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The seven adventurers had received their first summons by their commanding officer, General Saka Whu. The slim Othinan woman bore heavy scars from her days in the Imperial artillery. She’d come up through the cannoneer ranks in the early days, when  they were still developing the procedures for handling the dangerous weapons.

 

“You are all special forces under my direct command,” she said briskly, turning to the massive table in the middle of her tent. “The goblins tribes near the border near that we’re coming; even they should be able to recognize what the amassing of troops along the border means. They have been grouping up together, as goblins do when faced with invaders.

 

“However, the other way they prepare for invasion is to sacrifice to whatever god they’re currently worshipping.” Gen. Whu gestured for them to join her at the map on the table. On it, the isthmus they were currently on was clear, as was the Wall. The details south of the goblin’s lines weren’t as detailed. “Somewhere here,” she tapped an area about thirty miles south and west of the Wall, “is an old, desecrated temple to Thultok, a dead Ultgar god. He was the god of peace and was killed during the Gods War. This temple was his tomb; it’s at the bottom of a steep ravine and was considered nearly unreachable without being a Hero of Old.

 

“The goblins gained access to it after a landslide and dedicated it to their god of war, according to a paid informant.” Whu smirked. “Yes, the goblins have traitors among themselves much as I’m sure we do. The mission is for you guys to follow the traitor to the temple and gain the inside. Free any human prisoners you find, kill any leadership, secular or religious, loot the premises, and leave. Religious texts, such as they might be, are to be brought to us for study but any valuables you find are yours, as per your contract.

 

“And if your ‘guide’ betrays you, feel free to put her down.”

 

I’ll post after three PC posts. Feel free to ask questions and make interjections. The scene will not move on until every active PC has posted.

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Seraphania stood at the back as General Whu explained the situation. Her brow furrowed a the mention of a Goblin Traitor. "Why is the Goblin Trusted General?"  She rests her hand on the pommel of her sword as she moves forward. "What could the creature hope to gain from aligning itself with those intent on killing it's kind?"

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Felix was interested in what was going on. A temple of long gone god being rediscovered was something that interested him. History in of itself had always been one of his favorite things to read about along side tales of great heroes and deeds. History has always been sadly written by the winners. Even more so in some ways it seems the same with the divine. Sadly religion was not one of his better topics, as well as he was not a very religious person. He was a spiritual person, but was never much for the tapping of the various temples and faiths.

 

 

To Felix it seems like a good chance to hopefully gain some insight on a part of a culture that has been for as long as Felix know it, as a very aggressive people in his view, to even have a deity of peace. Also it made other question pop into his head. Like how did the god die and why did it die if there was any reason at all. Also why did this war god choose to take over the dead one house? So much intelligence was needed, and like our good general said, we lack much intelligence on them. Yet what surprised Felix was that there was even a traitor among their foes ranks, and worse the fact that there could be one in ours. He listen in to others before saying his two pieces. Alright one of his colleges gave a good question.

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Dru listened to the vaguely familiar briefing, get the information, kill the leaders and enemies, yada, yada, yada. Although it would be a pleasant change to be able to keep some of the loot, but he didn't like the sound of trying to get rescued prisoners back across 20+ miles of enemy territory. 'Well, I guess we'll see what the others are capable of' he thought to himself.

 

Ser posed a valid question, but Dru already suspected the answer would be some combination of treasure and safety, still he leaned back on the wall to hear the response, and to gauge the others reaction to it.

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Magda listened to the briefing, paying special attention to map. Even knowing it was vague, it could still help over such a long hike and hopefully she could add some detail when they returned.

 

 

Seraphania stood at the back as General Whu explained the situation. Her brow furrowed a the mention of a Goblin Traitor. "Why is the Goblin Trusted General?"  She rests her hand on the pommel of her sword as she moves forward. "What could the creature hope to gain from aligning itself with those intent on killing it's kind?"

 

"Maybe NOT getting killed an' earnin' some coin in tha process?" she replied to Seraphania's question.

 

"Tha gobbos gotta understand, at least on some level, that they've been tolerated all this time while tha Empire dealt wit' other matters. They see this army a' formin' and they know, deep down in their' wee little gobbo brains that their presence is nae longer gonna be tolerated." Magda said as she continued to look over the map.

 

"My guess is that they are either going ta go down a fightin', or they will put up stiff, initial resistance an then break an run when they realize they 'ave nary a chance."

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Whu smirked. “Correct, though there is a third option. The goblins are not terribly smart but they are canny, and they see how the Empire has dealt with the humans we’ve conquered.” One of her Ultgar subordinates twitched slightly but said nothing. “I imagine that those spying for us hope that we’ll incorporate them into the Empire. They don’t really understand what we’re doing here, and what we do with them after is up to His Highness, not the Emperor.”

