Maryth’s last two words had been goblin revolution.
It was, however, getting late, so Vaerion and Paul didn’t have any time at all to say, “Wait what?”
Instead, they decided to hastily make their way back to the wagon with the two goblins, all bound up. They walked back through the goblin trail, making sure not to hit any other traps.
Luckily for them, there were no more traps left on the trail anyway. Still, it was smart of them to check for traps as they walked. One should always be on the lookout for traps. Seriously, the number of people who die to traps every year is staggering.
Despite all the attention they were paying to the traps, we can’t still say that they were being 100% careful. In fact, just as Maryth was saying “Oh hey Portnoy!” to Portnoy, he tripped and fell. The only thing that hurt was his pride.
When he looked back at what had caused him to trip, he realized that it was a gnome. (Another gnome!) She quickly introduced herself to the group as Lovelace.
Lovelace was running away from some sort of a dark past. Apparently, her lover was murdered. And by her lover, she meant her spouse. And by murdered, she meant maybe by her. But probably not. She was never too clear about that. What could she be hiding?
Basically, all the party could gather from Lovelace was the fact that she was on a path of vengeance with a crossbow and her tinkering skills.
As Lovelace finished her story, Paul found it appropriate to remind her that the goods on the wagon were 100% not up for grabs. The rest of the party responded by nodding along. After all they were supposed to deliver the goods to the rought-and-tumble settlement Phandalin, particularly to Barthen’s Provisions, a trading post in the settlement.
The party had started to wind down after what had been a very long day, when Vaerion reminded everyone, “So we have Gremlins.”
“Gremlins, don’t you mean, Goblins?” Maryth said, barely not scoffing at Vaerion’s mistake in nomenclature.
“Well I meant Goblins, you know that. Anyways, Lovelace, we think you can help us out. Why don’t you help us out?”
Paul interjected, “Yes, I see great potential in you. We can make our activities, much, much more efficient with you on board.”
Maryth couldn’t help but agree with Paul’s statement. “You scratch our back, we scratch yours. Everybody gets scratched.”
Lovelace agreed to join the party. Maybe she thought the eclectic collection of humanoids would prove to be an interesting experience. Or maybe she thought she could make some quick cash helping those people around. Or maybe she thought she could use the other adventurers to help her out on her path of vengeance.
To Plan a Revolution
The adventurers decided against making a campfire upon Vaerion’s insistence. It wasn’t that cold and they didn’t really want to be spotted by any goblins or other potential threats.
They decided that, since Maryth and Portnoy (the two elves), didn’t need to sleep, they would keep watch, while the others rested until sunrise.
Hours passed. Portnoy meditated, trying to recover even more of his magical energies, while Maryth scribbled into his notebook. It was then that he realized that one of the goblins was staring intently at him.
“Can I help you,” Maryth asked the goblin.
“Ah no, nothing. I am just trying to get you,” the goblin said.
“What do you mean?”
“Ah well, you say you free us, but then you don’t free us, and now you keep us. What gives, I wonders.”
“Hey. It is not in my hands. It is up to your boss to decide whether you live or you don’t.”
“Ah well. That will be a problem eh?”
The chatter woke Vaerion up, who didn’t need much sleep anyway, due to his fey ancestry. He saw that Maryth was working on his book. In turn, Maryth noticed that Vaerion was looking at him, and threw him shade – which is to say that Maryth let Vaerion know that he didn’t care too much for his opinions about him by only using his eyes.
“What are you writing there?” Vaerion asked, trying to be friendly.
“It is on the nature of magic. As you may know, I am an expert on nature magic after all. I have spent years mastering it. You wouldn’t understand it.”
“Well try me. I’d actually really like to see what you’re working on.”
“Oh… Well I can send you a manuscript eventually when I’m done.”
“I’d appreciate that.”
Then their chatter woke Paul and Lovelace up. The two gnomes woke up exactly at the same time due to something Paul called “gnome cunning.” Apparently, when gnomes sleep in close proximity to one another, they appear in each other’s dreams. Since that was the case, they also woke up together.
“Now that everyone’s up,” said Vaerion, “is it time to plan the revolution?”
