Rise of the Runelords

Grim News
Wealday, 11 Rova 4707

Shalelu Andosana, a ranger who roams the hinterlands, arrives in town unexpectedly. This is the ranger whom Hemlock has mentioned before is an expert on the goblin tribes in the area. Her arrival today has caused some anxiety since she normally comes once a seasons to deliver news about the goings on in the hinterlands and she wasn’t due for another couple of months. With what’s been going on of late, the townspeople think this is an ill omen.

Shortly after lunch time Hemlock seeks the group out. Telling you what you already know (the ranger’s unexpected arrival) he goes on to say that she’s bring some grim new of a series of goblin raids plaguing the hinterland. Seems like the goblin problem is bigger than they thought. He asks you to join Shalelu and Mayor Develin while they continue the briefing.

Joining the group Shalelu tells the group that your reputation precedes you. A band of goblins that she put down during a raid recently told her of a group of “longshanks” that routed them at Sandpoint recently. She supposes by the descriptions that it was your group. She goes on to relate to you have the goblins have been getting bolder of late and executing raids in many parts, but that’s not the main thing that’s bothering her. Based on what she has discussed with Hemlock and some of the equipment and items collected from the raiders all of the five major goblin tribes were part of the Sandpoint raid. For the tribes to cooperate on this kind of effort means that someone is uniting them. And to do that, that someone is probably a bad ass who has the potential to cause a lot more problems not only for Sandpoint, but for the whole of the hinterlands. She suggests that the group meet over dinner at the Rusty Dragon and share some information after she gets some sleep (she’s been force marching to Sandpoint for a couple of days.)

She gives you the following information about the goblins in the area (and a few more things of interests:)

There are five major goblin tribes: Birdcruncher – Closest to Sandpoint, western edge of Devil’s Platter, least aggressive of the five (usually); Licktoad – South in the Brinestump Marsh, excellent swimmers; Seven Tooth – East in Shank’s Woods, they are the ones that raid dumps (including Sandpoint) for raw material to make armor and weapons; Mosswood – Further east, likely the largest tribe but infighting keeps them from getting too organized; Thistletop – North, they live just off the coast of Nettlewood on an island some call it “Noggin Island” since it has a passing resemblance a decapitated head. (On a side note: there was a sixth major tribe at one time but the Bonegrinders were obliterated due in large part to a local goblin-hunter, Deverin Hosk, owner of the Goblin Squash Stables.)

Some notorious personalities (who the goblins usually refer to as “champions”) that the group may want to watch out for are: Big Gugmut – Mossword tribe, taller and more muscular than a typical goblin; Koruvus – Seven Tooth tribe, known for his short temper and the magic longsword he carried around (which was too big for him to wield properly), he disappeared after telling everyone he’d found a “secret hideout”; Vorka – Brinestump tribe, a goblin cannibal who is a hero to all the tribes except Licktoad (for obvious reasons); Ripnugget – Thistletop leader and controls the best lair; Bruthazmus – No tribal affiliation but is a bugbear ranger who trades with all the tribes, he hates elves and Shalelu and he have clashed many times (but by god she will be the last one standing.)

After some discussion it was decided that the group should go to check out Thistletop and perhaps try to rout the effort to organize a larger attack (which Shalelu knows about since Hemlock shared Tsuto’s journal.) She would love to join the expedition, but Hemlock has asked her to stay in Sandpoint to watch over things while he goes to Magnimar in hopes of getting more troops assigned to the area.

The group decides that since they’ve encountered demonic presences before and the journal alludes to more coming that the group should outfit themselves with weapons that can affect such creatures. They also consulted with Voon who turned out to have an impressive knowledge of extraplanar creatures and was able to tell you quite a bit about quasits but nothing about succubi.

