Seal does indeed find marks leaving the graveyard.
The party decides to head back to the Rusty Dragon to find Aldern Foxglove. "Ah, good to see you! Time for me to repay you, I suppose! How are you all?" Before waiting for a response, he bows before Miana and takes her hand, grazing it with his lips. "My Lady."
"Now," he continues, "first of all, I'll be true to my word." Aldern hands over a small sack of gold. "Fifty gold pieces. Not quite worth my life, but I need enough to get back to Magnimar. Of course, I won't be leaving in a few days. Say: would you folks like to accompany me on a boar hunt in the Tickwood? I was thinking of heading out tomorrow morning, bright and early. We can go down to the Goblin Squash Stables this afternoon and I'll get horses for all you, free of charge-it's the least I can do. What do you say?"
"Ah, excellent! Then I will get to teach you the tricks. First we'll need to track it down through the woods. Hopefully we can corner it and when it charges at us we lower our spear at just the right moment to stick it before it sticks us. Don't worry, lad! I'm quite experienced in the sport and I can show you how its done. Shall we get you some horses?"
Aldern accompanies everyone down to the Goblin Squash Stables and buys each of you a light horse (and a light pony for Rissi). (not combat trained but you can keep them for travel purposes from now on)
Aldern will also take you to the local armory and buy each of you a boar spear.
Boar Spear (simple two-handed weapon): 1d8 (1d6 small), x2, 8 lbs (4 lbs small), P, brace
Special: If you ready a boar spear against a charge and your attack hits, you gain a +2 shield bonus to your AC against that creature until your next turn.
Note: We're not actually going to fight a boar, it's more of just a role-play thing. And an excuse for Aldern to buy you stuff.
Rissi prepares an Identify early the next morning before the party sets out, and uses it on the robe before the party sets out.
Spellcraft with Identify: 1d20 + 21 ⇒ (1) + 21 = 22 !!!
10 gp each, a horse and a spear. I'll take it! Anyway we can follow-up on the tracks leading away from the Boneyard? I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves in one direction or another.
Unlike most dwarves, Seal is actually excited about owning and riding a horse. The fact that the was bought from Goblin Squash Stables makes him even more happy.
"Hunting goblins or hunting boar. I'm happy either way! I call the sweatmeats."
|Miana, Champion of Irori|
"Your offer is very generous.", says the flustered paladin, bowing politely. "While I came here to look for more challenging encounters, I have yet to partake in a boar hunt so I am intrigued."
When given the spear, Miana practices it with some maneuvers learned from Tien, twirling the weapon around rapidly and testing the spear's flexibility. "Heavier and stiffer than I've ever used, but this would be deadly when braced for an assault.", she comments out loud.
Rissi declines the generous offer of the spear, and suggest perhaps Sealman can be provided with an extra spear instead. She has no talent... or desire... for hunting, and will merely observe the others.
10 gp each, a horse and a spear. I'll take it! Anyway we can follow-up on the tracks leading away from the Boneyard? I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves in one direction or another.
You quickly lose them in the chaos of the many other goblin tracks around the city.
Rissi successfully identifies the robe as a used up robe of bones.
Aldern will gladly buy Sealman an extra spear if Rissi does not wish to partake in the hunt.
The next morning, with new horses and spears, the party heads out early with Aldern. He leads you about a half-mile outside of town to Tickwood Forest which, despite its name, is relatively safe from ticks and other pests. Along the way he is quite jovial and seems to have an endless cache of witty tales and interesting trivia to share with you. He seems particularly interested to know more about each of you, however, and spends time asking each of you how you came to Sandpoint and what your life was like before the Swallowtail Festival.
SM: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 1 = 20
Rissi will explain that her family are traders here stranded by goblin attacks - but isn't particularly forthcoming with details otherwise.
|Miana, Champion of Irori|
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
"I'm on a journey to challenge myself and to help others; it is the nature of my order to aid the weak and downtrodden to remind us why the path to enlightenment is humbling journey and that our gifts should be used for all.", Miana answers, now realizing she has only resolved half of the question.
"Before Sandpoint, I training with my order in a remote area of Quain, deep inside Tian Xia. It is there that I have... mostly learn to control carefree nature my father's blood possesses.", staring away into the distance as she says this.
