Snake Report: Life as a False God, Day 3
Being the all powerful ruler of a Goblin Tribe is something everyone should have a chance to do. Truly, it's got an appeal I wouldn't have expected.
Being in charge is great.
Very fulfilling work.
Goblins have been coming to me with problems, usually with sober looking and adorable faces close to tears- and I solve them.
"Great God of Tiny Snake. Homes Ruined, monsters destroy."- Hunched back old-man Goblin
Ah ha! An interesting problem indeed, but have no fear my faithful follower!
Using my advanced and (currently) unparalleled intellect, I understand the Tarzan-like request to mean: "A horde of Giant Lizards came and destroyed one of the small Pugly Tribe Villages nearby."
It seems only the main camp of the Tribe is here, and there are smaller settlements tucked away around its perimeters.
So anyways, to continue: With a prideful hiss, I can slither off to investigate such claims with a healthy escort of tough looking Goblin warriors.
As it turns out, Giant Lizards are scary, but [Leviathan Breath] is much, much more terrifying. A couple "Hoos" and "Haas" followed by some Earth Magic and reconstruction efforts. Presto: brand new village, nicer stone houses instead of shoddy root-carved messes, and more roasted lizard than a Tiny-Snake and a band of Goblin warriors know what to do with.
Or so I thought. Goblins can eat a lot. Seriously, like a LOT. It's a wonder they don't all look like the blueberry girl from Willy-Wonka's factory.
I only partook at few nibbles.
All in all, not quite up to par with Barbecued Eel, but pretty close.
Additional information: Giant Lizards each net a wopping 0 points.
I guess I'm going to have to look a bit harder for those than I thought, but that's okay.
Anyways, it's this sort of thing. I've been on-call saving the tribe from outside threats, or rebuilding things with Earth Magics, or just slithering around and getting a feel for how the Pugly tribe lives on a daily basis.
All I can say for certain is that life as a Goblin is tough.
Hisssss... Very tough.
I've only been supreme Goblin God and ruler for a few days, but I think in a strange way I might have been lucky to have been born a snake instead. Not that being born a snake is any easier, but Goblins have... well, conditions attached to their prolonged survival.
There are no solo Goblins in the Pugly tribe. Instead, they all live in family units, usually of one strong looking male and a few females with their litters of Goblin-children. The stronger the Goblin, the more females, it's that sort of logic from what I can see.
But there are reasons for this.
Survival for a Goblin is almost as rigged as being born as a helpless snake in the deep dungeon.
One on One, a Goblin can't defeat anything but the weakest monsters. In short, even the strongest Goblin is still pretty weak. The toughest Goblins I've seen are Mike and Ike, and I think they're no more than the equivalent of Giant bat or a couple Spiders in basic strength.
But Goblins are a lot like people in some ways. People that went backwards and sort of... devolved or something.
They use tools, and bows. They have weapons, either salvaged from unfortunate humans or made from the natural resources around them. Stone axes, chipped iron swords, primitive looking short-bows. More importantly though, Goblins work together against threats.
Like when I was ambushed and roasted a bunch of them, or like when that other Goblin tribe came and messed with my Goblins- and I roasted them, or like when that otherother tribe came and I...
You get the idea: they were working together to take on a threat. Their tactic is numbers, but alone, they're almost nothing. At best, I'd call them the upper bottom of the Dungeon Barrel.
The weakest of the weak, with no chance of getting significantly stronger over time.
So far as I can tell from the Pugly tribe, they really don't grow much stronger. They don't seem to unlock skills or abilities that are very good for anything but eating poisonous things or going long periods without eating anything at all. I've seen nothing usual or exceptional from the ordinary Pugly Goblin.
Really, to my eyes it looks like they hit a long-plateau of slow progress on their development at some point after adolescence, and they're more or less trapped there forever.
For but one single exception, this is true.
99.9% of the goblins seem to follow this exact track record.
But that other 0.1% is a different story.
The Goblin Shamans.
Remember those Elders I mentioned? The cute and harmless ones with the cute staffs?
Let me tell you with total honesty: Might have misjudged their character.
I got a bit distracted with how adorable they all were, and maybe took that to mean they weren't really all that scary.
