Our brave band of heroes are:
Ranulf Rawhide; a barbarian, played by Kevin.
Egbert the Undecided; a mage, played by Mark.
Urham; a mage, played by Micheala.
Cosmo Naught; a ranger, played by 'Yours Truly', Giro
Returning to Boburn
We had been told by the farm woman that we had helped that we were now wanted outlaws in Boburn? This seemed incredulous to us, so we decided to return and sort matters out.
The journey back was uneventful and as we came into the hamlet of Boburn, we noticed that the outlying buildings looked a little neglected and the hamlet seemed unusually empty, so we investigated the nearest farmhouse.
Within, we found a strange sight. The residents were dressed in bright multicoloured clothes and flamboyant hats?
They were eating dishes of 'summer fruits', which is in itself unusual as summer fruits were currently out of season.
They offered us some fruit, but we refused.
But then, we noticed that they all seemed to be missing limbs! An arm here, a pair of legs there!
We asked why so many of them were missing limbs. "Food isn't cheap!" They replied!
We asked them who was selling them food at such a price? They said it was sold to them by 'little chaps'. We asked them to describe these little chaps and what they described were goblins.
They just didn't care about anything, not the state of their farm, or even the lack of limbs. All they did care about was getting more goblin-fruit
We were staggered at what had happened in the few days we had been away. But seemed that we had been gone for more than three weeks!
We went back into Boburn and looked around. It was the same everywhere as at the farm.
People were dressed colourfully with flamboyant hats and missing limbs.
We questioned of the people and we learned that the town elder Vander had put out a warrant on us, so we went and spoke with him.
We spoke with Vander and he told us that a trio of goblins came into Boburn claiming that they, and not we, had rescued Brenda the cow, the also claimed that we had stolen the cow from them. They brought the head of the ogre that we had killed as 'proof' that they were the rescuers.
No doubt this was the trio of goblins that we showed clemency when we rescued Brenda the cow.
We were shocked that Vander would believe these goblins and Vander insisted that 'Wise Old Woman Wenner' had backed the claim up.
Wise Woman Wenner
So we set off to find Wenner who does not spend time in Boburn.
We exited via the north gate and, on a post there, we saw the ogre's head. At this moment another ogre appeared behind us.
This second ogre spoke to the head, calling him 'Edward' and telling him that they were going off to hunt goblins.
To our great surprise, the ogre head replied! - Calling the second ogre 'Bernard'. Bernard picked up Edward's head and together they went off to hunt goblins.
Goblin hunting was something we were planning to do, but we too shocked to think to ask the ogres anything.
Anyway, putting this event behind us, we moved on. Soon we spotted Wise Old Woman Wenner, she was close to the woods, picking mushrooms. She was the wise woman we had spoken to earlier and sold us mushroom potions.
We approached Wenner and asked her if she knew anything about the situation in Boburn. She replied that she had. "Nothing to do with city folk". and she provided us with a rhyme.
It was a pretty ominous rhyme. Wenner went on and said that she had seen three goblins riding the cow back to the village, "No doubt along a goblin-road." She explained.
We did not know what a goblin-road was? Wenner took us to a unusual looking stone. It was difficult to see, but some of us saw goblins 'emerge' from the stone and head in the direction of Boburn carrying filled sacks.
Wenner then told us. "Goblin food is a Thing Best Forgotten."
We returned to Boburn, the goblin tracks led to the inn and we followed them.
The inn was empty and quiet - except for one individual.
He was a little man dressed in green, with a green hat and pointed shoes, we noticed that he had only three fingers on each hand. A pixie?
He introduced himself as 'Stink' a hunter of goblins. During the conversation, Stink explained that he was cursed by goblins to always smell. So he took the name Stink and became a hunter of goblins. He had actually killed the goblins who came to Boburn to sell their fruit to the villagers and had their heads in a sack under the table!
We asked Stink what he knew about what the goblins were doing in Boburn? Stink explained that once the goblins have taken payment for the fruit they've sold, they take the payment and trade it at the 'goblin market.
As with the goblin roads, we knew nothing about the goblin market. Stink explained that he also knew very little and that we should speak with 'Milo The Arch-Mage, Sunderer Of Crowns', he would know how to get to the goblin market.
The Tower of Milo, the Arch-Mage
Milo's tower is far to the east and Stink agrees to help us get there via goblin roads. We find a goblin road stone and kick it.
The stone spouts a riddle, the answer to the riddle is what we must give the stone in order to access the road.
This we did and entered the goblin road.
After an hour we emerged from the goblin road on to a hillside. From our vantage point we saw a tower on a cliff.
We went to the tower and after some time managed to speak with Milo who magically emerged from his tower. We asked him about the goblin market. Milo replied that it was a bad idea to go to the goblin market and that he would not help us.
Milo explained that there was a map that showed the goblin market in his tower. He challenged us to try to get the map, he also explained that he would be gone for four hours and that is how long we had to gain it. With that he departed.
There was no easy way or doorway into the tower. Eventually, the mages used their magic to open a door in.
We explored the ground floor of the tower and found a library. We explored the library and even through there was row upon of scrolls and books, we couldn't read any of them, or even take them off the shelves. They were all protected by powerful magic.
We went upstairs to the first floor and found a laboratory.