 

She nodded at Magda as she added, “But yes, for now, they’re being paid very well for their information. Plus, you’re allowed to kill Tika if she betrays you, so that should help mitigate her behavior. Would you like to meet her? She’s here in the camp, waiting for you.”

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"They cannot be trusted. And more so I don't believe that they would trust us."  Ser scowls trying to gauge the will of her goddess. "The creatures are cunning.and their hatred of us is as great or even greater than ours. I will not trust this thing for one second and i advise against doing so."

 

Turning back to the General "Do we have any other sources for information about this temple?"

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“Previous forays into goblin territory have gotten close enough to see the temple but haven’t gained entrance,” Whu said. “We know its there and our histories tell us what it was. Tika hasn’t been inside either; only the priest, chieftains and their families are allowed to enter. She’s told us that some of them stay there, too.

 

“I can tell you that we’ve verified this as much as possible but that we are sending you in mostly blind.” The woman was somber as she said, “That’s why we’re sending you instead of someone else.”

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Ser nods her head and looks at the map wishing she could makes sense of it but it just didn't register as anything more than lines on a piece of parchment, she gripped her pommel tighter in frustration. "Humph, prisoners will be a problem, we will be too few to bring them safely back over that great a distance. It is doubtful we could maintain secrecy after our attack begins, there will be opposition in our retreat."

 

She looks over the rest of the party, Dru is a relatively known factor, but the rest including Fatima are unknowns, The Dwarf looked capable though.

 

"If there are prisoners we will need reinforcements to to bring them back, at least a Company I would think." She looks to Dru, as the only other member who she knew to have legion experience, for confirmation.

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Whu’s lips tightened subtly; those who knew body language could tell she was annoyed. “If we had determined that this was a job for a company, I would be sending a hundred men, not seven. There will not be many prisoners, perhaps two or three; the goblins are routinely sacrificing them to their ankima.” The goblin word for the being they worshipped sounded strange coming out of a human mouth.

 

She looked up at the lieutenant by the door. “Bring in the informant; she’s the one with our intel.” The Tyranan man nodded sharply and ducked out. He returned shortly with a small form shadowing him.

 

Cloaked in a wolf’s pelt, the being could have been a gnome or halfling until she pulled back her hood. She had the protruding features of the tiny bipedal race but they were blunter than normal and her skin was dark olive in color. A little taller than most goblins, she had tightly curled hair and dark brown eyes. Her expression was fearful as she glanced at each of the adventurers in turn before looking at Whu and asking softly, “Yes, great general?”

 

“These are the people leading you to the temple.” Whu redirected her attention to the adventurers. “This is the goblin traitor Tika. Ask her any questions you might have.”

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"Well... I'll tell ya all now, that be more than a day's hike if we are maintainin' any degree o' stealth. Hell, even at a forced march, it's still too far. So we'll get close, camp, an go in fresh early tha next day and be able to exit wit enough energy for at least half a day's hike. If'n we're lucky, we can even cacth 'em snoozin." Madga pointed out while looking at the map.

 

"I'll make sure we get thar." she added with a nod to herself.

 

"Any prisoners we find may complicate things a wee bit tho. Wit luck we can arm 'em and send 'em back 'ere or they can come wit. It should only be a handful 'o 'em at tha most anyways."

 

 

 

Whu’s lips tightened subtly; those who knew body language could tell she was annoyed. “If we had determined that this was a job for a company, I would be sending a hundred men, not seven. There will not be many prisoners, perhaps two or three; the goblins are routinely sacrificing them to their ankima.†The goblin word for the being they worshipped sounded strange coming out of a human mouth.

 

She looked up at the lieutenant by the door. “Bring in the informant; she’s the one with our intel.†The Tyranan man nodded sharply and ducked out. He returned shortly with a small form shadowing him.

 

Cloaked in a wolf’s pelt, the being could have been a gnome or halfling until she pulled back her hood. She had the protruding features of the tiny bipedal race but they were blunter than normal and her skin was dark olive in color. A little taller than most goblins, she had tightly curled hair and dark brown eyes. Her expression was fearful as she glanced at each of the adventurers in turn before looking at Whu and asking softly, “Yes, great general?â€

 

“These are the people leading you to the temple.†Whu redirected her attention to the adventurers. “This is the goblin traitor Tika. Ask her any questions you might have.â€

 

Magda frowned slightly at the word 'traitor'. Not so much because she cared for the goblin, but rather using words like that tended to keep people at a distance and sometimes make them reconsider alliances at inopportune times.

