Monday, March 12, 2018

Amrohir's Tale -- the Goblin King and the missing Elf-princess

In my last post about the 22nd Greyhame Game, I mentioned the Elf Amrohir who was a guest of the usurper Morholt, and who was on a quest to seek out the missing Elf-princess Amaltheia. The party was invited to an audience in the castle by Morholt, who then allowed Amrohir to state his case with the hope that the characters might aid in seeking out Amaltheia.

It was poorly a considered move from Morholt and Amrohir, as the characters listened to them and then immediately decided that they distrusted the usurper and the Elf, and if they were to seek out Amaltheia, that they would be on her side. Nevertheless, their attention was not on the Elf-woman yet--they're rather more concerned with the fact that the stars are singing and that the Goblin King and the Lord of Werewolves are stirring up the trouble with the stars ...

Still, I wanted to provide more details about the situation than I did during play (I'm pretty terrible at the NPC infodump at the table, I'm afraid). So here is the tale, as told by Amrohir:


"Some time ago--many, many years ago, as mortals count them, in fact--the Goblin King and his servants and allies were destroyed by the Elves in a battle in the forested depths of the Dwimmerholt. The wolves and werewolves were slain or driven away, the spiders were slaughtered, and those goblins who were not killed were captured and enslaved once more--mostly sent to toil in the mines and deep places, hard labor that would break their spirits and their bodies.

"It was thought that the Goblin King had been slain--his entourage was certainly destroyed, and the body of a goblin in his panoply was one of those recovered from the field. We Elves, naturally, crucified the body and carried it before us as a sign to others what would come of rebellion, and we broke the enchantments in the armor and displayed it before our armies as we returned to the courts of the forest in triumph.

"Of the Goblin King's bodyguard, only his shieldbearer had survived, a pathetic creature that called itself Mirk. He was such a crooked and pathetic thing that it seemed even the bearing of a shield must be difficult, and yet he was cunning with the twisted magic of the goblins, and knew something of lore and of poetry. And it was because of his quick wit and wry humor that Danur, Captain of the Elfin bowmen, took Mirk for himself to be a slave in his own household, rather than one of those sent to eternal toil in the mines.

"This decision was to be the cause of much evil, as I'm sure you have guessed.

"In Danur's household, Mirk quickly became a favorite and was made the chief slave. He always carried out his tasks intelligently, and though he had a tongue that was quick with criticism for his fellows, he was equally obsequious before his master. He was given much freedom as the years wore on--and ultimately used this freedom for evil. In secret, he read the books of power in Danur's possession, and cut his own runes on wands to develop his powers. And Danur wielded for himself a Ring into which had been bound the ancient spirit Calirath, and Mirk seduced her with promises of freedom. And lastly, working only on the nights of the new moon was all was most in darkness, Mirk forged for himself a Spear, and poured into it all the poison of his malice and his long simmering hatred.

"And when the Spear was finished at last, Mirk was ready. He caught and betrayed Danur while they were out hunting, and Calirath did nothing to save her master, but allowed the goblin slave to drive the Spear into Danur's heart. Then she bore up Mirk and returned with him to their dead master's household, and while all slept, Mirk stole the Name and the Shadow of Danohir, son of Danur.

"Then, wearing the face of Danohir, Mirk took his final revenge. That same night, he visited the Elf-princess Amaltheia, who was betrothed to marry Danohir, and Mirk seduced her, and left her with a goblin child growing in her womb. And after that, he, with the help of Calirath, and leading many freed goblin slaves, made an escape through the darks of the Dwimmerholt, out to Anduril Rock, there to renew the old alliance with the wolves.

"So it was that Goblin King has returned, and calls himself Danohir the Mirk, and he dwells in the Howling Tower with his misbegotten servants--no longer slaves of the Elves, they are his slaves now, and who knows what evil they are stirring up in their dungeons.

"But as for Amaltheia, she did not know the truth of her rape until the child was born nine months hence; she had thought only that her betrothed had come to her that night, and been murdered the next day, and much was her confusion when the child was born to her with a goblin's crooked features. She was much amazed, and much grieved too--into a swoon she fell, and when she awoke again, a terror had entered her that the child would be destroyed, and she as well, and so she got up in the night from her bed of labor, and taking the child in secret, she and it were spirited away by the night winds.

"I fear that some enchantment has affected her mind, or that some lingering spell of the Goblin King has poisoned her spirit. She must be found, and returned to her people! And so I, and many others of the Elfin courts of the Dwimmerholt, have gone forth seeking high and low and looking into the secret places of the world to find her. Myself, I have come to seek into the Glimmervaults--for though others think it is too well-known among Elves, and too near the evils of the Goblin King, I think perhaps she has strayed there in her terror, and dwells now in the deeps somewhere, lonely and afraid.

"I hope that you all may aid me in discovering her, thus to return Amaltheia to her people and to her own wits. And do not think that you will go unrewarded for it! We Elves can be a very generous people for those who prove themselves our Friends."

--such is the story that Amrohir told to Morholt, and later to the characters as they listened, and the details of it have spread around town as well--


  1. Very good story! I'm glad you shared it with us. What or who is Calirath? Did you mention them/it in a past post?

    1. Thanks! Calirath is a new wrinkle and mystery. She is a spirit, and one who was bound to a Ring of Power as Amrohir tells; but I will wait until the characters encounter her or the Goblin King to tell more.