We also found an inhabitant. For all intents and purposes, he looked a red-skinned, winged demon. He introduced himself as Percival and said he was here to 'collect payment'?
We explained that we did not know what he was talking about. Percival went on to say that since we were here, one of us must be his payment.
We explained to him that this was not the case.
Percival did not agree with us and attacked.
Our battle was successful and we managed to drive Percival off, he vanished in a puff of smoke.
We searched the laboratory but found no map.
We went up to the next floor; the observatory.
The floor was searched and again found no map. We even checked the telescope and examined what it was looking at. There was nothing useful there either.
We went back down to the library and them down again to what was a kitchen.
We tried to search the kitchen, but like the library above, it was protected by magic.
The stairs continued downwards, so we followed them.
We now found ourselves in some sort of storeroom. Like the laboratory, we found an inhabitant here. Grey skinned, with a scary, almost monsterous visage and grey wings, it was a gargoyle.
We spoke with the gargoyle and it was happy to chat with us and we when asked about the demon in laboratory, the gargoyle said it was actually just a janitor? However the gargoyle proved unwilling to help us, but it did let slip that all maps were kept in the library.
So to the library we returned. After some contemplation, we realised that we could actually use the magic to our advantage.
The magic would help us by providing us with what we needed. We asked the library for a map of the goblin market and how to get there - and the library provided it!
Then we also took the opportunity to ask the library for scrolls and books on spells and magic items and it complied!
The Goblin Market
We left the tower loaded with knowledge and equipment. As we left, we encountered Milo, he did not mind that we had taken some stuff from his tower. He congratulated us and wished us good luck.
Stink was sleeping when we found him. He was kicked awake and using the map, a goblin road to the goblin market was found and off we went.
Our journey to the goblin market was uneventful, it was a busy place, bustling with people, shops and stalls. Luckily we had the map, otherwise it would have been impossible to know where to start.
Focussing our attention on the map was saw a shop call 'Things Best Forgotten'.
This drew our memories back to something that the wise-woman Wenner had previously said. "Goblin food is a Thing Best Forgotten.".
This could not be a coincidence. It also made sense; the villagers of Boburn were clearly addicted to the goblin fruits. Something that made them forget the goblin fruit might possibly also make them forget their addiction to it.
We decided to head to the shop. Unfortunately, to get there we had to pass through another shop called 'Makeup'.
It turns out in order to pass through, we would need to make up something?
Urham immediately understood what was needed and made up a story. "The moon is made of candy-floss." Said Urham.
The shop assistant then told us we would need to provide candy-floss in order to pass through his shop!
Once more we scrutinised the map of the goblin market for anything that might aid us and we spotted a shop called 'Sweets', headed on over and bought some candy-floss.
Returning to Makeup, we handed over the candy-floss and could now get into Things Best Forgotten.
Inside Things Best Forgotten, we spoke with the shop owner who did have a cure for goblin fruit addiction and gestured at a large jug filled with liquid. The shop owner then informed us that there was a heavy price to pay for it.
It would cost one of us a memory!
There was a discussion amongst us and Egbert agreed to pay the cost with his memory of a language he knew. Luckily it was a language he didn't use very much!
The problem solved
After the grim cost was paid, we left the goblin market behind and took a goblin road back to Boburn.
Things were starting to take a turn for the worse in Boburn. Stink had killed the goblins who had come to the hamlet to sell their fruit to the villagers. Thus the villagers had gone for sometime without eating the goblin fruit. They had become agitated and fidgety, possibly on the verge of getting violent with one another.
Searching the hamlet we found Vanders and gave him some of the liquid from the jug, the cure worked! Vanders then gave the cure to a few people he could trust. Then they gave the cure to others. Fairly soon, the entire population was cured of their addiction to the goblin-fruit.
As a reward, they gave use the prize cow Brenda!
In Darkest Warrens, an explanation
In Darkest Warrens a very light RPG, condensed into 2 pages or so.
PCs have 4 stats, each with an associated value. All tasks are assigned to one of these 4 stats. To succeed, all a player needs to do is roll equal to or above the value (So lower values are better.).
There are 5 professions, each profession grants a player a special ability that they can use once per combat
Magic is equally as simple and elegant. Magic users can cast each spell they know once per combat, but if they fail to cast it, they don't lose the spell and can try to cast it again (Until they succeed at it.).
I could write more, but it would probably end up longer than the actual rules.
Suffice to say that these rules are designed for quick 'pick-up-and-play' fun and not long term play.
So on with adventure and exploration!
Because of lockdown we're playing over Skype, a new experience for us.
Wise Woman Wenner's rhyme
“We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?”
Down the glen tramp little men,
One hauls a basket,
One bears a plate,
One lugs a golden dish
Of many pounds weight.
One had a cat’s face,
One whisk’d a tail,
One tramped at a rat’s pace,
One crawled like a snail."
Wise Woman Wenner is quoting (without attribution) a section from The Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti.
The Goblin Market Map
This map of a magical market was posted by its creator on Reddit but I cannot find who that was. It was such a useful map, I used it for the Goblin Market, working Things Best Forgotten (top left) into the story.
Milo The Arch-Mage, Sunderer Of Crowns, Milo to his friends
Buy your own copy of In Darkest Warrens for not much money
These write-ups are taken from Three Spellcasters and a Dwarf