How the goblin's Chief Alchemist proved his worth - and made his way into every corner of Mythoss

The Tale of 1000 Swiggs

“Out of my way! Out of my way!” the goblin alchemist, Swigg, snaps as he races down one of the dark corridors of Gobhollow. “I am on my way to an appointment with the King! Out of my way!”

Goblin soldiers press up against the corridor’s walls as Swigg storms past. None of them wish to be the reason why someone would be late for an audience with King No’glin, nor do they want to do something that could upset the mercurial King of Gobhollow.

Swigg stops to catch his breath before the large doors of King No’glin’s throne room. A pair of burly, squat-faced guards stand before the doorway, and they open the doors so that Swigg can make his way inside.

King No’glin’s throne room is an unpredictable, and oftentimes dangerous, place to be. High-ranking members of Gobhollow’s hierarchy mingle with ambitious young upstarts. All of them are vying for the King’s attention and favor as they seek to amuse, entertain, or prove themselves useful. All of this pageantry is a game that these courtiers play as they scheme to retain their standing in No’glin’s court, or find a way to supplant someone above them and take their place. One’s choice of words, and who they decide to align with or against, must be carefully considered within the walls of Gobhollow. The stakes of those actions are never greater than when standing before the goblin’s king.

“The alchemist, Swigg, is here for his audience, my most esteemed and gracious King,” an attendant announces.

“Ah yes!” King No’glin smiles as he looks out upon the room. “Come before me, my subject, and do tell me about your latest experiments! Are the results better than we have seen so far?”

The goblin king is seated upon a throne that is much too large for him. It looks to be sized for a full-grown ogre, yet King No’glin sits on a pile of tattered pillows arranged in the middle of the royal seat, believing that the throne’s size makes him appear more powerful and important. Constructed of discarded pieces of armor, random trinkets stolen from the surface, trash that has long since rotted, and golden treasures and jewels mined from under the Grayvein Mountains, the goblin king’s throne is a surprisingly accurate visual representation of the random chaos of the goblins’ kingdom.

“Things are going well, my always intelligent and benevolent king,” Swigg begins as he bows before No’glin’s throne. “I think I may have finally brewed up the perfect elixir based on your commands.”

Mythic Legions Swigg

It was just about a month ago when the alchemist was summoned before his king and given the mission to concoct potions which would increase the strength and abilities of the goblin army. The forces of Gobholllow had been summoned by the warmonger, Gorgo Aetherblade, to fight in the Second Great War of Mythoss. This was a war which King No’glin had assured his subjects would prove the worth of the goblin army in the new order which would rule the Realm after the destruction of the Legions of Light.

Of course, the dwarves had also been summoned to fight, and King No’glin wanted to make sure that his army’s contributions to the war effort outshined those of his bearded neighbors under the Grayveins. For that, he needed to add some extra punch to his forces. This is where Swigg came in. He had been called to an audience with his king and asked about his experience in potion brewing. Up until that point, Swigg had been a fairly non-descript member of King No’glin’s forces. He had been named “Chief Alchemist” after the untimely, and horrifyingly protracted, death of Gobhollow's previous potion master. Swigg had been surprised, and more than a bit unnerved, by his elevation to his new role, but he quickly found himself enjoying the position. He had been allowed to move into the workspace and personal quarters of the previous Chief Alchemist, accommodations that were much larger and better appointed than his own. He also had access to better equipment and tomes of alchemical knowledge that had been previously unavailable to him. All in all, he counted himself pretty fortunate, until he got the summons for an audience with the goblin king.

King No’glin had explained what he needed from Swigg, and the alchemist promised, under no small amount of hesitation and duress, to brew up some potions that would give the goblin soldiers incredible powers. The only problem, if Swigg was being truly honest with himself, was that he had no idea if he could actually brew those promised potions. The truth of the matter was that he was a mediocre alchemist at best, and his brews just as often had unintended consequences as they hit the mark on what they were supposed to do. Still, he had no choice. There was no saying “no” to King No’glin, so Swigg went back to his workshop (where he tried not to think too much about the last goblin potions master who worked there and why he probably no longer did so) and began to brew some magic.

The first few potions Swigg mixed up worked pretty well. A couple of goblins had achieved extra speed and enhanced reflexes thanks to one potion, and a handful of others gained the ability to jump incredible heights after drinking another. These early successes may have given Swigg an undeserved sense of comfort, but the next batch of potions certainly brought him back to reality.

First there was the potion that was supposed to make a goblin grow to a powerfully massive size, but which instead just gave him really, really long arms. The elixir to allow goblin warriors to pass through walls had instead turned them into horrifyigly pungent pools of goo. Of course, there was the potion that was meant to give the recipient the ability to spew balls of fire, but which instead gave the drinkers uncontrollable hiccups and which caused them to vomit up golden coins instead of flames (King No’glin actually approved of this one, even if the results were unintended). The invisibility potion seemed to be a success, until the goblins who took it disappeared and no one had been able to locate them since. Swigg argued that this last potion had worked as intended. King No’glin disagreed, and that was the end of that discussion.