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Going Underground
Moonday, 9 Rova 4707

Sheriff Hemlock comes to you early in the day. He says that since we are past the services for the murdered workers and Kaijitsu we should turn attention to the catacombs. Since you’ve been down there, he would like you to accompany himself and a small group to start taking care of the business of closing up the secret passage and making sure there is nothing down there. He’s not asking for the whole group to go just three or four men. The group will consist of Aesrick Battlehorn (with two mason apprentices), Ilsoari Gandethus, Hemlock, and two watchmen (Hagzan Drelvar and Jubil Nakrimor.)

The goals for today are to sweep the catacombs, study the cave that opens onto the gulf to see if there’s a way to secure it, and make sure that no one working at the at the Glassworks will be in danger once the factory starts up again. Sandpoint does not currently plan to seal this up again understanding that while the circumstance around this find are grisly, it cannot be denied that this is something important.

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Dirge
Sunday, 8 Rova 4707

Today is a day of mourning. The bodies of the Glassworks employees and patriarch of the Kaijitsu family, Lonjiku Kaijistu, are laid to rest in the Sandpoint Boneyard. A large portion of the town attends the services at the cathedral where the funeral rites are carried out by Father Zantus.

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Counsel
Starday, 7 Rova, 4707

Every Starday in Sandpoint vendors from hinterlands assemble in a large open-air market. You may possibly find many things here if you wish to look for them.

Also, seems like today is a day for asking favors and seeking counsel.

  • Sheriff Belor Hemlock has sought out Darius, Gus, and Ulfin. He would like to get their thoughts on the town’s defensive and offensive capabilities. He has confidence in the town’s defenses, watchmen, and militia but feels that other points of view may bring to light things that they haven’t thought of. Mayor Kendra Deverin will also be joining the discussion.
  • Brodert Quink took note that Drazz seemed to have some knowledge of runes and Thassalonian history. Since Hemlock is not allowing anyone into the catacombs at the moment, Quink asks Drazz if he would mind discussing the foray into the catacombs. He’s hoping that he can glean some information while waiting for permission to start an earnest study of the underground area.
  • Ameiko tells Valadon that she needs to go to Kaijitsu Manor to get some papers to file with the Sandpoint Mercantile League since she now inherits the manor and the Glassworks. She hasn’t been back to the manor in a several years and frankly would like some company (but there’s too much history with the towns people so if you don’t have anything to do today…)
  • Father Abstalar Zantus is interested in discussing the experiences in the catacombs from a religious perspective since he’s heard some disturbing things. Since Zelkerut has first hand knowledge of some of the things encountered under the city Zantus has invited him to meet in his offices at the cathedral to discuss what the group found there.
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Recovered from the burned notes of Firelord Drazz Anoon Nosh

Looking back on the events surrounding that first fall in Sandpoint, I realize now, years later, that my mother was right. I should have paid more attention to what my uncle, Master Tobin, was trying to teach me. But at that time, I was too young, too stupid and too full of myself to truly listen to the wisdom of my elders. If only I had paid more attention and paid more heed to their warnings, then maybe the horror that followed could have been avoided.

My mother, besides being the douyan of our clan and one of the greatest con-artists Golarian has ever seen, had a bit of the sight from the old blood lines. She always told me growing up that the ancient evil that once enslaved us would return. When my fire erupted in my blood, she sent me to Kaer Maga to live and study with her brother. Looking back on it, Tobin was a good man and he tried the best he could, but he simply wasn’t equipped to deal with a fifteen year old firelord who resented everything about him and being couped up in city away from his family, his friends and his wagons.

Those four years I spent in Kaer Maga were probably the safest and most calm years of my life. If you know anything about that city, then it tells you something about the life I’ve lived that I can say that. Between Tobin spending his days cramming my head full of magical equations, Thassalonian runes and mage-lore, its a wonder I had time to get into as much trouble as I did with the various factions vying to control the city.

Maybe if I had spent more time studying and learning what Tobin was trying to teach me, I would have recognized that Thassalonian temple below Sandpoint for what it was and what it heralded for me and my brothers future. Yes, I can truly call them my brothers now. Men having gone through such the trials and tribulations as we did form a bond that goes deeper than blood. While we have since scattered to the four winds, I think the last I heard of Valadon he was heading over to Tianxia to discover if the rumors about their women are really true, and we only rarely see each other now, each with our own responsibilities, we are still brothers at arms. And that counts for a lot.

