Goblin Nonsense... (The Kingdom of Zog)
Here be the stories of the fallen goblin Kingdom of Zog...
If one asked a knowledgeable Pathfinder about the Kingdom of Zog, he or she might say
The Kingdom of Zog was a small empire of goblins ruled by a dynasty of seven barghests in the River Kingdoms.
First created in 4071 AR, the kingdom sprang up after goblins overwhelmed the young kingdom of Alban (modern-day Lambreth) and took its place as master of the region. Ruled over by barghests, the empire survived until 4217 AR when the Yellowtongue Sickness swept through the region, crippling the kingdom. It then fell to a loose coalition of adventurers, riverfolk, and half-elves that same year.
The goblins of Zog left behind many pits, delves, and hidden cave complexes that have yet to be explored...
But there's so much more to the story. Each of the barghests who ruled in the dynasty seized rule violently, consumed their predecessor, and left a legacy of destruction and gruesome horror in their wake. It is said that the Skulls of each were preserved by goblin shamans and that each became a potent magical artifact.
In a kingdom of such violence and charnel amusement, it should come as no surprise that the symbol of rule was no mere rod, but a weapon. A short sword, forged of cold-wrought iron, black as the demon tongue of a yeth hound. It spoke to the holder, encouraging bloodshed and arson and also granting powers in combat while simultaneously encouraging other powerful folk around it to seize the blade for their own. Treachery among the goblin-kin was rife, and some scholars lay it at the feet of that sword.
Of the barghests who ruled the kingdom, only rumor has been passed down, but explorers in the area claim that a rock naming them was recovered. None now know if this rock exists, but communion with spirits who serve the Goblin Hero gods revealed this...
Zog the Eater founded the Kingdom of Zog, slaying and devouring a Hobgoblin warlord to consolidate his power. He was in turn slain and eaten by his son, Zagog the Devourer, who cemented the method by which the throne was secured that his heirs would follow. Zozeg the Consumer, Zagog's nephew, had the shortest rule, but was the largest male and a powerful brute in combat. His cousin, Zig the Drinker, son of Zagog, succeeded Zozeg and conversely enjoyed the longest rule and spread the kingdom to its largest expanse and control. Zig was rumored to be a vampire, but nothing conclusive was ever found. His great grand-nephew, Zoggiz the Diner, deposed Zig privately. Zoggiz was an aberrant to the line, exercising personal restraint. He was a fastidious eater and never allowed others to see him at meals. He was also a practitioner of witchcraft. His daughter Zigga the Gluttonous was the only female ruler of the line, but also the largest physically of the entire line. She worshiped Asmodeus and wielded divine magics. Her grandson, Zag the Destroyer, was a barbarian brute, a throwback to Zozeg. He ended Zigga's rule and the dynasty died with him.
The skulls of the ancient Barghest rulers were kept as a grim reminder of the cost of the throne. As they passed down through the years, some became more. It is thought that Zoggiz the Diner empowered the skulls of his fore bearers with magics. Though uncatalogued at their creation, and with no idea if the skulls of those that followed were enchanted as well, it is known that Zoggiz kept them behind his throne, hung from the walls, and that the eyes lit from within from time to time.
Some speculate that the Sword of Zog was the item used to empower the skulls. That fell blade was ever in the forefront of the Kingdom. Any who bear it might be able to call upon the skulls for additional power.
Scattered across the Echo Wood are a variety of ruins made from similar materials and with similar architectural features. The largest of these are four sites now frequented by adventurers, all within a day's ride of Thornkeep itself. Indeed, the Accursed Halls are directly below the hill on which sits the Keep of Thornkeep. Of the others, The Emerald Spire is both the most striking and largest. The Misted Vaults and Castle Baskraal are the other two great ruins, but they are by no means the only. Lonely towers, feast halls whose only guests now are the trees growing within their shattered shells, even a great amphitheater in a depression in the woods can be found.
Of the two Great Ruins, Castle Baskraal is the one tied to the Kingdom of Zog. It was a fortress of the goblins and it was here that the Kingdom finally fell. Five hundred years ago an army under Lady Tarwynna shattered the fortress, drove out the goblin defenders, and slew the last barghest king, Zag the Destroyer. His head was mounted at the entry for any goblin who returned to find. No goblin has dared to set foot there in all the years since. Monsters and worse have made it their home now for many years. Currently, a menace known as the Ebon Fang holds the castle. Recently it was attacked by servants of the lich, then besieged for several weeks only to have the attackers simply leave without having seized control of the ruin. Troglodyte tribesmen still man the walls, so the Ebon Fang seems to still be in charge.
