Rise of the Runelords

Where is Ameiko!? (Session 4 Part I)

After a couple days of rest following the craziness that was the Boar Hunt, the heroes awoke to find a message from Sheriff Hemlock awaiting for them at the Rusty Dragon. Ameiko Kaijitsu delivered the letter with the observation that the messenger was insistent that the contents were important. Amberle took the letter and discovered it was a summons by the Sheriff to meet them in the Jailhouse. The heroes grabbed a quick breakfast and decided to go see what all the hubbub was about.

Upon arriving at the jailhouse, the party found Balor Hemlock in deep discussion with Kendra Deverin and a leather-clad Elven woman wearing a long olive cloak. The Sheriff greeted the heroes amiably and thanked them again for their role in helping thwart the goblin raid on Sandpoint and then introdcued the Elf woman standing next to him as Shalalu Andosana. Hemlock informed the party that Andosana was the cities’ unofficial scout of the surrounding countryside and had made a name for herself over the past few years combating the goblin menace in the surrounding area. Shalalu had gotten into the habit of swinging back thru Sandpoint every month or so to keep the Mayor and the Sheriff up to date on any goblin activity and had, on several occasions, given the town a heads up about certain goblin activity. She was as close to a goblin expert as the town had concerning the region.

Shalalu had recently returned to town and had some disturbing news that she had shared, and Hemlock thought it would be prudent to update the heroes since they had been so helpful in the previous raid and had decided to stick around. Shalalu gave a quick description of the layout of the 5 goblin tribes that occupied the regions surrounding Sandpoint, and went on to deliver the news that it appeared the goblins were more organized than she had seen in recent memory. In fact, the cooperation of all 5 tribes in the recent raid on Sandpoint intimated that there was a larger force directing the goblins as they were unlikely to cooperate otherwise. Hemlock stated that he believed there might be a greater threat to the town and that he had decided to travel south to Magnimar to petition for additional support as his own town guard was staffed with good, but very green, men and if a larger threat loomed, he wished to have additional support. He informed the party as to his intention to take a few of his most trusted guardsmen with him to scout the lands between Sandpoint and Magnimar on the way there an, as such he would like to request that the heroes aid Sandpoint with their presence once again.

Hemlock requested that the heroes make themselves seen around Sandpoint and help keep the peace while the bulk of the town guard were out of town. The town had come to see the heroes as allies and had started to develop trust in them seeing as how they helped save the Cathedral and drive out the goblins and all. Asharan hedged at the request and asked what was in it for them, asking the Mayor if they could be made nobles or given knighthood for their aid to the town. The Mayor informed them that, while their service to Sandpoint was notable, the ability grant nobility or knighthood was not in her hands and rested solely with the Sandpoint aristocracy. After some minor haggling, it was agreed upon that in exchange for the heroes’ help, Mayor Deverin would put in a good word with the leading local aristocrat Lonjiku Kaijitsu about potentially granting the party members some sort of boon, but that they would also write up the papers immediately to have the party deputized while the Sheriff was away to lend some legal authority to their role in Sandpoint.

Shalalu invited the guests to meet at the Rusty Dragon for dinner, apparently she was good friends with Ameiko, and she could fill the heroes in on any questions they might have about the local goblin tribes or their activities. The heroes accepted the invitation and left the Mayor and the Sheriff alone to prepare for the guards’ trip to Magnimar. After they had left the jail, Asharan inquired of Ameiko where in town he might have the tusk of the boar he sliced off crafted for him. Ameiko said that might be a tough match but possibly the carpentry guild or maybe the Scarnetti family, as they were said to have means to obtaining unusual items on occasion. Asharan bid goodbye to Gollic and Amberle, who decided to wait for Shalalu in the Rusty Dragon and recreate their own private drinking competition.

Asharan made his way to the local carpentry guild and met the current guildmaster Aesrick Battlehorn, a stout dwarf who informed the pestering human that the carpentry guild didn’t have the time nor the desire to mess around with trinkets made from animals. Asharan left in a huff and decided to check out the Scarnetti estate on the other side of town before twilight came and Shalalu’s invitation was imminent. As he approached the estate, he noticed a couple of black-clad brutish looking folks lounging on the steps of a well-kept, dark two story estate. The place had a somewhat shady vibe and Asharan decided he would wait to address the Scarnetti when he had he friends with him and instead made his way back to the Rusty Dragon.

Once the party was all gathered together with Shalalu in the tavern, the ranger gave a brief history of the surrounding goblin tribes and their interactions with the town of Sandpoint. She made a mention of several important tribes including the Mosswood goblins and the Thistletop Goblins. She also made mention of no less than 5 goblin “heroes” who were often the leaders of the tribes. At the mention of goblin heroes, Gollic laughed and commented on the “scariness” of goblin heroes, at which Shalalu snapped her head at him and warned him that he should be careful to mock that which he was unaware of and repeated her caution that some goblins were much more martial than you might expect. She informed the heroes of her intentions to head to the Mosswood forest as recent activity near there made it the natural selection for her observations and promised to update the party with any information she came across that might be helpful to the safety of Sandpoint. Shalalu insisted that the fact the goblins were organized together meant that someone bigger was at the helm and that could only mean bad things for Sandpoint. Amberle agreed with the assessment and brought to light the recent findings from the cemetery that things were probably not all as they seemed and that they should be careful. Shalalu wished the party well and retired for the night along with the heroes.

