The Stone Raiders
Paths all throughout the forests are littered with horrifying statues. Women and children with faces in terror, warriors screaming with swords drawn and shields raised in defense. These are considered to be the lucky victims of the “Stone Riders”. The unlucky victims are men and women who wander naked into town missing arms and legs, with empty spaces where noses use to be or with their eyes scratched out.
The Stone Raiders are a small group of goblins mounted on cockatrices. They are known to ambush travelers (especially the more wealthier looking ones) and quickly neutralize the major threats of the group with the bite power of the cockatrices. After petrifying a few party members, a large goblin named Kreush offers the travelers a simple exchange: the antidote for the cockatrice bites for all the traveler’s treasure and weapons. Those who accept the exchange are happy to leave alive. Those who do not accept the bargain, end up as statutes or are found wandering naked into town missing limbs with horrible scars left on their bodies when they became statutes and that remain when they are released from the cockatrice’s bite.
Kreush, is a tall brown goblin who wields a war hammer that appears to be dwarven made. He uses it to crush recently petrified foes in a single blow and is the only voice ever heard from the Stone Raiders. He is rumored to have left his goblin tribe to find the most difficult mount to ride and is rumored to have killed over 1000 foes. He has been heard to speak a wide range of languages from goblin, to dwarven, to common, to elven. Many believe that he is collecting a stockpile of weapons and money to build up a goblin empire lead by him and his Stone Raiders.
The Stone Raiders are said to be handpicked by Kreush and are picked for their veracity and their willingness to follow orders. They all mount cockatrices and are covered in leather armor; the cockatrices are covered in pieces of handmade armor mostly covering their heads and sides of their bodies. A few wield crossbows circling the travelers and keeping them pinned down, the others wield warhammers for the smashing of foes be them petrified or a bit squishier.