SM: 1d20 ⇒ 10
"Uh . . .I'm here to kill giants and monsters. Anything over 7 feet will do, but giants are what I'm game for. I am almost able to talk to them should I come across one. That way they know who defeated them for stealing my birthday sheep.
"The people on the road said the area near Sandpoint is filled with giants. I haven't see one so far but I'll take goblins until then."
"It wasn't a dire sheep, just a regular birthday sheep. Catorce. He was great. We would have adventures in the woods, go on hunting trips and play games like Seals-balls.
"Hopefully I will find him one day. Until then, I will beat down any giant that stands before us for taking him that night. Yes, yes a tragedy."
A small tear rolls into the dwarf's beard as he pulls up painful memories.
Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 20
Lucian thanks Aldern for his kind presents, impressed by the generosity of the nobleman. He continues by telling him his tale. "There's not much to tell about me, really... Truth be told, I've always lived in Sandpoint. My parents have been mostly absent, so I was taught by Master Quink, our local sage and expert in Thassilonian ruins. I always wanted to live a life of adventure, but before the Swallowtail festival, it was but a dream. And you, Mr. Foxglove, what brought you to Sandpoint, if I dare ask?"
As for the spear, Lucian will have to decline, his burnt hands being too badly ailed to be capable of using a weapon.
|Miana, Champion of Irori|
Miana can't help but raise an eyebrow at the dwarf's tale, wondering how much ale was drunk during gestation. "Well, I do understand loss can be a great motivator for adventure. When my training is complete, perhaps I can accompany you on your journey to find your little lost lamb."
"Birthday sheep." Sealman sharply corrects Miana with a professor's quip.
"Not a lamb, a birthday sheep. And he was stolen, not lost. Stolen . . . by giants. But thank you. I hope to find him around here. Otherwise it is a long walk to the north. So what are you going to name your horse? I am debating between Thing King, Kid Dynamite, Chocolate Thun-da or Ben."
What is a dyna-mite. Some sort of fey creature?
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (9) + 3 = 12
"I grew up in a Varisian caravan. There's always adventure on the road! Though in my few experiences, I have seen that adventure more oftens finds you than you finding it. The incident at the festival illustrates my point. We were just there to enjoy the festival, and now we're out hunting boar!"
"And you, Mr. Foxglove, what brought you to Sandpoint, if I dare ask?"
"Ah, well, you know," Aldern begins by dramatically waving his hand in disinterest, "life in the big city has its certain advantages, but I tire of Magnimar from time to time. I enjoy the freedom of life on the road. I come to Sandpoint now and then to get a away; it's the perfect sleepy little town in which to escape. Besides, I always seem to have grander adventures on the road than I do sitting about my manor back in Magnimar."
Aldern spends some time instructing everyone on the art of boar-hunting and you spend the day tracking and tormenting a large male boar. The boars of Tickwood are typical specimens of their ilk-ill tempered and quick to attack anyone who intrudes upon their territory-but eventually you work together to corner the brute and take him down. You all recognize Aldern't talent at the sport-and at adventuring and combat in general-and realize that he is not the stuck-up noble that most assume he is. Aldern looks pleased at the sport and says, "Well, what say we take this back to the Rusty Dragon and see if Ameiko can cook it up for us, eh? My treat again, of course."
Back at the Rusty Dragon that night, you hand off the boar to Ameiko, who is pleased to prepare it for all of you. As Ameiko heads to the back to fetch you all another round of ale, a surly visitor slams the taverns door open and bellow out a sharp-tongued command in a strange language. "地獄は私の娘です?"
The other patrons at the bar grow very quiet and interested in their meals.
