- Attended the funeral of the murdered glassworkers and their boss;
- Led some of the villagers down to brick up the entrances to the Catacombs of Wrath;
- Learned of Sheriff Hemlock’s return from Magnimar, along with reinforcements for the Guard;
- Ended our term of service in the Sandpoint Guard;
- Began expedition to Thistletop;
- Encountered and slayed four kenneled goblin dogs and a firepelt cougar;
- Encountered a goblin druid who sent a messenger bird to Thistletop and escaped.
Thursday, 5 April 2012 (continued)
April 06, 2012 07:25
Thursday, 5 April 2012
March 30, 2012 06:41
- Met up at the Rusty Dragon;
- Reconnected with Ria, though not Ameiko;
- Discussed plan of attack on Thistletop;
- Ruckus involving Ulrioc rousting an old man out of bed and out a window;
- Determined that Tsuto’s body was both real and dead, and buried it in an unmarked grave.
Thursday, 29 March 2012 (continued)
March 30, 2012 05:49
*Finish clearing the Catacombs of Wrath
*Find and kill a warped goblin and several ancient, imprisoned zombies
*Find levitation chamber with some nice items.
Thursday, 29 March 2012
March 24, 2012 14:31
*Continue through the Catacombs of Wrath
*Find, kill a Varguille by a fountain of Waters of Lamashtu
*Find, kill two Sinspawn in a cellblock.
Thursday, 22 March 2012
March 18, 2012 05:53
- Drama over whether to accept the Quasit’s surrender;
- Finish killing the quasit;
- Exhaust the Runewell by creating and killing more sinspawn;
- Regroup by the statue to continue exploring the tunnels.
Thursday, 8 March 2012
March 17, 2012 02:24
- Hear of Tsuto’s suicide
- Explore tunnels;
- Discover Sinspawn;
- Discover a state of a beautiful, wrathful, woman holding a ranseur;
- Discover a shrine to Lamashtu;
- Discover Sinspawns’ creator – a quasit – and her instrument of creation – a minor Runewell of Wrath;
- Begin combat with her and her creations.
Thursday, 1 March 2012
March 17, 2012 02:21
- Break into the Glassworks;
- Discover Tsuto and his goblin minions, along with Lonjiku and the workers they killed, on the factory floor;
- Capture Tsuto and kill most of his goblin minions;
- Rescue Ameiko;
- Discover tunnels leading deeper underground;
- Return Ameiko to the Rusty Dragon.
Thursday, 23 February 2012 (continued)
March 17, 2012 02:18
- Learn Ameiko’s been kidnapped by her brother, who’s taken her to the Glassworks;
- Head to the Glassworks ourselves.
Thursday, 23 February 2012
March 17, 2012 02:11
- Save the Baretts, though not Petal, from Gresgurt;
- Learn that the one coordinating the goblins is a “longshanks” with long hair and a bow;
- Meet with Sheriff Hemlock, Father Zantus, Mayor Deverin, and Shalelu Andosana;
- Most of the party suspects long-haired, bow-wielding Shalelu of being the “longshanks”;
- Learn Hemlock’s bound for Magnimar with a retinue to request reinforcements;
- Get deputized as guards;
- Meet with Shalelu at the Rusty Dragon;
- Learn more about the goblin tribes;
- Continued Amarantha-Ulrioc bitchfight.
Thursday, 9 February 2012
March 17, 2012 02:08
Before the hunt, however, the Cathedral still needed dedication. Apparently the goblins’ raid had interrupted the consecration of Shelyn’s wing, and the number of people needing care had kept the holy men too busy to finish blessing it, as well as Gozreh’s and Erastil’s. Despite what Amarantha and Ulrioc might like to believe, or dislike believing as the case may be, Desna is far from the only game in town. Kiruth alone of the adventurers seems to understand this, accepting his chosen status with equanimity as part of who he is, rather than trying to evangelize in the streets or keep the town the preserve of one goddess, no matter how worthy. I shouldn’t snipe like this at the adventurers like this, especially where they can’t defend themselves, but they really ought to understand how Sandpoint works, how living here can change people. Ezakien and Abstalar—Father Zantus—settled down in built-up temples, hardly normal for messengers of Desna. I don’t know the heads of the other faiths as well, but I’m sure they have made compromises with dogma to better serve the people, as wise men should. Ezakien’s letters from when he first moved here show how he struggled with the choice.