The next day, after picking up their deputization paperwork from the jail decided to being by patrolling the streets on their way to visit the Scarnetti estate. Asharan conviced Gollic and Amberle to join him with a trip to visit the Scarnetti’s to see about his horn. The town greeted the party with well wishes and waves and it appeared that spirits were starting to recover from the recent trauma of the goblin raid. Upon arriving at the estate, the party found the same two men standing out front of the mansion and they approached them. Asharan asked to see the head of the household for a meeting to ask about some work being done. The two men gave the party a hard time about asking to see their master without making a proper appointment, but some handy diplomatic fast talking by Asharan and Amberle they relented to ask their master if he had time to see them, but gave no promises. The larger one retreated into the building and left the party standing on the front lawn for a response….and standing….and standing….and standing.

After what seemed like forever (it was actually only over and hour), the large man re-emerged and informed the party that his master would hear their request but would only talk to Amberle as he really wanted nothing to do with someone so obviously closely affiliated with the religious life of Varisia as Asharan was. Asharan begged Amberle to help him out and ask to the Scarnettis to craft the boar tusk, or find someone who could, into a figurine he could take with him on his adventures. Amberle relented and made her way nervously into the mansion. There she was escorted into the estate and was introduced to Titus Scarnetti, the head of the Scarnetti household in Sandpoint. Titus inquired as to what Amberle and her party needed and seemed to imply his irritation at their lack of etiquette in arriving without requesting a pre-arranged meeting. Amberle appologized for the intrusion, mentioning that Ameiko had suggested Titus as a possible route to meet their needs. Titus scowled at the mention of Ameiko but continued to listen to Amberle’s request. He then proceeded to tell Amberle that such a request was certainly out-of-the-ordinary and would take considerable effort to procure in the relatively remote city of Sandpoint, but that he would be willing to do it for her if she would agree to an exchange of a future favor to be paid by the party for his help. Amberle requested that she go confer with her friends, but Titus stubbornly refused saying he had already given enough of his time to these shenanigans and that either Amberle accept the perfectly appropriate arrangement or she could leave immediately. Amberle, feeling someone out of her element and not completely trusting the good intentions of Titus, declined the offer and made haste in her retreat from the estate. Asharan was disappointed to find that his horn would not be crafted anytime soon, but thanked Amberle for trying and Gollic for keeping him company on the not-so-comfortable Scarnetti lawn. Having spent most of the day messing with the Scarnetti family the party decided to make their way back to the Rusty Dragon for the night and Asharan decided to spend the night visiting the newly christened (in a small private ceremony) Sandpoint Cathedral.

The next morning, Amberle and Gollic awoke to find the Rusty Dragon uncharacteristically empty with neither customers nor Ameiko anywhere in sight. They left the building to see what was happening in town and noticed most of the citizenry going about their day as normal. As they made their way up the street, they noticed an excitable and very-concerned-looking Halfling scrambling around the jailhouse, obviously looking for some help. They approached her and introduced herself as Bethana Corvin. In a panic, Bethana informed Amberle and Gollic that Ameiko was missing and never in 10 years had she not shown up to start the day at the Rusty Dragon. Stuttering her words on top of themselves, she informed the heroes that Ameiko’s room was still locked shut and no response was coming from inside and she was frightened that something bad had happened to Ameiko but she didn’t want to intrude on her boss’s private room and she had come to the jail for help only to find it empty.

Amberle and Gollic both, despite some annoyance at Bethana’s hyperactivity, were worried and informed the Halfling that they were deputies and would check out Ameiko’s room, and the three of them hurriedly returned to the Rusty Dragon and went to check out the room. After some initial investigation of the door, Gollic then picked the lock (assuring Bethana that he had city authority to do so) and they entered the room. Upon searching the empty room, Gollic found little out of the ordinary except a note on the nightstand from someone named Tsuto and informed Amberle that Ameiko was instructed to come to the Glassworks factory the night prior by Ameiko’s sister and there was something to do with their father’s role in the raid. The whole thing struck Gollic and Amberle as suspicious and they resolved, despite the howling panic by Bethana that Ameiko didn’t have a sister and “what’s going on!?” “Is she dead?!” “What do I do now!?” etc. Amberle kept having to shove the Halfing back out of the doorway so she could confer with Gollic and they decided they needed to find Asharan and check out what was going on in the glassworks in case something had happened to Ameiko. They talked Bethana down enough to instruct her to shut down the Rusty Dragon for the day and to wait for them at the tavern until they returned, having to promise numerous times they would both find Ameiko and be back before night. Bethana, deep with worry and confusion kept demanding that Ameiko didn’t have a sister but that she would do as Amberle asked and wished them hurry to find her friend Ameiko. Gollic and Amberle then made their way to the Cathedral to find Asharan and head toward the Glassworks.

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A Boar Hunt!!

The heroes awoke early the day after the “Mvashti affair” and met in the tavern of the Rusty Dragon. They asked Ameiko for directions to the Goblin Squash Stables, and made their way there forthwith noticing the town people starting to return to normal after the excitement of the past couple days. Upon arrival, Alderon greeted them with his characteristic charm and introduced them to Daverin Hosk the owner of the stables and informed the party that Hosk would be joining them to handle the hunting dogs. Daverin led them around back and introduced him to the selection of selection of horses that Alderon had purchased for them. Gollic discovered a pony that fit him perfectly, and while he hadn’t spent much of his life riding he felt a relative easiness around the animal.

