After a few days of celebratory feasting, the goblins learned that being a chieftain is boring. Adventures are interesting. And so, they decided that the Birdcruncher tribe should either entertain them or bring an adventure to quell their boredom.
Another great feast was prepared, and goblins scattered every which way to get things ready. A few even went with Squealy Nord to hunt for truffles.
To begin the day’s entertainment, a young goblin by the name of Mothmangler Munge stepped forward. Munge had heard a tale he thought was certain to
impress the chieftains to the point where they wouldn’t hit him or throw food scraps at him anymore: the Legend of the Green Goblin King. This tale, which Munge overheard while spying on a travelling merchant, involved the appearance of a mysterious Green Goblin King, who arrived at a lord’s court and offered a unique sport: the chance to chop off his head as long as he, the Green Goblin King, was allowed to return the blow afterward. In the story, the Green Goblin King has his head chopped off, and then, after reattaching it… Well, Munge couldn’t remember how the story ended, as it got less interesting after the head-chopping part. But he offered the group a chance to re-enact the tale and find out. Spook stepped forward to play the part of the Longshank King and Munge gave him a dwarven waraxe to decapitate him with.
As Munge’s head flew off (with a somewhat surprised look on its face), it rolled across the ground to the whooping cheers of the crowd. Sadly, Munge hadn’t quite thought through the next bit very thoroughly, and the entertainment ended there as his body collapsed into the dirt in a bloody heap. Kay-Yay shouted that that wouldn’t do, and had the body cut up and scattered to the furthest corners of the cave. Then he finished the story on the fly, telling how the Green Goblin King had constructed a fake head, and describing how the real head popped up from under it once the king had wasted his blow. Then Kay-Yay explained in gruesome detail how the Green Goblin took back the axe and hacked the longshank’s head off in pieces, to the cheers of the crowd.
Following Munge’s failed attempt at adventure, Munkle Pupsquash lead four goblin dogs (Lil’ Flaky, Grumbles, Snortlick, and Chub-Chub) out of their rickety pen and brought them to the platform in the middle of the clearing.
There she regaled the assemblage with the goblin folktale called “The Charge of the Most Powerful Goblins.” This story tells of a group of goblin heroes who made a brave rush at the walls of a human city. The goblins leapt the moat, scaled the walls, and burned the whole place to the ground before riding off with all of the town’s pickles. In her storytelling, Munkle compared Kim-Yay, Kay-Yay, Spook and Sizzlebang to the great goblin heroes from the old folktale in the hopes of currying favour with the disgruntled chieftains. Munkle then explained the terms of her amusement— the goblin dog sprint. Mounted on the fidgety goblin dogs, the chieftains had to race into the forest and jump over a fresh mud pit, climb a steep ridge, break a squash painted to look like a stupid gnome, rush back down the ridge, and jump over a clump of brambles before returning to the clearing.
The chieftains mounted their goblin dogs and set off. It was neck and neck over the mud pit and up the ridge, until Kay-Yay veered off course trying to smash the squash. Charging back down the ridge, Sizzlebang fell off his goblin dog, Snortlick, and tumbled into the brambles. Kay-Yay, who was catching up, crashed into the back of Sizzle’s head, and the two limped back into the clearing to find that Spook had won a jar of bacon flavoured restorative ointment.
The next set of goblins prepared a bit of fun—accented with a whiff of burning and a taste of explosions. The goblins made a number of straw effigies representing some of the goblin chieftains’ conquests. Six of these crude dummies were fashioned into dog shapes, three of them into horse shapes, and one particularly lumbering creation somewhat resembled an ogre (meant to represent Pa Munchmeat, the ogre the chieftains defeated to become the leaders of the Birdcruncher tribe). The straw figures were arranged in the clearing 10 feet from the front of a low platform, and each of the goblin heroes was handed a single star candle firework.
After the fireworks are distributed, Trimple Rotmouth, a recent convert to Zarongel, explained that the goal of this “adventure” was to shoot the fireworks into the straw effigies, preferably setting them on fire. Once lit, the star candle fireworks shot four flaming embers. To make this a contest among the chieftains instead of a fiery free-for-all, each figure was worth a different number of points. The dogs were worth 2 points each. The horses, 1 point each, and Pa Munchmeat 1 point, but he would be able to be hit more than once before disintegrating into a fireball. The chieftains were not the best shots, Sizzlebang’s second firework hit himself, and Kay-Yay missed nearly every round. In the end, Kim-Yay was declared the winner, and received an Elixir of Hiding, which he gave to Spook.
Now, goblins enjoy playing strange and sadistic games. And one of the favourites among the coastal tribes is a game called killgull. To play this game, one end of a length of twine is tied to a seagull’s foot, while the other end is held by a goblin.
Other goblins hurl rocks at the poor bird, trying to knock it out of the sky. The goblin holding the twine can jerk the length to make the goblins miss their throws at the bird. This event almost didn’t happen. The Birdcrunchers didn’t bother to save any live seagulls from the cookpot, an error they immediately regretted and instantly felt shameful for forgetting. However, Dillbi Tenthumbs saved the day when she managed to trap a vulture as it was pecking at part of the meal, and substituted that bird for the requisite seagull.
Dillbi gave each of the Chieftains a bag full of good throwing rocks, then went to the cage to release the tethered vulture while she held on tightly to the twine. After Dillbi released the bird, the group took their shots at the greasy thing. The vulture was hard to hit, and Dilbi was skilled at jerking the twine to save it from several shots, but eventually, and just as the twine slipped out of her hands and the vulture was about to escape, Kim-Yay hit the vulture in the head and knocked it to the ground, winning a steadfast gut-stone in the process.
After the game of killgull, as the goblins were about to begin a strange puzzle game involving bags of wasps, boxes full of nettles, and jars of nails, Squealy Nord burst into the clearing in a squealing panic. Beat up and bruised, Squealy pounced forward, bowed low, and began snorting and pawing the ground with his trotters, obviously trying to tell the chieftains something.
The goblin heroes jumped back on the goblin dogs as the tribe tended to Squealy Nord. They charged through the forest in the direction of the Bestest Truffle Field and found out that something had gone terribly wrong out on the truffle hunt. Squealy and three goblins went to the Bestest Truffle Field to get the special ingredient for the feast when they discovered a group of Sczarni—traveling criminals found throughout Varisia—camped out by the trail. The goblins tried to sneak by, but the filthy humans noticed them and immediately attacked the truffle-hunting expedition. Squealy Nord only barely managed to escape, but the three goblins were killed, their heads impaled on narrow poles outside the Sczarni camp. Two wagons, their wooden panels exquisitely carved and vibrantly painted, sat in the forest clearing. Logs for sitting and gear for cooking surrounded a campfire, and the smell of a greasy stew floats on the gentle summer breeze.
The humans jumped up as the goblins rode into the clearing and prepared themselves for battle.