 

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Seraphania stood there digesting what the General said as well as her body language. She felt nothing from her god either way but tilted her head giving the officer that look which promised words at a later time.

 

 

 

She looked up at the lieutenant by the door. “Bring in the informant; she’s the one with our intel.†The Tyranan man nodded sharply and ducked out. He returned shortly with a small form shadowing him.

 

Cloaked in a wolf’s pelt, the being could have been a gnome or halfling until she pulled back her hood. She had the protruding features of the tiny bipedal race but they were blunter than normal and her skin was dark olive in color. A little taller than most goblins, she had tightly curled hair and dark brown eyes. Her expression was fearful as she glanced at each of the adventurers in turn before looking at Whu and asking softly, “Yes, great general?â€

 

“These are the people leading you to the temple.†Whu redirected her attention to the adventurers. “This is the goblin traitor Tika. Ask her any questions you might have.â€

 

Uncommonly Ser feels a pang of pity as the General Insults the creature to its face, as much as she despises the race which birthed this thing she was more than irked by the rudeness with which it was being treated. In Ser's mind a bully is a bully.

 

"You Frighten her General. Perhaps you and your men could leave us while we talk with... your name is Tika?" The Goblin nods looking a the General. "With Tika here. We will call if we have need."

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Whu blinked in surprise at Seraphania’s words then a little smirk curled her lips. “Very well. Though I assure you, goblins are scared of anything.” Tika ducked her head as if agreeing with the general but her expression remained fearful instead of affirmative.

 

“Here’s the payment promised to her if she delivers you successfully to the temple,” Whu added, plucking a small leather bag off the table and tossing it to Ser. “Pay her if she does her job properly. Otherwise, do with her what you will. You may use this tent until you are done; then leave on your mission. And don’t let Tika be seen. I don’t want some over-eager young soldier gutting her.”

 

Once the general and her aids were gone, Tika’s demeanor didn’t improve. The tall goblin looked at the adventurers with ill-concealed fear. It seemed to take great effort for her to speak: “What would you worthies want know?” Even without her coarse accent, it was clear that Tyranan wasn’t her first language.

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Ser waits until the Officer and men have left then turns to Dru. "Make sure we are not overheard." She nods towards the door then addresses the rest of the company. "I have been betrayed before by those who were my superiors," There is venom in her use of the word. "I suspect that some of those responsible for that betrayal may be among those who serve in this army. I will not be betrayed again."

 

She goes to the map motioning everyone else forward as well including Tika. Then she gestures to Magda. "You understand this map and know routes and such, show tika the route you want us to take. Tika answer any questions truthfully and accurately and without fear. As long as you are with us you are one of us. I give you my word none of us will harm you or treat you ill." She looks to the others to make sure they all understand. "When this is done you will have your reward and your share of whatever we find." She then looks eye to eye with the goblin and without changing her tone or emotional inflection adds.

 

"Betray us, and I will kill you."

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Dru nods to Ser and leaves the tent behind the General, drawing his short sword and a dagger he circles the tent out to 20ft from its outer wall, moving anyone inside that distance on with threats if necessary. If they are a common soldier the he tells them that the General has given them the tent for a meeting and he would appreciate it if they set up a perimeter until the meeting is finished. He makes a point to get a good look at them and their name and offers them a pint later for their help, but if they agree warns them of dire consequences of letting anyone past their post. Having set up the watch and guard to his satisfaction he returns to the tent and steps inside to see if anything interesting is going on, while keeping an intermittent eye outside.

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She goes to the map motioning everyone else forward as well including Tika. Then she gestures to Magda. "You understand this map and know routes and such, show tika the route you want us to take..."

 

Magda looks up from the map at Ser.

 

"Watch yer tongue wit me, lass. Ye are nae me employer, nae were ye put in charge by such. We be a team an 'ave ta work as one, showin' respect where it is due." Magda.. explained.. to Ser before returning her attention to what was jokingly called a map.

 

"An this is nae a map o' tha area. At best it gives me a vague idea o' tha area, but nae enough ta plan a route by. I'll 'ave ta play it by ear. If anythin, Tika 'ere knows the way better 'en any o' us."

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Ser turns her cold eye on the dwarf.

 

"One I am not your lass, dwarf. Two I did not claim to be your employer, I cannot read this thing you can. And three, if you wish respect show that you are worthy of it."

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"My lass? Oh nae at'all. But A lass ye be, unless ye be a bloke who like ta dress like one." Magda replied, looking over Ser as if unsure of her gender.