Asharan inquired whether there were any white horses and Hosk pointed out the finely bred Lighting, but warned that Lightning had a bit of a stubborn streak. Asharan grabbed an apple from a nearby bin with what he believed to be soothing horse-like noises. Lightning promptly snapped out at Asharan, snapping down hard on his hand in the process of consuming the apple, giving Asharan a nasty sprain. Amberlee laughed at Asharan’s ineptitude and snatched her own apple to approach Lightning. The beast gently snatched up the apple and began to nuzzle her hand. Hosk roared with laughter and told Asharan that maybe he was better off with the dun mare, Beatrice. Grumbling, Asharan grabbed a second apple and approached Beatrice, and, while still unsteady, Beatrice warmed up to Asharan enough for him to feel confident in claiming her as his own. After saddling their steads, the heroes mounted up and began to make their way into the Tickwood, a trip Alderon informed them would take somewhere in the area of about a 90 minute ride. Asharan, deciding he was warming up to his mount, promptly decided that she would be redubbed “Dawn’s Light.” Gollic snickered in the rear of the party something vulgar about Dong’s Light being more appropriate.

The early part of the voyage found Alderon revelling the party with his knowledge of the surrounding area, pointing out several old ruins from the Thassalonian Empire and giving the party a short back history on that ancient land. He also discussed his textiles business and his background more deeply while at the same time continuing his flirtatious question of Amberlee and the rest of the party about their desires, motivations for being in Sandpoint, and their pasts. The party took a liking to Alderon for the most part with the exception of him being somewhat of a blowhard.

As the landscape began to change and the Tickwood reared up in front of them, Alderon began to scan for tracks more carefully and it wasn’t long before the hounds started to pick up the trail. Shortly there after the three dogs yanked at their leashes barking excitedly, Hosk informed them to get ready, and let them loose. The chase was on! Alderon spurred his horse quickly to follow the dogs as they streaked away up the dirt path. Amberlee following close behind as Lightning shot forth naturally and easily after Alderon. Dawn’s light resisted Asharan’s urging and the best he could manage was a slightly faster walk, while Gollic’s pony resisted all efforts to chase and reared up against Gollic, who held on for dear life.

Alderon continued to guide his mount toward a bend in the road as the baying dogs continued their chase, with Amberlee following shortly behind him on the other side of the road. Alderon, finally able to motivate his mount sped forward with a violent rush and gained several yards on Amberlee and the paladin’s wild prompting urged the horse to faster speeds. Gollic was able to get his pony facing the right direction and picked up speed to a brisk trot bringing up the rear. As the party rounded the curve in the road, a giant tree lay fallen blocking their path. Alderon deftly directed his mount around the end of the tree while Amberlee guided lighting right over the top. Lighting leaped and barely cleared the branches, her back heals scraping against the tree on the other side. Asharan saw Lightning clear the trunk and directed Dawn’s Light toward the center of the tree picking up speed, but his heavily armored frame along with his obvious lack of horsemanship proved to be too much for the horse as Dawn’s Light then proceeded to slam face first into the side of the tree letting out a terrible scream and throwing Asharan from the horse. Dawn’s light was firmly embedded into the branches twisted at an odd angle.

Gollic having witnessed the violent crash from behind, and never having really gained much actual speed, easily guided his horse after Alderon at the end of the tree coming to the other side as they watched the dogs plunge off the side of the road into a hedge of bushes. Asharan regained his feet with a bit of struggle and went over to try put pull Dawn’s Light’s head from the branches only to be met with a blood-curdling scream as his actions seemed to do more harm than good. Hosk came flying up from behind Gollic and lept from his horse shouting at Asharan to desist and let him handle it. As he did so, a gigantic crash as an massive old boar burst from the brush and charged directly at Amberlee taking a giant swipe at her leg as it ran by.

Asharan grabbed his sword and ran around the tree trying to cut off the boar’s path shouting to garner its attention. The boar swiveled at the short and lowered its head charging directly at the heavily armored figure before it. As it reached him, Asharan deftly stepped aside swinging his longsword in a quick upward arc cleanly slashing on tusk in half. The boar raged as the dogs reemerged from the brush and took off into the forest opposite Asharan with the animals in hot pursuit. Aldreon swung around and suggested they follow the rest by foot as the Tickwood gets pretty thick the further from the road you get and the dogs would work the animal back toward the party eventually. The group agreed and with Hosk’s guarantee that he’d have Dawn’s Light out and the horses tended for while they were gone. Alderon handed out boar spears to everyone and the party made its way into the forest with Amberlee taking the lead.

The path of the animals was easy to follow at first, but as Alderon had intoned the vegetation began to increasingly thicken as they made their way into the forest until the heroes found themselves blocked by what seemed like a giant never-ending wall of underbrush blocking their way. Amberlee leaped lightly into the air and flipped easily over the hedge to the opposite side as did Alderon. Feeling no such acrobatic endeavor was going to work for him, Asharan approached the brush and tried to being chopping his way thru as he dove into the undergrowth with Gollic nearby following suit, as they made their way into the hedge, the thickness was deceiving and both Asharan and Gollic found themselves enmeshed into the hedge struggling to make their way forward. Amberlee and Aldreon helped attack the hedge from the other side eventually opening a small hole with which they were able to reach thru and pull their friends to safety, but they had lost valuable time.