Time and time again, Swigg was summoned to an audience with the King to demonstrate the effects of his latest potion, and one after another those potions failed to live up to the promise that the Chief Alchemist had made. Now Swigg was in front of King No’glin’s court once again, and something in the King’s eyes told him that this was his final chance to impress. Thankfully he had a potion in hand that he was sure would be a success!

“What have you brought me today?” the King asks as he looks down upon Swigg. The alchemist realizes that the throne room has gone quiet as everyone stares at him and waits to see what will happen next.

“I have brewed a powerful potion!” Swigg begins, trying hard not to reveal the sheer terror that he feels in that moment. “This potion will give the drinker the strength of 1000 goblins! Think about how useful that will be to your army, my handsome and truly powerful king.”

“The strength of 1000 goblins, you say?” King No’glin repeats. “That would be something. Hey, Gonxx. How many goblins would you say you have the strength of? Maybe 3? Can you imagine having the strength of 100!”

A burly goblin in rusty armor with a large helmet covering his face nods as he is addressed by the King.

“I am excited to see this potion in use!” King No’glin continues as a large grin spreads across his face. “So why don’t you take a drink, Swigg?”

The goblin alchemist is confused.

“Excuse me?” he mutters.

“Take a drink,” King No’glin repeats. “If you think your potion is going to work, guzzle it down! Let’s see what the effects of super goblin strength look like!”

“I would be honored to drink the potion, my ever wise and tolerant king,” Swigg stammers. “But I am not a warrior. Such incredible strength would be wasted on the likes of me.”

“Drink the potion,” the goblin king commands. All mirth is gone from his voice, and it is clear that Swigg has no choice. King No’glin’s patience is at an end, and he has to do as he is told.

“Gonxx, help our Chief Alchemist take a drink,” the King snaps.

The rusty armored goblin bounds forward and snatches the potion bottle out of Swigg’s hands. Before the alchemist can say another word, he feels the cold armor of a gauntlet pry open his mouth. Fluid is poured down his throat and he begins to choke.

“Spit it up and the next thing down your gullet will be the tip of a blade!” King No’glin warns.

Swigg swallows hard and the larger goblin releases him. The elixir tastes horrible, and it burns as it flows down Swigg’s throat and into his stomach.

“Well?” the goblin king questions as he moves to the edge of his seat to get a better view of the scene below. “Do you feel any different? Do you feel strong?”

Swigg considers the question. He doesn’t feel anything other than a bit nauseous as the potion swirls in his stomach.

“Let’s try out your new abilities,” King No’glin continues. “Punch Gonxx. Go ahead, give him your best shot! If you really have the strength of 1000 goblins then this should be interesting.”

Swigg takes a deep breath and makes a fist. He rears his arm back and punches the larger goblin square in the middle of his chest armor.

“Ouch!!!” Swigg yells as his hand cracks against the steel chest plate. Gonxx does not move.

“As expected,” the King says shaking his head. “Another failure. Gonxx, show our pathetic alchemist what a punch really looks like.”

Swigg looks up just in time to see Gonxx’s fist coming towards his face - then everything goes black.


“Ouch, my head,” Swigg grumbles as he starts to wake up. He is lying on his back and he can feel the dampness in the air. He does not need to open his eyes to realize that he is in the dungeons of Gobhollow.

The now former Chief Alchemist begins to roll over when he feels someone pressed close to him. He turns the other way and feels another body, and another. His head is pounding from the blow he took, but he begins to open his eyes. His vision is blurry at first, but as it clears he is surprised by what he sees before him. Standing over his body, looking down into his eyes, is a vision of himself.

Swigg’s first thought is that someone has placed a mirror over him for some reason, but that thought melts away as soon as what he first assumed was his reflection speaks to him.

“Hello Swigg! I am Swiggg!” the other Swigg looking down at him says.

“What the heck!” the goblin alchemist yelps as he jumps back. This is when he sees the other goblins who are imprisoned in the large cell with him. Wall to wall for as far as he can see in the gloom of the dungeon all he sees…is himself. It is a sea of Swiggs.

“Take it easy,” the goblin who called himself Swiggg says. “You are understandably confused, but let us explain. Swigggg, would you care to do the honors since you figured it out first?”

Another goblin, identical in every way to Swigg, and all the other goblins in the cell, steps forward.

“Thank you Swiggg,” he says with a nod to the first goblin, before turning to the alchemist before him. “Hello Swigg. Good news, the potion worked! Well, kind of at least.”