Obviously I shouldn't have done that. I mean, I'm sure I'm pretty much adorable. Just a cute little snake: but pull back the curtain and you'll find I'm a wanted criminal, hated by the entire-race of mankind.
So... looks are misleading. Not good tools for identifying danger. Better to just assume everything is danger.
It's a reasonable rule to follow in the Dungeon.
But yes... those Goblin Shamans. They're horrifyingly strong.
Wool over my eyes, fool me once- shame on me.
The whole nine yards. I need to boost my intelligence stat or something, because these sort of situations are really unpleasant.
Currently I'm surrounded by about five of them, and for having cute little pug-faces, they seem deadly serious.
"Small Snake God, You bless us."
The first Shaman is speaking with a gravely sort of Grandpa-Goblin voice, face so wrinkled and scrunched it might as well be a crumbled bag with eyes peering out. He's raising his staff, gnarly old wood sort of oddly fixed with a rather large mana crystal, and he's pointed to the history drawn on the cave walls of the open room beside my throne.
"You slay Chief. Terrible Chief, ruthless Chief. You slay Enemies, and their Chiefs. You build home. Many new to tribe. We grow much with your Powerful Magic. "
Funny thing to say. Really funny actually. They might have bodies as fragile as the family heirloom dishes you only take out on holidays, but if anyone has powerful magic here, it would probably be them.
I'd like to think that was meant as a joke, but there isn't a drop of humor in those words.
Very serious tone.
"Yes." The others are nodding in agreement from equally aged stoops and hunched backs. "Yes. Worst Chief... Terrible Chief dead. You grow tribe. Better, much."
Maybe they're trying to convince me.
Or, maybe they're just agreeing with themselves.
"But more mouths... More feed. Too many, then not enough."
"Yes, not enough."
I'm beginning to suspect becoming a Goblin Shaman takes a very long time. If I had to compare this situation to anything, I feel like I'm in an elderly home, but all the old-folk have loaded P-90s instead of walkers. Those staffs are just radiating power.
"We know. Serpent... sacred. Touched by... Gods"
The eldest figure is continuing, staff raising to glow with an intimidating swirl of mana to form patterns in the air.
"We see.... We know: You are Divine Beast. Still young..."
More murmurs of agreement in response to that. As much as I like being flattered, I'm starting to get a bit nervous from all the magic swirling in the air. Without even looking I know each one of them has more mana than I do, and that's seriously saying something. Frail looking bodies, old and hunched over, but absolutely overflowing with magic.
"But we have lived... Long."
"KeeeKeeee- Long! Long!"
Shouts are joining in, hisses through teeth-less gums, and awful grins. Their laughs are falling upon one another, and those eyes... Their eyes watch me now: Eyes holding to a far greater intellect than I anticipated. Dark beads hidden beneath terrible folds of aged skin and scars.
Holy crud. Horror movie line right there. All of them looking and turning their heads at the same time.
With great effort here, I'm swallowing the urge to try and dig into my throne and escape. Instinct is just screaming to freeze: "Don't move!" is what it's telling me.
Over and over, just like that first encounter with the centipede.
I am greatly outmatched. To make matters worse, I've never fought anything that used magic.
I think that's why this is all so scary. Barely any monsters have magic, so far as I can tell. Unless you count the humans... who put me in a box, the Stone Crabs that almost killed me are the only thing I've seen, really.
"You seek power."
The eldest whispered.
"You lack attendant."
Another cackled, hoarse throat like dust and crumbled stone.
"You lack voice."
The maddening laughter was lifting up.
"We can give you, all."
The staff fell to point towards me, swirls of magic and energy spinning about as if an invisible hurricane.
The praising me and worshiping my actions definitely brought my guard down. They seemed so harmless my first few days. Magic nothing more than fancy lights and swirls.
They'd been hiding it.
"A trade... for Tribe, we will give."
"Yes!" The others shouted. "Yes, a trade!"
Oh, I don't know if I like where this is going.
"Slay creature, that guard surface."
The eldest Shaman leaned in, toothless smile widening into a disgusting grimace as the others broke into another bout of terrible laughter.
"Then we give, what you seek."
Snake Report:Kill Quest Received