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Picking Up the (ah) Pieces
The day after...

6 Rova 4707 continued

After your early morning dealings with Voon, the group walks about town. You see the presence of more watchmen who are leading small groups of armed others. Eventually you understand these are the town’s militia who have been called up to patrol the area around the town as a precaution since the finding of Tsuto’s journal with its ominous implications.

Traveling about town you also notice a few things related to your recent exploits as well. There is an clean up effort around the Glassworks with people going in and out. Most notably two flat carts sit outside with coffins atop them. A dwarf sits atop one of the carts and as coffins are brought out seals them with hammer and nail while another empty one is carried back in to the glassworks. Guards are keeping the townspeople at bay and you over hear Nilly Ancera (she being one of the more experienced watchmen) telling a group “We know everyone’s curious but you really don’t want to see what’s in there. Some things you cannot get out of your head once they’re in there.”
  Off to the side you see Ameiko talking to Sheriff Hemlock and Brodert Quink. They seem to be having an animated discussion.
  “Brodert, it’s too soon to be discussing this,” you hear Hemlock saying. “We’ll discuss the disposition of whatever is down there after we attend to the funerals.”
  “But all I…”, Quink started when an angry Ameiko Kaijitsu interrupted, practically screaming.
  “Dammit Quink! That’s enough. A lot of good folks died here for no good reason. I don’t want to hear another word from you today about Thassalon, wizards, the stupid tunnel, or that damnable lighthouse. In fact I don’t want to see you here at all!”
  Immediately Quink looked cowed. “Of course Ms. Kaijitsu. I’m afraid I’ve let my intellect overtake my compassion. Please forgive me. We can speak of this at a more appropriate time.” And with that Brodert Quink quickly took his leave.
  Father Zantus who had been standing by overseeing the sealing and handling of the remains approached Ameiko and Hemlock. After a few moments of hushed conversation, Ameiko and Zantus walked away towards the cliffs overlooking the gulf.

Later that day…

The group returns to the Rusty Dragon and they are approached by a stern looking Bethana Corwin.
  “Now see ‘ere you motley bunch. We get all you adventurer type through here all the time and you bring your critters and we put up with ’em since Ms. Ameiko has been through a bit of that and knows what important to you all. But we won’t be letting you do what you please.”
  You look at each other and shrug while asking what’s got her all worked up. Valadon starts apologizing for Ulfin’s manners when Bethana cuts him off.
  “I ain’t talking about him. Your man click whatever has been hold up in his room for a couple of days not letting anyone in to clean or set it right at all. Strange smells coming from under the door and all. Finally he pushes past me this morning like his ass was on fire muttering something about got to get away and heads out the door. I sees it as an opporunity to finally put some clean sheets on his bed and what do I find? A room reeking of that snuff what he uses, a dead snake, and rocks and dirt all over the floor. Well I won’t be touching that and I’ll thank you to clean up after your fellow.” And with that she turns on her heels and stomps away. Before leaving the room however, she does turn and say “But don’t think I don’t appreciate you rescuing Ms. Ameiko. That’s why I didn’t take it so hard on ye.” Then she leaves.
  Valadon turns to Zelkerut saying “Well, he was your buddy…after you.” The group walks upstairs to !Xosha’s room. Opening the door you find it pretty much as described by Bethana except that your experiences allow you to pick out a few interesting points. The “rocks” that Bethana mentioned look to be the idol that !Xosha carried around, smashed into seven pieces and laid in a circle. The “dirt” looks to be the snuff that he used, laid in lines on the floor (and mostly consumed from what you can tell.) The bright yellow viper that was !Xosha’s constant companion on the journey from Mwangi to Varisia is quite dead. It’s headless body laid in a spiral next to the circle of stones. Looking around you don’t immediately see the head. The bed is completely disheveled and a quick look at the sheet reveal stains that look to have been from night sweats. Aside from this, the room is bare and you don’t see any of !Xosha’s other belongings. Gus comes up from downstairs.
  “While you all came up here, I thought I might check the stable. The kid there said !Xosha came and got his horse early this morning and rode off without even putting the saddle on him. Kid said he seemed to be in quite a hurry and sort of out of his head. Kept muttering something about ‘letting him go’. The stable hand thought it better not ask him what he meant.”

