With only 2 players joining the game this week, I decided to try something different: a session based on mini-games instead of combat. It would allow for dice-tossing and story progression and not make the other players feel like they missed anything.
Starting the day the monk set off to gather some medicinal herbs (there were some leftovers that cured Poraxion) while Laurius left with some of the monkey-tribe hunters to hunt panthers for their pelts, in hopes of building the hot-air balloon (and explaining why these 2 characters were missing).
The leader of the monkey-tribe asked the adventurers what would be the best course of action for his troops while they were away and Gan Appalix asked all of them (hunters, carpenters, warriors, apprentices) to build traps and set them in the best possible locations near the Fourmian lair for maximum impact. He hoped that the humanoid ants would get caught in them during their exit to confront the goblins he hoped would join their cause.
And so Poraxion and Gan Appalix set off with Bak Boom Boom (a monkey ninja that offered to bring them to the goblin tribe) to meet said tribe, a short trek when you know the way. On their first night of camping Gan got robbed and they soon tracked the culprit to its lair: a tiny Ouistiti that has a fixation for shiny things. They captured it and took a hundred gems that the tiny monkey had gathered over the years.
That being done, they soon arrived to a clearing which marked the beginning of the territory of the red goblins, fire-worshippers. Gan used the magic spector to cloth himself in the finest garments to impress them, and casted Mirror Image on Poraxion to make the goblins believe he had many bodyguards. The monkeys that followed them stayed in the trees, for they have a long-lasting war with the monsters and would be killed on sight.
Approaching the goblin fortified walls (3 feet of badly built wood walls) the adventurers got threatened by the two high-strung sentries. One of them decided to carry out the threat but rolled a 1, critical fail! The poor little fellow fell down the barricade and lost his throwing axe.
Gan Appalix approached him calmly and very officially (pretty cool RPing all night long btw) asked to see their leader. Poraxion blew his dwarven horn for good measure. The little guys were so impressed they immediatly ran off and asked for Kokolé, their leader.
A big, fat, round goblin with its skin the colour of crimson red appeared on a throne of ivory, carried by 20 of his smaller subjects. He asked with a weird accent what were humans doing in this neck-o-the-woods. Gan Appalix announced that they had a proposition for him that would make him rich and powerful, and so Kokolé invited them into his tent made out of a single skin.
After some discussion – most of which was Gan stroking Kokolé’s ego and promissing him great riches and rewards – Kokolé admitted that he wanted to impress his cousin Mokéké (the blue goblin warlord from our previous campaign) that had successfully taken a human city and was now mayor-king-god of his people, but first they had to ask for the favour of the gods.
He asked his shaman to consult the oracles and it was determined that the heroes would have to take the fire-tests in order to impress the gods and bring good fortune on their quest.
First was the test of pain. Poraxion volunteered for this one. The goblin shaman poured one, two, three drops of lava on his hand (higher fortitude check every time) which Poraxion easily passed. He impressed them so much that he was given a goblin throwing axe.
The second test was to drink a potion concocted by the shaman. Appalix drank the whole thing in one gulp and started to hallucinate, to the amusement of the tribe (a willpower check that was failed by just a few points, so the effects weren’t so bad).
The third test was an arm-wrestling contest, which Appalix surprisingly volunteered for again. The goblin butcher showed up, him with his very muscular right arm, and installed himself. Appalix the wizard sat in front of him and installed himself as well. When the go was given, Appalix waited a second and then used Shocking Grasp on his opponent, sending him crashing to the floor! The tribe was again quite happy with the show.
The fourth test was to cross the field of lava geysers, object of worship of the goblin tribe, with ceremonial hats and keep them intact. The ceremonial hats were in fact the camping casseroles of Elegor the human hermit! Many holes shot lava bursts (circular wall of fire spell used) and drops (Fireball with splash damage kinda) and some portions of the floor were cracked. The wizard used levitate to avoid the cracks and ran through the field without a problem. The fighter avoid all the damage thanks to his shield, even when he was jokingly prodded by a goblin spear (he retaliated by throwing a dart right in the culprit’s thigh, which got the whole tribe laughing again).
The fifth and last test consisted of drinking Kokolé’s mother’s soup. This was a pretty tense moment as both adventurers suspected that it was poisoned. They both decided that they were ready to die for their cause and drank it all in one shot. Besides being extremely spicy, the companions felt fine… Until they noticed that their skin was turning as red as the goblins’!
The tribe satisfied and the gods appeased, they returned to Kokolé’s tent to celebrate. The ninja-monkey snuck in to let them know that night was about to fall and they should leave before the goblins got too drunk.
After Kokolé promissed that he would help the heroes attack the Fourmians (he was already at war with them) in exchange for the immense treasure of the giant ant-nest – besides one treasure that Gan Appalix succesfully bargained for – the duo returned to their entourage of intelligent monkeys and set back towards the tribe’s village.