Smug is a goblin ranger of the Gnawstubble clan. After Tharizdun fell to the material plane, his clansmen came under the influences of the god’s chaotic energies. Spared from the effects, Smug could not bear to look on as his clansmen descended into madness. He fled the cave systems they called home, and made his way alone in the wilderness. Though resouceful, surviving on his own proved difficult, as he had grown used to working together with others to live and thrive. Soon, in a desperate bid to quickly feed himself, Smug sneaked into a nearby frontier settlement of Ruul, called Crossroads, and attempted to steal some food. The residents caught him, and brought him before the Kenku merchants who maintained the trading post there and served as its de facto leaders so far away from the nation’s government. The head of the Kenku, a bloodthirsty and malicious specimen of the species named Kenzukuo, had Smug punished for the transgression by hanging him in a gibbet cage, from the large tree at the center of the settlement. Hobgoblins were posted to watch over the tree’s prisoners, and there was no hope of escape.
In the time Smug hung in the cage, residents of other nearby cages died of thirst and starvation. Still within proximity of the fallen god’s energies, the dead were reanimated by the alien power. Before the residents of Crossroads could decide what to do with the undead, the Advents of Ruul passed through the settlement on their way to contend with the god’s threat. They spoke with Smug, and he filled them in on his background. Upon learning of the plight of the Gnawstubble, the Advents decided Smug would prove a valuable ally and should lead them to his clan. In exchange for his assistance, they negotiated his release.
Smug left the party’s company after escorting them safely to the home of his former clan.