Gollic volunteered to take the lead and the party burst forward into the brush after the trail. After several twists and turns Gollic found himself crossing a small copse of trees and urged his group to make up lost time, and was in such a hurry he failed to take into consideration the ground beneath him. While his quick feet and reflexes were able to save him from the hole trap in the ground, Asharan following behind was not nearly as lucky, his armor once again playing havoc to his hunt. With a loud crash and a heavy grunt Asharan dropped quickly the 15 feet into the hole slamming into the ground. Alderon followed right behind tumbling over in a particuarly inept display and slammed down on top of Asharan with a heavy grunt. Amberlee, seeing her friends vanish in front of her, tried to launch herself over the hole, but misjudged the distance and slammed into the far wall of the pit, but was able to slide down the wall agilely enough to avoid collapsing on top of an already beat up paladin.

Gollic returned to the hole to find his allies stuck beyond arms reach and the party problem solved to find a way to extract them from the hole. Amberlee tossed her backpack and boar spear out of the hole with the intention of Gollic using them to ground the rope to pull them up when Gollic spotted a nearby tree that looked like it could support a person climbing. Gollic walked to the tree and tied an exceptionally dreadful knot which looked to his inexerienced dwarven eyes looked good enough and then proceeded to tie himself to the tree with the rope as well for support. While his allies didn’t exactly see the logic of that particular maneuver they were not apt to argue being at the bottom of the hole.

It was decided that Amberlee would go first and after many assurances from Gollic began to make her way up the side of he hole. After about 7 feet the knot easily came loose from the tree (which had to this time supported most of Amberlee’s weight, regardless of the Dwarf’s precence) and Amberlee dropped like a rock pulling Gollic unsteadly forward lurching at a rapid pace toward the hole. Gasping, Gollic slammed his feet into the ground in a desperate attempt to stop his momentum and came sliding to a halt right before the lip of the hole.

After a number of heckles and insults from the bottom of the hole, Gollic considered leaving them there but relented and returned to the tree this time making a much better attempt at the knot. Amberlee shortly then made her way up the hole followed by Alderon and finally, with the aid of all three pulling, Asharan was hauled up as the baying of the hounds seemed to be getting further and further away. Redetermined after catching their breath, the party took off again intent on catching the boar. As they advanced thru the much thinner brush the sounds of the dogs got louder and Alderon informed them that the dogs had circled the boar and was pushing it back toward the party. He advised the heroes to find a good place to make a stand for when the boar returned.

Shortly after Alderon’s direction the party came across a clearing with what appeared to be the base of a massive ruined tower from the Thassalonian era. They decided the stand could be made here and prepared to meet the boar, the group readying their boar spears in different fashions. Abruptly the boar crashed thru the tree line directly toward Amberlee. Amberlee responded by throwing her boar spear at the creature missing by a country mile. Gollic followed suit, but also missed erratically. Alderon, hiding behind the party at the back shouted to them “You’re supposed to let the boar charge ONTO the spears!!” Gollic and Amberlee then blushed close to simultaneously.

Deciding he had no use for the spear, Asharan tossed his aside, took up his sword and shield and advanced on the boar to make battle in the traditional fashion. Aldreon cheered at what he saw as a heroic move and Amberlee jumped down from her perch trying to flank the boar. Asharan maintained the boars attention and traded blows with the beast while Amberlee attacked the rib cage from the side and Gollic tried to hit home with crossbow bolts from the lip of the tower. Alderon stayed mostly in the rear and tried to offer what encouragement he could, causing Asharan to mutter about the uselessness of the nobility. Eventually the party was able to bring down the beast, not without taking some nasty blows of their own in return. The bound the boar to the spears and began to make their way back to the roadway to meet up with Hosk, while Alderon tittered incessantly about the fighting prowess of the party.

Upon arriving back at the road, they found that Hosk had extracted a battered and bleeding Dawn’s Light from the tree and the party began the voyage back to Sandpoint with Asharan riding an uncomforable shotgun behind Alderon to save Dawn’s Light the burden of carrying a load in her damaged and weakened state. The return trip was delightedly uneventful and Alderon even found himself weary which resulted in some much needed silence for the party. As they pulled into the city, Aldreon informed them he’d have Ameiko prepare the boar for dinner than night and the could feast in the success of the hunt! While the hunt had been a much bigger trail than any thought to have imagined the thought of succulent fresh boar lifted all spirits and the heroes planned to clean up and rest a bit before the feast began.

That evening the friends gathered again in the feast hall of the Rusty Dragon with those gathered cheering the prowess of the heroes that had provided their meals. The popularity of the heroes seemed at an all-time high. Alderon had the party served first and thanked them again for both saving his life and the fantastic adventure of the boar hunt. He begged the party to come see him if they were ever in Magnimar and the party promised they would.

