Talon Squad 3: Mirrorshield Heist Plot in Shadowfire | World Anvil

Talon Squad 3: Mirrorshield Heist

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The Goblins bring the fight to Lord Akron's stronghold as they undertake a daring raid to retrieve the holy symbol of their people.


The Uferbrech Wars have reached a stalemate since the Drowning at Telela. The forces of the Protectorates have been stalled, and our heroes have gained confidence in their skirmishes against the Protectorates, but they cannot hope to achieve more without inspiring their kin into more unified action.   The Mirrorshield of Wala is the holy symbol of the Tokari clan's leaders that was lost when Lord Akron invaded Tokaru, and it currently remains hidden with his Fort. Without the Mirrorshield, the Tokari remain divided and leaderless, and the other clans of the Uferbrech goblins will not risk coming to their aid.   The Squad has been tasked with stealing the Mirrorshield back for the Talons of Aeotora in the hope that it can unite the disparate Tokari once more. The challenge of doing so while it is kept at the heart of Lord Akron's power base is formidable.    

The Squad

  • Our heroes have begun to make a name for themselves as the newest recruits of The Talons of Aetora
  • Activities have included disrupting trade across the islands, causing havoc at the mines.
  • Their base is at Talon's Reach on the south of the island, where they have access to the unruly Giant vultures of Tokaru. These birds are hard to control, but enable fast movement across the islands.


  • The Mirrorshield was lost during the Fall of Tokaru.
  • It is the symbol of leadership for the Tokari clan.
  • There was a failed heist by Annika Lux and her goblin friend Usohati a generation prior.
  • Gorias De Soto was involved in the original heist and permanently disfigured.


  • The heist's primary objective is to retrieve the Mirrorshield of Wala.
  • other objectives and opportunities may include freeing goblins who are imprisoned in Fort Kustos, discovering the truth about the evil power behind the Lord Protector and possibly even killing the Lord Protector himself.

Hooks and motivations

  • Power: the Mirrorshield is a strong magical artefact in its own right, but the goblin who holds it would be able to unite the Uferbrech clans under one banner.
  • Revenge: Lord Ackron defeated the Tokari, and many died over the generations by his hand. Many goblins have personal reasons to strike a blow against him.
  • Wealth: there are many in Camp Thrifty and beyond who would pay handsomely for the Shield. If money is what you want, there is plenty to be had.


A full frontal assault will be very difficult, if not impossible without careful planning and allies. Alternative approaches might prove better. Of course, when things go wrong the Squad will need to improvise.


The Squad could attempt to sneak into the fort, take the Mirrorshield and escape with it before they are detected. This approach would involve stealth and distractions.


The Squad could attempt to enter the fort through trickery. This approach would involve social skills, disguise and deception.


The Squad could attempt to infiltrate the Fort through brute force. This might involve all-out assault, or a smash-and-grab as they fight their way through the keep.
Options for stealth
  • Sneak in via the Steamhouse
    The Steamhouse owned by Annika Lux is connected to the Fort through the pipe network. Small goblins might just be able to squeeze through, at the risk of a deadly scalding.
  • The secret entrance via the sea caves.
    Observant Goblins may spot a clandestine trade visit from Ravac, the Nibbler and learn of the secret entrance to the caves behind the Fort.
  • Climb down from above.
    The treacherous cliffs above the Fort could be scaled down to the Fort's rooftop battlements, at the risk of falling or setting of the alarm.

Options for subterfuge
  • Pose as goblin servants
    There are a number of goblin servants who live in the The Icepen and Ladders and work in the fort's kitchens. The Squad could infiltrate as one of their number.
  • Pose as visiting traders.
    The Fort is regularly supplied in food for the kitchens and weapons for the guards. The squad could work with Luger Vanderson as a trade delegation from Camp Thrifty.
  • Get themselves captured.
    Lord Protector Ackron Der Kustos is keen to question any captured Talons for news of his enemies activities. The Squad could bribe guards, turn themselves in, or find a way to be arrested.