Needless to say, the dedication ceremony was a much more somber affair than yesterday’s attempt. It was held indoors, the light streaming through the windows and reflecting off the first dust motes of the new building. Only a few were in attendance: the priests, of course, and Kendra—Mayor Deverin. Abstalar had spotted us filing out of the Rusty Dragon after breakfast, and invited us to attend as well. He said he wanted the town heroes there. Needless to say I was somewhat bemused by the appellation. I didn’t feel like a hero, I felt like a killer, like something within me had snapped when I’d loosed that fire and later given in to pummeling goblins with bolts of force, and I was ashamed. What’s more, from what I’d seen of the adventurers, I couldn’t think of them as heroes. Only Kiruth and Zegomda didn’t seem to relish bringing death, and Nil didn’t even bother rationalizing that his victims deserved their fate the way the others did. Still, it was not as though I could object. Sandpointers wanted someone to idolize, and they had chosen these strangers and me. Let the adventurers revel in their glory. As for me, I will follow my brother and compromise in order to serve the people. Maybe in time, after the memories fade, they will rethink their choice in heroes. And maybe, if they don’t, these strangers and I might someday live up to what they need.
It was just after noon when Erastil’s priests finished their rituals and the ceremony ended. After a morning of call-and-response rituals interspersed with silent prayer, nobody felt the pressing need to talk, and when Zegomda suggested we go meet Foxglove, we followed without much comment. We found him at Daviren’s stables, arguing out front with Daviren himself over whether a certain skittish mare merited a discount. How Foxglove managed to breathe well enough to argue that fervently is a mystery to me. Daviren had mounted a number of goblin heads on stakes in front of the barn, and had lopped off their ears which were tanning in a vat that he’d probably borrowed from Lars. I confess that I swooned at the smell, and at the sight so similar to my dream. Zegomda caught me, and I was dimly aware of Nil stepping forward to calm the businessman and his customer. I remember thinking he would get along well with Daviren. The one had named his business the Goblin Squash Stables, and the other boasted of goblin-hunting. They probably bonded over comparing them to various kinds of vermin. Probably cockroaches: that seems like a choice insult. Not being privy to such a conversation was probably worth fainting in front of Foxglove.
It turned out they’d gone by the time I’d come to. Zegomda had stayed with me, and glad I was of it. The others had stuck me with the skittish mare, and I don’t think I could have directed her on my own. She probably would have run into a tree and died, and Foxglove would have demanded I reimburse him. He seemed quite eager to save as much money as he could. As it was, Zegomda tied her halter to his horse’s saddle, and we proceeded slowly through the Tickwood. Zegomda had to stop his own horse every so often to dismount check we were still following the others’ trail. After a few hours, however, this stopped being necessary. Zegomda surmised at the time, and was later proved correct, that the others had found two boars, killed them without too much trouble, and were dragging their carcasses on cloths behind the horses of Foxglove’s servants. This would slow them down, and made their trail easy to follow from horseback, so we sped up. It wasn’t long before we could hear them through the trees. But what a sound! Long, high-pitched squealings punctuated by human shouts of pain and anger and the frightened whinnying of horses assaulted our ears as we wound through the last hundred or so feet of trail.
The sound died just before the hunting party came into view, and I feared the worst, but Zegomda told me to be calm. It was the squealer, likely a boar, that had died, and not any of the hunters; if it had been the other way around, the animal would keep making its pain known to the world. Of course he was correct. He knows about such things. But it turned out to be a near-run thing. We found Ulrioc laying on the ground, Kiruth kneeling next to him with his hands tucked inside the Iomedan’s armor. He looked barely conscious, a dagger sticking in his shoulder and blood staining the torn tabard that had been whole and gleaming white in the morning and caking in his hair. Amarantha was standing over him looking thoughtfully at a glass phial containing liquid whose color suggested a healing potion. With a flick of his wrist, the potion disappeared into his sleeve and he smirked at Ulrioc. I didn’t quite hear what he said, but it looked like Kiruth had to hold Ulrioc down to stop him hurting himself delivering his response. Looking back, I have one more reason to be grateful for my conscience’s distractions this morning. Had I spells prepared, I don’t think I could have restrained myself. As it was, I admit I raged at Amarantha, calling him a child for getting off on being withholding. He protested that Ulrioc had provoked him, and my rage was such that I was hardly in control; I rounded on Ulrioc and berated him as well. All the time I was conscious that Foxglove was watching this scene as he had watched the one that provoked it, and I invoked him in my tirade, demanding to know what kind of reputation they thought they were making for themselves. Foxglove responded to the invocation, commenting almost offhand that he still thought of us as heroes, and that Nil had demonstrated the requisite prowess as Ulrioc had demonstrated the requisite selflessness.