“The potion made other versions of me?” Swigg gasps, suddenly realizing what has happened.

“That’s right!” Swigggg says as he turns to Swiggg. “You see, this is where we get our brains from! I knew he’d figure it out. After all, he is as smart as we are, or more accurately, we are as smart as he is.”

“I was the first Swigg, well, other than you of course,” the goblin who called himself Swiggg says.

“And I was second,” Swigggg adds next. “Once the two of us were coherent, we put our heads together and started to try to figure out what was happening. You were still unconscious, but we had all the same memories that you had, up until the big goblin knocked you out, that is. It was pretty clear once we talked it over. And when the other Swiggs kept coming one after another, that just made it even more obvious what the potion had done.”

Swigg turns his head as he hears commotion from outside the cell doors.

“See! See! I told you! What do we do?” a pig-faced jailer says to the goblin by his side.

“You said you turned away for just a minute, and this what you came back to?” the second goblin asks in a cold, scratchy voice.

“Yes! Yes! It was just a minute or two, I swear! There was only one of them in the cell when I left, but when I came back, it was all of them!”

The second goblin steps towards the cell. Swigg recognizes King No’glin’s favorite assassin, a vile specimen named Knubnik. There is only one reason why he would be down here in these cells, and it certainly doesn’t spell a good end for Swigg.

“What is going on here?” Knubnik asks.

The throng of Swiggs look to the former Chief Alchemist waiting for him to answer for them all.

“My potion worked,” Swigg replies as he struggles to gain his feet. A pair of other Swiggs help him up. “But not in the way we all expected. I said the potion would give the drinker the strength of 1000 goblins, and it did, by creating exact duplicates!”

Knubnik looks at the cell before him and 1000 pairs of eyes stare back at him. He agreed to kill the alchemist in a painful and creative way for King No’glin, but this is much more than he signed on for.

“Take me to the King,” Swigg says. He knows that he has to handle the situation carefully if he hopes to survive. “Let me show him what my potion has done! Trust me, he will be pleased!”

Knubnik nods, in part because he doesn’t want to have to deal with the small army of Swiggs in the cell. Better to let that be someone else’s problem.

“You can come,” the assassin says, pointing at Swigg.

“We should come as well,” Swiggg chimes in as he motions to Swigggg. “We will prove the success of the potion.”

Knubnik turns to the jailer.

“Chain them together,” he commands. “Let the King decide what to do with them now.”


“So as you can see, my formidable and astute king,” Swigg says as he finishes the explanation of what has happened since he was dragged out of the king’s throne room earlier that day. “My potion did indeed work! Perhaps not as we first assumed it would, but there is no denying the value in this success! An elixir that will grow the goblin army to incredible size! Think of it – Gobhollow already has the largest army in all of Mythoss, but with this potion, you can make it even greater! None will be able to stand against the forces of King No’glin!”

The goblin king considers these words as he looks at the trio of identical goblins before him. This is certainly not how he expected to see his former Chief Alchemist next. He expected that the next time he saw Swigg, there would be a lot more blood and screaming, but as much as he liked blood and screaming, he had to admit that this was even better. A potion that would allow him to turn each of his best fighters into 1000 identical soldiers? That was way better than a single goblin with the strength of 1000 goblins!

“You’ve done well, Swigg,” the goblin king remarks. “You can resume your position as my Chief Alchemist. I expect you to start brewing some additional batches of this potion right away. There is a war coming, and Gobhollow will be ready with the biggest army that the Realm of Mythoss has ever seen!”

The goblins gathered in the King’s throne room cheer at his exclamation, clanging swords and shields together in a raucous cacophony.

“If I may ask one thing, my studious and magnificent king,” Swigg says with a bow. “What shall come of the other Swiggs? The dungeon is filled with the effects from my drinking of the potion. What are your plans for them all?”

The two Swiggs standing next to the Chief Alchemist look on intentively as they wait for this answer. Their fate rests in the next words out of the King's mouth. No’glin smiles and adjusts his large crown.

“These two shall assist you in your work,” he says as he points to Swiggg and Swigggg. “After all, I will need one of them to continue that work should anything unfortunate happen to you.”

Swigg swallows hard at this comment. The thinly veiled threat does not go unnoticed.

“The rest of the Swiggs shall be sent out across the Realm. They will be my eyes and ears in the corners of every kingdom on the map. My army will be vast, but it must also be well informed. Send out my army of Swiggs, and let the Realm prepare for the rise of Gobhollow!”

Once again the room erupts into cheers and exclamations at the King’s words. Gobhollow’s army is vast, and it will now grow even greater! Now is their time to rise. Now is their chance to show their true power. Now is the time of the goblins.

Mythic Legions Swigg

Published on 05.08.24

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