 

"By tryin' ta bark orders, ye are certainly tryin' ta act like me employer. So just remember that yer not. An yer right, I CAN read a map, but as I said, this barely counts as one. And when ye talk ta somebody who's skills ya need, ye might wanna be a wee bit less bossy." she added.

 

"An I do show I am worthy of respect. How? By NOT tryin' ta boss people around. Basically, actin the opposite o' you. So take yer own words ta heart before ye go trying ta spout them at others, lass." she explained, making sure to emphasize the final word.

 

"Now, ye can pull tha stick from yer ass an act like an actual paladin an be a shinin' example of faith an nobility, and we can get along jus' fine 'an 'ave a pint later. Or... ye can continue ta act like a spoiled, petulant child in front o' the rest o' the team an we can 'ave problems." Magda said with a casual tone as she looked Ser over once more.

 

"So what'll it be? A pint or problems?" she asked.

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“What are we arguing about?” The cleric looked from one to the other, her eyes wide with alarm. “Some power games? That’s no reason to fall into personal insults, Magda.”

 

She stood a little straighter and said, “We don’t need to fight about leadership. I think Ser was doing a fine job but if you think you can do better, then please, offer some suggestions.”

 

Behind her, the goblin took another step back, her dark eyes wide with fear. The tent brushed her back and Tika crouched down, trying to make herself smaller around the fighting humans.

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Magda blinks at Fatima.

 

"Power games? My insults? It's is almost like you were in a reality where one thing happened and I was in another. Must be a trick of some condescending god. Hmm. ye would think a benevolent god would want to foster camaraderie, not discontent." Magda says with a shrug.

 

"At any rate, good luck all of ye, but I can nae suffer the tricks, games and insults of a petty, delusional, hypocritical god." she shrugs and walks out.

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Serapahania stood staring as the flap of the tent settled after the dwarf left, she was confused as to what had just happened, could not understand what had upset her so much. But she was gone now so it no longer mattered. She looked at the remainder of the now smaller band. These are not soldiers, except for Dru, she reminds her self. But we have a job to do.

 

“Whats done is done. To avoid further misunderstanding let me make a few things clear to those of you who remain. My name is Seraphania and I am a paladin but as you can see I do not glow with holy light, I don't give a shit about your souls nor anyone else's. I don't want your respect nor do I need it. I belong to my goddess for one purpose to exact justice and vengeance when all other means have failed. The only thing that matters to me is that Ithtari has sent me here to serve the prince in this matter. Not some stupid bitch General, not some overly sensitive dwarf, and not any of you. I don't lead you, I don't want to lead you. But I am going to that temple and I am going to kill everything there that isn't Human, dwarf, elf , or halfling. Now tomorrow before sun up I will be leaving and the goblin will be coming with me. Decide if you will be coming or not, I will be at Fatima's tent, unless she would prefer I sleep elsewhere now. But I am sure if you want to you will be able to find me.â€

 

Without waiting for anyone's reply she goes to Tika pulls her cloak up to cover her features and and stands to take her from the tent.

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What just happened? Evan blinked while the flareup occured. This was bizzare. And not good. Evan stood in front of Tika though. "I don't know what happened, but we still need to plan this out. Don't lose your head lady - and you don't take it out on us." Evan gave the goblin a calm look, meant to reassure.

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“Actually, why don’t we all reconvene to my tent?” Fatima smiled broadly, though there was a dark look in her eyes as she watched the goblin sink itself as deep into the cloak as it could manage. Dru slipped back into the tent, confused but silent, taking note of the current composition. “Let’s settle there, have some tea, and relax.”

 

 

She smiled at everyone in turn. “Does that sound good?”

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"Good advice Fatima, come Tika let us go where it is comfortable." Taking the Little goblin by the hand Ser leaves the tent. Outside she waits for the other to join her before crossing the encampment toward Fatima's tent.

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Felix sighed. Things were not going well for his first mission it seems. If he grasped what one of his fellow adventurers said right then they were short one men due to power games and religious strife. Yet Felix was not surprised. People were different and rubbed each other the wrong way at times. What he was more concern with was if they still had the tools to get the job done.

 

Felix noticed that one of the two who were at the front of the argument taking their guide and was headed elsewhere. Felix follows, but silent and watchful. He was more concern for the two helping the guide then the guide itself. He did not know what people would think of the guide or it's interactions with his fellow adventurers. Felix just hopped that things don't worse down the road for this particular mission. Yet knowing what the mission was that was still a grim possibility.