Options for violence
  • Flying giant vultures to drop onto the roof.
    The Squad would need to convince Taktuk Roostwarden that they can be trusted with the safety of the birds, and manage the tempremental beasts in an assault.
  • Inciting a riot as a diversion.
    The Squad will need the support of the Spiritseer of the Icepen, and to inspire their kin to rise up.
  • Sabotaging the fort's supplies of blackpowder.
    The Fort has a large supply of explosive blackpowder that was recently delivered by Janus Wade. Finding and triggering it would cause much damage and mayhem.


The Heist

You find yourself atop the southern bluff overlooking the town of Omberstad. The black cliffs loom above, draped in shadow, while to your right the churning waves of the ocean pound upon their base. The northern bluff catches the light, and you see the gleaming domes of the invader's buildings dwarfed by the imposing stone walls of the Fort above. These mansions are built upon the ruins of Shakumir, that was once your people's homes.   Across the harbour from the fort, known as the Blackpool, you see the sleet encrusted hovels of the Icepens. This is where your people now live, forced to work the terraced farms in the hills above the town. Foreign ships made of iron are berthed at the pilons, and the snow covered streets are lit by lamps in the mist. You see people trudging the streets, and the faint sounds of dock workers reach your ears.   You steal yourself for the final push towards your goal.
by Midjourney
The heist will be chaotic, and the Squad may choose any number of paths toward their goal. Plans will change, and complications will threaten to undermine our heroes at any moment.   The Squad must find a way into the fort, discover the location of the Mirrorshield, and get out alive.   They will need allies, they will need to be wary of betrayal, and will need to improvise.

Heist mechanics

These optional mechanics have been borrowed from Blades in the Dark, which is a game developed by Evil Hat Productions designed for heist-style adventures. In particular, the use of Flashbacks and Progress Clocks.


Rather than spend entire sessions on planning, during the action, players can call for a flashback to play through a preparation or planning moment they did at some point prior.   more
These should come at a cost in stress of some sort. For example, in D&D this could require a level of exhaustion for the PC performing the flashback. They also can't be used to rewrite an established narrative fact.   The flashback would be played through with any skill checks or resources usage as decided by the GM and players as they play. Once resolved, the play returns to the current situation.   Some example flashbacks could include:
  • Bribed
    The squad is discovered by a guard. But, they flashback to an earlier time where they had attempted a bribe or blackmail. Did it work or has it backfired?
  • A heavily locked door
    The squad finds themselves at the locked door to the armoury. But, they flashback to their meeting with Annika Lux where they procured a vial of special acid to weaken its hinges. Is it strong enough?


Progress Clocks

These are a way to establish rising tension during play. The GM can establish a clock towards an outcome, with a certain number of segments (eg: 4-8) before that outcome eventuates.   more
The segments are marked off due to actions and events that occur during play, and may be results of character actions, successes or failures.   They can also be used as resources with consequences for the players. For example, a player may ask for advantage on a particularly critical action, but that advantage would come at the cost of advancing a relevant progress clock.   Some sample clocks could include:
  • Discovered
    The Squad's actions have alerted the guards. The guards will raise the alarm and mobilise against them.
  • Cold feet
    Allies have second thoughts due to the rising complications. They may seek to cut their losses.
  • Ticking bomb
    The Squad have set the blackpowder to explode. Poor choices may prevent their safe exit in time.


Getting into the fort

The opening of the heist will involve finding a way into the fort itself.  

Investigating Omberstad

The Squad can scout the town, seek information and allies as they work out how to infiltrate the fort. There may be contacts they already know of, or can find through observation and investigations.   Danger is ever-present. While goblins are a common sight on the streets of Omberstad, they are usually relegated to the menial tasks of labouring, cleaning and serving. A fully-armed group of Talons found openly wandering the streets will be seen as a threat, and will raise the alarm very quickly.  