The middle-aged Tian man stalks further into the tavern, his eyes scanning the room only to alight on Sandpoint's newest heroes. "Ah, here we are! Sandpoint's newest heroes. Look, I'm tired of you folk endangering the townsfolk with your ill-advised "antics" against the goblins. You should have left the defense of the town to the guard and other trained professionals. You had to play the hero and you could have hurt someone. I hope you're enjoying the attention you're-"
Before the man can finish his thought, Ameiko rushes into the front room, a ladle dripping with soup in her hand, to find what all the ruckus is about. She sputters out a quick staccato retort at the man. "父、何がここでやっている？、一人でこれらの人々を残してください。"
He responds in a low tone. さあ。私たちはこの町を離れ、戻ってMagnimarしようとしている。あなたはこれ以上、この愚かな場所を私たちに恥はありません。"
Ameiko stares daggers at the man before taking on a much more serious tone. "私のクソインあなたはろくでなしから抜け出す。私がすることにしておきます。"
Kufieno stands, looking as if to say something, but pauses as Ameiko bursts in. Watching it unfold, Kufieno finally puts up his hand. "Good day to you sir! I am Kufieno and these are my friends. I assure you we did nothing to endanger anyone, only sought to protect those who needed it. The Sheriff and townspeople seemed to appreciate the aid." The suli-mann pauses, glancing over his shoulder to see if anyone else is going to interject and help him. "May I ask the name of the one who has such a poor view of us. I do not believe I saw you around during the raid...."
Diplomacy Aid?: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
|Miana, Champion of Irori|
Although it sounds similar to the Tien she knows, Miana is confused by the variation spoken by the strange man and Ameiko.
Joining Kufieno in standing up, she also pauses at Ameiki's entrance.
"Sir, I agree with my companion's intentions here.", hand out-stretched to Kufieno. "What slight was caused by us protecting the endangered? It is my duty, as a holy warrior to Irori, to use my talents to aid those beset by evil, including goblin "antics". As for my companions, I'm sure they could not help but want to stop the goblins from continuing their destruction amidst the cries of terror all around. Please, apologize to Ameiko and to the guests here for your outburst. Then perhaps, if you can keep a level head, you can join us for dinner and explain your rationale better."
Miana Diplomacy: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (20) + 8 = 28
I'll take it!
Rissi stares intently, trying to memorize the dialogue.
Pathfinder wiki tells me Minkaian is related to Tien - which Rissi speaks. Can I try and figure out any of the words, or the general context, with a linguistics check?
Linguistics: 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18
The man turns as the party intervenes. He stares daggers at each of you before muttering, "So these are the people you associate with?"
He reaches his hand out to grab her, saying, "Come on." Ameiko, however, dodges and brains him with her soupy ladle, spattering fish stock and potatoes all over his hair and outfit. The man sputters for a moment before finding his voice and uttering, "You're as dead to me as your mother." With that, he storms out of the tavern.
Ameiko looks nearly in tears and yet bravely picks up her ladle, inspects it, pulls a hair out of the mess, and says, "I'll need a well-cleaned ladle now, since jackass stew's not on the menu." The resulting cheers and laughter from the tavern's other patrons seem to improve her attitude immensely. "I am sorry for the disturbance, everyone," she directs at you. "Free rooms for another week, on the house."
Lucian whispers discreetly to his companions. "As you may have gathered, this was Ameiko's father, Lonjiku Kaijistu, one of the prominent local nobles. I'm not sure to know what caused this outburst, but tempest seems to be brewing."
Knowledge (Local): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (9) + 9 = 18 to see if I know anything about the Kaijistus or why Ameiko and her fater would be at odds with each other.
"I could only make out a fraction of what *chh* was said in Minkaian, but they certainly involved unkind words." She turns to Miana. "I think that perhaps Ameiko could use some Sisters right now."
Some time later Ameiko finishes cooking up the boar and the party enjoys a particularly sumptuous meal. After the last of the boar is picked over (presumably by Sealman), Aldern Foxglove excuses himself to get some rest. As everyone is finishing the last of their ale, however, a woman clutching a baby to her chest and pulling along a young boy enters the bar and makes a beeline for your table. As she closes in, you note the tears in her eyes. "Please! Please come at once!"
As you hurriedly follow her out of the Rusty Dragon, she begins leading you through the streets across town. She explains as she goes, "Little Aeren"-she motions to the boy trailing along beside her-"hasn't been the same since the Festival. He saw a goblin burn a cat alive and the poor thing has been having night terrors ever since. It sends our dog Petal into a barking fit. Aeren claimed there was a goblin in his closet but we didn't think anything of it. Tonight was different though-Petal let out a cry of pain and Aeren's screams turned shrill." The woman pauses and catches her breath. She pulls back Aeren's sleeve to reveal fresh goblin bites.
