Rise of the Runelords

Clerics and Sages and Merchants, oh my!
Lamashan 1, 4707

Before heading back to the Rusty Dragon for dinner, Zendo asks Corvus to buy him some gear for their next expedition tomorrow at the Sandpoint General Store. Ven Vinder does not seem happy to see the young wizard, but begrudgingly sells him the needed wares, though Corvus is sure that he is being overcharged. Since he is spending Zendo’s money, however, he isn’t too concerned.
The men also call upon Aliver Podiker at the Pillbug’s Pantry, purchasing a healer’s kit from him for Gellius to use. Podiker seems amiable enough, though a little suspicious and apprehensive.

The next day, the men go to the Cathedral and meet with Father Abstalar Zantus to return to the catacombs and put the undead there to rest. Father Zantus is accompanied by [name needed], the stout, serious priest of Abadar in Sandpoint, and [name needed], the impassioned priestess of Sarenrae. All three of the clerics are cautiously equipped, and seem grimly determined. The men then call uponBrodert Quink, who seems much more eager to accompany them, though he insists on bringing along several boxes of equipment, including a theodolite that he is quite overprotective about.

The men tramp into the tunnels, greeting the guards at the Glassworks basement with familiarity.

Once inside the catacombs, Quink is quite animated. He fusses at Corvus for misidentifying the lovely, but enraged female statue as a deity. Given her appearance and ranseur, the sage identifies her as Runelord Alaznist, one of the rulers of ancient Thassilon. Quink, warming up to the opportunity, explains that Thassilon was founded by wizards from Aztlant, and organized on the principle of seven virtues, symbolized by the seven-pointed star, or sihedron, found on the book of the statue. Accordingly, the seven domains of Thassilon were also ruled over by seven Runelords, who were believed to epitomize one of each of these seven virtues, and who ruled their domains accordingly. Thus, the statue is not one of a worshipped deity, but instead, a statue that paid homage to the ruler of the Thassilonian realm of Bakrakhan.

Quink now believes that the elaborate ranseur wielded by Ragnar is, as the heroes claimed, an ancient relic, easily thousands of years old. A hurried bartering session ensues, with Quink quickly backing down from his ‘priceless’ estimate and agreeing to exchange his well-used wand of Cure Light Wounds, a useful tool in his archeological delvings, to the group in exchange for the relic. Zendo insists that Quink must acknowledge, in his writings, that the men were the discoverers of the catacombs, though Quink points out that technically, either the goblins or the smugglers were actually the ones who uncovered the structure. He does agree to give credit to the group for being the explorers responsible for bringing this ancient structure to the knowledge of modern Varisian scholarship.

Brodert Quink is excited to have such a pristine site to examine, but the rest of the exploration does not go as smoothly. The next room is the old prison cells, and the sage is disgusted by the mutated remains of the goblin ‘hero’Koruvus, while the three priests mutter darkly about the mouldering bones of prisoners left here ages ago. The torture chambers beyond lend further credence to their dim view of the catacombs, and even Brodert cannot muster a defense when the heroes mention the mutated skeletons locked in cells beyond.

Once in the room of pits, the priests quickly lay to rest the unquiet dead as a shaken Brodert Quink muses on how long these zombies may have stood groaning in darkness in the earth, possibly even since the fall of Thassilon thousands of years ago. Father Zantus and the other priests have already formed a dire opinion of the catacombs, but the heroes insist that they should see the entire area.

The men take the priests and the sage past the crumbling, collapsed stairwell that seems to go deeper into the earth, with Brodert and Corvus agreeing that this should be explored further, while most of the others feel that it is already best kept sealed. The clergy are confused by the strange spherical room, which, while obviously magical, does not appear to be intrinsically evil, while Quink, though nauseated by the floating, rotting bird corpse, is amazed and bedeviled by the crackling black lighting which seems to form Thassilonian runes too quickly to be read.

The group backtracks to the fountain where they encountered the vargouille, and beyond, to the stairs which would seem to spiral upwards, were they not blocked by rubble. Zendo, not distracted by hideous monsters this time, seems to think that the stairs would, if clear, lead upwards to a small alley near the Old Light. Quink theorizes that the pool would be used for ritual ablution, washing away the dust (and possibly the concerns) of the world above before entering the catacombs.

Finally, the heroes lead Father Zantus and the other clergy to the temple. The small altar outside the ‘temple’ is regarded with much loathing, as the priestess of Sarenrae identifies the water within as the ‘Waters of Lamashtu’, a vile flavor of unholy water which, in addition to the normal malevolent effects, will drive the drinker insane and twist his flesh into monstrosities. The gathered priests seem united that this horrible fane must be sealed off forevermore, and even Corvus seems to equivocate on his earlier ideas about making the tunnels a local tourist attraction.

Entering the temple proper, Quink is overcome with the amount of runic script on the walls, which will take many days to transcribe properly. He does point out that the temple itself, while unmistakably grim and forbidding, does not have any icons or signs of Lamashtu worship, so the object of veneration remains unclear. Despite the heroes recounting their experiences with the narrow, triangular well and its bubbling, glowing fluid, neither the sage, nor the clerics, can offer any suggestions as to the ultimate provenance of the strange, seemingly inert basin.

The men escort the priests and the sage back to the Glassworks with their thanks. They return to the tunnels underneath Sandpoint to explore the other branches of the twisting passages. The eastern branch runs some distance before ending in a tunnel collapse, evidently quite old. There is no signs of passage here, though, based on their maps, this tunnel would seem to head towards the Turandurok River.

Following the northeast passage is more fruitful. This tunnel runs a considerable distance, but seems to terminate in a dead end. Hikage’s keen eyes spot a concealed door, and, upon opening it, the men find themselves in a large cave littered with the camping supplies of a number of goblins. The cave opens onto the narrow beach at the base of the cliffs of Sandpoint’s north shore. Corvus believes this must have been where the smugglers originally dug a tunnel years ago, as it would be easy to approach the town unseen from the north and carry supplies from a boat into this cave. It cements his theory that the smugglers unknowingly broke into the older Thassilonian tunnels and bricked them off after encountering something horrifying beyond. Zendo makes quick use of his newly purchased pitons and uses two to wedge the trap door shut from the tunnel side, preventing easy use by other goblins.

The men make their reports to the mayor, and suggest that the smuggler’s tunnels need to be blocked off at the goblin cave first, and possibly blocked off again at the other tunnel entrances, though they do agree that, properly supervised, Quink’s research should be allowed, as further clues may still reside inside.

Planning on going to Thistletop as soon as the sheriff returns, the men march off to the general store to equip themselves, but find that Ven Vinder is having none of it. Despite Hikage’s indignance, Gellius’s pleading, and Ragnar’s bluster, Ven refuses to sell them anything, perhaps irked by Corvus’s poorly concealed snooping around for Shayliss Vinder. Frustrated by their failure to secure bedrolls and tents, the men retire to the Rusty Dragon for lunch, and purchase some blankets from Ameiko Kaijitsu, who seems more than a bit confused by their insistence on buying them, until Zendo explains their plans.

Later in the day, after re-equipping themselves at Savah’s armory, the heroes see Sheriff Belor Hemlock riding into town with a detachment of soldiers from Magnimar. After he takes the troops to the Garrison, Belor speaks with the group. They fill him in on their discoveries beneath the Glassworks, and he thanks them deeply for their courage and commitment. When they share their determination to pursue the matter to Thistletop, he gives them some unwelcome news. First, he cannot send the soldiers to Thistletop. Sandpoint is a protectorate of Magnimar, but the men seconded to him are there solely to be used in the defense of the town in case of an attack, and will not obey orders to march out into the wilds. Given the history of Magnimar itself as a former Chelaxian outpost, this is not surprising. Second, he has been given word that just the previous night, merchants traveling down the Old Coast Road were ambushed by goblins near Thistletop, and barely escaped with their lives. Finally, he reminds the men that Thistletop is the notorious lair of the Thistletop tribe, and Chief Ripnugget has elevated the standing of his tribe through the impressive retreat that they command. Acting against the Thistletop goblins is not to be undertaken lightly. Zendo has a clever plan to pose as merchants and lure out another raiding party, however.

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Shrine under Sandpoint?
30 Rova, 4707

The bedraggled heroes emerge from the tunnels with their loot and a tiny demonic corpse, much to the surprise of the militia stationed at the Glassworks.

They first go to the Sandpoint Cathedral in the hopes that the town priests will treat their wounds. As they receive healing magics, they share their discoveries with FatherAbstalar Zantus. He is shocked to discover that an ancient Thassilonian catacomb underlies the town of Sandpoint, and chagrined to learn that a temple to Lamashtu, Mother of Monsters and Mistress of Nightmares lies within. He questions the group closely to learn whether they think that a cult of the Mother is operating within Sandpoint, but Corvus and Zendo seem to think that the shrine has only recently been opened to the tunnels under the Glassworks. Corvus theorizes that the smugglers who dug the tunnels years ago may have broken into the temple compound, and bricked it up again when they realized what they had found. Father Zantus is outraged that a temple to the demonic goddess lies under his town, but Corvus speculates that the complex is actually Thassilonian in nature, and only later repurposed into a shrine to Lamashtu.

The men show Zantus the hideous unholy symbol taken from the quasit witch, and her ancient, but blasphemous prayer book. Father Zantus solemnly vows to safely dispose of such unholy artifacts, and, as a measure of gratitude, offers Zendo and Gellius a scroll inscribed with several prayers of healing. The heroes also request the assistance of the temple in putting to rest the undead within the catacombs. Father Zantus has all but exhausted his blessings for the day in healing their injuries, but he agrees to accompany them on the morrow to put down any undead which remain.

