Monday’s Monster Mash is a weekly series where monsters are selected from the three Monster Manuals and put together as an encounter group. A situation is discussed where these monsters would have been together and how their powers or status effects work together against the players.
This particular Monday's Monster Mash, and the next few, will be a little different than normal. Today's was written by Simon Mathews for the January Contest: Monster Mash Mania. He can also be found on twitter under @symatt.
A shallow mist lay across the stone flagged floor of the long dark corridors. Moisture ran down the moss covered walls and old metal bracketed torches hung rusty and light less as if unused and unneeded for decades. The two companions stumbled on, not for the lack of light as both could see clearly from the glow of the luminous moss and their eyes preferred this half light.
"We's be loss agin Bagguk? Exclaimed the larger of the two, in a rusty sounding voice. He coughed then continued, raising his voice above the noise of his metal morningstar dragging against the stone floor.
Ignoring his plea Bagguk moved forward, his sharp pointed ears twitched, straining to hear past the chatter and clatter of the large fellow behind him. Bagguks large dark eyes pierced the gloom ahead. He was vigilant...but for what he wasn't sure. He didn't like surprises. He knew humans and their weapon wielding cohorts loved to skulk around ruins looking for anything they could steal from hard working Goblins.
Bagguk was one of those hard working Goblins and the many scars across his tight green skin proved it. Small in stature, no more than half a humans height, but hidden beneath his slight frame was the cunning and grace of a night Raven.
His companion of sorts was Colin, he was a Grabutt or as said in the common tongue, A Bugbear. Thick dirty fur covered and protected his skin, his face was puppy dog like, but with huge teeth and tusks . He was loud and brutish. But as it turns out great to have as a friend. Great in a fight.
The two goblinoids had become separated from their clan a few moons ago when a vicious band of human friends had attacked unprovoked. During the fray an explosion had caused a ceiling to collapse separating them and now they are lost looking to return to their clan and safety.
Deep feeling of hunger rumbled in their bellies. Colin's rumbled the loudest like a Colony of frogs had found a home in his large stomach. Colin was about to complain as he thought he hadn't complained in a while and was about to start when Bagguk hushed him.
Bagguk made a gesture for Colin to stay put. Then leaping off ahead the small goblin was quickly out of sight and earshot. Colin stood in silence looking both ahead and behind just in case as Bagguks disappearance had put him on edge. His breathing now seemed way too loud.
Maybe it’s humans?
Thoughts of fresh food ran through his mind and made his stomach rumble again, even louder.
"yuz fid it had tu fulla intrukshun?"
A soft whispered voice close to Colin's ear. In a flash Colin brought his morningstar hard down against the shadow that seemed to appear in front of him only to miss sending sparks and stone flying from the impact and an echo running off in all directions.
Bagguk was back and standing with hand on sword hilt and one foot resting on Colin's morningstar head. All too casual for what Colin thougth was right.
"I's fow'd sput ta ress, fulla mi"
Bagguk lead the way on down a slope and in to a large open space with high ceilings and old tables and chairs, decaying but in good order to sleep beneath. On the walls could just be seen the dirty colours of some old forgotten murals. Some rats lay dead upon a dust covered table with a few flying insects already inspecting them for egg laying location. The Bugbear needed no telling and raced for the food and ravenously devoured the meat, splashing himself and tables in warm sticky blood.
The two settled in a corner to sleep off their food.
Bagguk tried to keep one eye open but eventually both succumbed to restful sleep. Dreams of Humans in shinning metal suits and Elf Kin and their bows filled the goblins mind. Of he and his clan ripping their throats out and in celebration drinking their blood from Golden cups taken from human children. A smile climbed across Bagguks face and he twitched with joy several time.
"It's alive! Screamed an unknown voice in common but with a strange clear ring. Followed by many running steps getting louder in Bagguks ears. He woke with a start, the human fiends where real and here.
A swish sounded just by Bagguk and as if in slow motion he traced an arrow through the air, passed his sword arm, then a wet thud like cutting cabbage. Colin made a grunt as the arrow sunk deep into his back, ripping through fur and cutting a dirty leather harness which stayed on the cold floor as Colin stood, faster than expected given his injury and his massive bulk. His eyes flashed red as he drew his morningstar to bear at the enemies approach.