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Obviam Periculum 7
After the Catacombs of Wrath

5 Rova 4707 continued

[Ed’s note: I will remind everyone that I do this from memory. If you see something incorrect or if you want to embellish a bit, feel free. Just click the icon beside the title with the little pencil, modify the text and hit the “save” button at the bottom.]

After recovering, the group turned it attention to the odd three sided pool on the pulpit. Throwing caution to the wind, Drazz dripped some blood into the pool as the quasit had done before. Just like before, the odd substance roiled and bubbled until a few moments later one of the hideous beasts that had been encountered earlier rose from the pool (the luminescence dimming as before.) The group waiting dispatched the creature before it could do any harm. This was repeated twice more before the substance vanished as if it had evaporated in an instance leaving nothing but empty pool.

Searching the two smaller room off the cathedral, the group finds horribly disfigured skeletons that had obviously been here for a long time. Both humanoid, but one had a misshapen arm coming from his back while the other had a second smaller similarly freakish head. What foul magics could have caused such abominations?

Leaving the cathedral, the group journeyed through the remainder of the catacombs finding a large room with pits holding zombies. They did not have long to contemplate what they were doing here however since they were attacked almost immediately by another misshapen monstrosity. However this one was very much alive. What looked to be a goblin now sported two additional arms along with a leg growing from the back of it’s head. The beast rushed from a corridor in the side of the room brandishing a longsword, hand axe, and a silver dagger it got in one good shot on Darius before it was defeated by the group.

The group, deciding to deal with the zombies later (which would be a mercy to let them journey to the great beyond) continued deeper into the catacombs finding two more areas, the first a stairwell going down that have been blocked by some previous cataclysm. The second was more interesting. A spherical room, it’s walls plated with some odd red metal, that seemed to be magicked to cause anyone or anything in it to levitate. Odder still, black bolts of some sort of energy would erupt across the surface of the room with occasional runes showing brightly against the bolts as they dissipated.

In the room were strange object though strange only in that they were odd to find in an old dungeon floating in a spherical room of red metal: a bottle of wine, a dead raven (complete with maggots floating around it), a book, a wand, and a scroll (partially full.) Gus and Drazz were able to use magick to get the bool and the wine from the room. In order to get the magicked items however Valadon, safely tethered (and being pretty sure that the room wasn’t dangerous) launch himself into the room and after orienting himself was able to retrieve both the wand and the scroll.

The book, written in Abyssal, eventually turned out to be a prayer book to Lamashtu, the scroll an incantation for burning hands, and the wand of shocking grasp (28 charges). However, the wine might be the most interesting thing of all. In a place where everything seems to be immensely old, curiously the wine bottle was a recent vintage produced here in Varisia.

Finally the group dared to venture down the stairs to a circular room that held a fountain (ringed with skulls similar to the cathedral) and holding a fearsome guardian: a vargouille. The group mustered into the room to have at the creature when it let out an ear splitting shriek. Most of the group was able to shake off the effect except for Gus who stood paralyzed. Luckily the group defeated the beast and saved Gus from a fate worse than death as he would have surely been targets for the vargouille’s loathsome “kiss.” Continuing down the hall, the group finds a stairwell going up but eventually blocked in the same fashion as the other stairwell.

The group being reasonably sure that nothing was left to be discovered returned to the surface via the Glassworks and in the last couple of hours before sunset (and a well deserved rest) tended to some business. Gus, Ulfin, and Drazz chose to seek out Brodert Quink to tell him what they had found below Sandpoint. Darius and Zelkerut returned to the Rusty Dragon as did Valadon looking for Ameiko to see how she was doing.