The men then seek out an audience with the mayor, Kendra Deverin, who had requested them to explore the mysterious tunnels further. They deliver their news to her as well, and she is concerned that the strange temple beneath the town should be collapsed or sealed. Corvus defends the historical importance of such an ancient, preserved site, and urges that the Thassilonian structures should be preserved and studied instead. All agree, however, that the other tunnels must be explored, and sealed against any further goblin intrusions. Mayor Deverin presses the heroes about the safety of the tunnels, and expresses her concerns for the Glassworks and its employees. The men all agree that if the tunnels below the Glassworks can be guarded well, the building itself should be safe to reopen. Mayor Deverin thanks them again for their assistance, and informs them that Sheriff Belor Hemlock is expected back in town soon. When told about Tsuto Kaijitsu’s confidence that he will soon be rescued, the mayor is quite alarmed, but the men all agree that, while the threat of a goblin invasion exists, all of their information does not give a time for the attack, and the defeat of the quasit witch has foiled the specific plan championed by Tsuto.

The heroes also pay a visit to Tsuto in his cell beneath the Garrison. Vachedi indicates that he has been a quiet, if unflappable prisoner. When the heroes boast of defeating the quasit and her freaks, and show off both her corpse and the magical sword taken from her disfigured goblin guardian, Hikage and Corvus both notice a momentary crack in Tsuto’s otherwise impenetrable confidence. Gellius threatens the imprisoned half-elf, but his bold words sound like bluster to Tsuto’s pointed ears. When Tsuto expresses his confidence in his lover, Nualia, Hikage laughingly dismisses him as a deluded fool.

The men march to the house of the town sage, Brodert Quink. He greets them affably at the door, but expresses bemusement when Corvus offers to sell him a master-crafted Thassilonian ranseur. Quink feels it quite dubious that such an ancient relic should have fallen into their hands. When they inform him that they have discovered a well-preserved dungeon from Thassilonian times beneath the town, he is beside himself with excitement. Only the mention of a demonic witch and animate dead temper his enthusiasm for exploring the site immediately. When the heroes assure him that he can accompany them, and the priests, on an excursion into the catacombs on the morrow, he eagerly agrees, and immediately begins to plan for all of the surveying equipment and cataloging materials he will need. Corvus interrupts the sage’s train of thought with effort, asking him about his knowledge of any female deities of the ancient Thassilonians, describing the statue found in the catacombs. Brodert is puzzled, as his broad knowledge of Thassilonian myth-cycles does not include any gods known to be female and also represented as a human. While he is aware of feminine gods of Thassilon such as Lyssalia, she is not traditionally represented as a human woman, while other gods of indeterminate gender, such as the Peacock Spirit, are not represented in an incarnate form at all.

The men seek out Daviren Hosk at his stables and proudly present him with the ears of the Seven Tooth champion, Koruvus. He is suitably impressed, particularly when they show him Koruvus’s magical sword, and tell them of the champion’s tranformation into a hideous mutant freak. Hosk takes the ears with glee, and the ranger seems quite eager to disrespect Koruvus’s memory by carving his name onto the goblin’s own disproportionately large ears.

The men, now quite hungry and thirsty, take a late lunch at the Rusty Goblin. While all eat heartily, other than the moderate Hikage, only Zendo and Ragnar seem eager to uncork the bottle of wine found in the strange floating room. The others seem quite suspicious of it, despite the label indicating a recent local vintage, but the bard and the warrior both pronounce it quite palatable, and seem no worse for their sampling.

Leaving the gruesome demonic trophy in Zendo’s room (perhaps to deter another secret admirer?), the heroes seek out Vorvashali Voon at the Feathered Serpent. He is surprised to see them back so soon, and more surprised when they present him with another bevy of artifacts. He inquires about their beachcombing, but Hikage’s confused questioning is drowned out by the others, who assure Vorvashali that these treasures were found in an ancient Thassilonian temple deep under Sandpoint. Examining the sword, Voon dismisses it as a minorly magical longsword of modern manufacture, but is quite intrigued by the tiny, but deadly, and powerfully enchanted dagger, which is all the more unusual for being constructed of cold iron. Zendo skillfully weaves a tale of the day’s events, painting a sinister picture of the diminutive demonic witch ruling her hidden domain beneath the sleepy town. Intrigued by the strange weapon, the curio purveyor agrees to purchase the dagger, the tiara, and the silk gown as a set, to emphasize their strange, supernatural provenance to a prospective buyer. Rather than gold, the men agree to barter their spoils for a shining shirt of mithral chain, an enchanted ring of feather falling, and a pair of bracers which magically protect the wearer, as well as a powerful potion of healing. Voon also allows Corvus access to his spellbook for an hour or so, agreeing that the young wizard certainly needs to be able to identify such strange magics himself.

During their bartering, the men are intrigued by a dusky rose prism displayed in a silk-lined box. Vorvashali is eager to share his own tales, and expresses surprise that the discoverers of a Thassilonian ruin are not aware of this aspect of Thassilon’s culture. Though the primeval Aztlani culture invented the ioun stone, a magical gem enchanted to orbit the wearer and provide him with arcane protections, the Thassilonians perfected the art of ion stones, to the extent of even implanting the magical stones within their own flesh. Corvus realizes that the strange jewels dotting the brow of the female statue within the tomb were not representations of costume jewelry, but depicted just such ioun stones.

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Defeat of the Witch-demon
30 Rova, 4707

Exhausted and injured, many of the heroes wish to quit the chill temple of Lamashtu and return with priests from the Cathedral to scour the evil from these halls. Ragnar, reluctant to quit battle in the best of circumstances, is dubious. The demon witch has fled, but could return. Her glowing well could be used to summon more of the ‘sinspawn’ again, making a return voyage as perilous as the first.

With support from the staunch Hikage, the group decides to do what they can to destroy the glowing well. Cautious experimentation shows the bubbling, steaming fluid inside to actually be freezing cold. Using scraps of wood, Zendo finds that the well is not deep, and the group considers filling it with debris to displace the waters inside. Ragnar questions why the witch didn’t create more of the unnatural monsters to attack them, and Zendo remembers that the diminutive quasit seemed concerned and displeased when her blood sacrifice reduced the light emitted by the well.

Though trepidatious, the group gathers around the glowing well, weapons at the ready, as Zendo pricks his finger and cautiously drips a spot of blood into the lambent waters. A sinspawn emerges from the pool, much too large to be contained in the shallow depths. Though the men were readied, its slimy hide allows it to weather their blows and strike back at them before succumbing.

However, the plan seems sound. The bubbling waters glow less strongly, and boil less furiously. A chastened (and injured) Ragnar diplomatically suggests that the group should perhaps block off the sinspawn at the stairs, and attack the next sinspawn summoned at range.

As they prepare to do so, the doors swing open and the tiny demon Erylium enters. She is enraged. “How dare you interlopers ruin my plans after all these long years of waiting! Steal my precious book! Tamper with the runewell! You cannot be allowed to live for such insults!” In the doorway, the flying imp cannot rise to the heights of the temple ceiling.

The men quickly surround her, to prevent her from taking to the air. She fights, appropriately enough, like a demon, injuring Gellius and Hikage with her small, but sharp fangs and claws. To Hikage’s dismay, Erylium’s claws also carry a insidious venom which cramps his muscles and slows his movements. The sorely injured Hikage and Gellius retreat from the melee, lest any chance injuries render them senseless. They attempt to assist by hurling weapons, but the narrow space and cramped combat prevent their effectiveness. The wizard gamely throws himself into the scrum, but his wild swings with his staff do little to help, and his best attempts do not even distract the witch. Ragnar’s tall frame, long reach, and slashing sword hinder him greatly in the narrow chamber, as most of his swings are interrupted by the ceiling and walls, and those few which connect do little more than glance, though his ‘glances’ are dangerous to most things. Zendo, however, is in his element, jabbing dextrously with his rapier, which he empowers with a quick spell before each strike. His lunges are most accurate, and do the tiny demon grievous harm.

Erylium panics, and tries to sap Ragnar’s strength, but his blood is up, and he shrugs off her spell. Zendo, being the far greater threat, is the target of her last, most powerful enchantment, and cannot resist it. Her spell causes him to quake in fear, and he turns to flee from her, despite her diminished state. However, Ragnar is under no such dweomer, and cuts her down with his longsword, ending her life, and her spell.

On the twisted frame of the little daemon, the men find a magical black dagger, a tiny tiara, and an ominous looking holy symbol, the three-eyed jackal face of Lamashtu, Mother of Monsters. They decide to bring her repellent corpse to the surface, to convince the mayor and others of the true scale of the threat.

Though now all are badly mauled, Ragnar still wishes to destroy the magical well if possible. Hikage, badly injured himself, sups the healing potion taken from the goblins, and sternly insists that they should persevere. The men stand at the ready with their slings, shuriken, and arrows as they summon another sinspawn. The sinspawn each weather the hail of projectiles, and each unerringly seeks out the cursing Ragnar, as if drawn to him. The men dispatch each monster in turn, before summoning the next, and as the third sinspawn is summoned (and destroyed), the light in the well dims to darkness. Upon examination, the pool is empty, with no liquid, glowing or otherwise, to be found. Ragnar curses his own cleverness in the plan, as the men leave the catacombs and seek the safely of the light above (though he does retrace his steps to the statue of the enraged maiden, to reclaim the masterworked ranseur in her grasp).

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Shrine to Lamashtu
30 Rova, 4707

The heroes take stock of their injuries, and press onward. They consider taking some of the water from the pool in the room, but have no empty bottles. As they move deeper into the catacombs, they discover another staircase, spiralling upwards, but they soon discover that it is blocked by a collapse. Even consulting their map of the town, the men cannot figure out exactly where such a n exit might lead.