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Dru had spotted the dwarf leaving and had heard the raised voices if unable to make out what was being said while he tried to create a perimeter. He sighed a little as he returned to the tent in time to hear Fatima's invitation and see Ser leading the heavily cloaked and concealed Goblin away. Perhaps he should have stayed to try and smooth Ser's way with the others, but at the time he could understand Ser's concern about being overheard, both for their plans and for the safety of the guide and so had gone along with trying to ensure that.

 

As they leave the General's tent Dru throws a small pouch of money to the biggest of the people he had drafted to watch the perimeter. It contained enough to buy them all the promised pint and perhaps a little more, but they could argue over it themselves while he made his way to Fatima's tent.

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Fatima led the way to her abode, taking off her cloak and hanging it once she was inside. The sheer sides of the tent weren’t going to stop prying eyes, but the cleric busied herself with letting down heavier flaps that cut off the sight of those outside. “It’ll get hot in here,” she said as she removed them from the sight of others in the camp, “but it’ll let the goblin remove her cloak.”

 

Even though it was a short wait, Tika was sweating when she finally removed her cloak. She put the wolf pelt on the floor and sat on it, hunching in on herself. With big black eyes, she watched the adventurers settle onto cushions or stools.

 

“We’ll have tea shortly,” Fatima said, her movements brusque. [insight] She set out some sweet biscuits, a small crock of preserves, and a wheel of a sharp Ultgar goat cheese. When the goblin just watched, the cleric handed her a portion of food. As the goblin hesitantly took it, the cleric asked, “Tika, why are you helping us?”

 

The goblin looked up from the food, her eyes going wider. Swallowing sharply, she murmured, “I need money.”

 

“For what?” Fatima asked.

 

“A pony. Maybe a riding dog?” She stared at the food in her hands. “Something to ride.”

 

“I see.” The cleric glanced at the others, signaling for them to ask questions if they had any.

 

Rolls
Insight roll for those interested in reading into Fatima’s body language.

 

Insight rolls if you want to determine if Tika is telling the truth when she answer’s Fatima.

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Seraphania lets the goblin find her own place in the big tent as Fatima goes about her Preparations. In a sudden gleam of Wisdom Ser decides to take a step back from forcing the issues and instead gestures to to her old friend Dru. "I seem to have upset the tide of things here my old friend." She whispers to him so others cannot hear. "You are our eyes and ears now with he loss of the dwarf and in truth I trust you more anyway. But now I need you to be my voice as well, if you will. Take over with the goblin for tonight so that these others will lose their fear."  before Dru can reply Fatima speaks

 

 


“We’ll have tea shortly,†Fatima said, her movements brusque. [insight] She set out some sweet biscuits, a small crock of preserves, and a wheel of a sharp Ultgar goat cheese. When the goblin just watched, the cleric handed her a portion of food. As the goblin hesitantly took it, the cleric asked, “Tika, why are you helping us?â€

 

The goblin looked up from the food, her eyes going wider. Swallowing sharply, she murmured, “I need money.â€

 

“For what?†Fatima asked.

 

“A pony. Maybe a riding dog?†She stared at the food in her hands. “Something to ride.â€

 

“I see.†The cleric glanced at the others, signaling for them to ask questions if they had any.

 

Rolls
Insight roll for those interested in reading into Fatima’s body language.

 

Insight rolls if you want to determine if Tika is telling the truth when she answer’s Fatima.

 

Game Info

[Nina] 9:40 am: watch me make a couple rolls for d&d
[Nina] 9:41 am: insight rolls for Ser Insight +1
   [Asarasa] 9:41 am: Sure
Nina *rolls* 1d20: 5+1: 6
Nina *rolls* 1d20: 10+1: 11
[Nina] 9:41 am: yuck
   [Asarasa] 9:41 am: Wah wah
   [Asarasa] 9:41 am: Better on the second
[Nina] 9:42 am: thanks

1st was for Fatimas body lang, 2nd for the goblin not that it matters with those rolls

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Felix looked around the place. It seemed the place was rather nice as far as he knew. The people were still up to judgement. Yet Felix could probably wager they thought the same of Felix as well. Felix view himself the least expierence member of the group, but knew he could be or do things different then the others.

 

He did not get why the goblin needed more money. Sure everyone could need a bit more money, but that's beside the fact. Yet he was not certain yet if what the goblin said was to his. Also if there was not anything else going on behind the scenes. This made him a bit tense, and worry.

 

rolls
Roll for body language: AceWildcard *rolls* 1d20: 9+2: 11 (sorry on the last part I forgot to also do the proficienty bonus for insight with would have made it 13 instead of 11. Not sure if it counts for anything yet.), Roll for goblin: AceWildcard *rolls* 1d20: 9+4: 13

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