Pointing with his chin toward the ruins, Karmid grimaces.
"I think he's made a deal or something with the thing down there. Didn't it say it's same was Malsh..whatever? That's what the goblin over there said...I think. Now he wants the key to it's door."
Ro gives Gogmurt a cat that ate the canary smile. "We had the key yes. But not any more. We decided the best way to keep it safe was for it to go for a boat ride out on the sea and fall overboard. Unless you're a fish, it out of reach forever now."
Ro turns to her friends. "We've done what we came to do. Let's go home."
Bluff: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12
Ouch! And Ro probably fails a bluff for the first time in the campaign. It was a good run.
Ro sighs and shrugs theatrically for the goblin. "I'm very good at being bad" she replies with mock regret. "See you around if you forget your promise to Sandpoint."
Yay! Still going!
When she turns around, Rojava says softly "you know, I'd just about walk straight on in there right now and finish this little problem. But I'd rather have Drasven and Edgar along to stiffen our push."
Uldar appears from the bushes where he was waiting with his bow trained on the shaman. "I could still shoot him from here, if you like?" he says to Ro.
Shrugging, Karmid quietly continues as practical as ever.
"If there are only a few of them left? No reason not to do so I guess. Except we did promise that shaman to leave his people in peace. I say if they manage to get the monster free without the key...then we deal with them at that time. Otherwise...he's right. The other goblins in the area will finish them off sooner or later."
Karmid chuckles and pops his eyebrows amused.
|Matrim of Shadows|
How long does it take for Matrim to get back to the wagon and back to the group?
Jili touches the star amulet she got from Nualia, "I don't think we should go in there. Maybe the star I have was a key. I don't want to get it snatched while I'm there. I know 'm the only one who touched the key." she rubs her hands on her arms. "What if it marked me somehow? "
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Somewhere out there....
With a grunt, Drasven manages to set back the axle in its place.
"Tough luck there. Who would have thought that the wheel would have broken like that on the way back? It should manage to hold until we can get a good look at it. Your workmanship is incredible and to think you did it on the spot with tools we had at hand."
"Let it go for right now. We should start back if we're going to take a look at those tracks around Paupers Graves. I don't think we want to be around there come sundown."
The Master Carpenter bows formally at Drasven's compliment.
"Thank you, Master Priest, your compliment is most appreciated. You do not get to my age and not learn a few tricks to get you back on the road in a hurry."
Master Battlehorn looks with some distaste at the clouds gathering to the north.
"Let us quickly make our way back to Sandpoint before the rain heads inland. I'm sure the coast is already drenched, and maybe the clouds will have rained themselves out by the time we get back."
The older dwarf heaves himself up onto the driver's seat of the wagon in a single smooth motion and offers Drasven a hand up.
Once you are well on your way back to Sandpoint, Master Battlehorn interrupts a long moment of silence with a question.
"Do you think the farmer and his wife were a bit on edge? I couldn't put my finger on it, but I felt that something was bothering them."
|Flutter, Figment Sage Butterfly|
"Funny, though. The key was plainly there. Nualia had not managed to find the hidden chambers with Malfeshnekor. And we closed everything up when we left. They must have searched very thoroughly down there. Maybe had a run-in with other dangers, like the Shadows the journal mentioned? Do you think they could dig through the stone? The door is sealed, and probably, so is the creature inside the room. But the walls?"
Knowledge Engineering: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (5) + 1 = 6
"They will perish. Even if they free him, he will not reward them. He will feed on them.", Lia comments, staring into the Fire:"If only they had left the secrets alone, rather than being consumed by their ambition."
After dropping off the meat they brought, the group leaves Thistletop behind for the second time, and Karmid once again guides them through the forest and back to the Lost Coast Road. Thankfully no one has discovered or bothered with the horse and cart, and from there the journey proceeds uneventfully until you once again arrive at the entrance to the Paupers' Graves.
It is now past noon and you haven't stopped for lunch. Do you want to continue to Sandpoint, or explore the graveyard?
Karmid makes a suggestion, hooking his thumb towards Sandpoint.
"Let's head back to town and get some dinner and rest. We can gather the others and come back for the graveyard first thing in the morning. I would rather have everyone here before checking out what is going on in there."
I'd like to be further away from Thistletop today. I'm sure I'll feel better about coming back this way tomorrow." Jili looks relieved that Karmid suggests they head back to town. "If they could get through the walls, you would think that would have happened a long time ago Flutter."
Sense Motive 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (7) + 9 = 16
Responding to the respected carpenter, Drasven shrugs and answers honestly.
"I kern it more like the missus isn't to pleased with the amount spent on that Dresser though I doubt the Mister would think that way. Likely he thought it would please his wife."
|Flutter, Figment Sage Butterfly|
Flutter contemplates Jilianas words, then answers: "They had no reason to try though until Nualia showed up and told them about secrets hidden in the dangerous lower floors. You are not shaved bald - but it's not that you are physically unable to accomplish that, you simply lack a reason for doing so and prefer the hairstyle you have. The Goblins may have found a reason to try and start breaking down walls. But you are right, after their losses, they'll probably abandon those plans..."