The streets of Omberstad

Cobbled and slick with mud and sleet, the streets wind around the dark waters of the Blackpool. Switchbacks and twisted stairs climb the steep cliffside, where warehouses conceal dark alleys. The light from the occasional lamp flickers in the mist.   Workers scurry to find warmth within the small shops and bars that line the Promenade, or drag carts laden with cargo to and from the wharves. Guards can be seen here and there, huddled around fires keeping a lazy eye on passers-by.   Rumours and clues
  • Workers will recommend the welcome warmth of the Lux Steam House.
  • Workers know that Janus Wade at the Pilons is seeking help, as unexpected shipments are coming in.
  • Goblin servants will avoid questions, and refer the Squad to Seer Yuchak of the Icepens.
  • Guards will investigate commotion and question obvious outsiders.
  • Shop owners complain of lack of stock, as it is being hoarded by Lord Ackron.
  • Rumours of the seclusion of Lord Ackron and his bouts of rage at his recent military defeat.
  • Rumours of goblins and others disappearing, with warnings to stay indoors and not travel outside alone.

by Midjourney

The Blackpool and Pilons

The dark waters of the harbour of Omberstad are dominated by the crag of black rock at it centre. Atop this, a large wooden crane lifts cargo from the ships at dock onto the bustling stone wharf. It is low tide now, and the slick vertical sides of the wharfs drop nearly ten metres into the deep water. The blackpool is crowded with cargo ships of various sizes, and across the water can be seen the private dock of Fort Kustos. At berth there is a bulky iron-clad warship, unloading barrels and other goods directly into the Fort itself.   Rumours and clues
  • Janus Wade is master of The Pilons, and controls all trade in and out of the Blackpool harbour.
  • Small boats can be sources of employment, hired, commandeered or potentially stolen. Movements are easily noticed without good cover stories.
  • Janus is looking for more workers to help offload special delivery that has just arrived on the ship docked at Fort Kustos
  • He will not hire Goblins for this work, but will hire them to fill in with other cargo handling.
  • There is a shortage of workers. Another has just failed to turn up for work, and recent disappearances. Janus blames lazy workers.
  • Janus will not undermine Lord Ackron, and will report any suspicions to the Guards.
  • Disgruntled workers, if plied, will reveal the ship docked at Fort Kustos came from the Empire of Novalucca under command of Dex Ulrot
  • Paperwork hidden in Janus' office, or careful observation, can reveal the Novaluccan ship is delivering blackpowder barrels to Fort Kustos
  • Paperwork also reveals another recent arrival is Ravac, the Nibbler, who hired a small boat from Janus.

by Midjourney

The Icepen and Ladders

The cliffs above the main street of Omberstad lie forever in sleet-encrusted shadow. Wooden walkways and ladders cover the cliff in a chaotic jumble. Goblins stand huddled on the many rickety balconies, warming themselves next to steaming pipes that snake up from the town below, bringing heat even to this part of the town. Behind the balconies and ladders can be see tunnels that have been dug into the rock itself. This is where the remnants of the Tokari now live.   Rumours and clues
  • The goblins of The Icepen and Ladders live in the shanties and tunnels carved into the cliffs
  • They are fearful and distrustful of outsiders, even other goblins
  • Their leader is the Seer Yuchak, who does not reveal herself easily.
  • The goblins have heard of the The Talons of Aetora, many of them craving news of the war and the other islands.
  • Goblins can reveal the seclusion and irrational bouts of rage Lord Ackron has exhibited.
  • They are scared because of the disappearances. Many suspect Lord Ackron's 'secret police'.
  • If Seer Yuchak can be convinced, she can help them into Fort Kustos, disguised as servants.
  • With difficulty, Yuchak and many of her goblins could be inspired to rise up in riot as diversion, or to help raid the castle.

by Midjourney

The Lux Steamhouse

A stream cascades down the valley, dividing the town. One one side are the cold heights of the Icepens, and on the other, the sun-drenched mansions that lead to the gates of Fort Kustos. Straddling the falls sits the town's famous Steamhouse. Wide balconies with wide glass doors reveal a warm comfort within. Along the banks of the river can be seen open baths, shrouded in a welcoming steam. Across the town, laughter and music drift from the Steamhouse promising a welcome respite from the cold.   Rumours and clues
  • The Lux Steam House is run by an aging adventurer and academic, Annika Lux
  • She is an outspoken advocate of goblin rights
  • Boarding and protection can be had here if Annika can be made to trust the Squad.
  • Annika will not support violent confrontation and will at first discourage any attempt to retrieve the Mirrorshield.
  • She was responsible for the original failed heist many years ago that saw the death of her goblin friend and the disfigurement of Gorias.
  • The Steam house provides warm water and air through a system of pipes to the town. The network connects the steamhouse to Fort Kustos.
  • She hates Akron with a passion, and would love to see him ousted. But not at the expense of others.
  • Masked Grace is a regular at the steam house, and has secret suspicions of heretical magics being employed by Akron.

by Midjourney

Into Fort Kustos

Once they have made their alliances and learned what they can, the Squad will need to get into the Fort and pass its defences. There are multiple avenues possible, but the Squad may work out their own unique approach.   Not all is what it appears within the fort. The guards and servants are all nervous. They are scared of the rages and irrational behaviour of their Lord, and fear reprisals should they make mistakes. Gorias is who they trust and defer to instead, but there may be some who no longer wish to serve.  