In the Thornkeep area there are those considered more expert than others in their knowledge of the local ruins. Three major ones are currently operating in the area.
In Thornkeep is a dwarf woman named Pendra. She is from the Five Kings Mountains far away, a pilgrim set on the Great Task by High King Gunnar I, Toragson in Janderhoff. She has plumbed both the deepest levels of the Accursed Halls below Thornkeep itself as well as delved the depths of The Emerald Spire. Recently she has allied with the Goldenfire Order and contracts other adventurers to explore the local ruins, bringing her any finds regarding the architecture and mechanisms they find in them.
Fort Inevitable's second-in-command is a hard Chelaxian woman named Valyria Crispin, more commonly known as the Hamatulass. She is a HellKnight of the Order of The Pike. She rose to prominence searching the dungeons of The Emerald Spire on behalf of her Order. During Pendra's early career and again when she delved the deepest dungeons of the Spire, Valyria worked side by side with her. The pair take responsibility for the lich's freedom.
During her time searching below Thornkeep, Pendra struck up a partnership with a young Nethys priest named Thulian. Inquisitive to a fault, Thulian risked life and limb beside Pendra, and later Valyria too. During one such exploration, Thulian encountered an artifact that changed him. He is now the Servant of the Spire, as he calls himself. Emerald flecks in his skin, and a large Emerald embedded in his flesh, glow with power. He also opposes the lich, but none know his reasons, and few can say they have encountered him in the flesh. Of those that have, one bit of info all shared was that he had given them tiny emerald crystals he claimed would 'aid you if ever you venture to the Spire'.
Last edited by SirIggy; 09-15-2016 at 11:07 PM.
Local Areas of interest:
Alejia’s Crossing: Set on the crossroads of Valley Road and Mosswater Road is a small inn once
run by a retired adventurer. The inn served merchants and travellers alike, but the area was said to
be frequented by bandits who preyed on the unwary. Now, it is a dropping point for victims of the Lich's
ogre minions. Bodies are locked into the inn, where they inevitably rise as mindless undead, or become
food for the undead already ensconced within the inn. Periodically the undead break free, terrorizing
the countryside as they spread out searching for prey. The lich's minions just board up the holes and start anew.
The Emerald Spire:This small keep of vibrant green crystal is ancient, possibly being one
of the oldest structures in the region. The central spire of the keep is comprised of a strange green
glass harder than granite. The clearing surrounding the Spire is curiously devoid of trees and the
dense underbrush of the surrounding woods. It is common knowledge that beneath the ruins is a
dungeon, but its size is unknown, as the ruin has never been fully explored. Now, with the Servant
of the Spire moving about, the dungeon has become far more active in recent months.
Fort Inevitable:A bastion of law in a lawless region. Fort Inevitable is a small city
mercilessly ruled by an order of Hellknights who have dedicated themselves to defending the town
and Crusader’s Road from bandits, monsters, and other dangers. Fort Inevitable is one of the few
locations in the River Kingdoms to permit slavery, and many crimes are punishable by a length of
forced servitude. However, while the Hellknights permit slavery, they do not condone the abuse of
Most of the inhabitants are fine with their overlords, focusing their energy on farming and
equipping the assorted crusaders heading north to the Worldwound. Those who can stay out of the
way of the Hellknights are happy for the security they provide. However, not all residents are
content with the Hellknights’ rule, and there are rumours of a resistance movement gaining in
Mosswater:Abandoned fifty years ago after a series of merrow attacks, the town is a
reminder than the Echo Wood are not safe, even for larger settlements. The ogres that devastated
the town still lurk in Glow Water Lake, encouraging travellers to detour around that stretch of
Crusader’s Road for the safer Valley Road. With the rise of the lich in the area, Mosswater has
become his home. A tower of bone was erected overnight in the ruins, rising above the abandoned village.
Oreena’s Cottage:Grandmotherly Oreena is a druid who works to spread the Green Faith,
teaching the townsfolk of Thornkeep respect for the woods.
Thornkeep:A forest stronghold frequented by brigands, pirates, mercenaries, and
barbarians. Thornkeep is ruled by the strong, who are able to take what they want and keep what
they have. This lawless town harbors the dangerous and the desperate, and serves as a location
for bandits to spend their tainted gold.
However, there are a number of honest folk who make their living in and around the town;
while Thornkeep is dangerous, it is safer than the wilds of the Echo Woods. Artisans earn a decent
living, providing a necessary service and needed goods, and there is a thriving logging industry
providing lumber for the assorted homesteads and points of interest in the region.
