Adventure: Clearing the Theris Aqueducts

Advanced Goblins have recently tunneled into the Aqueducts beneath the City of Therica. They were expanding their underground railroad network and tunneled higher than normal in order to avoid some dangerous areas of the Underdark.

Their goal was to make a shorter run to Shadow Reef, while simultaneously bypassing some dangerous areas within the Arcane Sanctuary.

In the process of digging, they broke into the Aqueduct system that supplies the city with water. Naturally, the goblins thought it was great to avoid some labor (even if it is slave labor) and started laying track inside.

Unfortunately, they're now in the way of the Dwarven engineers that maintain the waterways. The goblins have repeatedly shot at them. The engineers can't get close to an earthquake damaged pillar to make repairs. The goblins shoot at any living thing that gets anywhere near the rail line and their work is just beginning to foul the water running down stream (they're tossing trash in the water). Several wells have been sealed for the sake of public safety.

The damaged pillar is the most critical matter: it's supporting a major chunk of the city's largest market. The goblins are keeping their main camp near the base of it. Unfortunately, the goblins have a golem-drawn Gatling gun in this camp and they're not afraid to use it. Five of the original team of engineers were killed. Two escaped to report the matter to the king.

The leader of the goblins is dead set on completing the rail line as fast as possible, regardless of how many Kobolds have to die to do so, for if he does so ahead of schedule, he'll get a very fat bonus. This bonus would more than triple what he's spent on bringing in new slaves for the work. The leader has really good dirt on nearly all of his men, so he can afford to pay them next to nothing, passing the savings directly into his own pocket. Naturally, they hate him for this, but that's business as usual.

His second in command is plotting a coup, but doesn't have the rest of the goblin crew on his side, just yet, despite how much they'd like to see their leader publicly hanged, drawn and quartered.

In short, the goblins are just about ready for another round of in-fighting and power-struggling as the PCs blithely wander into the middle of it.

Having been hired by the king to get the goblins out of the Aqueducts, they'll enter and encounter a lone goblin with something akin to a sniper rifle. This is the second in command.

He'll fire an impressive warning shot, nicking someone's ear or another likely body part. All from a range well-beyond what they're likely capable of. He doesn't want a fight, but only knows one way to deal with outsiders: from a position of strength. He'll attempt to intimidate them into killing his boss for him, but his real goal is for them to create a huge distraction while he rummages through his boss's personal belongings for all the blackmail evidence he needs to get the crew on his side and take over.

He will offer them money and guns as payment, but has no intention of delivering (intimidation and/or blackmail would be required to make him follow through on this promise). It's possible for the PCs to negotiate a re-direction of the rail line to run just under the Aqueducts, if they ask for this instead of payment. He has no objection to such an idea, but will lie, claiming that it's a great inconvenience at this stage in the work, demanding some money or slaves in return for this favor, as well as the death of his boss. However, they'll have to watch out for the inevitable double, triple or quadruple cross that an Advanced Goblin will always be planning. He naturally assumes the PCs are trying to screw him just as badly on the deal and have a hidden agenda. The idea that they're dealing honestly will never occur to him; he's never met an honest man in his entire life.

The leader goblin will not negotiate at all, instead shooting at the PCs with everything he's got, including the Gatling gun toting golem and half a dozen or so hired gun men.

There are a few non-combative goblin miners and workers about, mostly to do the intellectual work of mining and directing the slaves. They carry whips and guns with which to punish the slaves, but will seek to run away if attacked by PCs (It's not their job to defend the place). The Kobold slaves carry picks and shovels, but will not fight with them. They're also generally chained together in groups of up to six.

The goblins have no compunction whatsoever about killing their slaves. They need them for the work, but they occasionally take one away just to torture them to death. There's usually an excuse for this, but it's nearly always drummed up. Slow and injured workers are a favorite victim.

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