The fort

The low rays of the sun light up the high stone walls of the fort which rise unbroken nearly 100ft above the waters of the Blackpool. It's battlements loom over the town, while one wall stretches out across the harbour mouth. The central tower is carved into the black rock face of the cliff that rises nearly vertically above it, its heights lost in the mist.   Guards patrol the walls, carrying torches, and they oversee workers as they unload cargo from the warship currently docked at the Fort's private wharf.   Getting in will not be easy.
by Midjourney

Through the steamhouse

As you enter the cramped tunnel, you are blasted by the hot and humid air, at odds with the coldness outside. The pipe that runs into the darkness before you radiates heat. Stepping in, the sweat begins to bead on your face, and pool at your neck. Ahead, the darkness seems to breathe, and you hear the constant dripping of moisture condensing on the slick rock walls.   Challenges
  • The pipes from the steamhouse connect to most of the buildings across Omberstad.
  • The pipe to Fort Kustos is laid through a narrow service tunnel that is cut through the bedrock
  • The heat from the pipes makes it highly uncomfortable, and touching the pipes themselves will burn. Anyone spending to much time in there will suffer levels of heat exhaustion.
  • Nests of rats and giant spiders have made their home in the warmth and protection of the tunnel
  • The pipes emerge into an underground room at the rear of the Fort. The door is heavy, locked and barred from within. The only key is held by Gorias in his private quarters, but the servants will often need it to perform maintenance duties.
  • Noise of combat in the tunnels, or breaking the door will likely alert the guards

Disguised as servants

You are given simple tunics to wear, and must give up your armour and weapons. The fabric chafes against your skin, and the cold bites through it. Yuchak tells you to keep your eyes down as she ushers you outside and down the cobbled street to the gates of the Fort.   Challenges
  • Seer Yuchak can help the Squad enter the fort as new servants.
  • Servants are only permitted to wear a uniform of simple cloth robes
  • Servants entering the main gate will be inspected by the guards.
  • Anyone with weapons or armour on them will be immediately treated as hostile.
  • There is a secret way into the kitchen through the waste pipes, accessed below the external wall - dangerous due to the crashing surf and rocks.
  • These pipes also connect to the latrines in the courtyard. Access by them will be a disgusting endeavour and make anyone who has done it easy to discover due to the smell.
  • Gear, such as armour or weapons, can be smuggled in food carts, but risks discovery should any guard become suspicious and decide to inspect.

A delivery

You have donned the garb of merchants, and gathered your carts and goods ready to deliver directly to the unsuspecting inhabitants of the Fort.   Challenges
  • The squad could pose as traders with Luger Vanderson, and seek audience with Gorias with weapons or produce.
  • They could also get work from Janus Wade delivering goods from the Pilons to the Fort. This will gain them access to the courtyard, but under heavy surveillance.

Down the cliffs

You stand on the edge of the cliff that drops below you into the gloomy mists below. The clouds part briefly to reveal the stone battlements of the Fort hundreds of feet below. You ready yourselves for the descent.   Challenges
  • The mountain cliffs above Fort Kustos are steep and treacherous. They act as a formidable natural barrier.
  • Climbing will be difficult, with slick vertical rockfaces and the strong winds will buffet any climber with sleet-encrusted squalls.
  • The final drop is over 100m, near vertical, to the roof and battlements of the Fort itself.
  • The mists will help hide any descent, and the guards do not pay attention to the mountain above them.
  • Dislodging rocks, or any excess noise, risks alerting the guards below
  • Falls may result in death, and also in alerting guards to the presence of interlopers.

