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Issvarti's Goblin Run

This adventure introduces the campaign setting and gives the players a taste of a typical dungeon delve.

The PCs are either very new to the League of Adventurers, or they're still in the apprentice phase of being sponsored. Their sponsor, Issvarti (the bouncer from the Knight of the Post Tavern and Inn), has decided they're ready to cut their teeth on some goblins (metaphorically speaking).

Back Story

Issvarti has “received a nice tip” that indicates a tribe of goblins on Goblicus have gotten their hands on some Pirate treasure, including some magic items.

He's bringing the PCs along, because he wants to try them out in the field.

The real truth is that he left the treasure in front of the goblin cave on purpose. He's trying to give the PCs some magic items and other gear, but is too proud to actually give them anything. Instead, he's making them earn it.

Issvarti is confident they will succeed.

Adventure Synopsis

  • Issvarti drags the PCs along to kill some goblins.
  • He pays to hire a Courier ship named “The Surly Sailor” to take them all to Goblicus.
  • They meet some small resistance on shore.
    • Issvarti hangs back and lets the PCs handle almost everything.
  • They head into the cave.
    • They encounter primitive traps.
    • Goblins attack.
  • They go deeper.
    • Goblins armed with Issvarti's “gifts” attack.
    • Issvarti lets the PCs keep the swag.

Major Variations

  • Issvarti might want to toughen up/gauge the abilities of the PCs by sparring with them before they leave.
    • He'll do this by gearing up and ordering them to attack him.
    • He should be able to beat them soundly.
      • If he doesn't, he'll grunt, “Good job.”
      • If he wins, he'll grunt, “Ya need ta work on that.”
    • This should impress upon the PCs “how nice it is to have a skilled sponsor.”

Starting the Adventure

Via whatever means you think is best for Issvarti to get in touch with the PCs, he contacts them and says, “Got a job. Yer comin'.”

This is pretty typical behavior for Issvarti. He's very terse.

If they press him for details, Issvarti will tell them the lie about Pirate treasure in the hands of goblins.

He has Gwen Bystrom with him (she'll be joining the Terrible Trio in the near future, but she isn't a member yet). This is to be a training exercise for her, as well. Issvarti is not her sponsor. Sebastion Clay of the Hazard Harbingers is. When he heard about Issvarti's plans, Sebastion convinced him to bring Gwen.

Getting There

After a short journey in a ship of Elven design named the 'The Surly Sailor,' you arrive at the island of Goblicus.

You see a black sand beach. There's a fire burning on shore with a variety of cooking gear hung over it. There are several goblins next to it, quickly getting weapons in hand and eyeing your ship warily.

Issvarti slips his helmet on, smacks it down with the flat of his axe and smiles, “Let's kill some goblins!”

He has a frightening light in his eyes you've never seen before and you're not sure you like it.

There's three Tribal Goblin Warriors on shore, tending a cooking fire. If the PCs get to shore, they'll try to flee toward their cave (see below).

Issvarti wants to make a direct assault, but will allow the PCs to try another approach. If they take the direct approach, they'll have to row to shore, while the goblins attack with ranged weapons. The PCs can try attacking back, but will be at -2 for the awkwardness of attacking from a row boat.

Issvarti will volunteer to handle the rowing, insisting that he'd like to see how his charges handle things.

Once the battle is done, Issvarti will pull out a map, turn it over a couple of times and then lead the way into the forest.

The Forest

After trudging through the woods for twenty minutes, Issvarti stops, pulls out his map again, turns it over one more time and grunts, “Know how to read these?”

Issvarti is not lost. He knows this part of the island like the back of his hand. He's only pretending to be lost in order to test his charges. An influence roll can get him to reveal that he's testing them. The map was drawn by Issvarti himself and an appropriate skill roll can determine this.

He'll hand the map over and let the PCs lead the way. This will require a Navigation (Land) roll. If the PCs spend too much time on this, Issvarti will shake his head, grunt, “Ya need ta work on that.” and then snatch the map out out their hands, once more taking the lead. He won't refer to the map again.

The Cave

Finally, you've reached your destination, a cave in a small hillside, leading into darkness.

Issvarti smiles wickedly and grunts, “In ya go.”

