The Unloved Hobgoblins, Minotaurs

The world of Vastus, the region of Sing’jar, the setting of Faroth, has a compassionate view of hobgoblins, minotaurs and refugee wood elves. These races have existed to various maginitudes in various Dungeons and Dragons realms/universes/planes/franchises most in underappreciated roles. The realm of Vastus, on the Sing’jar coast, has it’s own complementory storyline for these races which provides them a vibrant and complex future.

Minotaurs are a culture from southern shores of Danil bay that were evicted from their homeland first by a fire giant’s army destroying their city in Danil bay, and then a century later by a Yuan’ti police force collecting slaves and creating refugees with an ethnic cleaning policy. Contemporary to the assult on the minotaur society, their allies of ____smart snakes____ inherent enemies of Yuan’ti, were imprisoned and tortured on one of the islands of Danil bay. Thousands of minotaur fled on various character of boats around Whitechalk cape and eventually settled in the islands around South Faroth and Singjar.

Sea Elves became a distinct culture a refugees of a combined attack of hill giants from the north Sing’jar mountains allying with orcs collected from the southeast of the Sing’jar mountains. This barbarous purge not only left the dwarven villages in the eastern Sing’jar foothills decimated, but destroyed many generations of wood elf champions who stood at the front atop the crest of the Singjar mountain peaks. This was the first insugrency of Rodorax and Crimskill, the red dragon and his corporal fire giant, attempting to claim the Sing’jar valley. Thromcron, a stone giant suffering from wanderlust on the surface, rose to meet the challenge of Crimskill, and the island of Faroth was decimated during their battle. The remaining wood elves still in the Sing’jar mountains ralleyed behind the banner of G’feltor Al’itton, who’s son, A’feltor (later Feltor) would inherit command of the wood elves’ army.

The wood elves from the southern half of the Sing’jar mountains were more permanently punished with most of their homeland burned by the orcs lead by Crimskil. Without their trees and families to return to, and an increasingly hostile lowland human population scared by foreigners (elves or giants), they were adopted by the resettled minotars on South Faroth island. This combination of expert carpenters and intuitive navigators reshaped the maritime economy along the west coast of Vastus for all forseable generations.

Hobgoblins are the geeks of the western Vastus coast. Having had multiple communities stretching from Burati bay, Belgar island, Whitechalk cliffs, and Danil bay, the have witnessed most of the outer-planar attacks upon Vastus that churned the animals and peoples of the southern continent into barbarous viscious beasts. The forests north of Danil harbor were repopulated with aborent vine creatures that destroyed a population of lizard folk and were then controlled and destoryed by a subterfuge of Yuan’ti. The hobgoblins that worked with the shore peoples and the Guardian Naga that helped rule Danil were all imprisoned or expulsed by Yaun’ti who imported human captives (collected along what is now known as the Pirate Coast, south of Sing’jar, north of Burati).

Hobgoblins, kobolds, and goblins that esaped the Danil watershed watched their Naga patrons imprisoned in islands south of the Whitechalk cliffs, while they themselves escaped on what was left of the merchant vessles attempting to go north. Evacuation overland to the north thru the Danil forest, south of the eastern edge of the Whitechalk cliffs was compromised and considered hopeless, given reports of monstrosities attacking the travellers on the forest roads.

Crimskil and Rodorax, the fire giant and his master a red dragon, had chased down the stone giant that attempted to defend Sing’jar and Faroth, was defeated on the wester edge of Faroth island. Accepting success, Crimskill and Rodorax accepted victory, collected any trace of Ruklaf they could smell, and flew east beyond the crater of Ludhold, to their eastern caldera where the dragon napped.Surprisingly, people blossomed after the destruction.

The immediate threat was gone. The rivers had deposited rich, ash-infused soil from the mountains that raised impressive crops. Hobgoblins, half orcs, sea elves and minotaurs mixed and joined the common labors that Sing’jar bay had to offer: coal, lumber, mineral ore and crafts–all of which there were markets for across the western shore…and the whole continent. Old predujices faded and finding half-hobgoblins and half-elves and other mixed race crews around the harbors and islands became a new normal in face of the next inevitable attack of Rodorax and his fire giant crew.

Little did anyone know that the high-elves elves that unlocked door to ruklaf would have invited the devlish and demonic participants of the Blood War within a few centuries. Unfortunately for those founders, they would be blind to sufferers of their economy for hundreds of years before something horrendously tragic made them notice the mess they were in.

Burati Bay and Upstream

The next largest city east, upstream of Burati bay, is Ontishian. Just like Burati is divided into north and south halves by the river, so is Ontisian divided, but ruled by a single council. The curves of the Burati river provide a very reasonable marina for ships to berth at Ontishian. The most lucrative trade of Ontishinan are the two forges, on the north side of the river: Phaleal’s forge and Zoleri’s forge.

The forges are rivals, of course. Phaleal’s turn-around is longer, on the order of weeks, but their products are more affordable. Zoleri’s forge is a very well funded operation and with plenty of employees, turns your order out in days, but charges almost ten times the price. If you are waiting for your smithwork from Phaleal’s, you will choose an inn across the bridge, in south Ontishian. where there are food and textile mills powered by the Uvula river. In north Ontishian the hotels are to the northeast, up the slope with a view across the river towards the Letchipo mountains.