Bagguk had a short sword and dagger in hand and what seemed without a thought ran towards the human fiends that stood before them with death in their eyes.
The room lit up like the rising of the morning Sun, one human fiend stood towards the far wall and what looked to Bagguk, held a piece of the very same sun in his hands. The humans flowing robes billowed in a nonexistent wind and his golden yet ragged hair whipped and twirled. Then releasing it like a dove for the chase. The fierce sun raced towards the small goblin who at the very last moment placed a foot deftly on the corner of a broken chair and leapt over the fiery ball which then exploded sending splinters of wood and stone showering over Colin.
The Goblin landed lightly upon the table and ran head down, with dust kicked up from beneath his feet. A silent scream from a growling face.
Two more arrows shot past Bagguk. Fired from an Elf kin in green animal hide and a gold circlet about his head as if he was royalty. Standing next to the Elf kin was a human in shinning metal as if the brilliance of the fiery blast still shone upon him. He to raised a hefty mace above his head and spoke unholy words that the Goblin did not understand.
Bagguk ignored them and continued to run the full length of the table.
The clerics mace smashed with a mighty force on to the end off the table where the Goblin, ready to strike stood. The force was so strong it hurled Bagguk three giant strides backwards and smashing the table which shatters and splits completely in two, length ways. Dust and a noise like thunder filled the room.
Colin was instantly standing above Bagguk. With one heave, in one hand lifted him to his feet. The three human fiends prepared again. They saw their chance as the companions were busy helping each other.
The robe of the human fluttered against his arms and legs and again a glowing rod of energy materialised in front of him and flashed across the room striking Colin hard in the shoulder sending him spinning which in turn sent Bagguk sliding across the floor scattering wooden debris before him.
The robed human moved to a dark corner of the room. It made little difference as once again his hands began to glow. The Elf kin pulled two arrows to his bow and rested his leading foot on a broken chair for stability and the one in the metal suit.
Bagguk seemed to know this was going to be the end. A flash of light and Bagguk was forced from the ground, landing hard and with the smell of burnt flesh about him. His burnt flesh. He screamed, a throat curdling scream of excruciating pain. From where he lay he drew in all his strength and anger and threw his dagger. It took the magic one by surprise. It cut deep into his neck missing all cloths and hair. Sending him reeling into the wall where he then slipped to the floor clapping his hands to his throat with blood pouring through his fingers and tears in his eyes. Bagguk felt avenged but knew he needed to fight on.
Colin charged, covering the distance between himself and the Elf Kin but not before the Elf let his arrows fly. Both arrows struck home, one pierced so deep it passed through and out the other side, turning its flight feathers red. Colin brought all his might to bear so hard that the wooden stave on the Morningstar broke. The Elf Kins chest had become a blooded mess and he fell back to the floor with the huge goblin following through with the broken point of the wooden handle.
Bagguk saw what was coming as deftly the Elf Kin drew his sword in a slashing motion across the Goblins stomach then as he fell forward it penetrated his thick hide. Colin had no time to yell but the smell of split wood was in his nostrils and childhood memories filled his mind taking him to a point in his past where he was taught to kill. Kill human fiends. So still with enough life and strength he drove home the stave, deep into the Elf kins shoulder and so hard the stone flag beneath broke like a discarded millstone. Colin breathed deep then, breathed his last.
The weight of his corpse pinned the Elf down.
A fury now came over Bagguk. Ignoring his injuries he flipped his body to it's feet. Snarled an animalistic snarl which spat blood and drool from his mouth. The metal-clad human hesitated, but looked to both his companions on the floor. Considering the outcome he held up a hand as if trying to say Stop to the goblin. The goblins eyes were as red and dark as an abyss. He took a slow step forward. Then another. The raw skin on his knuckle shone white with the pressure with which he gripped his sword. Again the Cleric pleaded but this time in stuttering common.
Bagguk faltered momentarily, then ran at the Cleric, sword and teeth brandished. The Cleric yelped, stepped back readying to take the blow.
The Goblin jumped placing one foot on the humans armoured leg then chest then shoulder and with a scream as from hell itself, bounded over the humans head landing with a roll on the other side. Disappearing down the long dark shallow mist covered stone flagged corridor, his bare feet making hardly a sound.
The Cleric took a deep breath and sighed loudly thanking whichever God had just saved him.