In response Maryth said, “Whoa whoa whoa, slow down. Let me explain the plan first. You and Paul know the plan already, but we gotta repeat it for Portnoy and Lovelace.”
Then Maryth explained to everyone how they had overheard the two goblins they had captured talking about the bad working conditions and unreasonable expectations at the goblin lair. He explained how the goblins thought being expected to bring five fingers everyday instead of four was too much.
He then said that they’d try to bring the two goblins they had to the lair and try to bargain with the goblins’ boss, the bugbear named Klarg. They’d trade the two goblins for the two captives they had. Easy peasy.
Paul seemed a bit confused at this. He had though that they’d go into the goblin lair, guns blazing. Guns, in this case, referring to the bows, crossbows, and swords they had and not to any literal boomsticks. Although maybe they could buy boomsticks from Phandalin once they got there.
Lovelace seemed to like Paul’s idea more as well.
But Maryth was of the opinion that the revolution would only be necessary if Klarg said no. Portnoy was on his side as well, he thought there’d be too much threat to deal with. He didn’t want to fight unless it was absolutely necessary.
At that point, Maryth realized that one of the goblin’s was very intently listening to the conversation, despite the fact that he didn’t speak common.
“What is it you are talking about,” the goblin asked.
“We are going to trade your lives in exchange for the lives of our dwarven friend Gundren.”
“Call me Ib, by the way. And… well that is gonna be an issue. You see Klarg. He is no goblin. He does not really care about goblin lives very much. It will be problem.”
With a smile on his face, “But Yeemik might.”
Maryth explained to the others what Ib had just said. Vaerion said, “That’s it! That’s the plan. We let this goblin leave, so that he arranges a meeting with this Yeemik.”
Maryth explained Vaerion’s idea to Ib. Ib didn’t seem to buy it at first.
“Ok, but why am I coming back alone? Won’t they want to hear what happened to Lig? Did we find something? We found a treasure? What kind of treasure? GIVE ME THE TREASURE! Oh wait, the treasure is fake.”
After the adventurers convinced Ib that everything will be just all right, Ib left to go back to the lair.
An hour later, the adventurers had walked back to the trap site from the other day and were waiting for Ib to come back with Yeemik. They waited among the soothing smell of pines, mint, and berries and the gentle breeze that hadn’t stopped blowing since yesterday.
Eventually, Ib came back and with him he brought a slightly larger other goblin, who had a huge scimitar and a scar over his right eye.
Speaking directly at Maryth, Ib said, “Well I have funny story.”
“I go to the lair and find Yeemik. I tell him, Lig found huge treasure and we need you so come help. But Yeemik is very very smart. He doesn’t believe. So I tell him your revolution plan.”
But before the adventurers can say even a single word of shock, Ib added, “But he like idea! This is Yeemik!”
“Hello everyone,” Yeemik exclaimed, as if on cue, in common.
“We can thpeak to one another very clearly, I hope.”
“Whoa you can speak common?” Paul tactlessly asked and was shut down by the entire party.
“Theriouthly. I am tchook. I thought we wanted to be friendth. But Yeemik ith forgiving. It’th okay.”
Yeemik then explained to the adventurers that talking with Klarg would not work; as he did not care for goblin lives. He also explained that the dwarf Gundren was not at their lair, but his warrior human friend Sildar was there
But he agreed that he would go back to the lair and let everyone know that he would be receiving help from some outsiders to overthrow Klarg.
“By the goblinth, for the goblinth!”
Klarg, The One Who Makes Thrones Out of Bones
An hour after Yeemik and Ib left, the adventurers and Lig, following the goblins’ trail, came across a large cave in a hillside five miles from the scene of the ambush. A shallow stream flowed out of the cave mouth, which was screened by dense briar thickets. A narrow dry path lead into the cave on the right-hand side of the stream.
Thanks to Yeemik’s intel, the adventurer’s knew that normally there would have been two goblin guards behind the briar thickets. They weren’t there, however, meaning that Yeemik probably good for his word.
Just as they had planned, Paul started to play his bagpipe. A moment later, they started hearing some sounds and voices coming from within the cave. Soon enough, ten goblins exited the lair and stood in line, facing the adventurers.