The older dwarf nods at Drasven's answer.
"I'm sure you are right. I hope they are able to resolve their differences."
On way back to Sandpoint
You decide to continue through to Sandpoint for the day and spend the evening at your leisure.
The next morning each of you is met by a young guardsman who asks if you could gather up the rest of the "Heroes" and meet Sheriff Hemlock at his office after breakfast. Judging by her demeanor, the young woman is quite shaken by something and asks you please to not be late.
Hating the fact that they had not checked the graveyard yet, Karmid will head for the Sheriff's office as soon as possible.
|Matrim of Shadows|
Matrim throws a cup at the rude guardsman who interrupts his sleep. "Let me rest more.. Was out all night drinking." he eventually gets up and wanters to the meeting area. arriving ontime, only out of luck.
Karmid's change of mind on checking about Paupers Graves surprises Ro, but the free afternoon is welcome. She manages to chase down a decent table and a couple of chairs for her rented room. She picks up a few nails for the walls, easier and cheaper to hang clothes and such on them compared to a bureau. All that's left for her to get is a bed.
The woman delivering Hemlock's messages doesn't come close to waking Ro. She'd given up on trying to sleep much earlier and gotten out of bed so her tossing wouldn't disturb Rynshinn anymore. A she sat around in the grey light with some tea, Ro had finally come to terms with her dilemma. As much as she doesn't like the idea, and as difficult as it might be to prepare for, they're going to have to return to Thistletop and dispose of the demon Malfeshnekor.
She leaves a note for Ryn as she leaves to go meet the sheriff.
Drasven nods as he receives the message assuring the carrier, that he would check on them.
Deciding to take breakfast at the Inn itself, the dwarf trundles along until he reaches his destination, greeting any and all who he meets.
Once done with a simple meal of water and toast, he makes his way to see the sheriff, trusting that the younglings will be ready and if not, he'll go fetch them.
The odd manner the woman displays worries Uldar. Perhaps my time here isn't quite done yet. After a quick breakfast, he's out of the door and ready to meet the others.
Lia, as so often, slept in late. The young guardswoman has to wake her.
In a display quite surprising to those not accustomed to it, Lia smoothly shifts between dreaming and fully awake at a moments notice.
Sitting up and getting dressed, she nods:"Give me a minute, I'll come with you right away."
Hardly the first time she skipped on breakfast, soon after Lia was hustling next to the guardswoman:"You seem distressed. Why?"
The guardswoman who delivers the message from the Sheriff does not reveal much, only guiding you to speak to her superior.
Once everyone assembles in Sheriff Hemlock's office, the large Shoanti man has the guardsmen close the door behind you to give you some privacy.
He then lets out a heavy sigh and brings you up to speed on some of the latest developments here in Sandpoint.
"First, let me thank you again for all you’ve done for Sandpoint. It’s fortunate you’ve proven yourselves so capable, because we’ve a problem I think you can help us with—a problem I wish I didn’t have to involve anyone with, but one that needs dealing with now before the situation grows worse."
“Put simply, we have a murderer in our midst—one who, I fear, has only begun his work. Some of you doubtless remember the Late Unpleasantness, how this town nearly tore itself apart in fear as Chopper’s slayings went on unanswered. I’m afraid we might have something similar brewing now."
"Last night, the murderer struck at the sawmill. There are two victims, and they’re... they’re in pretty gruesome shape. The bodies were discovered by one of the mill workers, a man named Ibor Thorn, and by the time my men and I arrived on the scene, a crowd of curious gawkers had already sprung up. I’ve got my men stationed there now, keeping the mill locked down, but the thing that bothers me isn’t the fact that we have two dead bodies inside. It’s the fact that this is actually the second set of murders we’ve had in the last few days."
“I come to you for help in this matter—my men are good, but they are also green. They were barely able to handle themselves against the goblins, and what we’re facing now is an evil far worse than goblins. I need the help. But I’m afraid you’ll need the help too. You see, I’m afraid that this particular murderer knows one of you as well."
Hemlock reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out a sealed letter that seems to be speckled in blood. A single name is written in blood on the front of the envelope: Lia.
|Matrim of Shadows|
Leaning up against the wall, Matrim is nursing a headache. Seeing Lia's name on the letter Matrim nods "It's addressed to you Lia, whats inside?"
"A love letter from a murderer? Or a challenge letter?" Drasven raises his eyebrow as he waits for the contents to be revealed.
Karmid looks grimly at Lia.
"I wish we did not have to ask this... Lia? Do you know anyone who might send such a letter to you?"
