So the gang had a few days of rest and healing up, lots of downtime stuff was accomplished: Gax completed his subterranean renovation project, Jung got her battle wagon painted and ready for war, Zattera poked around the Curio shop and found a fancy blank scroll that Marast sold him for 20gold (Sidron has confirmed that it is indeed magical, but still blank), Wolrf disappeared for a few days and showed back up at home sporting some new scars and lugging a fresh polar bear pelt with him, Sidron spent some time doing research, Torrik brooded angstfully carving small creepy figurines that he spent his time hiding around the gangs HQ for other to find. Meanwhile Magnus did some serious Artificer prep work; crafting a set of magic pockets (one larger than the rest) and some healing potions. Magnus leaves the largest pocket in his new workshop (courtesy of Gax’s construction project) and distributes the other pockets around the group. These smaller pockets are all magically linked to the bigger pocket, as long as the holder is within 100 miles of the pocket in the gang’s HQ they can reach through their magic pocket and withdraw anything housed withing the bigger pocket. Gax, not grasping Magnus’ fastidiousness, dumps a few handfuls of peanuts into the pockets dubbing it his “Snack Bag”. This resulted in Magnus throwing peanuts out on the street and confiscating Gax’s magic pocket from him. Also, side note: The gang picks up some town talk that a Killer Whale body has washed ashore. Well, half a Killer Whale washed ashore. As the residents of NorthWood hold these marine mammals in a sort of reverential awe the whole town views this as a bad portent…
Having picked up two contracts that they feel that can work at the same time the gang sets to work:
Job #1 is for the city of NorthWood. Since the free people of the eastern kingdom have treaties in place with the goblonoid races the city contracted a clan of Goblins to repair and expand the city’s aging sewer system Work had been going well until the Goblins exited the sewers en mass and set up a shanty town in a park in the southern district of the city. They refuse to return to their work until the metal people are removed from the sewers. Kobolds are also fleeting the sewers and taking up residence in abandoned homes in the poorer districts as well. Kobolds have long lived in the dark recesses of the sewers living off of whatever they can scavenge from the waste of the city above. The gang is contracted to see how extensive the problem is and to fix it if possible.
Job #2 is for Thelray (their client who hired them to bring him the giant Ghost Boar) wants a living Rust Monster for… well for whatever he does with things like that. Knowing that they can be found in the sewer systems as well the gang doubles down and takes the job to bring Thelray a living breathing metal munching beastie.
The gang divides their efforts to gather intel: Zattera and Gax head to the office of Ingvar Ermundson, the city employee who’s job it is to oversee the Goblin’s work on the sewers. He tells the duo that from what the Goblins have told him he’s confident that a mysterious race known as Modrons are to blame. Ingvar himself made a brief excursion down into the sewers to see what the issues were and he did find a tunnel of all new construction. Clean with smooth walls. He has mixed feelings as the parts of the sewer system the Modrons have reconstructed work so much more efficiently than the original sewer tunnels. He’s not sure if the Modrons are really a bad thing for NorthWood, but has some anxiety about what they may do if they ever finish the sewers; will they head to the surface then?
The rest of the gang venture to Fang-Town, the Goblin shantytown set up in Night-Sun Park. They encounter some residents who let them know they are anxious to see the Goblins leave their park as they use large portions of it as a communal farm during the warmer months. The communal farm there playing a large role in making sure these poor families have enough food for their tables. The gang is soon at the shantytown. Hovels made of whatever scraps could be collected dot the park, trails of smoke rise from cooking fires here and there – the smell of dirty laundry and refuse boiled together in pots nearly overwhelming. On a knoll near the middle of the park an imposing, if rickety, makeshift fort stands. Some goblins inform the gang that it’s known as Fort Fang and there they can find their leader, Agvu. Approaching the gates Sidron attempts to gain entry as the goblins on watch taunt him from above. Torrik gets frustrated and begins shoulder checking the mismatched doors of Fort Fang, they hold. Negotions continue as Jung looses an arrow into the wall below the guards and Torrik continues to use his dwarven frame as a battering ram. The guards tell Sidron to call off his goon (Torrik), Torrik refuses to comply throwing his body into the doors again and again, his anger rising with each body-blow. One of the guards, frustrated that this uncontrollable dwarf is trying to force his way into Fort Fang sounds a small battle horn and the whole shantytown comes to life! Goblins take up arms: spears, and knives, and clubs, and cooking pans. They begin to rally towards the Goblin Fort. Enraged Torrik throws himself recklessly against this gate and with a rending crack the door springs open. The gang find themselves surrounded by more Goblins than they can easily count. Sidron makes some quick bribes of the guards as the gang corrals Torrik and they are eventually allowed entry… IF they will leave their weapons behind. Sidron, Magnus, and Wolrf agree while Torrik and Jung stay behind as a couple hundred murderous Goblin eyes keep a close watch on them.
Soon our three weaponless adventurers find themselves led into a tent within the fort. They meet the largest Goblin any of them have ever seen, nearly as tall as a dwarf. Agvu is an intimidating presence for a Goblin. Years of battle and physical training have sculpted him into a bulk of muscle. His “bookeeper” a mad little Goblin lady named Okta soon totals up the cost of the damage of the gate, giving different figures each time but all of them exorbitant. As Sidron tries to reason the price down Magnus produces a stone he has crafted with his Artificer magic. When pressed this stone produces the sound a a healthy burst of flatulence. Agvu is not entertained by this trinket, BUT Okta certainly is. She deems it more than sufficient payment and Agvu, who clearly looks after this mad Goblin, allows it as payment for gate damages. The gang soon gets intel from Agvu that their camp was indeed attacked by Modrons. They killed many of his crew and thus he ordered a retreat. They have set up this camp until the city can make the sewers a safe enough place for his crews to return to work. Asking about the Kobold exodous Agvu tells the gang that the Kobolds are holed up in an abandoned house a few blocks away. He doesn’t know which house but the residents of the nearby blocks do. Sidron, Magnus, and Wolrf make their farewells and gathering Torrik and Jung the exit the shantytown.
Soon the whole gang is reunited and stroll a few blocks where they find the residents all have a small pile of food-scraps set outside near their doorsteps. Knocking on a door they find that the residents started doing so because the Kobolds will take the scraps and typically leave their homes undisturbed (pets do tend to go missing never to return). The residents point them to a decrepit house that was once quite palatial. After navigating a long series of traps that include: buckets of fetid sewage, weakened floorboards, greased steps, and a snake trapped in an urn – the gang eventually arrive at the top floor where a voice from the ceiling (after some convincing) agrees to talk to one of them. Sidron again takes the lead and climbs a rope into the attic where he is met by 25-30 Kobolds and their leader: Bih. Bih is a flambouant Kobold, with bright makeup on their face and adorned with ribbons and baubles. Bih agrees to vacate the top-side of the city IF the gang can find the Kobolds lair (among all the Modron renovations) and remove “Big Boss” so Bih can take their rightful place as leader of the clan. Sidron agrees to do so and to meet Bih’s condition that a gem-stone be left on the lawn out front to let them know the deed is done.
A long day of intel gathering behind them the gang makes their weary way home for a night in their own beds before delving beneath NorthWood in the morning.