The group backtracks, and re-enters the room with the mysterious statue of an angry, but beautiful woman. They go through the door from this room, and find themselves in a large prison chamber, standing on a rickety-seeming wooden platform ten feet above a large room filled with cells. Using Zendo’s dancing lights, the group can see that most of the cells are filled with crumbling skeletons, and not ones animated by necromancy. The group decides to explore the room, with Hikage and Zendo making their way down one set of stairs onto the floor, and Gellius and Ragnar on the other, while Corvus remains above to keep watch. As the men reach the floor, they are ambushed by two horrible sinspawn which had evidently been hiding under the platform unseen! Many of the heroes are injured by the freakish creations, necessitating the use of their healing potions and several healing spells. Ragnar again succumbs to the sinspawn’s drooling bite, and seems on the verge of nausea as he fights off the enraging visions only he can see. The pallid, unnatural beings are eventually defeated, but before the group can rest, Hikage hears something approaching from the tunnel on the other side of the room.

Though prepared for danger, the group is shocked at the sight that greets them. A huge, almost man-sized goblin with a misshapen head scampers out of the darkness. He clutches a longsword in one hand, and a sharp looking hand-axe in the other, while a third arm grips a silver dagger. The monstrosity, naming itself Koruvus, announces its intention to defend the temple from these invaders. Gellius tries to reason with it, or just delay it, but as the price of passage, Koruvus demands their heads.

Realizing there is no hope of bargaining with the beast, the group moves quickly to assail him. Hikage blocks the boardwalk, preventing Koruvus from approaching them freely, while Ragnar, using the superior reach of the ranseur, skewers the deformed goblin even across the expanse. Wounded, Koruvus belches a stream of acidic blood at the men, which Ragnar dodges, but Gellius catches full on. Nimble despite his disfigurements, Koruvus dodges the worst of Corvus’s magics, and engages both Hikage and Ragnar with his triple weapons. When the injured Hikage retreats, Koruvus presses his advantage, and strikes down Ragnar while engaging Gellius as well. The druid leaps forward into the fight and slashes down the horrific guardian.

Before Ragnar can bleed out, he is healed by the quick applications of potions and spells, and revives on the platform. He suggests that they take the foul goblin’s ears as trophies, as they know his name, and can carve it into the ears, as a token of respect to Daviren Hosk.

The disfigured creature, which people now remember was once a champion of the Seven-tooth goblin tribe, has a silver dagger, which goes to Hikage, a master-worked hand-axe which Ragnar takes, and the magical longsword which garnered Koruvus so much respect among his goblin allies. Ragnar offers the longsword to Zendo, as he has already received two fine weapons, but Zendo suggests that, for now, at least, Ragnar should wield the weapon, as his own magical training will allow him to imbue his rapier with a magical aura, should we need to fight the demon in these tunnels.

The group debates returning to the surface to rest and resupply, as their spells and healing ar all but exhausted. Ragnar, in particular, demurrs, pointing out that Tsuto’s journal made it clear that a ‘quasit’ and her ‘freaks’ were down below the Glassworks. While they have certainly encountered freaks, there must still be a quasit somewhere. The group agrees to explore further, with caution.

They enter the darkened tunnel from which Koruvus emerged, and find an ancient, but preserved, torture chamber. Adjoining that room is a small room filled with debris and tattered paper and vellum. Hikage’s keen eyes find a magical scroll amongst the scraps of paper, and the group also finds three locked doors on one wall. Zendo laboriously picks each lock, but behind each door is naught but a small stone cell, and a misshapen humanoid skeleton. One has a grotesquely enlarged skull, a second has elongated, but delicate, brittle arm bones, and the third has ribs entirely down the abdomen and twisted, shrunken leg bones.

The group moves on, deeper into the catacombs, as Hikage hears a faint noise from the sections ahead. The group moves into a large room, with small wooden ‘lids’ covering a dozen pits in the floor. The group warily approaches one of the pits, and Ragnar lifts the lid, only for the group to find a mindless zombie moaning at them from the depths of a 20’ deep hole. From the sounds around them, each pit must contain such a zombie, endlessly shuffling and groaning in a solitary confinement of unknown duration. Unnerved by the discovery, the group quickly leaves the room through an exit in one wall.

In this corridor, they find another stairwell, spiralling downward deeper, though when Hikage investigates it, it turns out to have collapsed inward at some point in the past. Past the blocked stairs is another door, and beyond, a surpassingly strange sight. The room beyond the doorway is spherical, roughly 15’ in diameter, and lined with strange metal plates. Black, crackling ‘lightning’ coruscates across the plates, seemingly forming spiky runes almost too fast to read. Floating in midair in the center of the room is a rotting crow, replete with maggots, a tattered book, a scroll, a relatively new looking bottle of wine, and a twisted iron wand with a forked tip. Corvus, with concentration, is able to identify the sporadic words as being Thassilonian in origin, though they do not seem to form coherent sentences, but instead convey general expressions of anger, wrath, and revenge.

The group is curious about the conglomeration of artefacts in the room, but all are loathe to enter the strange chamber. They seem to be at an impasse until Hikage expresses surprise that neither Zendo or Corvus has any magical means of manipulating the objects. To the embarrassment of both, Zendo and Corvus both realize that they know such spells, and quickly fetch all of the objects, except the rotting bird. The wand, upon examination, turns out to be a wand of Shocking Grasp, which goes to Corvus as the only person capable of using it. Zendo seizes the bottle of wine, finding it to be of relatively recent vintage. The scroll, which contains a spell of Burning Hands, also goes to the wizard, and the book, which seems well-read, is written in a script which only he understands, though the pictures of horrible monsters inside give a hint to all of the contents. The book, written in the foul Abyssal tongue, is a ‘prayer book’ to Lamashtu, Mother of Monsters.

The group decides to press onward, going back to explore the one passageway they had bypassed before. Down this long corridor, the walls open up into a small vestibule, complete with some sort of altar, featuring a block of black stone, the top of which is worn (or carved) away to form a shallow font. Inside is a still pool of filthy water. At the other end of the small room is a large set of double doors. Hikage can hear a high-pitched, scratchy voice screeching in some strange tongue he cannot understand. The heroes fortify themselves (Corvus with a protective spell) and open the doors.

They find a large underground cathedral, the walls covered with spiky runes increasingly familiar to Corvus as Thassilonian. In the center of the room is a large pool of water, with tall stone spikes rising from the center, each spike adorned with a humanoid skull. Stairs rise on each side of the room to a stage or pulpit on the far end, featuring another, smaller stone font, which bubbles with glowing yellow fluids. The room is exceptionally cold. A tiny demonic creature flaps her wings above the elevated pool. She is a small, scaly demon, clutching a small black dagger in one hand, and wearing a tiny tiara and black silk gown. She glares at the men malevolently, and announces that she is Erylium, the queen of the catacombs, and they are intruders in her Mother’s temple!

The quasit, evidently prepared for the intrusion, scrapes the blade across her wrist, and her demonic blood oozes into the bubbling golden pool. A glistening sinspawn begins to crawl out of the pool, but Zendo notices that the glowing fluid now glows much less brightly, and the demon seems concerned about that development. She quickly flies to the center of the room, dozens of feet about their heads, and becomes invisible! The heroes quickly spread out across the room to reduce her mobility and close the door. They can hear Erylium’s voice chanting an incantation, and though they all feel sure they know roughly where she is located, her small size and rapid flight make it impossible to target her effectively. Her spell is revealed when she summons a giant centipede to attack!

The following fight is a frustrating one for the heroes of Sandpoint. Many of Corvus’s remaining magics cannot harm the demon, nor can Gellius’s lightning, as her ilk are very resistant to both fire and lightning. Neither Hikage nor Ragnar have an enchanted weapon capable of reaching the flying demon, and Zendo can only shoot her with his arcanely imbued arrows when she become visible to cast a spell on them. Her summoned monsters are quickly dispatched, however, though the tiny viper she summons does bite both Zendo and Corvus before dissipating. As Zendo, using his bow, and Corvus, using his magical missiles, have the best chance of hurting her, Erylium focuses her spells on those two, sending Zendo into a magical slumber before using her enchantments to force him to disarm himself. Corvus is much more resistant to her magical wiles, and escapes largely untouched. The wounds that the wizard and bard do inflict on the tiny demon seem to slowly heal themselves, to the group’s despair. The sling bullets launched by Ragnar and Gellius seem to do only the slightest of damage to her tiny frame, bolstered as it is by her demonic nature.

However, at long last, the barrage of magical bolts launched by Corvus and a lucky shot by Zendo severely injure the demonic witch. She is forced to fly lower to the ground in order to flee from the heroes, and Hikage makes his move. He rushes after the tiny witch and snatches her out of the air, intending to hold her until Ragnar can slay her with the magical sword they took from Koruvus. However, despite her queenly regalia, the minute demon is a veritable hellcat, and her spitting, squirming form seemingly consists of claws and teeth, and he is unable to hold her for long. She frees herself, and darting past the monk and wizard, flies into the darkness of the tunnels.

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Catacombs under Sandpoint?
29-30 Rova, 4707

The men scatter to the four winds.

Gellius goes to Father Abstalar Zantus to inform him of the grave news. He is shocked and saddened by the news, but is most incredulous when the druid tells him that Nualia is involved, as Father Zantus (and the town) were sure that she died during the Late Unpleasantness. In hopes of shedding some light on the issue, Zantus tells Gellius what he remembers about Nualia.

