A Thousand Swords
The Goblins: Since they moved in to Kiris Dahn, the goblins have ruled over the town. They renamed it Gorizbadd, and they flourished within its crumbled walls. The goblins consider most of the town their land, except for the parts inhabited by dangerous beasts. They don’t venture into the kobold slum but still claim ownership over it. Most of the goblins live in the remains of upscale dwellings that line the main thoroughfare through the town. Territorial and cruel, goblins only want to maintain their tenuous control of Gorizbadd and hurt anybody who intrudes into the town.
The lesser goblins report to Hu-Jat, an armored war veteran. A member of the Shattered Gate, a former hob/goblin army (which was apparently destroyed by another warband known as the Bloody Helm), Hu-Jat arrived four years ago, killing the goblin’s former leader and usurping control. While stronger than most hob/goblins, his leadership skills are sorely lacking, as he leads through intimidation, has a vastly inflated ego, and constantly complains about his goblin troops’ incompetence and is amazed the town didn’t fall to intruders before he got there. While Hu-Jat claims he wishes to forge the Gorizbadd goblins into a new army, other evidence points that he’s content being a big fish in a small pond.
The Kobolds: At the bottom of the pecking order, the kobolds of Gorizbadd try to keep a low profile. Despite that, they’re subject to bullying from the slightly stronger goblins, who clearly have a very low opinion of the small draconic humanoids. The kobolds have taken over an old slum, setting up a web of traps throughout the narrow alleyways. This keeps the stronger factions from moving in on the kobolds’ homes. Still, kobolds have to leave the safety of those areas to gather food and supplies. Between the goblins and the newly arrived Severed Eyes, the kobolds’ resentment of their situation has reached a boiling point: with the arrival of the party, the kobold leader Hadradua has made a deal with them. The party will confront the leadership of the goblins while the kobolds, using magical constructs they’ve managed to get working, will attack the main goblin forces.
The Severed Eyes: A recently arrived group of savage orc mercenaries, the orcs have ransacked various small parts of Kiris Dahn, brutally killing anyone they encounter and branding their faces with a mark over one eye. They seem to be searching for something, quite possibly the Slaying Stone, but their exact motives besides murderous sadism remain unknown. Strangely, the mark they use as a brand suggest that these orcs have turned from Gruumsh, chaotic evil god of slaughter and conquest, to worship of Bane, evil god of war, who many goblins also worship: why the orcs insist on still brutally killing their supposed new peers is not known. It is suggested that the group is not large, however, and that the orcs mostly get away with their misdeeds by picking fights they know they can win. It has also been suggested that Hu-Jat knew the Severed Eyes were coming and sent out a sizable force to meet with them, perhaps to parlay, perhaps to exterminate. Unfortunately, the force’s encounter with something else entirely left the Severed Eyes free to arrive at Kiris Dahn and commence their brutal deeds: perhaps Hu-Jat believes the orcs themselves destroyed the goblins forces he sent out and is keeping his distance.
The party finally encountered a Severed Eyes member, a female orc named Krayt, in the semi-rebuilt ruins of the former main inn of Kiris Dahn, the Tallest Fir. Having already slaughtered several kobolds, the blood-mad orc attacked the party, dealing them heavy damage and revealing in the carnage. When she was slain, her last words were that the battle was ‘fun’. One suspects that if Krayt is an example of the mindset and power of the Severed Eyes, deep trouble could be coming in the future.