All at once my fuming turned back to shame. I rode back to town with Foxglove’s servants dragging the boars. Talking with them I learned a little about what happened. The third boar had been massive and vicious. Foxglove had stayed far back, and ordered them to do the same; it seemed he didn’t want the horses he’d paid for hurt. Meanwhile, Ulrioc and Nil had dismounted and had set to slaying the beast with their swords. Ulrioc had been gored more than once, the boar’s tusk punching through the plate, and he’d needed all the succor Kiruth could give. Amarantha had stayed back with Foxglove and shot ineffectively at the boar while Foxglove himself threw a whole stash of daggers—one of which hit Ulrioc. Nil had finally slain the thing with blade and magic. Foxglove’s men had never seen anyone fight like Nil had, and lost no time in praising him. Nil must have heard despite riding near Foxglove at the head of the party, for he straightened in his shoulders in the saddle when Foxglove’s men started in.
Together the three pigs represented so much meat that Ameiko barbecued them whole on spits over an enormous firepit. Chod was upset he wouldn’t get paid to cut them up into steaks and chops, but Ameiko pacified him by promising him a free meal that night, all he could eat, as well as the right to smoke any leavings for later sale. Of course, Foxglove, his men, the adventurers, and I ate free that evening as well. For the first hour and a half or so it was a very pleasant evening. Being the toast of the common room was somewhat disconcerting for the first few minutes, but I managed to find Jesk and <lina> and we talked politics—Jesk knew some nasty rumors about Foxglove’s indebtedness that jived with his concern for the horses—for a while. Then I saw Ilsoari and thanked him, somewhat ruefully, for his scroll. Ameiko was in the middle of a story about how she’d stumbled on the marinade recipe around Hook Mountain during her adventuring days when Abstalar came in the room. He didn’t burst in, he didn’t make a fuss, but he did move unobtrusively through the crowd, speaking first to Amarantha, then to Kiruth. I followed him, along with those two, to find the other adventurers, and one by one, under Abstalar’s direction, we quietly slipped out of the party.
He led us to the Cathedral, explaining that there was something we needed to see. I tried to catch his eye, but he avoided my gaze as he told us how what he wanted to show us could not have been found sooner, how the care of supplicants and then the dedication had kept the priests from their normal duties. He seemed both guilty and very upset. I was soon to see why, and to share the same feelings. We passed through the empty rows of pews and the courtyard of the standing stones to the graveyard behind the Cathedral. I knew the place well: Ezakien’s and Nualia’s funerals had been held here, and I’d visited their graves each year since. But something was different now. In front of Ezakien’s heavy granite headstone, the gently curving mound had been scarred by a hastily dug pit. Abstalar looked at the ground, but pointed the way, and I walked slowly to the edge of the hole, fearing what I might find. Ezakien’s coffin had been broken open, and inside, instead of his charred bones, there lay only broken splinters of wood. Nualia’s grave—empty before the marble headstone—lay undisturbed.
I do not want to minimize that moment, as I have given my emotions very free rein today, but I can think of no better description for what I did just than kneel before my brother’s grave and weep. The guilt I felt over my victims, the shame I had felt in front of Foxglove, were as nothing then. Abstalar was saying that goblin footprints had been found in the upturned soil. It could only have happened during the raid. I was less than two hundred feet away the whole time, and had lost myself in causing death rather than being here to prevent this. Then, today, after the consecration I should have thought to check. My greed for Foxglove’s good word had kept me from realizing the possibility that Ezakien’s grave had been tampered with. And I had acted like a fool the whole time! The others tried to comfort me, but I pushed them away. Gerrit, however, I couldn’t ignore. His hooting and the sweeping of his wings against the fallen leaves were as nothing in my ears compared to my sobs, but I could tell he needed me to see something. Feeling heavy, I picked myself up off the ground and made my way to the wall that separated Sandpoint from the westernmost spur of the Tickwood. Gerrit was clawing at a spot where the wall met the ground, and a bit of frantic digging revealed a tunnel big enough for a goblin to squeeze his head through.
Just at that moment, I wanted nothing more than to go crashing through the wood in pursuit of the little people who had taken what remained of my brother from me. Ulrioc, Nil, Amarantha, they all would have been up for it. But Abstalar cautioned calm. We could not track the goblins. We would get ourselves killed, and Sandpoint needed us here. The others surprised me by letting me decide what to do. Remembering how the day started, and after a long silence, I was forced to agree with Abstalar. With his permission, I am going to spend the night on the roof of the Cathedral. I may not be able to stay up the whole night, and without my spells it will be cold, but I need to see the stars, and I need to pray.