She was an orphaned child, abandoned on the steps of the old Chapel. She had an unusual appearance, with bronze skin and snow-white hair, and was generally believed to have angelic ancestry (known as an aasimar). Father Tobyn adopted the infant, viewing her arrival as a sign from Desna, and raised her as his own, hoping that she would enter the clergy upon adulthood as he had. Throughout her childhood, Nualia was regarded by others with a superstitious air, and believed to be lucky or blessed. People would seek her out, thinking a touch, or a laugh, or a teardrop or lock of her hair, would confer a divine favor upon them. This positive, but unwanted, attention, made Nualia shy and withdrawn. As an adolescent, Nualia grew into an exceptionally attractive, even stunning, young woman, but her otherworldly beauty only seemed to isolate her in the small community, rather than bringing her the attention of suitors. A Varisian lad, Delek Viskanta, had a secret affair with Nualia, which they kept hidden from her father. That affair turned out to be more intimate than most townsfolk suspected, when Nualia became pregnant. Delek refused to take responsibility, calling her a harlot and a slut, and left town ahead of a swell of disapproval. Father Tobyn was outraged that his daughter, who he had hoped would enter Windsong Abbey, had cavorted with this boy in secret. He kept a much stricter eye on Nualia after that point, but late in her pregnancy, she had serious complications and miscarried. Healing magic stabilized her, but she was asleep in a coma during almost the entire reign of terror from the Chopper. She had not awakened on the day that the Chapel burned, so everyone assumed that she had perished with her father in the blaze.

Father Zantus knows that Tsuto Kaijitsu had a very difficult childhood, as his father disowned him and put him in the orphanage. As his father was a member of one of the founding noble houses, Tsuto seemed to particularly resent being regarded as a bastard in the orphanage, and grew up very status-conscious and quick to take offense. However, once his sister began to visit him, and he was able to train at the House of Blue Stones, he seemed to improve his attitude, and while he was never a particularly popular young man, he didn’t seem like the type that would get into this sort of unpleasantness. Father Zantus doesn’t remember Tsuto having any relationship with Nualia, although as a young woman, she was exceptionally attractive. Most of the young men probably fancied her to a greater or lesser degree, but her unwanted, but unavoidable, ‘divine essence’ might have kept away most of the salacious intentions. After the death of his mother, Tsuto was very distraught, and made wild accusations about his father, and argued with his sister Ameiko at their mother’s funeral. He quit the town in a huff at that point, and had not been seen again.

Corvus seeks out Ilsoari Gandethus, in hopes of learning the true nature of Tsuto’s ring. He fibs and tells the old wizard that he found the valuable-looking ring washed up on the seashore. When Gandethus is unable to identify the magic within the ring (as he hasn’t prepared such spells today), Corvus also seeks out Vorvashali Voon, but the eccentric shopowner is also unable to identify the ring that Corvus “found beach-combing”. Corvus also commissions a tiny tin shovel from Das Korvut, who takes the gold bemusedly, and promises to have this ‘custom job’ ready the next day.

Zendo goes back to the jail to interrogate Tsuto, accompanied by Hikage. Tsuto seems unfazed by his captivity, and seems to think that his allies will rescue him before he can be brought to trial. As he knows that the men have seized his journal, he freely admits to being in league with the goblins (though he insists that this is a master/subordinate relationship, and not a partnership). When confronted about the death of his father, Tsuto claims, quite vehemently, that Lonjiku deserved his fate, for killing Tstuo’s mother,Atsuii Kaijitsu . He claims that his father pushed his mother off the balcony, rather than the accidental fall which supposedly killed her. Zendo and Hikage express their concern to Vachedi that Tsuto may be the target of a prison break, but Vachedi seems confident that goblins would be quite unable to make their way into the jail, especially in time to rescue the cocky and unpleasant half-elf.

Hikage returns to the House of Blue Stones to finish his chores. Sabyl Sorn expresses her displeasure that Hikage is allowing his discipline to falter, even with the events that have befallen the town. When Hikage points out that his intervention helped to rescue Ameiko from her brother, Tsuto, who appears to be behind the recent goblin raid, Sabyl acknowledges his valor, but also points out that Tsuto, while the student of her father, never completed his studies and lost his discipline, well before he made an alliance with evil creatures.

Ragnar goes to the Pixie’s Kitten after an unsuccessful flirtation with Savah Bevaniky at the armory, where he enjoys a ‘Heroes of Sandpoint’ two-for-one special. This focuses his thought processes, and when he rejoins the group, he asks Corvus what a ‘quasit’ is.

Corvus recognizes a quasit as a minor demon, summoned into being as a familiar for a wizard or other arcanist. Quasits are not normally very powerful demons, but, being demonic, are quite resilient, being immune to electricity and acid, and resistant to fire and cold, as well as difficult to harm without enchanted weapons.

The next day, the wizard prepares his spells, as the druid prays to Gozreh. Once the group is prepared, they make their way to the Glassworks. They are greeted by the members of the town militia who have been assigned to guard the building. The townsmen mutter darkly about the grim mess inside, and urge the heroes to show no quarter to any goblins they find.

The men proceed to the old smuggler’s tunnels under the Glassworks. After following the tunnel for some distance northeast, they see a branch leading to the east, but decide to bypass this for the moment, as it doesn’t show much signs of recent use. Further along, they find another branch in the tunnel, which had been bricked off sometime in the past, but has now been reopened. The brickwork is scattered and piled up, making it difficult to see whether the wall was brought down from this side or the other. They decide to follow the formerly bricked-up passage.

Following that passage, the group comes upon a widening of the tunnels, with several different entrances visible. Some of the group in the front hears a suspicious noise, and thus most of the group, with the exception of Zendo, guarding the rear, is not surprised when a loathsome humanoid attacks them. With pale, moist skin, dog-like legs, clawed arms, and a gruesome, slobbering mouth that hinges open to reveal tiny arms within the lower jaw, the beast seems certain to be up to no good, even though the men cannot understand the strange language it gibbers. Gellius summons a dire rat to assist, and Ragnar, Hikage, and he quickly attack the foul being. Corvus, hanging back, recognizes it as a ‘sinspawn’, a constructed lifeform, created by magic and animated by the soul energies of a particularly sinful sacrifice. Such troops were created in the past by ancient, magically powerful civilizations, though the rituals are long lost and better forgotten. Ragnar, bitten by the drooling maw of the beast, seems overwhelmed with pent-up anger, and mutters something about a ‘giant killing my mother’ before becoming subdued and surly. Though grotesque, the monstrosity is quickly dispatched, and Ragnar soon recovers his normal demeanor.

The men explore these new passages, finding some are simple tunnels, while others are carefully worked stone. In one room, they find a statue of a beautiful woman, clad in robes, and carrying a book and a ranseur. Though quite shapely and attractive, the statue is not posed sensually, but rather reflects intense anger and fury. The carved book depicts an unusual seven-pointed star on the cover, which even Corvus does not recognize, but he can recognize, but not read, the runes on the woman’s robes as being Thassilonian in origin. The ranseur, unlike the statue, is of ebony wood, chased with gold and ivory. Ragnar frees it from the statue’s grasp and proclaims that, while not his preferred weapon, the ranseur is well-crafted. He slings his axe and carries the ranseur as they continue to explore.

The heroes discuss whether which path to follow, and decide to proceed up several flights of steps. As they enter a small round room, containing a pool of water, encircled by skulls, Zendo’s acute eyesight spots a small moving object hiding in the shadows. The group rushes forward to see what it could be, and are startled to see that it appears to be a demonic looking head, flying on membranous batwings. Ragnar charges it and almost pins it to the wall with his new weapon. Struck by such a grievous blow, the aberration shrieks, releasing an unearthly howl that paralyzes everyone but Hikage and Corvus. Ragnar, directly in front of the monster, takes the brunt of the blast, and remains paralyzed for the entire fight. The bat-winged freak advances on Corvus, who seems the worst equipped to do battle with it, as it cannot engage with most of the paralyzed heroes. However, Hikage soon comes to the rescue, and strikes down the foul beast from behind. Corvus recognizes the misshapen creature as a vargouille, a demonic creature that frequents graveyards and other places of death when not constrained in the pits of the Abyss. Fortunately, the vargouille was unable to ‘kiss’ any of the men, infecting them with a supernatural plague that would claim their lives and transform them into a beast such as it.

View
Tunnels under the Glassworks
Rova 29, 4707

After decisively mauling the goblin menace, the heroes quickly search the Glassworks, but soon realize that, while the goblins have ransacked the place, there appears to be no sign of Ameiko Kaijitsu. The men quickly go down the stairs in the store room, Zendo’s cantrip providing a bit of needed light.

They come upon a large storage area, with barrels of sand and wheelbarrows scattered about. However, the heroes also see an adjoining passage, previously bricked off, but now reopened. The ‘renovation’ appears recent to Corvus, though the hallway beyond is quite dusty and seems to have seen little use. Moving down the disused corridor, they come upon an unlocked room which connects to a rough-hewn tunnel that burrows into the darkness. Corvus thinks that the tunnel must go further under the town, judging by its direction. The men decide to ‘postpone’ any further exploration of this tunnel until the Glassworks have been thoroughly searched.

They proceed to the next room and, as they open the door, they are ambushed by a goblin within, and malicious giggling to their front and rear tell them that they are surrounded by goblins! Ragnar smashes down the goblin in the room, and Corvus moves to examine that room, while Zendo and Hikage fight to the rear, and Ragnar and Gellius take the fore. In the tight confines of the hallway, Ragnar cannot swing his axe freelly, though Gellius is able to summon lightning to strike down one of the goblins. He moves forward to engage the other in melee, blocking Ragnar out of this fight.