He'll take the rear position in the marching order. Anyone that tries to convince him otherwise will get the angriest, dirtiest look he knows. Anyone insisting after that will get the flat of his axe on their head. If they're stupid enough to insist after that, he'll shake his head, roll his eyes and grunt, “Ya need ta follow orders.”

The cave is unlit. Issvarti will not engage in battle unless the PCs and Gwen are in trouble, or one of the goblins tries to escape by running past him.

If the PCs let the warriors on the beach get away, then they'll have warned those inside.


This section of the cave floor is lines with dry grass.

Here's the list of traps:

  • Spear Trap
    • Weighted, swinging spears that are triggered by a sinking stone in the floor.
    • Each is triggered separately.
    • 2d impaling damage to an area three hexes across.
  • Covered Pit
    • Two yards wide, 4 yards deep, covered in dry grass clippings.
    • Full of spikes.
    • 4d impaling damage to anyone falling in.
  • Dropping Rock
    • Small boulders rigged to fall by trip wire (made of cat gut). Triggered by walking over it on 12 or less on 3d. This is easily avoided if noticed.
    • 2d crushing damage.
    • Damage is to head unless there's a good reason not.
    • Usually strikes whoever is in front.
  • Fish Oil
    • Pot of it hanging from ceiling, triggered by cat gut trip wire.
    • Stinks really bad.
    • It's made from fermented fish.
    • Anyone struck by it has to roll vs. HT-3.
    • Anyone failing retches for minutes equal to their margin of failure.
    • Anyone with a cast-iron stomach will instead find the odor and flavor appealing.

Here's the order of the traps and their arrangement, along with some land marks:

  • Entrance
    • Spear Trap [Per-4]
      • It swings out from behind an overhanging rock.
  • Dry grass begins
    • Dropping Rock [Per-2]
  • Cave begins to smell really bad and kind of fishy
    • Fish Oil [Per-4]
    • The smell is coming from the fish oil pot.
  • Covered Pit on right [Per-2]
  • Exits into Main Room.

Main Room

The tunnel empties out in a large chamber filled with goblins. There are several distinct groups: children, women and men. The women and children are gathered around a roast boar. The men are already eating.

There is a passage leading deeper.

If they've been warned the PCs are coming, then the men will have their weapons ready and will attack. The women and children will already be further in. If they haven't been warned, the warriors will spend their first turn of combat picking up their weapons.

Issvarti will take up position near the entrance, in order to keep the goblins from escaping.

There are twenty Tribal Goblin Warriors. The women and children will offer no resistance, instead trying to escape deeper into the cave. If cornered, the women and children will shriek and cower. Issvarti will insist on killing them.

The passage leading deeper leads to the Chieftan's Chambers.

The Chieftan's Chambers

This slightly smaller chamber is filled with what looks like the spoils of a multitude of goblin wars. There's several spears covered with feathers and markings. Each is unique. Tattered rags that look like banners hang from the walls. Some of them look familiar, like they may have come from more civilized islands.

At the back of the room is a padded wooden chair that looks like it's being used as a throne of sorts, since there's a goblin with a feathered head dress sitting on it. This is probably their Chieftan. Standing by his side is a goblin covered with tattoos holding a staff shaped like a snake.

To his other side is a battered chest that looks to have been recently forced open.

There are several goblin warriors in the room, brandishing weapons and preparing to fight!

There will be one Tribal Goblin Warrior for each of the PCs. Each will be armed with a magic weapon or other magic item that would appeal to each individual PC.

The Tribal Goblin Chief is carrying a Bag of Holding that can hold 1500 pounds, but weighs 60 pounds, regardless of how full it is. If the bag is ruptured, the contents will be lost in the Deep Ethereal.

The Shaman is armed with a Staff of Striking that looks like a big snake. This gives a RoF of 4 to all strikes with it.

Concluding the Adventure

The PCs win the day and get the magic swag the goblins were using. When treasure is being handed out, Issvarti picks up the Shaman's staff and tosses it to Gwen. Everything else is for the PCs. The staff was an addition by her sponsor, specifically intended for her.

What swag is available in this adventure is entirely up to the GM.

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