As they were finishing up their meals, the revelry was interrupted by a man bursting into the front door screaming “Where is my daughter!!??” while waving a cane and cussing in Tian. The rest of the establishment found themselves studiously looking into their drinks as the silver haired and finely robed man made his way into the room. As the man continued his tirade, he noticed the heroes and turned full on them attacking them for being the irresponsible party that brought the goblin raid down on Sandpoint. He admonished the party as being amateurs that needed to leave the defense of the city up to the professionals like the city guard. That comment, in particular prompted Asharan to make a snide remark about the guards’ efficacy and as he stood to react to the man, Ameiko burst from the kitchen yelling at him.

The man demanded Ameiko leave this life behind and leave at once with him to Magnimar and he advanced threateningly toward her. The gathered crowd was shocked to see him grab her by the arm amid a violent exchange of Tian curses and try to haul her to the door. Ameiko responded by smashing the man’s head with the full ladle of soup sending stew flying across the floor and all over her father. The man was irate and affronted by this open show of defiance and thrust her back toward the bar as he stomped toward to door if a fury, looking back only to snarl “You’re as dead to me as your mother!” before he burst from the room. Ameiko’s face flashed pain and hurt, then anger as she picked up her ladle and shook it at the door shouting, “Guess I’ll have to make a new batch since Jack-ass soup is off the menu for the night!” much to the approval of the gathered crowd, before she made her way back into the kitchen with a quick step. Amberlee asked Alderon if he knew what was up with all of that and he informed them the man was Lonkiju Kaijitsu, Ameiko’s father and owner of the glassworks in town, a major employer and one of the four noble families. He’d been on the outs with Ameiko since his wife was found dead of apparent suicide a couple years back and Ameiko had chosen the life of a adventurer and, then, tavern owner which Kaijitsu didn’t feel was appropriate for a noble family.

The party thanked Alderon for the information, the horses, and the boar hunt. Alderon informed him he was heading back to his estate the following morning and repeated his encouragement that the heroes see him if they traveled to Magnimar. The party stayed up a while longer drinking and eating before going to bed full and safe after the long day’s ordeal.

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Investigations, Interludes, and Fortunes Told

After the chaos of the goblin raid, the heroes found themselves weary and in need of rest. They made their way to the Rusty Dragon where Ameiko arranged for their rooms and reminded them they had a week free rent and board. The heroes made their way upstairs and got some much needed rest. The following morning found the city of Sandpoint putting the pieces back together with their characteristic determination.

The heroes decided they would go to the sheriffs office to see what they could find out if there had been any news as to who perpetrated the raid. Sheriff Balor greeted them and thanked the heroes for their aid in thwarting the goblin attack. He pointed out that there had been a couple of goblins captured, but they hadn’t been able to get anything useful out of them. Asharan asked Gollic if he would interpret for him and advanced on the caged goblins and began questioning the first vigorously. The goblins spat and cursed the “longshanks” and screamed that their time was coming. Everyone present was taken aback as Asharan drew his sword and plunged it deep into the goblin’s chest, blood spurting out everywhere.

“You just killed a caged, unarmed creature!!” accused Amberlee. Asharan replied with a brisk, "It is an evil being and deserves no better. He turned his attention toward the second goblin when Sheriff Hemlock stepped in and scolded Asharan that he would not allow another event such as just transpired. The goblin would be sent to Magnimar for trial and questioning. Asharan assented to the demand and promised he would only interrogate the creature. The second goblin, quite terrified at watching his tribe mate slain in front of him, was quick to inform the party that the longshanks who directed him had a secret mission there but he didn’t know what it was! Gollic, feeling sure he was telling the truth advised Asharan of the fact. As the heroes were discussing this information — who could be guiding the goblins?? — the door burst open as Father Zantus entered looking quite haggard.

Zantus informed the Sheriff that it had been reported that something was amiss in the cathedral graveyard and requested the Sheriff take a look. It appeared the mausoleum that contained Father Tobyn’s bones had been vandalized. The Sheriff heaved a huge sigh and turned as requested if the heroes would be willing to join him in checking things out since they had proven their use in hairy situations. The party quickly acquiesced, and they made their way to the graveyard.

Upon entering the property, it was clear the usually immaculate graveyard had been the site of recent activity. As the party approached the mausoleum Gollic and Amberlee were able to detect goblin tracks all around the front entrance and also what appeared to be the tracks of a single human. The tracks led between the Mausoleum entrance and the wall that bordered the graveyard the building. Whoever had been there had not come thru the main entrance. Deciding it was time to see what had happened, Asharan moved briskly into the Mausoleum only to find himself surrounded on either side by a cackling skeleton wielding rusty short swords. Both skeletons advanced quickly on the paladin but were ineffectual in penetrating Asharan’s armor. Gollic and Amberlee moved quickly to back up the paladin and a quick and brutal melee ensued resulting in the bones of shattered skeletons splayed out across the Mausoleum floor.

Upon investigation, the heroes discovered that bones of Father Tobyn had been taken and an eerie, but ragged discarded robe in the corner. Sheriff hemlock noted that the absence of the bones could be nothing good especially given the fact two skeletons were found inside the chamber. He asked that the heroes keep what they had found on the DL until they had more information. The town of Sandpoint had already been thru a lot and they didn’t need more worry heaped on them. Sheriff Hemlock said he was going to check with some of those that had access to the graveyard and would let the heroes know if he found anything promising. The heroes discussed among themselves what their next step should be and it was decided they would head back to the Rusty Dragon to find information on where they might go to discover more knowledge about what the mysterious robe might have been used for.