This may be fortuituous, as Zendo is not menaced only by a goblin, but by a exotic-looking half-elf evidently of Tian ancestry, who the goblin calls ‘boss’. While the goblin is quickly dispatched, the agile half-elf bobs and weaves frustratingly. His concern for Ameiko exhausting his patience, Hikage demands to know the location of the captive innkeeper. His opponent starts to mock his concern, but is silenced by Hikage’s sudden strikes to his throat and chest, cutting off his wind. Ragnar moves up to put pressure on this new opponent, allowing Zendo to fall back and bolster his friends with tactical advice, though he attempts to bespell the strange martial artist, to no avail. Under a blistering assault from Hikage, the nimble half-elf steps back, and heals himself with a potion, before returning to the fray and nearly smashing Ragnar senseless.

The last goblin, steadily retreating from Gellius’ swordwork, falls back to support his ‘boss’, as his boss retreats away from Hikage and Zendo. Unfortunately for him, this puts him directly in the line of fire of Corvus, who blisters him with a blast of flame which catches his clothing on fire. As their opponent tries to retreat, he is roasted again by the wizard, who has taken refuge behind some barrels of sand, and falls to the ground, unconscious. After finishing off the last, totally outnumbered, goblin, the group stabilizes their mysterious opponent and ties him up with Ragnar’s rope. They search his possessions, finding over a dozen small pouches of gold and silver dust, a leather journal, a masterwork flute, a composite short bow (and arrows), a finely crafted set of thieves tools, and a golden ring. They don’t strip their unconscious captive of his earrings, though.

Leaving Corvus to drag their captive behind them (as he is largely bereft of spells at this point), the men search the remaining rooms of the Glassworks’ basement. Ragnar has to chop down the last door, which is securely locked. Inside is Ameiko, bound and gagged, and badly beaten and bruised. Hikage rushes to her aid, and carefully pours his potion of healing between her lips. As she regains consciousness, she is surprised to see Hikage and his new friends towering over her. She sees the unconscious half-elf and strikes him in anger, as the group realizes that the half-elven, half-Tian man is actually Ameiko’s brother Tsuto Kaijitsu!

Ameiko says that she responded to Tsuto’s letter, but was shocked when his goblin allies appeared. Her half-brother said that he and several other mercenaries were hired by Nualia, the adopted daughter of the dead Father Tobyn, who apparently did not die in the fire that killed her father. Tstuo said that Nualia had grim plans for Sandpoint, and he wanted to warn his sister and offered her a chance to join him and her group at Thistletop. Ameiko was outraged by his offer and slapped him, and her brother unleashed his goblin allies on her, who beat and overpowered her. Hikage escorts her to the Rusty Dragon as the other men take the unconscious Tsuto to the Sandpoint Garrison. Hikage tries to break the news of the death of her father, Lonjiku, to her gently, only telling her that the goblins killed him.

The others take Tsuto to the jail, entrusting him into the care of Vachedi. endo decides to speak to the mayor about this matter, but as it is Sun-Day, she is at her manor home across the bay. He strikes out to speak with her as the others review the journal.

The journal contains several maps of Sandpoint, each depicting some sort of attack on the town. One of the maps, which is not marked out, corresponds to the actual recent attack. Other plans seem to depict a goblin assault on Sandpoint with hundreds, rather than dozens, of goblins, though none of these seem to be clearly chosen. Also in the journal are numerous erotic sketches of a beautiful, white-haired woman, who appears to be Nualia. One such portrayal, near the end of the journal, depicts her with bat-wings, horns, fangs, and a tail. Of particular interest to the group are journal pages which indicate:

The successful raid killed few Thistletop goblins and secured Father Tobyn’s casket.
The ‘real raid’ is more ambitious and involves a fire.
Ripnugget is involved in the planning of the next raid.
A ‘quasit’ in the tunnels has ‘freaks’ who can help in the raid.
Bruthazmus is involved in the raids as well.
Nualia is concerned with releasing ‘Malfeshnekor’ from the lower chambers.
Nualia wishes to remove her ‘celestial taint’ and replace it with her Mother’s grace.
She has burned Tobyns’ remains at Thistletop and her hand has been transformed.
She plans to offer Sandpoint to Lamashtu’s fires to become some sort of demon.

Armed with this information, the others go to the Town Hall to meet with Zendo and Kendra Deverin. The mayor is shocked at these new revelations, and the apparent danger to Sandpoint. She thanks the heroes for all of their assistance, and asks them, as they are evidently quite capable, if they could explore the tunnels beneath the Glassworks. She will mobilize some of the town militia to supplement the small town guard contingent. Some of the guards and militia will be detailed to guard the Glassworks until the tunnels can be secured, and to clean up the bloody violence inside, so that the surviving employees can try to resume their work eventually. The militia will also help with patrols and watches of the town walls and bridges, in case this planned goblin attack is imminent, though Tsuto’s journal makes it seem as if it is only in the planning stages so far.

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Goblins in the Glassworks
Rova 26-29, 4707

After Belor Hemlock’s introduction, Shalelu Andosana shyly stands and relays her reports to the mayor, sheriff, and the group. She had heard rumblings of activity in the Mosswood, so she had been patrolling the homes and farms near that area. When she saw smoke, she was able to respond to the fires that goblins from the Mosswood tribes had set at the Pavanne farm. While she was unable to prevent the fires, she was able to drive off enough of the goblins to save the family, who is now staying with neighboring farmers.

The Mosswood goblins were diminished in numbers during this assault, and they bemoaned losing some of their ‘best fighters’ to ‘longshanks’ during a recent raid on Sandpoint. Shalelu realized that something bad had happened in town, so she hurried back to the coastal village. From the rumors she has picked up on her wanderings, and the reports and materials gathered from the raid, Shalelu is certain that all of the local tribes were involved in the raid on the town. This state of affairs is quite unusual, so Shalelu surmises that someone outside the tribes, and thus, unknown to her, must be organizing the goblins.

She describes the local tribes, and their locations. The Birdcrunchers are a small tribe, and thus, relatively meek, who live in the limestone caves at the western edge of the Devil’s Platter. They are so named for their habit of feasting on nesting birds on the escarpment. The Licktoad tribe inhabits the nearby Brinestump marsh, and are known for being strong swimmers. The Seventooth goblins live in Shank’s Wood and somehow raid the town dump for refuse, though people are not sure how they get to that isolated beach. Thanks to their industrious recycling, the Seventooth goblins are easily be ‘best-equipped’ of the local tribes. The Mosswood Goblins are the largest of the local tribes, inhabiting the nearby forest of the same name. Despite being a large tribe, they are hampered by the numerous ‘family feuds’ between rivals in the tribe. The Thistletop goblins live north on the Nettlewood coast, on a tiny island off the coast, said by some to resemble a head. Though a smaller tribe, their sanctuary is quite defensible and the envy of the other goblin tribes.

Alarmed at the possibilities in an organized goblin presence, Sheriff Hemlock has been granted permission by the mayor, Kendra Deverin, to ride to Magnimar to request some military presence in the town, which is under the protectorate of the larger city. He and a few militia will be out of town for several days, which is unfortunate, but unavoidable. Hemlock asks the group if they would be willing to remain in town until his return. Their recent heroics have made them very visible signs of protection in the small town, and the locals will be much less skittish and fearful if the ‘Heroes of Sandpoint’ are around in his absence.

Shalelu needs to replenish some of her supplies after her recent ambushes against the goblins, but suggests meeting the group at the Rusty Dragon later, so that she can give them more information about the local goblins that isn’t new to the mayor or sheriff, but may be useful to them. The group agrees, and decides to return to Savah’s armory to try to sell their horsechopper for something useful. Savah Bevaniky admires the unusual weapon, but admits that, as her wares are more practical, she is unlikely to have much call to sell such a thing. She suggests going to the Feathered Serpent and speaking to Vorvashali Voon. An unusual weapon, and an interesting story, are much more likely to pique his interest.

At the Feathered Serpent, the group is amazed at the broad selection of unusual wares that Vorvashalli has on display, including fragments of stone idols, magical pearls and stones, and a shimmering shirt of mithril links which arouses Zendo’s interest. Zendo recalls Savah’s advice, and spins a tale of the battle which left the horsechopper in their possession. Voon seems fascinated, and eager to procure a weapon which has both an unusual provenance, and a role in the recent events, for display in his shop. He agrees to trade several potions of healing light wounds for the weapon, and also identifies the strange, mushroom infused potion taken from the goblin warchanter, as another similar potion (though a bit cloudy and gross).

Gellius remembers the potion which he had entrusted to Hannah Velerin and the men all walk to Hannah’s place to see if she has identified it. She is not at home, as she normally gathers herbs and medicinal plants during the day, but a note for Gellius, left in Druidic cant, tells him that the potion, which she has left at the Cathedral for him to retrieve, is a potion which will heal even moderate injuries, though it is brackish and poorly preserved.

The group spends the rest of the day in unremarkable activities, though the enthusiasm of the townsfolk for their heroics is a little diminished by the ribald laughter that occasionally greets Zendo, to the confusion of the others. At dinner, they return to the Rusty Dragon to find Shalelu, who is evidently friends with the proprietor, Ameiko Kaijitsu.