Secret ocean caves

The waves crash upon you as you attempt to keep the boat you are tailing in sight. You don't think it's owner has spotted you, they must be just as busy as you trying to keep from smashing against the jagged rocks. The outer wall of the Fort rises above you, and you notice the boat you are following head towards a hidden grotto. It might be a way in.   Challenges
  • If the squad somehow follows Ravac, the Nibbler in his hired boat, they may see him anchor in a concealed bay beneath the ocean wall of the fort.
  • The waves are big on this side of the headland, and any progress risks being smashed against the rocks
  • If Ravac notices the Squad, he will abandon his visit and return to Omberstad
  • If undiscovered, the Squad can observe Ravac will enter the concealed cave just above the low-tide mark.
  • The entrance leads directly to the hidden cave system beneath the fort.

Inside Fort Kustos

Once within, the Squad will need to find the location of the Mirrorshield, and retrieve it. Refer to the Fort Kustos map for the overall layout of the Fort.   Now that the Squad has made it into the heart of Lord Ackron's power, they may learn that not all is what it seems, and a darker force is at play within the Fort.  

The upper levels

This is where Lord Akron rules his domain, and houses his guards, servants and the locations where he hosts visiting dignitaries. If they have been clever, the Squad will be able to find their way into most areas without being challenged. The exceptions are both Lord Ackron and Gorias' quarters.

The courtyard

The heavy gates of the Fort lead into a wide courtyard, where cobblestones are covered in snow turned to an icy and muddy sludge by passage of the guards and servants.   A low stable building runs along the inside of the outer wall. A low stone well can be seen in the middle of the expanse, it is spewing a constant cloud of steam into the cold air.   Opposite the stables are wide ornate doors leading into the main building whose walls are alight with intricate stained glass windows along its length.   Details
  • Guards on top of the walls and rooftop have a clear view of most of the courtyard below.
  • The well brings up near boiling water from the spring below the castle. Falling in will cause serious harm.
  • The steam from the well causes some visibility issues for the guards above.
  • Any deliveries will be offloaded in the courtyard after first being inspected at the gates
  • Goblin servants will regularly use the small door from the kitchens to get water from the well.
  • There are two horses currently stabled
  • The stables also contain the Fort's latrine, whose pipes drop down to the sluice that carries waste out to sea. The pipes also connect to the kitchen.

Battlements and rooftops

The rooftops are dominated by the three main towers of the keep, and the multiple levels of open battlements between them.   At the roof's lower points where the low sun can reach it, runs an ornate formal garden with fountains and a variety of potted plants and fruit trees.   Guards armed with heavy crossbows can be seen atop each of the main towers, and another slowly walks the pathways of the garden.   Details
  • A guard is stationed atop each of the towers, and another above the gate.
  • The guard walking the garden does so slowly, and often stops to chat to his colleagues above.
  • All guards are bored an inattentive, easily distracted and fairly lazy.
  • The exception is the guard above Lord Ackron's tower, who is currently possessed by one of the Knives of Kustos.
  • All the guards will favour ranged battle using crossbows and will try to raise the alarm at any outbreak of violence.
  • None of the guards will want to fight to the death, they will attempt to flee, but will not surrender if cornered.

Kitchens and quarters

The kitchen is a large and bustling open area, with benches and racks crammed with crockery and foodstuffs around a central roaring firepit. It is connected to what looks like sleeping quarters for the guards.   A handful of goblins are at work cleaning dishes and tending to the cooking food. The air is thick with the smell of toasting vegetables and a meaty stew.   Details
  • There are usually four or five goblins in the kitchen at any one time.
  • If the squad has entered pretending to be servants, they will be taken here to relieve the shift of those already working.
  • a handful of off-duty guards are sleeping
  • Two more guards are rudely demanding food from the kitchens. treating the goblins there badly.
  • There is a trapdoor for waste in the kitchen that leads to the tunnel from the latrines to the ocean outside.
  • If masquerading, the Squad may be asked to prepare food and serve it to the guards. If that goes well, later Gorias will ask to be served in the dining room.