Brodert Quink and his guest Isolari Gandethus (the headmaster of Sandpoints school and orphanage the Turandarok Academy) were amazed to find out that below Sandpoint there lay an unprecedented find related to the Thassalonian empire. Brodert in particular was so excited that he immediately began putting together a satchel intending to go down into the catacombs immediately (ignoring the fact that it was nearly night) and left to find his way. Having lost his host, Ilsoari decided to accompany the trio as they traveled back to the Rusty Dragon as the academy was along the way. Upon returning to the inn, the group gets a good, and well deserved, night’s sleep.

6 Rova 4707

The next day arrives and you find that Hemlock has increased the watches and muster a small contingent of the town’s militia to patrol outside of town. From all respects, it doesn’t look like the implied attack will come soon, but caution must be heeded. The group having examine their spoils asks about for a merchant who might deal in odd or magical items and all the inquiries are answered the same: The Feathered Serpent owned by merchant Vorvashali Voon.

Seeking out The Feathered Serpent, the group is greet by Voon, an exotic looking man to say the least with his bronzed skin, blue eyes and long red hair. Soon after exchanging greetings, the group offers a trade for the quasit’s tiny dagger and the magicked longsword. Voon examines the items (both physically and with arcane means) and states that while he has no interest in the sword, the dagger looks to be an interesting item and if it turns out to be true that it once belonged to an outsider then he has a few potential buyers in Magnimar that may be interested. He asks leave to take it with him on his trading trip to Magnimar to have it appraised by professionals of his acquaintance and is happy to take your wish list assuming it proves to be authentic. Voon expects to return in three or four days and so the group has some time on its hands. Before Voon leaves the next morning, he visits you and asks detailed questions about the dagger, where you found it, who was the owner, etc.

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Obviam Periculum 6
Under the Glassworks

5 Rova 4707 continued

The group gathers at the top of the stairs. Upon descending they do not hear anything and at the base of the stairs the hallway splits. To the left there appears to be rubble that turns out to be bricks which are surmised to have, at one time, blocked the passage. To the right the hallway continues and seems to have been used for storage for the factory.

Taking the left hallway and going around the corner the group spots 3 doors and another pile of rubble at the end of a short hallway. The first door is solidly built and seems to be stuck. The second doorway is not stuck or locked and reveals a sleeping area for a human sized person. Some living items are strewn about as if someone left in haste. Most notably a small journal is recovered that gives some interesting details regarding the recent goblin attack, a potential larger attack at some unknown date, and (most surprisingly) some evidence that Nualia Tobyn did not die in the cathedral fire five years ago. In addition, it looks like Nualia has decidely taken a sinister turn in life.

At the end of the corridor is another door, but this one is simply locked presenting no problem to Gus’ attempt to open the lock. Inside you find Ameiko bound and badly beaten. After reviving her she relates a story that Tsuto had returned to town and in a meeting last night told her that the goblin attack was only the beginning and that she should join him and some group he had affliated with in order to save herself. When she refused him with a resounding slap across the face he sneered and ordered his goblins to assault her and that’s the last thing she remembers.

Returning to the stuck door, the combined effort of Ulfin and Darius finally break the brace that was holding the door from the other side reveaing an empty room with a tunnel entrance: the infamous smuggler’s tunnel! Before continuing however Ameiko, hearing that the goblins had murdered the workers from the factory, insisted on going up stairs and given that she was in dire straits the group accompanied her. It was at that point that everyone realized the large blob of cooled glass in the middle of the main room was Lonjiko Kaijitsu, quite dead and most likely killed by his own son.

The group escorted the obviously distraught but stoic Ameiko to the watch where they reported the finding of the journal to Sheriff Hemlock. Hemlock took the information and stated that he was going to talk to the Mayor at once and ordered the three guards currently in the garrison to go with the group and make sure no one entered the glassworks.