As the party made their way back thru the city, it was obvious their local fame had grown. A number of citizens greeted them and waved at the party thanking them for their part in saving the town. One baker’s wife even went so far as to bust out of her home placing freshly baked buns in the heroes’ hands and thanked them for their service. A number of young women took exceptional notice of Gollic, tittering behind hands as he passed and whispering in small groups as their eyes followed him down the road.

The party arrived at the Rusty Dragon to find Alderon Foxglove waiting for them in the tavern hall. Foxglove invited the heroes to join him at a table and bought them all a round of drinks. Gollic and Amberlee quickly dove head first into a rematch of their drinking contest of the day prior while Foxglove introduced himself as a textiles merchant from down near Magnimar. He thanked the heroes again for saving his life and offered the heroes an opportunity to let him repay them by having them join him on a boar hunt the following morning. The three heroes all quickly agreed that a boar hunt sounded excellent and Foxglove beamed as each, and especially Amberlee, gave their approval of his plan. Foxglove arranged to meet the heroes the following morning at the Goblin Squash Stables and promised that all costs would be covered by him and that he was looking forward to spending some time with “real life heroes.”

Amberlee got up from the table an approached Ameiko to get directions to a place where they might find out more about potentially magic items. Ameiko suggested that for things out-of-the-norm the party might want to talk to Madam Mvashti. Amberlee thanked her and the party set off for Mvashti’s business establishment. Upon arrival the heroes found an elderly and mysterious women within an darkened and heavily scented interior. Mvashti agreed to examine the robe and, upon doing so, advised the party that the robe had been once used to summon a small number of undead but was now magically inert. While the party appreciated the information they were a little discouraged by the lack of a lead. Asharan decided it might be useful to get their futures predicted and inquried of Mvashti if she conducted such services. Mvashti informed the party that she could preform for them a Harrow-deck reading for 50 silver pieces a piece, paid up front.

The party decided that, at the very least, it would be an interesting diversion and paid up. After seating the party across from her around a small round table, Mvashti warned the party that the readings of the Harrow deck were powerful and unpredictable and gave them a last chance to back out. Not having any of it, Asharan requested he be first. Mvashti pulled the deck out of a well worn laquered box and began the normal mumblings of a typical magic user. She slowly pulled a card out that showed a small brick tower on a field of flowing green grass. Asharan felt a soothing, tingling sensation envelop him as Mvashti informed him that the gods had blessed Asharan. He had been granted the powerful spell-like ability to summon his own personal, permanent plane and that its summoning was a matter of willpower, at least the first time.

Excited by the fantastical magical ability just granted Asharan, Gollic asked to be next. Mvashti stared deep into Gollic’s beard-covered face as she slowly pulled another card from the Harrow deck. As the card snapped out of the deck their began a loud rumble and the floor began to quake violently. Bottles and jars flew from the walls and the building began to shake and thrash. Amberlee bounded to her feet and acrobatically sprang toward the door followed by the surprisingly fleet footed Madam Mvashti. Gollic and Asharan fared much worse however, falling over as the uneven floor buckled below them. The both scrambled to try to regain their feet only to feel the shaking increase in intensity. A ceiling beam crashed down pinning Gollic to the floor. Asharan tried to regain his footing and move toward Gollic without any luck as the structure swayed violently above them. From outside, Mvashti yelled “the plane you idiot!”

Light dawned on Asharan and he reached out to grab Gollic’s leg and focused his will on travelling to a plane of good. Gollic and Asharan felt a slight bending of reality and pressure inside their skulls and the world seemed to twist and they found themselves in the middle of a golden field, blue skies overhead. Meanwhile, the structure on the material plane collapsed in heap, Amberlee, not knowing whether her compainions were trapped below it, started toward the rubble. Asharan was amazed by the plane he had summoned, but decided it would be later until he was able to explore it. He reached out and grabbed Gollic’s arm and they felt the same twisting pressure and found themselves back in the same spot at Mvashti’s House, this time standing right on top of the the pile of rubble that used to be her house. Amberlee was excited to see them safe and hear about how they had dodged death, Mvashti was less impressed and began digging thru the rubble with the look of a woman who had seen similar things happen before.

The band decided to head back to the Rusty Dragon for drinks after their ordeal and did so. While gathered around the table, a young woman in a pink dress approached Gollic and asked if he had a minute. She introduced herself as Shayliss Vinder and she described how she needed help with a “rodent” problem in her father’s general store. She described her father as stressed over recent events and wanted the store clear when he returned from a trading trip. She insisted that it wasn’t a huge problem that needed a full group, but if Gollic would be willing to help she’d be deeply grateful. Gollic hopped up and agreed to help and followed the young woman across town to the general store.

