Let’s talk about goblins! I want to tell you about goblins in Isger as they relate to a very traumatic event for the principality which will add some context to the Bramble bashers.
Twenty Years before our party arrived in Breech-hill a vast forest covered most of southern Isger and was home to all manner of creepy and crawling horrors, of which many tribes of Hobgoblin and goblins lived taking from the land and breeding prodigiously. This forest is known as the Chitterwood.
Humans would venture into the forest for hunting and logging, but such work was as dangerous as it was profitable but most importantly their ventures into the forest showed the hobgoblin tribes new methods, tactics and a vision.
The hobgoblins learned from the adventurers and guards on those fraught incursions into their home. They mimicked the Hellknight’s applications of organization and inflicted slavery upon their smaller goblinoid kin. Quickly they massed a formidable alliance of hobgoblin tribes and enslaved goblin fodder troops.
When they reached critical mass the armies of the Chitterwood spilled out across the roads and rivers of Isger. First, they waylaid merchants and travelers but hamlets and towns soon followed. This upstart army threatened the Chelaxian trade routes to markets on the land locked sea known as Lake Encarthan. The Conerica River which Taffy, Demos and Stheno traveled on at the start of their journey ran red in those years.
A triad of unlikely allies, Mercenaries of Druma, Andoran Eagle Knights and a small order of Chelaxian Hellknights rose up to contain the goblinoid army in Isger before it could sublimate the land and build into a greater fighting force.
Every battle was bloody and hard fought. Losses mounted catastrophically on each side, but the hobgoblins were driven back into the Chitterwood. But there doesn’t end the tale as goblins and hobgoblins procreate twice as fast as humans. If left to their hidden warrens underneath the Chitterwood the tribes would rise well before the humans of Isger could mount a new defense.
That is when the great burning began. The old men with hollowed eyes and grim jaws still tell tales of when there were no more civilians. If you could swing and ax or carry a torch you helped burn out the threat to your farms and family.
Some of the Chitterwood survives to this day but the forest is a shade of its former mass. The surviving tribes native to the wood, and there were survivors, found their way into deep, dark caverns below.
Fathers and Mothers still remember. They still hear the slaying songs of goblin raiders. Cheliax has sent servants of Asmodeus to set up orphanages and provide support to the people in their hour of need. The Isgeri though cannot help but ask at what cost does the Hellish Prince of Law pass out alms?
Almost miraculously, a fair valley nestled into the five kings mountains hosted a small town serving a defunct Hellknight outpost. Breechhill found itself just far enough north of the main conflict to avoid the worse effects but close enough to profit with their stores of goods. This small town may well be the trite definition of provincial, but it is home to the first rays of hope for goblin and human relationships in Isger.
In this small town Warbal and the rest of the Bramblebashers try to work together to make the land safe for both peoples. Warbal’s years of service to Breechhill and her shattering of misconceptions about goblinoids has started the foundations of a new future, if our intrepid adventurers can tread with the utmost care. More than they know may rest in their hands.