Lia takes the envelope, and opens it. Her facial expression does not change while she reads the letter, then checks the back of the envelope for a reply address.
She hands the letter off to whoever wants to read it.
"There's no instructions or anything.", she seems distraught about that fact, and her voice is filled with sadness:"How did you receive this letter? Can I visit the mill? And where did the first murders take place?"
"Murders most foul." Uldar shakes his head sadly. "What does the letter say?"
Lia shared the letter with all of you, so you can read the spoiler text above or click on this link: Picture of note
Sheriff Hemlock answers Lia's question in a low voice, careful that his voice does not carry beyond the office.
"The letter was found at the scene of the second murder. It had been dropped next to one of the corpse ... victims. I am happy to take all of you to the mill. My guardsmen are currently keeping it from being overrun by gawkers, but they can't keep everyone out forever; the town is just too small for that. Within a few more hours, everyone in Sandpoint will know."
"I am also bringing you along so that you can be seen in my presence and the presence of the other town guards. I am guessing that the murderer's objective in addressing the letter to one of you, was to throw suspicion on all of you."
Hemlock then gestures for everyone to take a seat on the chairs, stools, and benches scattered around his large office while he goes over the first murders.
"A few days ago, we found three men from the town of Galduria murdered in an abandoned barn south of town. Their bodyguard survived the assault but has gone insane and was sent to Habe’s Sanatorium—a privately run respite for the insane located a few hours from here.."
Karmid still looks grim.
"Let's check out the murder scene and then see to this man at Habe's. We need to stop this murderer before things get out of hand. If he (or she) can take on several men at once, then we should be wary. Do you agree Ro?"
Ro is too shocked and baffled to say anything and reading the letter doesn’t help.
Eventually she mutters in a flat voice ”this is completely crazy. Nobody could possibly believe Lia has anything to do with this”. She nods agreement with Karmid, ready to go to the mill.
The Sheriff nods and gestures for you to follow him to the scene of the latest murder. As you travel, he speaks a bit more of his investigation so far in a low voice.
"The only real suspect I have so far is the merchant Ven Vinder, and you'll see why soon. I've talked with him and don't actually think he did it, but he's all I have right now."
The sawmill is owned by Ibor Thorn and his partner Benny Harker, who have been annoying people for months because they run their saws and log-splitters at all hours of the day and night in order to keep up with Magnimar's increasing need for lumber.
Karmid easily strides after the Shoanti sheriff.
"Ven? That IS odd. Why do you suspect him at all? He's been part of Sandpoint since before I came here as a baby...hasn't he? That makes no sense."
Walking through the streets of Sandpoint in the hour just after dawn, Balor Hemlock seems like he is about to answer Karmid, but holds himself back. "It will all make more sense when you see the scene of the murder. It has been untouched since we found it early this morning. I don't want to discuss the details of the murders ..." and he looks around to see who is out on the streets, "... out here in the open."
Know Local: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
"Murders, crazy goblins, and weird things in grave yards. This town is cursed." Jili mutters under her breath as they head toward the sawmill. "There is no way Lia had anything to do with this. She's beautiful, I can see why someone could be come infatuated with her. This isn't the way to get her to notice them though."
"You...are coming with me? But it's only me this seems about...", Lia is surprised that everybody is heading to the mill, which kind of throws her plans of wandering into the woods alone at night into question.
|Flutter, Figment Sage Butterfly|
Flicking an annoying look at Flutter Karmid grunts.
"Is that knowledge or gossip? I'd hate to condemn a good man with only innuendo."
"That's knowledge Karmid. At least as far as Katrine and Benny, and Shayliss otherwise are all concerned. It doesn't put Benny and Shayliss together though. That would be some dicey territory, even for Shayliss I think. Rivalries between sisters like that can get really ugly, trust me. Last I saw of her, Shayliss was giving Gwyddim the hot eye. And no, it doesn't mean much about Ven necessarily."
K Local: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
Breadth of Experience
Knowledge (local) 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23 lol
Having a suspect is all well and good but perhaps this investigation might require more." Drasven ponders their recent mystery.
Facing the distressed recipient, Lia "Lia, if you would allow. Hand me that letter. I shall begin by looking at its writing and comparing it to any and all the writings in this town. i'm sure that the people have written something once or twice in ledgers or the town records. I could even ask the merchants if they have such as well." he proposes.
Lia looks at Flutter quizzically and with genuine innocence: "You are not making sense. Why would Ven be offended by someone helping his daughters grow vegetables and flowers?"
Drasven has seen the handwriting before; he's sure of it. But he's not sure where. Maybe it will occur to him later. Things things tend to drop into your mind at the strangest moment.
At the mention of "boinking", Sheriff Hemlock grows red as a beet and stammers.
"Ahem, well, I hadn't heard that but it would make sense. Now let's continue and get there and ... um yes."
Hemlock quickens his pace without bothering to see if people are keeping up with him.