Then, lumbering over the goblins came the large bugbear known to his enemies and acquantinces as Klarg.
“WHO DARE DEFY KLARG?” the bugbear bellowed.
Vaerion introduced himself and explained the situation. “So, if you give us our friend back, we will give you your goblin back.”
With a wicked smile on his face, Klarg raised his club and smashed a goblin that was standing just next to him dead.
“I WILL MAKE A THRONE OUT OF YOUR BONES!”
Vaerion was rendered speechless, but Maryth figured this was their opportunity. He started a speech. He asked the goblins if it was their decision that this thing was their boss. How did it all come to this? Were they satisfied to be ruled over this thing, who was not even a goblin?
“Do you want to live in fear, just as a point to be made?” he said pointing at the remains of the poor goblin.
“You have nothing to lose but your chains!” he concluded.
After that, Yeemik started walk slowly toward Klarg. It seemed like he too had a few things he had to say.
“Heh. It theemth like it ith time for uth to rithe inded.”
He raised his scimitar and pointed it at Klaarg. “Goblinth will never be thlaveth to bugbear!”
Klarg said, “BROAAAORRHGH,” which, when translated, roughly means, “Oh wow. I wasn’t expecting you to defy my authority this way. Shit, now I have no choice but to kill you.”
He raised his club to smash Yeemik into a paste, but he was distracted when one of Maryth’s arrows hit him in the shoulder. He was more annoyed than hurt, but the die was cast. It was time for a fight.
Maryth’s arrow caused the whole pretense of a parley to crumble. Behind Yeemik and Klarg, the goblins started fighting each other – camp Yeemik against clan Klarg.
As the fight started, Paul started singing an encouraging tune, hoping to help Vaerion lift his spirits.
Lovelace gathered all her arcane energies, firing three magic missiles at Klarg. The missiles hit the massive creature in his legs, torso, and head – leaving him somewhat disoriented.
Following that, Portnoy cast a ray of frost at Klarg, which nearly froze him solid, but not quite.
Vaerion rushed towards Klarg, his sword raised high. Encouraged by Paul’s song, Vaerion managed to hit Klarg, lacerating his neck. Klarg tried to attack Vaerion back, but Vaerion was too nible for the disoriented creature. Not to mention too full of himself, honestly.
Paul tried to aim his crossbow at the gash on Klarg’s neck but missed and accidentally hit a goblin behind him. Luckily for the adventurers, this was one of the bad goblins who had sided with Klarg.
One by one, the adventurers hit Klarg again and again and again. Then Yeemik gestured at Vaerion, saying that he would help distract Klarg so that he could attack him freely.
With all his might, Vaerion stabbed Klarg through his ribs. This didn’t quite kill Klarg, but it got him really, really tired. Blood gushed out from the wound, flowing all over Vaerion’s head, except his eyes, since he had turned his face around strategically.
Being the opportunist he was, Paul moved in for the kill. He also raised his sword and stabbed Klarg in the torso, twisting and basically turning Klarg’s insides into a smoothie. As Klarg’s insides flowed out, Paul reveled in the violence he had caused.
And then it was over. Klarg was dead.
With the “revolution” complete, Yeemik held up his end of the promise and brought the adventurers Sildar Hallwinter, but not before cracking a little joke.
You see, Yeemik told the adventurers, “I will bring you our captive if you can tell me his name.” The adventurers, dumbfounded, couldn’t remember the poor man’s name for a second, but then it turned out Yeemik was just yanking their chain.
Sildar explained to the adventurers that Gunder was taken Cragmaw Castle and that he had a map to a place called the Wave Echo Cave. That was the reason why they were stopped and kidnapped in the first place. But they’d have to solve that mystery later.
With Sildar joining their party, the adventurers decided to go back to the wagon. Tomorrow would be another day and they’d go to Phandalin then.
Two years later, the environs of the original ambush site came to be known as The Tootheater’s Gambit, named after none other than Yeemik Tootheater. You see, after taking control of the goblin lair, Yeemik became the most ruthless goblin leader the world had ever seen. He would bash out the teeth of his enemies and eat them, so that no one would ever mock his lisp ever again.