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So the PCs in Burnt Offerings eventually get drawn into going the Thissletop. One of the things my players in my homebrew ask all the time is "why don't they fix their own problems?" so I'm constantly having to justify why a town doesn't stop local goblin tribes, protect better against rampaging monsters in the sewers, etc.
In reading through the first book I note that Sandpoint has an experienced sheriff, a dozen 2nd level guards and a bunch of militia. Why don't THEY deal with Thissletop, since they are ostensibly on the hook for goblins getting into town to rampage in the first place?
I had Hemlock ride to Magnimar to ask for additional aid and he came back disgusted with just half a dozen men-at-arms. The town decided to start fortifying their meager defenses, but there was genuine fear that any real progress would be made in the few weeks they had to prepare... and of course there was the unknown threat that was the ancient evil Nualia was trying to free beneath Thistletop.
If your PC's don't like the idea of battling the forces of evil when the threat looms large, they might be playing the wrong game. Having said that, after my PC's cleared Thistletop, I showed the Nualia's battle plans (which they found in her study):
Nualia, Lyrie and Orik would be at the gates along with Ripnugget mounted on Stickfoot and four goblin commandos mounted on goblin dogs, a goblin warchanter and 20 goblins.
Bruthazmus would lead an assault across the bridges which would include 8 goblin commandos mounted on goblin dogs ad 20 goblins.
Tsuto would lead a group of 20 goblins up out of the tunnels from beneath the Glassworks, joined by Elyrium with four Sinspawn.
Bruthazmus' group was takes with assaulting the gate from inside, timed with Stickfoot climbing over the wall after Lyrie had softened up the defenders with a Stone Call or two. She would coordinate the assault with Whispering Wind and then remain at Nualia's side using her wand. Orik would simply serve as Nualia's bodyguard.They would move to the new Cathedral to desecrate it and then the goblins would be let loose to burn and pillage as Nualia and her group progressed to the Manor homes looking for wealth and potential sacrifices.
Nualia (rebuilt as a 6th level Warpriest of Lamashtu)
Lyrie (4th level Transmuter)
Orik (4th level Fighter)
Tsuto (3rd level Monk / 1st level Rogue)
Bruthazmus (rebuilt as a 2nd level Barbarian/2nd level Ranger)
Ripnugget (5th level Fighter)
Stickfoot, Giant Gecko
12 Goblin Commandos
12 Goblin Dogs
1 Goblin Warchanter
Elyrium (Quasit rebuilt as a 3rd level Cleric of Lamashtu)
All of that against the handful of class-leveled NPC's in the town and the PC's themselves without the benefit of the wealth or experience to be gained in Thistletop. Suffice to say, they were glad they had interceded as an when they did.