Returning to the glassworks the group advanced down the tunnel discovering tracks that lead all the way to a seemingly dead end (after having passed a couple of offshoot tunnels which they decided to search later.) The “dead end” turned out to be a well hidden secret door which opened to the back of a small cave up the coast a ways from the town. The cave looked out over the gulf and given the contents of the cave looks to have been sleeping quarters for a group of goblins recently. In any case, the goblins that the group was chasing, and anyone else that might have been in the basement of the glassworks, were long gone from here.

Turning back up the tunnel, the group checks out the offshoots. The first goes for a few hundred feet and ends. The second one however leads to another smaller tunnel that looks to have been bricked over at one time but had since been opened. This tunnel leads the group to a small complex of rooms that apparently lay unknown beneath the quaint town of Sandpoint (for how long is anyone’s guess.)

Beginning the exploration of the first cavern the group is attached by hairless humanoid lurching at them on back-bent, dog-like legs. It’s hideous mouth flanked by tiny arms with three-fingered hands. They immediately attack and Ulfin quickly learns that their bite has a surprise effect of filling his mind with thoughts of anger and revenge. The group finally defeats these strange creatures but cannot fathom what they were doing here in this cavern by themselves.

Continuing into the complex, the group finds a red marble statue of a beautiful, robed woman holding a book (with a seven pointed star on its face) and a intricately made ivory and metal ranseur. Though she is beautiful her face is twisted in rage. The group begins searching the next room where Darius tests what seems to be some sort of wooden platform opening into a much larger room. As Darius rounds the corner more of the foul creatures you met on entering the complex present themselves at your front and back but are handiy defeated again. The room that they were in looks to have been some sort of ancient prison now holding only skeletons.

The next room contains instruments of torture and interrogation (or as Valadon calls it “the game room”) though they are obviously old and useless now. Leading off this room is a smaller room that looks like it was some sort of library/scribe room. Shredded paper litters the floor though one scroll seems to have made it through whatever happened unscathed. That scroll is difficult to decipher until Gus’ read magic shows it to be a scroll of flaming sphere. After some more study the scroll looks to be Thassalonian in origin.

Deciding to double back to search through an earlier tunnel, the group comes upon what looks to be a shrine of some sort: a large block of some sort of black rock which has a concavity on the top filled with what looks to be filthy, frothy water. The next chamber’s entrance is a set of double doors with runes all over them. Pushing open the doors, the next chamber is revealed to be a large cathedral like area with a small circular pool of water decorated with human skulls and a raised pulpit where a three sided pool of some lumnescent bubbling liquid is contained. A creature (whom you beleive to be a quasit) is here as well and shouts something in a language none of you know. She rakes one of her claws with the other and the drops of blood that fall into the three sided pool cause the contents to roil and bubble (and the lumenscence noticiably dims.) The group engages the creature in battle and after some time passes one of the foul creatures you encountered earlier emerges from the pit to attack the nearest person. The creatures are eventually overcome and the group, now weary rests for a moment before continuing.

to be continued

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Side Note: !Xosha

[Ed’s Note: I’ve been a little light on including !Xosha in the story. Since he is still with the group, I wanted to correct that so here’s what’s been up with him lately.]

As you will recall, !Xosha freaked out a bit at the Desnan traveler shrine near Pitax after experiencing a dream or vision at the same time Zelkerut received his. On the journey to Sandpoint he seemed preoccupied with something and as time went on he would perform his “trance” ritual more and more often (although you notice that eventually he ran out of the tea he used in the ritual and eventually replaced it with a “snuff” that he processed from a particular plant that he would forage for along the way.) Knowing that the trance was a method that potentially could commune with !Xosha’s patron, several time various group members asked what portent !Xosha might have received but he became more and more secretive about whatever messages he might be receiving. When he did speak of it, he would cryptically say “the path has been chosen for all of us and we must follow it to the end.”

