As he crept along the wilderness trail, mighty Thornar couldn’t escape the feeling of being watched. His keen senses couldn’t detect anything, but instincts that had served him well through dozens of perilous adventures screamed out that some hidden peril hunted him. He whirled in place, a dagger poised to throw, but saw nothing on the trail behind him. Only the gentle swaying of the brush revealed that something had been there moments before.
The wary veteran felt a cold sweat run down the back of his tunic. What force, what mysterious threat hunted him so relentlessly?
When Kranno was a young goblin pup, his grandmamma Borgamoth yanked on his ears and told him, "You ‘lil scrat! Ye’ll ne’er amount te nuttin!" By goblin standards, this was considered wise career advice, so he bent his efforts to being as inconspicuous as possible. His skill at skulking and lurking increased with each passing year, until he could practically vanish from sight. His ability to avoid notice and light fingers allowed him to avoid anything that resembled work, but he still didn’t know what he wanted to do. Skulking and lurking posed few challenges to him and was starting to seem pointless. Even clinging from ceilings and disguising himself as shrubbery had started to seem blasé to the bored goblin.
That was when he met Vonyich Festelgabber. A struggling scribe and author, Vonyich hoped to convince an influential Count to sponsor a volume of his poetry (Ye Fullnesse of Springe, a collection of 522 execrable poems and 2 mediocre ones). Unfortunately, the nobleman’s servants curtly turned him away: He couldn’t even approach the man. While Vonyich had many admirable traits, tact, stealth, or good timing were not among them. By human standards, he was awkward, but by goblin standards of stealth and cunning he was appalling. His ineptitude amazed Kranno. In a rare moment of pity, Kranno offered to shadow the haughty nobleman and discover how he could best be approached.
"Then ye Mighty Wizzard Goldfinch did generously share ye most secrette lore of his order with ye lesser wizzards, swearing them to secrecy. He did urge them to reveal thys to no onne, for ye elders of his order would be sure to slay them all if his ruse was discuver’d."
- From "Goldfinch, Hero of ye People", published shortly before Goldfinch’s disappearance
When Kranno met with Vonyich the next day, Vonyich was amazed at the information his runty ally had discovered. He was struck by an inspiration: He wrote a pamphlet about the nobleman’s heroic efforts to preserve the Kingdom ("Count Zigmund, ye Man and ye Legend"). It was an instant success, despite its many factual errors and exaggerations. His publisher was so pleased, he urged the author to produce more as soon as possible. None could compare with Kranno’s stealth, nor could anyone compete with Vonyich’s gift for hyperbole, so unlimited wealth and fame lay before them!
"Theron merrily boasted that he was ye mosst accomplish’d rogue in all ye Kingdom, since none butt him would have ye witte to have stolen ye Crown Jewels by hiding them withyn a stuff’d duck."
- From Theron, Master Thief
Together, Vonyich and Kranno chronicle the adventures of all the greatest heroes and nobles in the land. Great sorcerers, mighty churchmen, renowned noblemen: all have been stalked by the canny goblin, then immortalized in print by the imaginative author. Whenever an epic quest is undertaken, wherever a perilous adventure awaits, the cunning of Kranno and the purple prose of Vonyich will be tested again.
Kranno is unusually scrawny, even for a goblin. He has mastered the art of looking innocent; nobody will ever catch him staring or doing something suspicious. Even if he were caught clinging to the ceiling of the King’s Counsel Chamber, he would try to look as if he belonged there ("Aye’ll have thet spot scrubbed off in jes’ a minute more, guv’ner"). He carefully chooses his attire to be as inconspicuous as possible: In the wilds, he may cover himself with brush and weeds, in a city, he is likely to disguise himself as just another underfed tradesman or servant. His most unusual feature is his protuberant ears, which have foiled his plans to disguise himself on more than one occasion.
Vonyich Festelgabber is a pale and gangly fellow, who never did see why he should waste his newfound wealth on new clothing. His ill-fitting attire is threadbare and spattered with ink. A good 6 ½ feet tall, he can be instantly spotted in a crowd, as his bright red hair tends to spring up in every direction. Much cheerier since he teamed up with Kranno, his cheerful smile reveals some of the most rotten and yellowed teeth in the realm.