A Traveller’s Guide: Skrillbrat (Venari)
This is the first of many (I hope) posts about different realms, worlds, and places. These posts will talk about various locations on Venari (usually written by Glintsprock – the handsome-looking goblin in the banner), as well as showcasing places created by other authors. Visit this page for more details (and to keep track of all the posts as they’re published).
Without further ado, let me welcome you to Skrillbrat… and introduce you to Glintsprock.
I’m Glintsprock, but known to most as Sprock (because it’s cooler, innit?). I was born and raised in Skrillbrat, but left not too long ago to live topside in Red Fern. I had my reasons, okay? Mostly it’s because other goblins piss me off. But also it’s super easy to steal stuff from humans and gnomes. They are completely clueless.
Anyway, I’ve found myself with a need to head back home. You see, I’m going to find the elusive Skrillbrat Sasquatch. Sounds good, right? Of course it does. It’s bloody impressive.
So, now I’m back on my home turf so to speak, it seemed only right to return to my favourite drinking establishment – a mighty fine tavern called The Cryptic Cask. While I was there, I noticed this gnome fella drinking by himself. Gnomes are welcome in Skrillbrat, but we don’t see many (I’ll tell ya why in a bit – just hold your horses, okay?), so I kept an eye on him. Noticed he was writing in a journal. So I nicked it. Don’t look so surprised! I’m a goblin, it’s what we do. Anyway, he was writing about all these different places, so I’ve decided to do the same. Only thing is that I don’t have a journal. So I’m using his. He was also working on this map. I don’t think it’s all that good, so I’ve made a few changes. It’s much better now, ain’t it?
Following my improvements, this map pretty much all you need to know about Skrillbrat. Apart from where all the tunnels are… and stuff like that. But, since you’re probably a human or a gnome, I’ll spell it out for you with his handy breakdown.
Where is Skrillbrat?
The main part of Skrillbrat lurks underneath Red Fern. I had thought that Queen Elsbeth (Red Fern’s weirdo leader) didn’t have a clue we were down here, but since her scholar is hanging out in the Cask, I have to assume otherwise.
Skrillbrat was built by goblins. My ancestors dug out all the tunnels (except for the ones made by cave slugs, but we claim them as our own anyway). The tunnels don’t follow any kind of plan, and over the years we’ve all forgotten what leads to what. This means it’s a pain in the arse if you want to get anywhere in a hurry… but it’s also kinda like an adventure. I kinda see myself as an adventurer, but I’m not brave or stupid.
There are bits of Skrillbrat that no-one lives in. Sometimes it’s because someone’s decided it’s cursed. Sometimes it’s because there’s a big fuckin’ monster living there. Sometimes it’s just because we forgot it was there. After I find the sasquatch, I plan to find some of those forgotten places. I reckon there’s a shitload of treasure there.
Who lives here?
Goblins built it, so it’s mostly us. But there’s also some brave/stupid orcs (I call ’em “brave/stupid” because there’s a long-standing history between our peoples… basically, we don’t like each other. Except for me, I like one of them. Shadowbane is awesome – I have to say that otherwise she’ll wallop me), the occasional faun, some gnawglers (ratfolk – lovely people), and random mutants. There’s more than a few Grunts as well… but we don’t like to talk about ’em. We have a bunch of creatures down here too. Plenty of envenomed grims, spiders, cave slugs, and stuff like that. Oh, and TerrorBats. I hate those things. It’s not because I’m scared, okay? I just don’t like ’em. And there’s the Skrillbrat Sasquatch. I WILL FIND IT!
Occasionally, gnomes and humans pop down here, but they don’t like it much. As far as they’re concerned, Skrillbrat is full of freaks and they don’t want to stay here any longer than necessary. Posh bastards. But they’re welcome down here all the same… mainly because they usually have cool stuff to steal.
Places to visit
There’s plenty of stuff to do down here, but I’d mostly recommend checking out a tavern or two. You haven’t lived until you’ve drunk in a goblin tavern. Sure, we’ve got the usual Gnomish Ale (one of the only good things gnomes have ever done… except for my gnomish housemates in Red Fern – they’re pretty cool), but we’ve also got Goblin Juice. It’s a highly intoxicating mead blended with fermented brains. It’s quite literally the best thing I’ve ever tasted. You’re gonna love it. (And, if you’re a human or gnome, don’t go getting all squeamish – I know what you’re like. Quit being a baby and just try it.)
Stuff to look out for
Well, other than making sure you don’t piss anyone off (we have different rules to Red Fern and you’re likely to get your brains sucked out your nose if you look at someone funny), you should look out for the bone structures that are littered around the place. When I first saw them, I thought they were pretty impressive, but these days they’re fashionable and everyone has one. But, if you’re new to Skrillbrat, you’ll probably get a kick out of them. The best ones are when they’ve mixed bones from different creatures/peoples. Those take some serious artistic skill.
We also have a load of fungi growing in all kinds of places. Some of it is the same as what grows in the Woods of Waiting, but some seems to be exclusive to Skrillbrat. I’m particularly fond of the glowing stuff, as it creates a certain ambience.
We’re underground. What do you think it’s like? It can get a bit cold, so you might want to pack a warm cloak. But it can also get bloody hot too. At least you won’t get burnt by the sun.
It’s also lovely and damp.
As Skrillbrat is home to LOADS of goblins, if you don’t get eaten, you’ll more than likely be robbed. If I like an outsider, I tell ’em to bring decoy trinkets with them. That way, the goblins are happy because they’ve got new shiny treasure, and you’re happy because you haven’t lost something too valuable.
I think that’s all for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to update you soon and tell you about the sasquatch’s lair.
Glintsprock’s Quest will soon begin with “Glintsprock’s Quest: The Search for the Skrillbrat Sasquatch”. More details will be available soon, but check out this page where I’ll be posting updates.
In the meantime, get a taste for Venari with these books:
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