Woodbristle Homestead:The home of a large halfling family who live secure behind
their goblinbramble fortifications. The halflings are known for their extensive mushroom gardens
and their vicious attack dogs. Goblin attacks against the homestead have been unsuccessful
because of the legendary (to goblins) hounds.
Last edited by SirIggy; 09-15-2016 at 11:12 PM.
Goblin Clans of the Echo Wood/Thornkeep area...
Brambleclaws: The tribe living in the confines of Thornkeep is one of the largest and most successful in the region. Great Chief Graalsk leads his goblins and has a bit of sway in Thornkeep.
BoneDancers: dwelling in the Dismal Caverns, the BoneDancers are known for their shaman leaders and their power over the undead. They rely on the natural features of the caverns, as well as their mindless undead servants, to keep adventurers and enemies at bay.
Pit of Chains Hobgoblins: Residents of the infamous Pit of Chains, this tribe has routinely been ruled by an outsider of some sort, be it a barghest or, most recently, a Kyton group. The hobgoblins themselves are the pre-eminent slavers in the region and currently they are practitioners of a death cult religion. They are considered the most dangerous goblinoids in the region.
Tree-Skulkers: A relatively small tribe, these nomadic goblins dwell in tree roosts scattered around the Echo Wood. They move residences weekly. Known as agile climbers, these goblins raid fey lairs and forest cottages regularly.
Redspatters: Comprised of mostly female goblins, this tribe is led by a rather intelligent chieftainess. They are known for the variety of bombs and alchemical agents they use in defense and attack.
Tooth Shaper of Venkelvore
This tooth file is made of rusty iron, pitted and stained. If used to file teeth daily, it provides an enhancement bonus to attacks (+1) and makes attacks slightly acidic (1 point)
If used by a follower of Venkelvore, the user may, as an immediate action on a successful attack, opt to do an additional 1d6 acid (totalling 1d6+1 acid dmg)
If the user fails certain saving throws, the tooth file exacts a price from its users, particularly followers
1)First failed Fort save vs poison=user must activate the extra 1d6 acid dmg on 1st three successful attacks of the day, but user now adds 1d4 acid instead of a single point
2)First failed Fort save vs Disease= user gains Fatigued condition until successfully damaging a creature with acid from natural attack, and user now has Resist Acid 5
3)First Failed Fort Save vs neg energy effect=user takes +1d6 non-lethal (starvation dmg) from attacks by the source of the negative energy attack, but user can now use death Knell 3/day as an immediate action if they killed using their enhanced natural attack
Venkelvore is a devourer, the largest of the Barghest Goblin Hero Gods. She urges her followers to consume, including the flesh of the fallen.
This unique rod was used by the high priests of Zarongel as a badge of office during the Kingdom of Zog. It is a gnarled cudgel of ironwood topped by a hunk of uncut red garnet that resembles nothing so much as a lit torch, flames themselves frozen in time. The rod is designed to aid in those activities closest to the hero-god's black heart: fire, and dog-killing.
The rod functions as a masterwork dog-slicer or a masterwork club, the flame edges sharp and the head and handle solidly built. It can be enchanted further, and historically it carried different enhancements for each high priest, but it currently bears none. Goblin-blooded characters can always wield this as a weapon, regardless of class restrictions.
When used to enhance spells it adds +1 to DC and Caster Level of Fire descriptor spells. When used against canine foes, they suffer a -4 to saves.
This rod only functions if the wielder is goblin-blooded. Three times a day it can be used to cast a burning hands effect (wielder's HD=CL), 1/day it can be used to similarly throw a scorching ray. It functions in all other ways as a lesser Empowering metamagic rod.
Last edited by SirIggy; 03-02-2017 at 12:11 AM.
Zogmugot is the goblin hero-deity of the seas and scavenging. Her followers are innovators and survivors, for Zogmugot is a fickle deity.
The Anytool functions in all ways as a Traveller's Anytool, save that it is considered masterwork for any tool it substitutes. In addition, goblin-blooded users gain several other benefits: the Alertness feat (so long as the user has the Tool on his/her person), a +4 racial bonus to Swim Checks (it stacks with other Racial Bonuses for Swim) and it "maximizes" the ranks of any craft or profession check in which the wielder has at least one rank (kinda like when an Intelligence-boosting item grants a free skill/ Ability Bonus increase, except you actually have to have at least one rank in a craft or profession. Any time you used the Tool it would allow the wielder to be considered to have max ranks for his/her level in that Craft or Profession).