The Observatory of Lantern Hill

Or: the hindsight of Tuskgrin, would-be chieftan of Lantern Hill

Deathtrap. That was the only word to describe this place.

His masters in the Monster’s Alliance had taken the better part of a year crafting its plot. For Tuskgrin’s part, it had taken his tribe a month to select a suitable location from the various offerings surrounding Lantern Hill. Fortunately, it came with defenses pre-built. Unfortunately, those defenses weren’t known from the start…

Finding the secrets of the tower, the traps and hidden rooms, had thinned his numbers considerably. After the debacle with the scythe-and-crossbow room at the top of the stairs, he had made the strategic decision to assign the strongest, and therefore most likely to someday usurp him, goblins to locating the traps throughout the dungeon.

Though this did not endear the chief to his clan, it did wonders for diplomatic relations with the kobolds. Admiring the goblins’ tenacity (if not their skill) at trapfinding in the lair, the two tribes grew quickly together. The kobolds eagerly reinforced the dungeon with traps of their own making and shared their lethal tactics with their new found allies.

Tuskgrin’s decision to eliminate the strongest members of his tribe would prove unwise, however, when a group of adventurers stormed the dungeon in Lantern Hill’s charge. His painstakingly prepared traps, his carefully arranged treasure, his perfectly proportioned kobold girlfriend – all lost!

Perhaps he should have listened to that wizard they had captured instead of imagining the gold the Monster’s Alliance would pay for such a prized prisoner. When they caught him sneaking around in the tower (and really, WHO in their right mind sneaks in and then asks, “Hello?”) he had mentioned that he was being pursued and that someone—he wasn’t really listening—would kill everyone in his path to get him.

That much was true, anyway. He had sent the last of his strongest goblins, a dozen at least, to guard the prized wizard prisoner, and they didn’t seem to slow down those adventurers in the least. Then again, neither did the Blackfeather sent by his master.

How had they defeated him so soundly? As Tuskgrin sat, securely bound in the back of a cart bumpily making its way into town, he pondered where it had all gone wrong.



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