Throne room

The long hall has floors of polished granite, and is lined with pillars of dark volcanic rock which reflect the light from the blazing brazier down the centre of the room. The sunside wall where the main doors open into is lined with huge stained glass windows with depictions of the dead heroes of this strange people. These send washes of gold and pink light through the room.   Across from the main entrance can be seen a wide alcove, within which can be seen the branches of a large tree growing up to the vaulted ceiling far above. Its leaves are few and far between.   At the end of the hall rises the dais, upon which sits a blocky throne carved from polished volcanic rock. Behind the throne can be seen a blank whie wall, clearly marred by an old burn mark, blasted at its centre.   Details
  • The wall is where the Mirrorshield was once displayed. The burn mark is the remnant of the disastrous failed attempt at stealing it made by Annika Lux many years ago.
  • If the Squad has managed to seek audience as merchants, Gorias will be seated upon the steps of the throne awaiting them. he will not bother his Lord for such trivial matters.
  • If the Squad are brought as captives, Lord Ackron himself will be on the throne with Gorias standing beside him. Ackron will be stern and of few words. Gorias will do most of the speaking.
  • At all times a guard, possessed by one of the Knives of Kustos, will be on guard beside the entrance to the tree shrine.
  • another five guards will be present if Ackron is upon the throne. In his presence, there will be no surrender from the guards.
  • In the shadows beside the throne are small doors leading to the underground areas of the Fort.

Ackron's tower

Through the formal dining room can be found the opulent quarters if the Lord Protector himself. These are not lit except for torches in the doorway and at the top of the stairs. The furnishings though are resplendent with carpets and rugs, and Large comfortable divans are set out around a central fireplace that is not lit.   Upon the round walls hang huge decorative tapestries which show ancient heroes in gleaming armour riding into battle upon galloping beasts with wide horns, their nostrils flared, and their hooves on fire.   A circular stone stair circles the tower and leads up to the floor above.   Details
  • There are racks of wine, a large bookcase with expensive histories of the Age of Ascendancy that Ackron has collected.
  • Close inspection reveals the room hasn't been used in some time. Rotting fruit in bowls, dust upon the shelves and wine racks. A stale smell in the air.
  • Upstairs, is Lord Ackron's bedroom. Equally decorated with riches and lush furnishings. This also shows signs of long disuse
  • If the Squad has made it here undetected, they will find Ackron sitting at his desk in his upstairs quarters
  • He is motionless and will not react to anything. Upon close inspection, he is drooling and vacant - his mind is completely gone.
  • Ackron has a crystal embedded into his spine, at the base of his neck. Removing it will kill him.
  • The Knife of Kustos hidden on the roof of the tower will immediately report to Gorias, and return to posses one of the Squad.
  • An old unfinished letter is on the desk, many years old. It reveals Ackron's growing anger about Gorias, his pestering about that old goblin shield, and his demand that the Academy replace 'the young upstart', or he will be forced to do so himself.

Gorias quarters

This small study contains a simple bed and a desk, and the bookcases up the walls are crammed with a jumble of old books and scrolls. Strange mechanical things sit upon the desk, surrounded by jars of herbs, liquids and minerals.   Details
  • There are many alchemical materials here, and some potions that may be of use.
  • Some of the jars have animal body parts and strange blood
  • Inspecting the books will reveal much are academic theories on magic and the Destruction.
  • Hidden amongst the books are ancient tomes discussing pre-Destruction magics like ghosting and the use of magical battery stores.
  • A journal beside the bed with a number of recent entries
  • "Ackron's instability is being noticed."
  • "I lost yet another vessel to my friend in the cave."
  • "I need another source before the people in town get too worked up"
  • A final note about "a representative is coming from the Good Doctor who may offer a solution."

Beneath the fort

Access to these areas is unknown to most, other than Gorias. This is where the darker secrets behind the Lord Protector's true nature can be found.  