The Letchipo mountains extend into the Burati river, bending it with tthe resistant ledge on Letchipo spit. This terrain is rought and difficult to climb. Roads across Letchipo spit are seasonally washed out by fall rainfall and spring melt floods. It is not a reliable year-round route for over-land trade.

North of the Letchipo spit is the Ontish cliffs. They are even worse terrain, tall and sheer, directly falling into the oncoming river. Topped with the undead bogs right behind their terraces, Arbregon lands to the northwest are secure from adventurers from Ontishian.

There are no undead in the Letchipo range. These peaks have protected generations of hobgoblin refugees from the native Belgar Island. The tribes in Lethipo peaks are known as the Champions of Fondon. Reffering to themeselves as the Tribes of Fondon, they celebrate their emigration of nearly a millenia ago when foreign plane travelling elves crashes a meteor into the island they lived on. So many years later, they are respected amont the goblinoids as first-class territorial chieftans and are often hired as mercenaries and captains. For normal economy, they run seasonal businesses on the shores of Letchipo spit.

When profitable years grant ample resources and opportunities, squads of Fondon Marines organize amphibian ambushes upon the Straight of Letchipo, attacking merchants travelling the Ontish hightway.

Welcome to Bone Marrow, Magical Emporium!

Near the marina of Burati bay, one of the many warehouses is painted a nearly brown color of orange. The paint is flaking off, exposing dark cedar planks below. Brighter patches of orange paint cover up what one might assume are charred spots on the siding. Swinging from a cast bronze brace above a very wide folding door hangs a carved wooden sign:

Bone Marrow
Unfamiliar Components
and Obscure Accessories

This is a large, double warehouse lot, the second half is an enclosed courtyard with a portcullis gate. Inside are animal cages with animals trained for adventure: a gian badger, giant goat, giant lizard, and a giant scorpion. Going through the courtyard into the rear entrance to the main warehouse you find a small office piled with invoices and receipts and on a stool with flicking a quill in annoyance is the owner, Shara. She is a dwarven alchemist, wearing studded leather beneath a muddy pale gray cloak buckled around her shoulders.

Shara is annoyed that their high elf wizard patron, Ovden Overton, who has not paid into their accounts. He’ll get a stern talking to from the normally charming Shara. Across the hall is a locked door with runes on it. A magically perfect tiny brass plaque on the door reads: Zircle Ubbelup. He’s a very serious dragonborn wizard who didn’t show up for work today. At the front of the store is Geneva Brownwick, the assistant manager, who always shows up because she somehow found a place in the warehouse safe enought to hide safely and make a wee cozy home. When customers first enter, they see her petite gnome figure standing on the counter with a brush in hand, trying to groom a cat that continually climbs away to avoid her attention.

Geneva’s sparkling eyes capture you and your attention and you want to see if you can stump her by naming the most rare component you’ve ever read of. With a slight tilt of her her head she will slightly frown and say, “I think we have three of them left…” And bellowing, “JANA! Fetch the purple worm gall bladder…AGAIN!”

Havelina, Inowla and Jana are all orcs from Orcs from the Whitechalk Cliffs. They spend a lot of time reading in the sheriff’s lock-up. Apparently no one takes them seriously about being in wizarding school (Bennestelli’s Arcane Academy).

While Jana climbs up the ladder to the third floor, Havalina pushes a hand truck thru the front door, piled with wooden crates still dripping with sea spray, unloaded minutes ago from the Bone Marrow’s schooner, The Hyoid. Up the ramp comes Narcissus Nettleton, the sea elf captain. Narcissus follows the cart with some annoyance, slapping a rolled up map against her thigh every few steps.

“Shara! Shara! Ye’ll never beleeeve the black clouds a-rolling down on me luck, woman! All the sea hands up and quit on me! And I didn’t flog nunadem atall this trip!”

You hear a pencil snap and a pile of papers slip off the desk as Shara’s footsteps hurry up the hall. She brushes back wisps of curly hair, and with a sweet tone quickly releases all the pent up anger in her face to give you a convincing, “Sorry to make you wait, honey” and sprints past to belly-bump Narcissus so hard the captahin stumbles back. “What happened?” she growls while grabing a fistful of Narcissus’s lapel and dragging her outside. Swiveling her head back at you, “Back in a jiff, won’t be long!”

A clatter on the counter gains your attention. A fluffy gray cat is pawing at a small pot labeled “ppl wrm spln”. And…off the counter it goes…

“Vermilkin!” Three voices shout as the little pot smashes on the floor.







Bob Reynolds

Bob took me and my family so many places. I cherish how much of nature I got to see with him. I have always been amazed at how much he loved to be goofy with kids. Like, embarrassingly goofy. He wanted to live a generous and educational life. He thrived on sharing topics he could teach. He published papers, he inspired others to publish, teach and research. His greatest respect was for the natural world and discovering the past. He grew up in a world where practical accomplishments were admirable, and was an example to me of how to become proficient at fixing and understanding processes and mechanics. He was brave and proactive with people. When camping, he would frequently approach other campers, introduce himself and offer snacks and beers to create a relationship, especially in areas that attracted gun lovers that liked to fire shots in our favorite camp grounds. There was a lot to learn from this man. There is a lot left to teach.

Just a Hutch

Right?

I had to squeeze this photo with perspective transform a few times to get the snapshot looking the way I wanted. Smoothed color layer, desaturated contrast layer.