Shalelu tells the five men about the ‘notables’ among the local goblin tribes. Big Gugmurt is the chieftain of the Mosswood goblins, and rumored to have a boar for a father and a hobgoblin for a mother. Koruvus is a champion of the Seventooth tribe, famed for his magical longwsword ,which he used despite it being human-sized. He claimed to have found a secret sea-cave along the cliffs, but hasn’t been seen in months, though his tribe thinks that his ghost (or him!) haunts the tunnels he discovered. Rendwattle Gutwad is the obese chieftain of the Toadlickers. Vorka was formerly of the Toadlickers as well, but he has become a cannibal preying upon them in the Brinestump. Ripnugget is the chieftain of the Thistletop goblins, and is widely envied for his desirable lair. Bruthzamus is a bugbear ranger who lives in the Nettlewood and trades with the goblin tribes for rumors and spoils. He has a particular hatred of elves, and Shalelu has a running feud with him. Zendo shares some of the group’s information with Shalelu, and this heightens their resolve that the longshanks who raided Father Tobyn’s tomb must be who is organizing the goblins.

Lonjiku Kaijitsu enters the inn, clearly in a bad temper. He looks around for his daughter, Ameiko Kaijitsu, but sees the group huddled around a table. He scoffs loudly about their assistance and belittles them as little more than mercenaries, vagrants, and vigilantes. Hikage objects respectfully, as he is conscious of the older man’s position and prestige within the town, but Lonjiku is adamant that any proper town would not need the assistance of such persons.

When Ameiko emerges from the kitchen to see what is the commotion, he begins haranguing her in Minkaian, to the confusion of everyone but Hikage. Due to the recent unrest, he is relocating to Magnimar and demands that his daughter accompany him there immediately. When Ameiko makes it clear that she will do no such thing, he threatens to remove her from his will. She responds with some creative profanity, and Lonjiku attempts to seize his daughter by her hair. Hikage intervenes, carefully wrapping Lonjiku’s sleeve around his arm to restrain him, but Ameiko shows no such respect, and strikes her father on the head with a messy ladle. Lonjiku is shocked and embarassed, and informs his daughter, in Common, so that the entire room can hear, “You are as dead to me as your mother.” He storms out of the inn, leaving a shaken Ameiko to put on a brave front and retreat into the kitchen. Hikage tries to comfort her, as she busies herself with the food preparation.

The next two days pass unremarkably. Sheriff Hemlock rides to Magnimar on Fireday with a few of the town milita (leaving as many of the town guard as possible). On Starday, after a hearty breakfast with the heroes, Aldern Foxglove leaves for Foxglove Manor. He invites the heroes to call on him at Foxglove Manor if they happen to travel in that direction. Zendo is still curious about who left him a perfumed note in his room (and swiped his comb), when he was out the previous day.

On Sunday (29 Rova), the group awakens and heads downstairs for breakfast, but finds the Rusty Dragon in a bit of a confused mess. Bethana Corwin approaches them anxiously. Ameiko didn’t show up in the kitchen to boss them around this morning, and when Bethana knocked on her door, there was no answer. The concerned little halfling used a spare key to enter Ameiko’s room, and found that her bed had not been slept it. She also found a crumpled note on the floor, covered in a strange script that she could not decipher. Hikage recognizes it as Minkian, and reads the letter to the group. It purports to be from Tsuto, Ameiko’s half-brother. He says that their father has something to do with the recent goblin raid, and he wants his sister to help him in exposing their father (and preventing him from using his position and influence to weasel out of the punishment). The letter asks her to meet Tsuto at the Glassworks at midnight (presumably last night). Bethana is very concerned, and surprised that Tsuto is in Sandpoint, as he has been out of touch with Ameiko for several years.

The men quickly hurry over to the Glassworks. It is a rest-day, so the Glassworks is closed, but the furnaces are still burning (though sometimes, large projects do require this). More curiously, all of the curtains are drawn shut, even those which are normally open to display the fine wares inside. The heroes cannot find an open door, or raise anyone inside. The curious Maever Kesk and Alma Alvertin wander by and engage them in conversation. Zendo tells a little white lie and claims that the group was deputized by the Sheriff and is looking for Ameiko. The nosy townsfolk wander off, reassured that the ‘heroes of Sandpoint’ are on the case. Ragnar chops open the service doors, and the group beings to quickly scout the Glassworks.

It is in a state of disarray. The safe in the storeroom has been ransacked (but not damaged) and each room they enter shows signs of looting, vandalism, and general wreckage. It is hard to hear much over the roaring of the nearby furnaces, but Gellius hears some high-pitched laughter. After searching several rooms, the group enters the furnace room proper, and finds nearly a dozen goblins!

The little monsters have evidently killed a few of the staff, and are using tongs to pour molten glass over their limbs. They are surprised, particularly when Ragnar chops one in half before it can react, but quickly make malicious use of the molten glass tongs, and delicate glassware, in the room, to assail the heroes. However, between Ragnar’s armored bulk, and Hikage’s fluid parries, the goblins are unable to hurt the group, and, encouraged by Zendo’s stirring oratory, the heroes quickly strike down most of the minute menaces. Ragnar, first to penetrate deeper into the room, is horrified and enraged to see Lonjiku Kaijitsu pinioned in a chair, covered with horrible burns and congealed, runny glass. The last few goblins, recognizing the heroes as ‘the longshanks from the festival’, scamper past Ragnar and flee through the opposite end of the room. The group follows quickly, Hikage and Ragnar pursuing them directly, and Zendo, Gellius, and Corvus backtracking to cut off their escape route. Hikage strikes down several of the goblins as they attempt to flee his wrath, and Zendo’s bow finishes off the other. There is still no trace of Ameiko.

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Boar Hunt in the Tickwood; Rat Hunt in the Basement
Rova 25 & 26, 4707

The band accompanies Aldern Foxglove to hunt boar in the Tickwood, though Hikage declines to accompany them on this frivolous expedition (especially since he doesn’t eat pork). Aldern continues to regale the group with his stories about the high life in Magnimar, and peppers them incessantly with questions about their exploits and adventures. Gellius notices boar spoor, and tracks a boar into the thickets. He uses his druidic powers to approach the boar unnoticed, and attempts to flush it towards the others.

This, however, breaks the glamour, and the startled boar attempts to gore Gellius. As the mounted hunters move to encircle the boar and cut off any avenue of escape, Zendo and Ragnar both dismount. Zendo approaches cautiously with a nocked arrow, while Ragnar advances towards the boar with a readied spear.

The boar attempts to flee, but Gellius stabs it several times with his spear, injuring it grievously. Enraged, the boar gores Gellius, opening a deep and almost deadly wound in his leg. The hunters loose arrows, only to see them scattered by the dense underbrush. As Gellius draws upon his divine blessings to stanch his wounds, the boar charges Ragnar, sides heaving. Ragnar’s stout boar spear impales the beast to the ground, ending its life.

Aldern’s men dismount and dress the boar, and the group takes it back to Sandpoint for a feast later that night. At the feast, Aldern regales the crowds with the story of the hunt, emphasizing the fieldcraft and savagery of Gellius, the dour, relentless strength of Ragnar, and the bravery of the three heroes who dismounted to hunt the boar on foot. He politely doesn’t mention Corvus staying back with the horses. During the feast, Shayliss Vinder shyly approaches Zendo and explains that her father has been distracted by recent events, and hasn’t been able to take care of the rats that occasionally show up in the basement of the general store. They upset her unduly, and she asks Zendo to come to the store and deal with them. Some, but evidently not all, of the group, picks up that this might be a false pretense for some other purpose.

Zendo leaves the Rusty Dragon and does not return for several hours. When he does return, his clothes are soaking wet, his face has a fading bruise or two, and he is quite tight-lipped about the entire incident.

Unbeknownst to anyone else in the group, when he reached the general store with Shayliss, she took him to the basement and began to disrobe. Zendo enthusiastically joined in, but before the romantic interlude could become too heated, her father, Ven Vinder, returned to the store to find a naked half-elf seducing his ‘good’ daughter. Ven is a surprisingly intimidating man when his dander is up. While Zendo was stammering his apologies and trying to cover himself, Ven also demonstrated his pugnaciousness and hammered the poor bard into unconsciousness with his meaty fists. After rendering Zendo insensate with a devastating one-two punch, the irate merchant hauled the half-elf outside, flopped him over a convenient railing, and crammed his clothes into a bucket of water. While the group hasn’t quite yet learned what happened, given the gossipy nature of Sandpoint locals, and the rather public shaming that Zendo incurred, it’s almost certain that quite a few of the locals know already.

The next day, Oathday, Zendo still refuses to divulge his exploits with Shayliss, though Ragnar is now convinced that she’s quite the exuberant lass, given the bard’s condition on his return. The group decides to talk to Bilivar Wheen about the abandoned wagon. When they go to the wheelwright’s shop, he seems eager enough to help, but his wife, Vorah Wheen, is alarmed by the presence of the heroes, and screeches at her husband to leave well enough alone. During a tense confrontation with her, the group learns that word has spread around town that Father Tobyn’s remains were disturbed during the goblin raid. To his dismay, Gellius realizes that Hannah Velerin has spoken to others in the town about the incident at the tomb. Vorah is certain that the ‘cultists’ involved will seek revenge against the heroes, and anyone who helps them.

Bilivar agrees to accompany the heroes, despite his wife’s misgivings, though when he examines the wagon, he does not recognize it as belonging to anyone in particular, though it does show signs of wear and neglect. The despondent wheelwright accompanies the group to the White Deer Inn for a drink, as thanks for his services, and tells the group that his wife, Vorah, has become increasingly suspicious and fearful since the accidental drowning of their daughter last year at the Mill Pond. The group leaves the morose wheelwright to his affairs and decides to seek out the Sheriff for any new information.

Belor Hemlock greets the group outside the Sandpoint Garrison in surprise, as he was just about to come looking for them. He hints that he is aware of some rumor spreading about Zendo, and also darkly mutters about word getting out about the incident at the graveyard. Shalelu Andosana has returned to town unexpectedly, and he is about to attend a meeting with her and MayoKendra Deverin at the town hall, and would like them to attend.