Upon arriving at Sandpoint he accompanied the group to the festival where he did lend a hand in the fight. The next couple of days he was not following the group around but you did see him around town, mostly walking along the edge of town over looking the gulf. He did not accompany you on the boar hunt having opted stayed at the Rusty Dragon nor did he show up for the feast that evening. As of the time you went to find out what might have befallen Ameiko, you had not seen him since the previous afternoon (prior to the feast) when you saw him coming back to the Rusty Dragon and going to his room. In general over the past few days he looks tired as if perhaps he is not sleeping.

In your haste to go to the Glassworks, you didn’t think to go to his room to see if he wanted to come along.

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Obviam Periculum 5
Looking for Clues

2 Rova 4707 continued

The town continues to recover from the goblin attack and some of the militia has been mustered to augment to guards in town and patrol the area. So far, no more problems present themselves. The group plans to attend the rescheduled consecration of the church at sunset with a suspicion that the consecration may be a key element to the strange happenings of late. First however, they are drawn to Old Light. Having learned of a local scholar, Brodert Quink, who has been studying the ruin for the past several years, they seek him out to ask some questions about the structure.

Finding Brodert at home preparing a mid-day meal (just a stone’s throw from Old Light itself) you introduce yourselves and pose your questions. You learn that Old Light is almost assuredly from the time of the Thassalonian empire however it’s use remains a mystery. No runes are apparent on the structure and it doesn’t exhibit any of the magics that one can sometime find associated with other Thassalonian monuments. Neither does the structure seem to be an entrance of any sort to unknown. On the surface it seems that everyone’s assumption that it is a ruined (albeit very old) lighthouse is correct.

But Brodert has a different theory.

After a time of discussion and a tour of the actual ruins Brodert explains that his theory is that the structure was actually the remains of a much larger tower (after all he does have an extensive engineering background) but it doesn’t stop there. He believes that the “lighthouse” was actually a war machine of sorts able to direct bolts of fire at targets perhaps as far away as a mile. Although he readily admits that his theory is in the minority view (in fact, he’s the only one convinced of it) he has been searching for proof of this during his retirement in Sandpoint. After a bit of discussion, Brodert returned to his home to finish his mid-day repast while you continue to look over the ruins. Zelkerut offered to fetch food for the group and happeed upon Sandpoint Savories, primarily a baker’s shop but able to supply some other staples such as hard cheese and preserved meats. Alma Avertin and her daughters recognized the young half-orc from the group that everyone seems to know now and in a show of gratitude gives the young cleric the food for free.

It’s here that you discover something that changes your perspective. Recalling that you have the map that (based on Thassalonian enthusiast Clovis Pinker’s translation) Omar had given to you to guide you to a potential cache of wealth near Sandpoint, you decide to show it to Drazz who has some knowledge of Thassalonian runes. Drazz reports that the person who gave this translation was wrong. The rune does not mean “wealth”; it means “wrath”. After a few hours of searching around Old Light the group comes to the conclusion that there is nothing remarkable here and decides to look about town some more.

After some conversation and talk with the locals, you find out about the Two Knight Brewery which supplies the town with it’s favorite local brew. Finding yourselves with some time on your hands, you venture to the brewery to find that it does not have an associated “tasting” room or tavern. However this doesn’t seem to be an impediment since you meet the brewmaster and owner Gavin Deverin (cousin to Mayor Kendra Deverin) and after some casual discussion he invites you to sample the wares in the brewery itself.

Meanwhile, Darius returned to the Rusty Dragon to find Aldern Foxglove waiting in the tavern enjoying a glass of wine. It seems that Aldern was waiting for a chance to properly thank the group for their efforts in saving him from the goblins. Inquiring as to where Darius’ compatriots might be and finding they are at the Two Knight Brewery, Aldern suggests they go there so that he might issue an invitation to the group. When they arrive a the brewery they find the group engaged in conversation with Gavin on the purchase of a keg of Sandpoint’s local brew. Aldern issues an invitation to the group to join him on a boar hunt in the nearby Tickwood. The group accepts which seems to make Aldern immensely happy and plans are made to meet at the Rusty Dragon early the next morning and Aldern take his leave.

