Rise of the Runelords
Thistletop C19 Throne Room
If the alarm has been raised, all of the doors into this room are closed tightly and locked. Ripnugget carries the keys, but the doors can be picked with a DC20 Disable Device check.
"This large throne room is decorated with hanging furs along its walls, mostly black-and-red striped firepelt skin s, various dog pelts, and in some cases, what look like horse hides. Four square timbers support the ceiling, their faces studded with dozens of iron spikes, with the lower reaches decorated with dozens of impaled and severed hands in various stages of decay. To the northeast, a wooden platform supports a throne heaped with dog pelts an d horse hides . Dog skulls adorn the armrests and a horse skull leers over the throne's back."
The hands are all that remain of the last several dozen human victims of the Thistletop goblins; the rest of these victims have long since been eaten or smoked and put into storage in area C20. The spikes make it relatively easy to climb the pillars with a DC 5 Climb check.
Warchief Ripnugget, lord of the Thistletop goblins, has been spending an increasing amount of time here in his throne hall. His favorite pastimes include watching his commandos stage mock battles , being entertained by warchanters, or plotting additional raids on Sandpoint to present to his new obsession-Nualia. His interest in his wives has all but vanished, so enthralled has he
become by the exotic aasimar.
While most of the Thistletop goblins personally feel that Ripnugget's obsession with Nualia is embarrassing and even traitorous , none of them are brave enough to confront their leader with their feelings (with the exception of the druid Gogmurt).
In truth, Ripnugget's obses sion with Nualia has nothing to do with sexual attraction-her skin is too smooth, her ears are too small, and she's just too tall to interest the goblin in that way, but it makes a convenient cover to hide his real interest-he believes that she may well be the key to unraveling the mystery of what Malfeshnekor really is. When she arrived with her entourage and an offer of alliance, Ripnugget (in a rare display of common sense) realized that they were more than a match for him and his goblins, and, instead of fighting, chose to listen to what she had to say. When she revealed her holy symbol and spoke of Malfeshnekor, Ripnugget was shocked but recovered his wits quickly enough. He came to believe that this strange woman was in fact Malfeshnekor's mouthpiece, and that she had been sent to Thistletop to usher the goblins into a new age of triumph. Certainly, her plan to assault Sandpoint seemed like a good idea at the time, and even though it didn't quite go like she promised, the fact that she's managed to consecrate the shrine (area D12), establish a link with Malfeshnekor, and slowly but surely opened up the ancient chambers deep below (and in so doing increased the size of the Thistletop holdings) has been more than enough proof to Ripnugget that Nualia is the best hope for his tribe's future.
Even ifthe alarm has been raised, Warchief Ripnugget can be found here. If caught by surprise, he's in the middle of watching his goblins reenact the raid on Sandpoint as they fight against a silent image provided by the warchanter. If the alarm is raised, his goblins clamber up the three pillars closest to the throne and hide, while the warchanter ducks behind the throne. In either case, his pet gecko Stickfoot waits loyally at his side.
Assuming the PCs don't immediately attack when they enter the room, Warchief Ripnugget is willing to parley in the same way that he spoke to Nualia several months ago. This time, though, he doesn't have any intentions of allying with his visitors ; he merely wants time to size the PCs up before he orders them slain. He certainly recognizes them from their heroic stand at Sandpoint-although he wasn't present at the assault, he's heard plenty of stories about the longshanks who proved so key to the town's defense. He knows the PCs are formidable foes, especially since they've reached his throne room alive. In any case, he refuses to let the PCs step more than 5 feet into his throne room, informing them that they have not yet earned the right
to approach him.
If the PCs agree to talk, he picks the least-armored PC, compliments that character on being someone who looks like she understands the value ofthe spoken word over battle, and allows that one PC to approach. Of course, Ripnugget doesn't really have any intention of talking. As soon as that PC is within 5 feet ofthe northeast pillar, he gives the order to attack.
Encounter: Chief Ripnugget, Stickfoot, 1 Goblin Warchanter and 6 Goblin Commandos.
During Encounter: Ripnugget will mount Stickfoot as soon as possible, making use of his Ride By Attack and Spirited Charge feats to harry the PCs. The Commandos will try to run interference for their chief, keeping the PCs farthest away occupied. The Warchanter will inspire her allies and use illusion magic to try and trick the PCs. She will attack from a range with her shortbow and go heal Chief Ripnugget if he is brought below half-health.
After Encounter: Warchief Ripnugget fights to the death, but it's still possible to catch him alive. In this case, he tries to bluff the PCs into thinking that he was responsible for the raid on Sandpoint, and that he should be brought back to town for a trial, because "isn't that what you longshanks do?" This is, of course, a stalling tactic; he hopes to escape at the first opportunity to seek aid from Nualia or, if he's really desperate, from Gogmurt the druid. Only if he's charmed or otherwise magically compelled can he be made helpful, in which case he knows the layout of the rooms on level one below (but not level two), and can tell the PCs much about Nualia, her plans, her allies, and Malfeshnekor (whom he suspects is a goblin god imprisoned somewhere below).