The group hurries across the street with the Sheriff. The mayor greets them warmly and thanks them in an official capacity for assisting Sandpoint in a time of need. Sheriff Hemlock introduces them to Shalelu, who is a tall, slender elven ranger. She is quite attractive, despite her disheveled appearance and rough manners. She explains that on the previous day, she drove off goblins from the Mosswood tribe who were torching a farm to the south, saving the farmers, but sadly, not their home or buildings. Gellius is alarmed, as his family farms to the south, but Shalelu identifies the family as the Pavannas, who are known to him, but not his own kin.

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Monster in the Closet
Rova 24, 4707

Ragnar, Gellius, Corvus, and Zendo bid farewell to the sage, and clamber over the ruins and rubble to the spit of land now known as Chopper’s Isle. Though a sandy beach encircles the isle, the former home of Jervis Stoot is inaccessible, being located on the top of a fifty foot spur of rock. Only the faintest remains of a set of stairs still litter the beach, barely distinguishable from driftwood. The group seems stymied, as Ragnar has left his grapnel and rope at the Rusty Dragon.

Gellius, however, seems undaunted, and begins to clamber up the rock face. Though his comrades urge caution, he climbs up the rocks with determination, and pulls himself over the lip of the crag, causing seabirds to scatter in alarm. He looks down to his new friends on the beach far below and shouts to them. Zendo quickly summons a wisp of magical power and channels his words to Gelllius’s ear, and the druid’s own words back to him.

The top of the crag is overgrown with weeds and the abode of many dozens of seabirds. Looking around, Gellius can see the burned foundations of a modest cottage. It appears that after the blasphemous murders, the guards of Sandpoint were in no mood to preserve the memory of Jervis Stoot. Gellius looks through the weatherbeaten planks and charred stumps that are all that remain of the home of the Chopper, but can see no clues to what drove Jervis Stoot to this end. Looking around the Isle, Gellius has a commanding view of the town of Sandpoint, but no sudden insight strikes him. Looking down, however, he is struck by a thought: this would be a long fall.

Ragnar volunteers to run back to the Rusty Dragon to fetch his grapnel and rope. As he does so, Hikage, sweeping the reed mats of the House of the Blue Stones, sees the blonde northman jog past. His curiousity piqued, he accosts the Ulfen and Ragnar points out the figure of Gellius, visible atop Chopper’s Isle. Hikage accompanies Ragnar back to the Dragon, and the two then trot back up the coastal road to the beach, though Ragnar does stop for a quick mug at the Hagfish.

Once at the beach, Zendo and Corvus question whether Ragnar will be able to throw a grappling hook quite that far. He responds by swirling the iron hook around swiftly, and hurling it atop the cliff with one attempt. Gellius begins to descend down the rope, with perhaps less care than his friends would like. Halfway down the cliff, the druid loses his grip on the rope, to everyone’s dismay. Before he can plummet to certain injury, Gellius is able to grab the rope and arrest his fall. The remaining descent is taken with a bit more care.

The group debates trying to track the goblins out of town, but Hikage cannot think of any likely hiding spot on the Old Coast Road that the goblins may be seeking, and Ragnar questions the wisdom of tracking a few goblins back to their entire tribe. However, when Hikage mentions the Tickwood, Ragnar mentions to him that aAldern Foxglove has invited them to a boar hunt there tomorrow. “That puts me of a mind,” says Ragnar, “to visit Savah for a stout spear.” The group goes to Savah’s Armory, where the proprietor, Savah Bevaniky, thanks them for saving her shop from the torches of the goblins, and offers them one-fifth off anything in stock. Ragnar buys a sturdy Boar-spear, and Gellius purchases a regular spear. Zendo buys more arrows, and Hikage buys more shuriken and brass knuckles that Savah has hidden under the counter. She questions the group as to what Hikage is planning on doing with brass knuckles on a boar hunt.

That night, after dinner, the group is relaxing in the common room of the Rusty Dragon, enjoying Ameiko Kaijitsu‘s performance on the shamisen. Amele Barrett rushes in, clutching baby Zenda in one arm, and Aeren Barrett with the other. She pleads with Gellius, who Aeren competed against in the sack race. Aeren has been upset by the goblins, and kept his parents up all last night with his fears of a goblin in the closet. His crying disturbed the family dog, Petal, and upset his father, Alergast Barrett, who viewed it as childish fearfulness. When Aeren continued his night-time fears tonight, Alergast entered the room determined to teach his son a lesson. However, Aeren ran out of the room crying, and Amele shows the heroes the wide-mouthed bite marks on her son’s arms. She bustled her children out of the house as she heard Alergast shouting in Aeren’s room.

Gellius rushes to the Barret household with an indignant Hikage and Corvus, while Zendo and Rangar fetch a rapier and spear. The outside door is ajar. Zendo cautiously summons some spectral lights to illuminate the interior, and they enter the abode. Corvus guards the door, while Gellius and Ragnar examine one bedroom, and Zendo and Hikage the other. Hikage enters Aeren’s room, to the sight of Petal dead on the floor, a knife stabbed into one of her ears, and Alergast lying motionless on the floor, his head and shoulders inside Aeren’s wardrobe. When Hikage pulls the elder Barret out of the closet, he and Zendo are shocked to see that Alergast’s facial features have been brutally chewed away, and vicious bites cover his arms.

As the two proclaim their grim discovery, an enraged, manic goblin bolts out of the closet, brandishing a dagger. Gregmurt menaces the humans, and warns them away from his ‘lunch’. Hikage rains down a staggering series of blows upon the foul cannibal, but the demented goblin seems to shrug off the worst of the blows which connect. Zendo tries to enspell the vicious little monster, but his magic cannot seem to get a purchase on Gregmurt’s enraged mind, and the door of the wardrobe frustrates his attempts to impale the murderous goblin on his rapier. Ragnar rushes into the room, and, seeking room to ply his spear, comes too close to the enraged goblin and takes a nasty cut for his troubles. The tight space prevents him from plying his spear very successfully, and only Hikage seems able to strike the whippet-quick goblin. Finally, Ragnar abandons his aggressive lunges and cuts off Gregmurt’s room to maneuver with his spear’s thrusts. Hikage is able to snap the goblin’s scrawny neck now that it can no longer avoid his vengeance.

Hikage and Zendo examine Alergast and realize that Aeren’s father is dead. They return to the Rusty Dragon to deliver the grave news to Amele and her son. Corvus goes to notify the sheriff, while Gellius goes to the Cathedral to find a priest who can help Amele. While Zendo distracts Aeren with his friendly banter (and a piece of pie), Hikage delivers the grim news to Amele in a solemn voice. She shrieks and collapses in hysterics. The town priest of Abadar returns with Gellius and speaks consoling words to Amele, while Corvus returns with Belor Hemlock, whose stony expression says all. He goes to speak to the priest and Amele, then returns to talk to Zendo and Gellius.

Amele’s sister lives in Magnimar. The temple will keep her and her son for a few days while word is sent to Magnimar. While Zendo and Gellius are distracted speaking to Sheriff Hemlock, Ragnar steps into the Rusty Dragon with the severed head of the goblin. He flings it at Aeren’s feet, who shrieks in terror. “Here is the beast which killed your father. He was weak. You must be strong. You must protect your sister, your mother,” he insists, brusquely.

Zendo rushes the little boy away, trying to comfort him, as his mother erupts into hysterics again. Gellius is dismayed at Ragnar’s manner, and Hikage strikes him, and shoves him away from the others. As Zendo and Corvus talk to the Sheriff about stepping up ‘goblin patrols’ in the town, and urging the townsfolk to scour their homes for hidden goblins, Ragnar approaches Gellius. “Give her the goblin’s gold,” he urges, pointing at Amele. “It is a poor wereguild, but goblins are a blighted race.” The group agrees to give Amele the gold they had taken from the goblin war-chanter. Gellius and Zendo resolve to speak to Ragnar about his demeanor, after they secure an agreement from the sheriff, who suggests using the town dogs, including Larz Rovanky‘s red tick hounds, to try to ’sniff out’ any remaining goblins in town.

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Small-town Heroes
Rova 24, 4707

The lads get up from their beds in the Rusty Dragon and enjoy the inn’s breakfast, though everyone but Hikage is sore and aching from the incidents of the previous day. Corvus studies his spellbook at the table while Gellius clears his mind and prays to Gozreh.

Hikage hurries to the House of the Blue Stones, as evidently Sabyl Sorn is displeased that his discipline has been so lax. While she assumed that he might partake of a sociable meal at the Festival, he has spent the remainder of the day neglecting his training, chores, and discipline. While it is laudable that he intervened in the goblin affair, and commendable that he assisted the Sheriff, she has informed him that he needs to be spending his spare time in humble labor and focused discipline, not in free meals and socializing with the local nobles. Hikage now has two days of chores and exercises to complete.

The four heroes stroll up the streets of Sandpoint, hoping to see Hikage at work, at least. They stop to enjoy the smells emanating from Sandpoint Savories, and matronly Alma Alvertin bustles out of her shop with a large loaf of fresh warm bread. She pinches Corvus on the cheek and thanks the ‘boys’ for saving her daughter from the goblins. Alma frets over Corvus and suggests that he is wasting away from lack of good, home-made food. He takes the loaf of bread, but carries it all around town for most of the morning.