She continues walking, picking up her pace. Aeren runs to keep up with the group. "So Alergast burst into the room and found a goblin chewing on his arm. I was terrified by Alergast chased it back into the closet, where it clambered into a hole. Well Alergast flew into a rage and started tearing apart the closet and I panicked and grabbed the children. You folks were the first thing I could think of."
When you arrive at the house, you find it disturbingly silent. Upon reaching Aeren's room, you find Alergast on his belly, as if he had crawled into the closet. As you move closer, you find him quite dead. The woman flops down on the floor and begins to wail, clutching her children close to her. Alergast's face and upper torso seem to have been eaten away and as you pull his body back a lone insane goblin shrieks in rage and leaps up out of the hole. You quickly kill the crazed goblin but are left with quite a nasty situation.
Luckily, the commotion has attracted Sheriff Hemlock, who shows up moments later and surveys the scene with his customary grim expression. "Quite the nasty business. Thank you for doing what you could. It's a shame no one knew about this sooner and couldn't prevent it. I'll arrange to have the Baretts here stay at the cathedral for a few days. I think Amele's sister is in Magnimar; we'll send word to her as soon as possible. It seems our goblin troubles haven't quite ended yet."
Lucian devolves from shock to sheer horror as he discovers the green pests aren't just comical creatures known for their antics, but debased killers and a real threat to Sandpoint's population. He instinctively takes the widow in his protective arms, letting her wail but comforting her as best as he can. "I'm so sorry, Mrs. Amele. I know there's nothing I can say that will soothe your loss and your grief, but my friends and I will make sure the goblins don't harm people any more in Sandpoint... won't we?" he finishes in an interrogative look to his companions, looking for support.
"We can *chhh* certainly try."
Rissi peers into the hole curiously. She loosens her sleeve and a fat albino rat climbs out. She squeeks to it.
The rat nods its head and scampers down the hole.
Stealth: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (4) + 18 = 22
Brihz will go 12.2 meters (40') or until the hole ends.
As the familiar explores the hole she turns to the others.
"Why do the *squeak* continue to come here? Is something driving them out of their *chhhh* homes? Are they being sent here by one of their mad chieftans; if so, why? What does any of this have to do with a fire from years ago?"
Brihz finds that the hole leads to the crawlspace. There is another small hole leading outside that likely let the goblin in. However, considering the boy has been complaining of a goblin in his closet ever since the Festival, it seems this goblin may have been a hold-over that got trapped beneath the house.
The rat climbs back up the hole and shrugs, pointing a small claw outside. Rissi lets it climb up her sleeve again.
"Barring a *chhh* house to house search it seems unlikely that we would *chh* uncover many more goblins like this. But, perhaps *chh* sheriff if you could tell your people to stay on their guard and report suspicious *chhh* activity - although I worry that it would need to be worded rather *chhh* delicately so as to not case *squeek* undue alarm. Perhaps dogs could be trained to sniff goblins out."
When Rissi finds the time she will look into the stories and history of the town, particularly those relating to Ezakien Tobyn and Nualia, the fire, and historical patterns of goblin activity.
History: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16
Local: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (11) + 5 = 16 (common only)
Lucian would certainly try and find out information as well, if possible. Maybe his master Brodert Quink will have kept something about the church fire and Sandpoint history.
Knowledge (History): 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (8) + 10 = 18
Knowledge (Local): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (13) + 9 = 22
The sheriff agrees with Rissi's ideas and will look into the matter.
Rissi does some research.
After the fire Mayor Deverin set into motion a bold initiative to rebuild it on a grand scale. Funding came partially from the founding families, partially from Sandpoint businesses, and partially from respective churches.
Most disturbingly, you discover that Sandpoint citizens tend to lump the Sandpoint Fire with another set of events, together called the "Late Unpleasantness. This other event seemed to involve someone referred to as the Chopper and a string of murders associated with him. You might ask Lucian about this or do some more research specifically about that.