Shayliss led Gollic to some cellar doors and down into what looked like a supply basement. She intoned that most of the rodents were found in the back and guided Gollic toward a room off to the back right of the cellar. Upon entering the room, Gollic noticed a small cot against the wall. Before he could react, Shayliss had undone her blouse and thrust her arms around him pressing her lips toward him and exclaiming how she’d always wanted to be with a heroic dwarf. Gollic went into panic mode and quickly extracted himself from Shayliss’s embrace and began to run out of the room. Much to his dismay, he heard footsteps coming down the back stairs with the shout of “Shayliss! Damn it daughter what are you up to now?!” A large man, Ven Vinder came stomping down the steps and roared as he saw Gollic speeding toward the steps with his half clad daughter behind him! Gollic built up what speed he could and deftly avoided Ven’s grapple attempt as they met near the base of the steps. Gollic heard Shayliss shout behind him, “He pushed himself on me!” as he sped up the steps and flew out into the night, his face a bright red. Ven Vinder shouted from the door that Gollic "better not show his face around here again, “hero” or not!" Gollic returned to the Rusty dragon and quickly made his way to his room, avoiding the questioning glaces of his comrades, and turned in for the night hoping the boar hunt tomorrow was better than the events of the last couple days. The rest of the party decided to rest as well after they made plans to meet up in the tavern prior to meeting with Foxglove in the morning

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Swallowtail Festival and a Raid of Goblins!
The adventure begins!

All of the small coastal town of Sandpoint had gathered to celebrate. After 10 long years of building and budget stresses, not to mention the Late Unpleasantness, the Sandpoint Cathedral was finally to be christened. The burning of the previous cathedral and the loss of Father Tobyn and his adopted Aasimar daughter Nualia had struck the town hard. After the long rebuilding process guided by the newly arrived Father Zantus, Sandpoint was ready to see a new era in their religious faith begin.

All the town was gathered together to begin the Swallowtail festival with series of speakers. Mayor Deverin began the day with the welcome for the crowds and was well received. Sheriff Balor Hemlock followed with a warning to be safe and report any suspicious activity while enjoying the festival. The next speaker, Lonjiku Kaijitsu, one of the local nobility, begged illness and was not able to attend and was replaced by the very energetic, and self-promoting, Cydrak Drokkus, the local theater director, who encouraged the audience to attend the performances that weekend featuring a visiting theatrical star from Magnimar. The Speeches were concluded with the daily schedule and blessing for the day given by the new High Priest in Sandpoint, Father Zantus.

As the crowd dispersed, games, musicians, storytellers, and contests of all kinds began setting up in the city square out front of the Cathedral. The Swallowtail Festival had begun! Games venders shouted their games and one in particular area started to draw a crowd. A well armored half-elf, Asharan and a stout dwarf, Gollic stepped up to the stage to compete in an apple bobbing contest. The first round went to Gollic amid the cheers of the assembled audience and after a little taunting Asharan was able to come away victorious in the second round. After a brief stare down and some vigourous bobbing, whereupon Asharan found himself firmly doused in water, the dwarf emerged victorious! The crowd roared their approval and Asharan muttered about the advantages of dwarfs because of their short height. (the first of many dwarven short jokes in the days to come)

Gollic then made his way across the street where he found a number of tables set up and an energetic young woman shouting about the Rusty Dragons 3rd Annual Beer Drinking contest. Never one to turn down free beer, he found himself sitting across from an enigmatic woman dressed in monk’s robes. The monk introduced herself as Amberlee and wished her dwarven competitor luck. The first round of the Rusty Dragon’s finest stoutest brew saw half the assembled population knocked out almost immediately, yet neither the dwarf nor the monk appeared to have any ill effects. Round after round saw competitors drop out until all that remained was Gollic and Amberlee in an epic showdown. (what was to be the first of many in the coming days). The crowd had grown large and many of Sandpoint’s citizens found themselves cheering for Gollic to emerge victorious. The next round was served and after both contestants downed their ale, Amberlee swayed in her seat and promptly found herself on the ground with a huge grin. The crowd erupted with chants of “Gollic! Gollic!” and a number of young ladies began to twitter about what other prowesses Gollic might indeed have.

Shortly thereafter, Father Zantus announced the free meal being served by the cities fine dining establishments as the Swallowtail Festival’s annual cooking contest began. Amberlee, Gollic, and Asharan found themselves moving about the fair sampling the various dishes and each casting their votes for different restaurants only to find that the crowd overwhelmingly preferred the dishes served by the Rusty Dragon. Ameiko was all smiles as she accepted the award given by Father Zantus.

After awarding the victory to the Rusty Dragon, Zantus called the gathered city to the front of the Cathedral steps to begin the re-dedication of the Cathedral grounds and the consecration to follow. Zantus began with a prayer to Desna to bless the town and its people for their religious commitment to the gods as his acolytes wheeled a wagon out in front of the crowd. The sheet covering the wagon was pulled back as Father Zantus finished his prayer and hundreds of blueish purple butterflies, the symbol of Desna, were released into the air. Several of the butterflies alighted themselves on Asharan who took a moment to nod to the butterflies who, being butterflies, just flew off.

Father Zantus began to make preparations for the actual consecration of the Cathedral, but as he was pulling out his holy implements, scattered screams and movement worked their way thru the crowd. The activity seemed to grow until the crowd went into a complete panic as a mass of green shapes filled the Sandpoint streets. Goblins ran amok everywhere and surrounding the crowd came a chant seeming to come from all sides.

“Goblins chew and goblins bite,
Goblins Cut and Goblins Fight,
Stab the Dog and cut the Horse,
Goblins eat and take by Force!