The purchase of the keg finished (which Gavin kindly gives at the reduced wholesale price), the group proceeds to tap it outside the brewery. After getting some stares from passing townsfolks you decide that “public intoxication” may take away from some of the popularity that you are currently enjoying from the town of Sandpoint and so transport the keg back to the Rusty Dragon.

At this point the church consecration is near and so you join the townsfolks (a much smaller crowd than yesterday) in the cathedral. The people assembled, Father Zantus and his acolytes proceed with the consecration ritual which is completed after a time (and you note nothing odd happens in the cathedral or at Old Light which you can see in the fading sunset.) The ceremony finished, you are given the chance to look around the cathedral which is immense. At the center of the structure is an open air atrium in which stand seven stones which obviously were put here purposefully. Father Zantus explains that the true origin and nature of the stones is unknown but that they are generally thought to represent the Seven Celestial Towers of Desna.

Returning to the Rusty Dragon Valadon gets a surprise dinner invitation from Ameiko Kaijitsu and they meet later in her private suite for dinner and conversation (and that’s all…sorry Valadon.) Meanwhile Drazz goes off to the Hagfish to see if he can find more information, Darius turns in for the evening, Gus continues to work on his bow, and Zelkerut and Ulfin entertain fellow travelers with the keg of beer.

4 Rova 4707

The next morning brings with it a clear day and a visit from Aldern Foxglove (and his man servants) at the appointed time. The half hour ride to the Tickwood is filled with conversation about the high life in Magnimar (where Aldern says he owns a townhouse.) He also asks many questions about the group (mostly talking to Darius’ seeming to beleive they have a bond being men of “breeding”.) In any case the group arrives at the Tickwood forest where they successfully track down a boar which is taken down by Valadon for the evening feast that Aldern has promised.

That evening the grand feast is had at the Rusty Dragon.

5 Rova 4707

The next morning brings an odd report. Bethana Corwin, an employee at the Rusty Dragon, reports that Ameiko seems to have gone missing. She says that Ameiko did not come down to prepare breakfast (which she has never failed to do before.) Thinking it odd, Bethana wentto check her room and found the bed unslept in and a crumpled note from her estranged brother Tsuto on the floor. It seems that Tsuto is back in town and wants to meet Ameiko at teh Glassworks to discuss some illicit affairs that their father seems to be involved in, but no details are given. Now she is missing and Bethana doesn’t know what to do. She couldn’t find Sheriff Hemlock and now is turning to the group to help (noting that Ameiko has spoken positively of them over the past few days.)

The group, agreeing to look into it, approaches the Glassworks and notes that they can hear the furnace and see the smoke issuing from the chimneys. It seems that the factory is operational but all the windows are curtained and the doors are locked. After walking around the outside, Gus manages to open one of the doors to gain entrance. The room that they enter into has various substances on the shelf some of which are recognizable and others which are not (but presumably involved in glassmaking somehow.) Of note is an open safe which is empty. Listening a pair of double doors, you hear breaking glass along with high pitched giggles and shrieks above the roar of the furnance.

Ulfin and Darius burst into the room which they discover to be the main floor of the factory. What they witness is horrific. Goblins dancing all over the room among the dismembered bodies of several human victims. The goblins seem to be taking maniacal delight in pouring molten glass over the bodies and body parts when they notice the “longshanks” that have burst into the room. The two groups engage each other in a quick, but decisive battle that leaves all but two of the goblins dead. These two run from the room beating a hasty retreat. Ulfin gives chase and finds that the most likely route took them back along a corridor to the same room that you originally entered except they went through a door and down steps to some section of the factory underground. It’s there that Ulfin stopped and yelled back to the group that they’ve gone underground and here where the group assembles after having checked some other routes to make sure the little buggers weren’t lying in wait elsewhere.

(To Be Continued)

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