The thrall chamber

the ramped tunnel opens into a wide stone room with a low ceiling, dimly lit up by flickering torches. Along the walls are lined up rows of cots, each with a figure lying motionless upon it.   In the centre of the room is a long bench filled with tools and vials, and a single body of a goblin spread out for examination.   On the wall can be seen hanging your goal - the Mirrorshield itself - gleaming in the dim light.   Details
  • The bodies lying on the cots are mostly goblins, but there are a couple of Midkin.
  • They are all alive, but completely unresponsive.
  • Each has a crystal embedded in their spine, at the base of the neck. Removing it will kill its host, but also sever Gorias' connection to them.
  • The bodies are thralls to Gorias, and power his strong magics.
  • The body on the central table is a soulhusk, depleted of energy, and has had its crystal removed. Gorias is preparing it for the exchange with Ravac.
  • There is a trapdoor in the floor that leads to the caves
  • Gorias will retreat here to gather strength from his thralls should any alarm be raised/
  • The thralls can be animated and commanded to fight, or depleted of their energy to fuel Gorias' spells,

The psylig caves

The cave tunnels are slick with briny seawater, and the smell of rotting seaweed threatens to overpower. The darkness is filled with the roar of the ocean outside the cave entrance. Alcoves and branches have turned this rock into a warren of tunnels. The floor has had simple steps carved into it and a simple path winds its way into the darkness.   Details
  • Investigation will reveal trails of congealed mucous on the cave walls and floor.
  • The caves are Gorias' secret escape route from the fort, and for his nefarious deals with people like Ravac.
  • He has captured and enthralled a nest of Psilygs to guard the entrance.
  • The psyligs will defend their lair against any intruder if Gorias is not there to calm them.

Final confrontation

  • Gorias will retreat to the lower level should things go badly for him above.
  • He will bring with him any surviving Knives of Kustos: have them possess guards or even the Squad members themselves.
  • His thralls are his source of magical power, and he will deplete their energy to rain down destructive magic against the heroes.
  • If the crystals are removed from a thrall, Gorias' connection to them is stopped. This will kill the thrall.
  • Any Squad member with strong enough magical power can attempt to wrest control of a thrall from Gorias, and use the additional power for themselves.
  • The thralls can only be saved by killing Gorias.


Whether they succeed or fail, many outcomes and complications may arise, should the Squad trust the wrong allies, or they decide that helping them is too risky.


the squad will need to escape. Unless they have somehow managed to kill all the guards and leadership, they will be pursued relentlessly by Gorias, his Knives and any surviving guards.   Once they have left Omberstad itself, any immediate pursuit will be called off. However, Gorias will send one of his Knives in ghost form to track them, in the hope they will lead him to their homebase at Talon's Reach.  

Difficult choices

Beneath the Fort will be found goblins in thrall to Gorias. Some options may present themselves:
  • Gorias' strength will be greatly reduced by killing these thralls, but are the gobloins willing to do that rather than attempt a rescue?
  • If Luger Vanderson discovers the target o the heist, he will offer a deal to the Squad to sell it to an interested buyer in Camp Thrifty. If they refuse, he may become persistent.


Some potential allies, such as Luger Vanderson and Janus Wade may easily turn on the Squad should things get dangerous or easier profits found elswehere.


If the squad are captured, or even turn themselves in, they will be stripped of gear and brought to audience with Lord Ackron and Gorias in the throne room.   They may be able to bargain for leniency through clever deception, giving away information about any allies who have helped them such as Annika Lux, or the location of Talon's Reach.  
  • Minor infractions will result in public imprisonment - cages that get strung up at the entrance to The Icepen and Ladders.
  • If it becomes known that the Squad are members of The Talons of Aetora, Gorias will instead take them to his cells beneath the fort.


Inspiring the Tokari

Retrieving the Mirrorshield is a strong symbolic win for the surviving Tokari. Many will be inspired and continue to rise up. Depending on the actions of the Squad, their infamy will grow, and Tokari from Omberstad, Camp Thrifty and even as far afield as Sudengard will be inspired.   Uprisings will increase in frequency, and the Squad may find that many new Tokari flock to the banner of the Talons of Aetora.

Conflict within

The rightful ownership of the Shield will become a sore point though. The leadership of the Talons will want it for themselves, but so will Kaila Reefwatcher the Mothers of Motu who will resent the challenge to their own authority over the Uferbrech goblins clans.

The Cult of the Devourer

The Squad will have now come to the attention of Gorias or Ravac if they survive, but more importantly, the entity they serve will know of them. It seeks the secrets of the Shield to further its designs, and will come after the Squad.

A new Lord Protector

If the Squad succeeded in ousting Lord Ackron and Gorias, a new Lord Protector will be chosen. Annika Lux may well be pushed to take on the role. Depending on the Squad's actions, this could mean they now have an ally within the Protectorates, and a peaceful way toward reclaiming Tokaru.