Goblins race and goblins jump,
Goblins slash and goblins bump,
Burn the skin and mash the head,
Goblins here and you be dead!

Chase the baby, catch the pup,
Bonk the head to shut it up.
Bones be cracked, flesh be stewed,
We be Goblins! You be food!!"

Goblins began chasing citizens thru the streets, shattering windows and smashing tables. Up the street two goblins slit the throat of a dog and cackled gleefully as the blood spewed out onto the city cobblestones. Asharan, Gollic, and Amberlee were each able to shake off the shock of the sudden goblin attack and rush to meet the charging (well kind of charging…one stopped to eat some salmon left over on a picnic table) goblins while Father Zantus hurried into the Cathedral carrying with him the holy items to be used in the consecration service.

Gollic and Amberlee with both able to dispatch the unlucky goblin souls that charged directly at them while Asharan moved to engage a goblin that had jumped up onto a picnic table and started to throw shards of broken beer steins at the heroes as he tried to use his surrounding items to hurt the “Longshanks” Asharan sprinted toward the nearest taunting goblin and, in a rare display of acrobatic prowess for the heavily armored man, launched himself into the air landing on the table opposite the goblin. The table, bearing the load of a vaulted armored half-elf, proceed to filp sending the goblin opposite Asharan flying over his head face first into the side of the Cathedral while snapping its neck instantly.

The heroes took a second to gather themselves and belived the attack to possibly be over when a wagon near where the priests suppies has been held exploded in a violent display of burnt wood sending flaming planks across the town square as three goblin pyros emerged from behind the wagon wielding flaming brands and a goblin warchanter whipped them into a frenzy from behind. The flaming wood landed all across the area where Asharan had jumped and spilled the beer glasses from the drinking games and the alcohol on the ground instantly ignited into flames lighting the grass on fire and started to move toward the Cathedral.

Asharan and Amberlee quickly reversed course as they ran to bring the fight to the pyros, while Gollic worked his way around the alleyways to the west of the goblins in the hopes of striking them unsuspecting from the bushes in between the building on their flank, the battle was vicious as dogslicers cut deeply into the weak spots in Asharan’s armor and a lucky goblin strike was able to make contact with Amberlee as she tried to out maneuver the goblins accross from her. From the bushes Gollic fired a sneak shot on the fray only to fail spectacularly with his crossbow bolt sailing behind the main fracas and drawing the attention of two goblins, who then proceeded to, with admittedly unnaturally abnormal goblin accuracy put two arrow shafts into the dwarf knocking him unconscious.

Seeing their ally go down, Amberlee and Asharan made quick work of the goblins who had dared to wound them and incapacitate their ally. Asharan ran to Gollic’s aid, a warm radiating from his hands to stabalize Gollic from any more damage while Amberlee advanced on the remaining Goblin Warchanter. In a flurry of blows, Amberlee rained attacks on the goblin from what seemed like impossible angles and the chanter collapsed into the ground at the monk’s feet just as Gollic regained conciousness. The heroes, seeing the flames from the beer moving dangerously close to the cathedral rushed to put them out lest the newly built structure meet the same fate as its predecessor.

The allies surveyed the streets to what appeared to be the dying down of the raid when they heard calls from the north for help in a high, shrill male voice that seemed terrified. The heroes raced off to the north to find a large goblin riding a giant skinless dog, standing over vicous black dog barking back at it. Behind the dog, cowering on the side of the building behind some crates a man dressed i blue hid shouting for help as the dog continued to protect him. The heroes sprang into action and started toward the goblin commando only to see the large goblin sweep down and slice a giant gash into the dogs neck tearing out whole chunks. Three goblins emerged from nearby bushes as he did so cheering at the goblin and congratulating hm on the dog kill. Asharan made a beeline for the commando. Amberlee laid a vicious blow to the side of the commando doubling him over in the saddle after her charge. Asharan followed up with a tenacious swing of his own sending the head of the goblin commando flying across the green toward one of the newly emerged goblins. Seeing the commando dispatched so quickly, the goblins panicked in fear and bolted from the green heading out in different directions, the goblin dog following them pulling what remained of the goblin body with him as it went.

The blue dressed man emerged from behind the boxes to lament the kiling of his dog and to compliment and thank the heroes that had saved his life. He introduced himself as Alderon Foxglove a traveling merchant and noble from Magnimar. Foxglove was especially praisworthly of Amberlee’s show of physical prowess and proclaimed them “true heroes.”

As he did so, it apprered that the goblin raid had finally reached its conclusion. Straggling shell shocked victims made their way across the city streets and the City Guard could be seen here and there chasing a goblin out of a home or down a street. Alderon thanked them again and requested they meet him at the Rusty Dragon soon so he could properly pay them for their service and departed. Ameiko Kaijistu noticed the party as they stood watching Alderon leave and thanked them for saving the town (and her business) from the goblin raid an offered them 2 weeks room and board at the Rusty Dragon to thank them. Finally, Mayor Deverin made her way from the city gates looking troubled, but making it a point to thank the heroes for doing what they could to save the people of Sandpoint as well their cathedral. The heroes accpted the thanks and wellwishes and they made their way to their newly-found free rooms The Rusty Dragon, The goblin raid has been defeated but many questions still existed as to why the goblin raid was attacking in the first place and who was behind the attacks.

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