boom chain until she is satisfied that this is not going to happen.
- The vizier is a skinny, goateed, Rincewind-ish human who has found his true calling being vizier to a bunch of shitty goblins. He is madly in love with the goblin princess.
- The sergeant-at-arms can be found bossing troops around on the parade ground. He is eternally frustrated at the inability of goblins to understand the concept of "formation".
- The mother superior of the goblin nunnery is secretly a vampire and an agent of the Red Pharaoh. This is why her wimple is so... wimple-y.
- The head baker can do amazing things with corpse honey, which is hilariously flammable. He has an excellent moustache that he is very proud of.
- A cockatrice wallows in the sandpond to the south, near the Prince's Bastion. The many marble statues of goblins flanking the pond testify to their inability to tame this foul creature, as well as their enduring fascination with it.
- A surveillance balloon flies high above the fortress. Two more are tethered on the flat piece of land that is apparently the Queen's Bastion. All are made of inflated toads, one of which was the mother of the cockatrice, which as everyone knows is what you get when a chicken's egg is incubated by a toad. God knows where the goblins got a chicken's egg.
- The sergeant-at-arms hates the cockatrice and would like to see it dead, but the princess has expressly forbidden this because she finds it hilarious.
- The sands of the Silicon Sea come in many colours and a good navigator knows how to read them all.
- The Red Pharaoh's skeletal legions will attack at sunset to evade the piercing rays of their heavenly tormentor. The sands will turn blood red to presage their coming.
- The Red Pharaoh has transformed himself into a carnelian scarab-shaped amulet and used his will-o-the-wisp aides-de-camp to lure the PCs onto the rocks, whereupon he secreted himself in one of their pockets. When the sun sets he will assume his true form.
- It is now about midday. Every time you do something an hour passes.
d6 encounter table for goblin colonial fortress:
- 1d4 goblin musketeers + sergeant
- 1d4 goblin nuns
- 1d4 giant cane toads + toadmeister
- 1d4 canecutters on break
- 1d4 bakers juggling combat muffins
- Important NPC out for a walk
Pictures of stuff:
|tomb-barge of the red pharaoh|
Final thoughts - I should make a whole game about 18th-century colonialism, that'd be sick. Like the PCs are voyageurs in Acadia or something.