Cast of characters


Lord Protector Ackron Der Kustos
Character | Mar 6, 2023

Akron Der Kustos is the Lord Protector of Omberstad and invader of Uferbrech.

Role in the heist

  • During the heist Ackron stays within his private quarters, delegating the day to day running of the Fort to his advisor Gorias.
  • If discovered, any direct threat to Ackron's person brings down the full wrath of the Fort's defences.
  • Ackron hasn't been seen outside his stronghold since the recent failure at the Drowning at Telela.
  • He has become obsessed with finding the location of the Talon's secret base.
  • Since the battle, he has become prone to irrational bouts of rage. Guards and servants alike have been attacked physically by him.
  • Servants and guards are no longer permitted in his private quarters for fear of setting off a rage
  • Now, only Gorias de Soto meets with Ackron
  • Ackron is actually a thrall to Gorias De Soto. His mind is nearly gone, and Gorias keeps him alive as a puppet only.
Gorias De Soto
Character | Mar 6, 2023

Second in command at Omberstad under Lord Kustos

Role in the heist

  • Gorias will spend his time between his quarters and his private thrall-chamber.
  • If needed, he will attend visitors in the throne room
  • If visited by Ravac the Nibbler, he will be waiting in the caves
  • Will seek to keep his role a secret from all
  • Will avoid direct confrontation, relying on allies to cover his retreat.
  • He will call upon the Knives of Kustos and the Psyligs in any final confrontation
Rumours and clues
  • Gorias was a childhood friend of Annika Lux before her exile.
  • He was greatly weakened by an illness as a child, and has never recovered.
  • Gorias is a warlock follower of the Devourer and has been abducting goblins and others to convert into thralls to further his power.
Ravac, the Nibbler
Character | Mar 3, 2024

Ravac works the beaches and bars at Camp Thrifty, spying on all and sundry and selling the truths or rumours he gleans for coin or favours. His secretive ways mask as even darker loyalty to the cult of the Devourer

Role in the heist

  • Ravac is seeking clandestine trade deals with Gorias.
  • He knows of the entrance to the caves and can unwittingly lead the Squad there
  • He may betray Gorias and seek the Squad as allies should they prove too strong.
Rumours and clues
  • Ravac currently works for Warkudi Kinjack in Camp Trhifty and is trading in bodies for profit.
  • The current deal is for Ravac to bring new victims, and trade them for the depleted soulhusks that Gorias has used up.
  • Ravac is also a warlock follower of the Devourer, just like Gorias, but he keeps Gorias ignorant of it - biding his time.
The Knives of Kustos
Military Formation | Oct 8, 2023

The personal guard, spies, assassins and secret police for Lord Protector Akron De Kustos

Role in the heist

  • The Knives are ghostly thralls created by Gorias.
  • They will track interlopers and report movements to Gorias.
  • They will possess guards and even the Squad members themselves during confrontations.
Rumours and clues
  • Hard to detect, but those sensitive to magic will be able to when concentrating.
  • If Gorias is killed, the Knives will dissipate.
Species | Oct 15, 2023

Monstrous creatures that slither and crawl across any surface and through spaces narrow and twisted.

Role in the heist

  • The Psyligs will protect Gorias secret entrance
  • Gorias will retreat there and use the to cover any escape.







Town map of Omberstad, port village and fort on the island Tokaru.

Fort Kustos

Fort Kustos
Map of Fort Kustos at Omberstad. It is the stronghold of the Lord Protector Ackron De Kustos.   Created using DungeonDraft and assets from Forgotten Adventures

Cover image: by Midjourney


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May 2, 2024 06:47

This is incredibly well done. The blending of the pictures, the presentation and prose and even the maps. You're a master at your craft and have gone well above and beyond the common. You deserve many eyes on your work and I am quite thankful to be amongst them. I will be watching your progress with vested interest and intrigue.   You've certainly inspired me.

May 2, 2024 21:41 by Ononomad

Thank you Aevri! Very kind words... and I'm super glad you liked this and took the time to comment. This story was bubbling around in my head for a while now, so was great to get a chance to put it together. I hope to keep on going with this too, so your interest helps inspire me too. :-)