At the start of the previous mission, Claire heard from Dobby the goblin that his brother, Abu, had gone missing. Abu was working with a “movie” crew — movies were a brand-new concept, another unique Exelican mix of technology and Arcana. Abu’s crew was on location outside of Exelica.
First, the AST went to the house of the movie producer. There were many protestors in front of his house; the Exelica actor’s guild was protesting movies as a concept that would put them out of business. After the door was opened and the protestors rushed in, they were detained by the AST until they could be arrested by the police (the AST would prefer to leave the details of how this all transpired as fuzzy as possible). The protestors removed, the AST got to talk to the movie producer, and learned the movie crew was filming a few days north, near an orc reservation. The producer was much less concerned with the crew than recovering the equipment and anything the crew had filmed.
At the north gate of Exelica, the AST was able to rent a couple of horses and a carriage for the journey, while Zap narrowly avoided a run-in with a couple of goons hired by the Red Guard merchant company. The journey north was exhausting to a couple members, and they were desperately in need of a good bed to catch up on sleep. However, when they reached their destination (at midday), it was clear there was no inn to be had. They went to see the sheriff. The sheriff had the film crew (sans Abu) in custody; he told the AST how Abu had stolen the Chieftain’s headdress, then escaped before being captured. Next, the AST went to talk to the chieftain. Zap was disguised as a half-orc, and tried to appeal to the chieftain’s orc heritage to earn his trust. The result was an arm-wrestling match between a burly orc and 13-year-old Hans; Hans won, and the AST received food and boarding from the Chieftain himself.
The next morning, the AST went about finding Abu. There was plenty of evidence that he was close, and goblin tracks were found. These tracks let to an old Ioun temple, which was crawling with feral goblins. Upon mentioning Abu’s name, the AST was invited inside, where they found Abu on big statue/ makeshift throne, wearning the chieftain’s headdress. After some attempts at negotiation, things went downhill, Abu used the goblin stutter ability to disappear into the timestream, and the AST had to flee. Zap was able to teleport into a hiding place under the throne. Then it was just a waiting game for Abu to reenter the timestream. Once he did, Zap grabbed the headdress and teleported to AST headquarters. By the time the rest of the party rode back to the chieftain’s house, Zap teleported back to the carriage and was ready to meet them.
The chief got his headdress back, the AST received possession of the film equipment (but not the crew), and Abu, the “king” of the goblins for a few days, was left in a precarious situation when his claim to leadership bampfed away.