The group enters the Sandpoint Cathedral. Gellius and Corvus seek out the shrine of Gozreh, while Zendo and Ragnar go to the temple of Desna, Zendo stopping first to pray to Desna at the seven standing stones in the central courtyard. Gellius finds Hannah Velerin near the rain-water font of the temple, and she is concerned to see him injured, as he was fine when he spoke with her last night. Gellius, despite Sheriff Hemlock’s request to keep the incident quiet, tells Hannah about the disturbance of Father Tobyn’s remains, and the skeletons inside the crypt. Gellius also entrusts her with the clay potion jar he found on the goblin war-chanter yesterday, because Corvus was unable to identify the potion inside. Hannah notes that she will have to pray to Desna for such insight, but will do so in the morn tomorrow. He asks her for her advice with what path he should follow. Hannah points out “The advice I would have thought best yesterday, before the festival, would not be the right advice today, after the goblin attack. Who knows what would be the best advice tomorrow? Instead of seeking to impose direction on your life”, she advises him, “follow your life where the winds blow you, and be true to your self.” She notes, wryly, that he should probably be asking for advice from a Harrower, not an herbalist. Corvus flirts a little with Hannah, and learns a little more about the difference in perspective between a Forlorn elf, and a human woman.

Zendo and Ragnar go to meet Father Zantus. He notes the silver butterfly trinket that Zendo purchased at the festival, and remarks that Desna must have brought them here. Zendo tells the father that they are in need of her healing now, as well as answers. Zantus soothes their injuries with his divine grace. Father Zantus has been appraised of the situation with the sarcophagus of Ezekyl Tobin, as it was quite upsetting to Naffer Vosk, who idolized Father Zantus and was devastated by his death during the late unpleasantness. Naffer is so distraught because he cannot understand why anyone would desecrate the remains of Father Tobyn in this manner. Father Zantus tells Zendo that finding out who would do such a thing, and why, would ease Naffer’s mind, and his own. Not knowing whether this was a mean-spirited prank or part of a sinister ritual means that no one can do anything to oppose it. Zendo asks him if the desecration might have anything to do with the events of the “late unpleasantness”, and Zantus laments that if the gossipy townfolk knew about the incident, many would probably assume so, though he can’t see any connection. Father Zantus tells Zendo, who has heard a little about the events of five years ago, and Corvus, who has only heard of the incident by vague references, about Jervis Stoot, the man now known as ‘the Chopper’. He also told the two about the fire at the chapel which claimed the lives of Ezekyl Tobyn and his daughter Nualia, though that fire happened almost a month after the Chopper was stopped, well after his victims had all been buried. Zendo and Corvus think that this calls for an investigation of Chopper’s Isle, as the inaccessible spur of rock north of town is known.

The group decides to talk to Sheriff Belor Hemlock to see if he has uncovered any new information on the case. They also meet his hulking jailor, Vachedi. Sheriff Hemlock has been busy. He tells them that the number of goblins in town seemed large enough to be an entire tribe of the little monsters, but it didn’t seem like that was the case. The heroes ask him about the local goblin tribes, and if he can identify them, but he tells them that the green menaces all look the same to him. Daviren Hosk used to be the pre-eminent goblin expert (and hunter) in town, having hunted down one of the local tribes to extinction, but Hosk has retired to care for his horses, and, when questioned, confessed that he doesn’t know enough about the notoriously messy goblin tribal structure any longer. Hemlock tells them that the most-knowledgeable person in the region would probably be Shalelu Andosana, but she was in town a few weeks ago, and isn’t expected back for months. The sheriff has left word with many of the farmers, loggers, and hunters in town for the festival though, to pass to Shalelu if they see her on her travels.

The men ask about the wagon in the town square where the goblins were hiding. Sheriff Hemlock tells them that it could easily have been brought into town the previous night, when local farmers were bringing their produce into town for the Harvest Feast and the regular farmer’s market yesterday. Zendo suggests asking the wheelwright Bilivar Wheen to look at the wagon, just in case it is one he recognizes. The sheriff concurs, but asks the lads to wait just a day, as he has men stationed watching the wagon, in case someone comes to claim it.

Corvus asks Sheriff Hemlock about the robe which they found in the tomb. The sheriff says that he took it to Ilsoari Gandethus, who has seen a lot of strange things over the years. Ilsoari did not recognize the object in particular, but, noting that the robe had a rapidly diminishing magical aura, and close examination revealed torn threads indicating patches might have been torn off the robe, theorized that the robe might be some sort of necromantic version of a Robe of Useful Items, a robe which carries useful devices or animals enspelled into small patches on the robe. Since a regular robe of useful items can contain things like a mule, it isn’t too implausible that a ‘necromantic’ version might carry skeletons in a similar form.

The group decides to talk to Daviren Hosk, at the Goblin Squash stables, but since the Rusty Dragon is on the way there, they decide to stop there and have lunch first. Aldern Foxglove sees them and joins them for lunch. He talks to them quite animatedly, asking them about their ‘adventures’, and tells them a lot more about himself. Though he will be headed back to Foxglove Manor in a few days, he invites them to accompany him on a boar hunt in a few days. He will be glad to provide horses for the ‘heroes of Sandpoint’, and hopefully, they can catch a boar for Ameiko to prepare here at the Rusty Dragon (so no scorching it with spells which spoil the taste—or set fire to the woods!)

They also talk to Ameiko about Kibagami Hikage, since he isn’t around to ‘shush her up’. Ameiko seems fond of Hikage, though she allows that he is a little stodgy and pretentious, and a bit too much of a ‘stick in the mud’. The group is surprised to find out that she allows him to stay here for free, and suggests that she should make him work as a bouncer. Ameiko laughs and explains that bouncers have to look like they can whip you in a fight. “That’s why Hikage got into so many scuffles as a kid”, she explains. “He doesn’t look like he could whip you, so people pick on him, and then he whips them. You want a bouncer that doesn’t have to fight, just threaten to fight.”

She also allows that Hikage reminds her of her brother, Tsuto Kaijitsu, too, who also trained at the House of Blue Stones, and who also got picked on a lot. Tsuto became unpopular in town, and he never really was able to shake that reputation. She knows that Hikage’s heart is in the right place, if he could just stop being so ‘traditional’ and act on it.

Asking about her brother, the group also learns more about Ameiko and her father, Lonjiku Kaijitsu, as well. Tsuto was not Lonjiku’s son, which the traditionally minded noble greatly, and caused him to treat Tsuto poorly. Ameiko admits that the strained relationships between her father, herself, and Tsuto, caused her to leave town years ago. She returned about a year later, and Tsuto and her father had a vicious argument then, which was the last time she saw her brother.

They ask her about Daviren Hosk, and she tells them that he knows a lot about goblin-killing. She also urges them to go see his "goblin chieftain in a jar’, which is unsightly, at least. The group finally finishes off most (but not all) of the bread that Corvus had been gifted that morning.

They walk next door to talk to Daviren Hosk. They see that he has dozens of leathery goblin ears pinned to the rafters of his barn, each with an improbable goblin name burned into the skin. They ask him about his ‘goblin chief’, and he proudly takes them over to a table for his tack and harness and shows them a twisted, surly looking, bug-eyed goblin, squashed into a large pickle jar, which he says is Chief Whartus of the now-extinct Bonegrinder Tribe. Hosk tells them a good deal about goblins, and emphasizes that fear of their boss, rather than any sensible risk-reward calculations, is the only leadership that goblins seem to understand. Hosk admits that his goblin-slaying days are mostly behind him, and the high turnover rate of goblin tribes (due to their continual squabbles, means that while he knows the local tribes, he isn’t savvy enough to be able to identify the tribe of a particular goblin from their dress or manner any more. Zendo boldly asks Daviren about the origin of his hatred of goblins, and Daviren shares that tale with them.

The four decide to examine the Old Light, and Chopper’s Isle. Ragnar convinces them to go via the boardwalk, as he would like to stop at the Hagfish for a drink. He points out the Pixie’s Kitten on the way, surprised that none of the others had discovered it.

The group arrives at the Hagfish to great acclaim. Jargie Quinn greets them warmly, and many of the patrons offer to buy them drinks. They observe the darts, card games, and other diversions that make the Hagfish an attractive watering hole. Jargie mischeviously asks if any of the ‘heroes’ are game to try a mug of Hannah’s water, a popular trial here at the Hagfish. To the acclaim of the sailors, Ragnar agrees to attempt to down a mug. Zendo even puts up the coin for the attempt. Despite his heroic efforts to finish the slopping tankard of slimy water, Ragnar can only choke down most of the foul drink before gagging. The crowd laughs goodnaturedly, and supplies the towering Ulfen a more palatable beer.

The four walk past the House of Blue Stones, but do not see Hikage outside. They gaze at the towering ruins of the Old Light, and clamber around a little on the rocks, though they cannot find any entrance to the ruined structure. Brodert Quink emerges from his home, with his tabby cat, and inquires to their business around the ruin. Corvus explains that he has a fascination with old ruins, and Brodert quizzes him a little, while displaying his knowledge of the Old Light and his rather unconventional theories. Brodert tells them that the ruined structure has no entries on this side, though those bold enough to scramble around the outside of the ruin, over the sheer cliff, have found gaps in the stonework large enough to squeeze through. He explains that the ancient empire of Thassilon built this tower, almost certainly using Giant laborers, and must have used powerful magic to preserve the structure, as the ruin still has recognizable carvings despite thousands of years of wind and weather. Brodert scoffs at the popular conception of the structure as a lighthouse, explaining that it is much larger, and much taller, than any lighthouse would need to be. He claims that the tower, based on the dimensions of the base, must have been about seven hundred feet tall, which would have made any light visible from miles from the shore, and rather pointless for navigation. His theory, which sounds fantastic even to Corvus, is that the tower is the remains of an ancient war-machine, capable of projecting rays of fire over the surrounding countryside.

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