Organizing the Goblin Resistance
- Gnob's Folly
- The * (who should probably be given a name - "Goracle"?)
- The Gnome Oracle's Son (ditto)
- Probably others as the day goes on (filled in here)
- (*)Gnomes referred to in this article are actually Goblins, the only "real" Gnomes on the island being Gilerl and Thed.
Setting: Gnob's Folly has just arrived at the Gnome Redoubt. They have learned some geographical notes, and outlined their plan for retrieving the Table of the Stars before the Sahuagin can lay their slimy fins on it. has some plans first, however--he wishes to spend some time organizing the Gnomes into a force that loses fewer of its members in the day-to-day of patrol, has a lesser chance of betraying the Redoubt, and maybe, just maybe, will actually win a skirmish or two. To that effect, he earnestly enters discussion with the Oracle.
Now that we've decided what we're going to do, I have some important matters to discuss with you. I have seen some of how your people conduct themselves in minor wartime actions--how you patrol, how you conduct your camp, and so on--and I believe there is much we can teach you about the technique of war. The knowledge you gain will almost assuredly save lives, and will win you valuable time in the conflict against the Sahuagin. There is a lot to learn, and not much time to teach it, but with your permission, I would like to begin immediately.
I will first need as much information as you can give me about your available resources: How much food and fresh water do you have? Do you have a steady source, and is that source dangerous? Can you obtain a full tally of your available weaponry, with types and numbers of each armament, both defensive and offensive? Do you have anyone skilled in the use of magic? Have you determined the exact boundaries of the magical protection that keeps this base obscured? Do you have safe access to any construction materials? Do you have rough ideas about the contents of the other settlements on the islands?
There is a lot more to go over, but this can serve as a starting point. I am sorry to ask so much at once, but I'm sure you understand that we have absolutely no time to lose.
| Although you're as fluent in Goblin and Gnomish as one can reasonably expect, the creole dialect that has developed on this island makes communication slow and, at least at first, limited to simple ideas. Communication is exceptionally rudimentary, sometimes resorting to crude diagrams and wild gestures, and you find that complex ideas or attempts at soaring oratory are simply incomprehensible to the Gnomegoblins (or Gnoblins?). However, with some effort and ingenuity, you are able to cobble together some dialogue and, from it, serviceable intelligence.
There are perhaps a hundred Gnoblins in and around the Redoubt, and the Goracle suggests (or hopes) that there might be many more still stranded across the archipelago, unable or unwilling to risk water crossings. Having seen the sheer number of grim sentries that now surround the island, you're not so sure, but you keep those doubts to yourselves. (I presume) The Gnomegoblins have survived on these islands largely as fisherfolk and gatherers, trading surplus food with the smugglers of The Stink in exchange for crafted goods, tools, and weapons.
Because of this arrangements, the Gnoblins are relatively well armed, although eclectically so. Simple weapons seem to be the order of the day, with most able bodied Gnoblins possessing daggers, spears, or hand axes, mostly of Gnomish make. You can't help but notice that most of the weapons carried by Gnoblins are those that double as tools, and the markings on most indicate this has traditionally been their primary use. Substantial armor and martial weapons - swords, crossbows, flails - are completely absent from Gnoblin stockpiles, although the tribe has managed to get simple cudgels into the hands of those lacking steel. Unlike most Goblins you have encountered, the Gnomegoblins are surprisingly proprietorial, and the lack of a common store makes getting accurate supply counts difficult. After a straw-count, you estimate maybe 40% of the Gnoblins possess quality weaponry.
The Goracle is the tribal leader and the only remaining magic user of note, and while competent, she's basically a hedge magician. What talents and abilities she does possess are dedicated to casting the "Create Food and Water" and "Create Water" spells that the besieged Gnoblins rely on for sustenance. The Goracle indicates that, before the sahuagin appeared, the tribe also had a pair of competent sorcerers, but they were killed in the fighting retreat across the island chain, along with most of the tribes most experienced warriors and the original Oracle, the Goracle's mother. They took with them to their graves what little higher-level understanding the Gnoblins possessed.
After Tana, Marwynn, and Thoven examine the blood-stained altar that protects the redoubt, they suggest the magic is far too powerful and complicated to be of goblin derivation, and very likely even the lost sorcerers had no idea the specifics of the magic. For her part, the Goracle knows very little beyond what was taught to her as a little girl: "If the danger can't be driven off, seek safety below the altar of sacrifice." She knows little about the protections offered by the area, but she feels confident that the wards protect the underground chamber, and probably a small area above ground. The Goracle tells you that, other than in times of emergency, the redoubt complex is unoccupied, and so there are no stockpiles of note and the only construction supplies readily available are those that can be scavenged from the surrounding wooded wetlands.
She can tell you little about the structures on the island beyond what she already has. Gnoblin myth labels the lighthouse as haunted, and the Gnomegoblins will not willingly go anywhere near it. For all anyone knows, it might be virtually untouched since the time of Alexandria. The ancient Temple complex to the south is also avoided, but for totally different reasons: it is Gnoblin holy ground, where He-Whose-Name-Is-Too-Long-To-Remember was laid to rest centuries ago.