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The Hill Cantons

I’m playing in a play-by-email Labyrinth Lord game hosted by the webmaster of the Hill Cantons old-school blog. Myself and 13 other intrepid adventurers (each with roughly 10,000 XP) have travelled to a new world (or a new part of the world? who knows with these magic transporting monolithic doohickeys) and are establishing ourselves in this place.

I am Prince Gureld the Stout, menace to the throne of the Goblin Empire of Gruz’nek. (We are re-skinned halflings – meaning we are the stealthiest goblins you have ever met.)


Prince Gureld the Stout

  • Str 9
  • Int 10
  • Wis 10
  • Dex 16
  • Con 11
  • Cha 10
  • Hit Points: 13

He thinks he is a king amongst men, mostly because he’s only lived among goblins. He’s not as much of a boozer as his kin, but expects to be able to change that once he’s running his own show instead of playing third-fiddle in the empire. he’s proud of his mane of dreadlocks and ties ornaments to them (any jewelry he may pick up adventuring gets repurposed as dreadlock pendants). The heavy blue tattoo down the right side of his face indicates his noble rank in the empire. His voice is somewhat whiney to a human, but vaguely commanding to goblins. When dealing with tall folk, he often forgets that he’s only half their height.

He plays goblin bocce in his spare time, and his bocce nemesis (and good friend) is the head of a goblin thieve’s guild – basically the goblin mafia.

The Goblin Empire of Gruz’nek has been landlocked between it’s “betters” for decades now – with nasty elves in the woods to the north, crazed barbarians along the edge of the woods, and far worse, allied orcs on all other sides. Finding a portal to a new realm is exactly the thing they need to expand again. And of course, the job falls to Prince Gureld the Stout. The goblin empire is a mix of what you would expect from drunken halflings and typical D&D goblins. In order to survive crowded in by orcs and elves, they’ve developed a functional agrarian society, arm themselves to the teeth with discarded orcish hardware, and hide. And drink. They reproduce like rabbits fortunately, and seem to be able to subsist off of mud and beer.

The architecture of Gruz’nek is surprisingly ornate. It turns out that the empire is based around an area that was once a dwarven mithril mine many centuries ago, and the entire valley was riddled with fine dwarven architecture. The empire learned to build their own buildings based on this architecture… now if only they learned something about dwarven metallurgy. Metallurgy is basically beyond them. They steal their steel – from the elves to the North or discards from their orcish allies.The main source of good steel weapons for the nobles is from selling goblin architectural services to some of the more “wanna-be” orcish tribe leaders. They also have a thriving beer-making industry that honestly seems to involve somehow turning mud into alcohol. It’s not GOOD beer, but it gets you drunk, once you get the grit out of your teeth.

Gruz’nek military tactics are pretty simple – get a bunch of the boys together, give them beer and then give them pointy sticks and aim them at the elves.

Actually, they don’t really dislike the elves, it’s more the other way around. The orcs are the real problem.

Prince Gureld has shown up with his personal kit as well as

  • Food for 150 goblins for 1 month (nowhere near enough)
  • Shurrek the Shrunken – level 3 Elven Advisor
  • 50 goblin light infantry
  • 1 Blacksmith & 1 apprentice
  • 50 goblin wolf-riders
  • 50 goblin families
  • 200 gallons of beer (unless I can get a discount for it being goblin beer)
  • and…
  • 500 chickens!

Mmmm… chicken and beer… All we need is to find a magical deep fryer.