Sandpoint has been no stranger to crime, or even to murder. Once or twice in a year, passions flared, robberies went bad, jealousy grew too much to bear, or one too many drinks were drunk, and someone would end up dead. But when bodies began to mount in late 7402 AR, the town initially had no idea how to react. Sandpoint's sheriff at the time was a no-nonsense man named Casp Avertin, a retired city watch officer from Magnimar. Yet even he was ill-prepared for the murderer who came to be known as Chopper. Over the course of one long month, it seemed that every day brought a new victim to light. Each was found in the same terrible state: body bearing deep cuts to the neck and torso, hands and feet severed and stacked nearby, and the eyes and tongue missing entirely, having been plucked crudely from each head.
Over the course of that terrible month, Chopper claimed 25 victims. His uncanny knack at eluding traps and pursuit quickly wore on the town guard, taking a toll on Sheriff Avertin in particular, who increasingly took to drinking. In any event, Sheriff Avertin himself became Chopper's last victim, slain upon catching the murderer in a narrow lane-known only as Chopper's Alley-as he was mutilating his latest victim. In the battle that followed, Avertin landed a telling blow against the killer. When Belor Hemlock, then merely a town guard, found both bodies (Avertin's and the penultimate victim) several minutes later, he rallied the guards and they were able to follow the killer's bloody trail.
The trail led straight to the stairs of Stoot's Rock.
At first, the town guard refused to believe the implicates that the town's local sculptor eccentric Jervis Stoot could be guilty and feared that Chopper had come to claim poor Jervis as his 26th victim. Yet what the guards found in the modest home atop the isle and in the larger complex of rooms that had been carved into the bedrock below left no room for doubt. Jervis Stoot and Chopper were one and the same, and the eyes and tongues of all 25 victims were found upon a horrific altar to a vile demon lord of winged creatures and temptation whose name none dared speak aloud. Stoot himself was found dead at the base of the altar, having plucked his own eyes and tongue loose in a final offering. The guards collapsed the entrance to the lower chambers, burned Stoot's house, tore down the stairs, and did their best to forget. Stoot himself was burned on the beach in a pyre, his ashes blessed and then scattered in an attempt to stave off an unholy return of his evil spirit.
The Sandpoint Fire occurred about one month after this tragic event.
The cowled wizard tracks down Lucian late in the day. "Lucian, what do you know of the "Late Unpleasentness" and the *chh* killer known as the "Chopper""
|Miana, Champion of Irori|
Sorry for the lack of posts: ran 22 hours of Pathfinder games over a 2 day period and I'm pooped!
Miana can't help but be saddened by the family's trauma; two children fatherless and a new single mother without a husband to provide. A quick flash of anger, a memory of her own upbringing, causes the paladin to burst out to Sheriff Hemlock. "I cannot bear to have tragedies like this continue to peaceful people... what are the major goblin tribes in the area and which one would have the gall to strike a town this size?"
Hearing that name, Lucian cannot suppress a shiver, and his eyes become hazy. He sits down nearby and starts spinning his tale once he's recovered, and all his companions are gathered to hear it.
"This is not something we Sandpoint people like to talk about, but I'll tell you of this tragedy. My heart sinks by only thinking back about it. About twelve years ago, a series of murders happened at the hand of a mysterious and elusive killer dubbed "the Chopper". He earned that horrible nickname by butchering his victims in the most horrendous manner: body bearing deep cuts to the neck and torso, hands and feet severed and stacked nearby, and the eyes and tongue missing entirely, having been plucked crudely from each head. The Chopper claimed 25 lives, including the former sheriff, Casp Avertin."
"It's Belor Hemlock, our sheriff today, who found out who the killer was, a famous but eccentric sculptor named Jervis Stoot. Hemlock tracked the killer to his cabin on Stoot's Rock, and discovered his maimed body. Jervis had plucked his own eyes and tongue loose in a final offering to a vile demon lord of winged creatures and temptation. All 25 tongues cut off from his victims were also on the altar. The house was burnt to the ground and Jervis's body incinerated on a pyre. The fire that claimed Sandpoint's Cathedral happened a month after, and many villagers connect the two events for obvious reasons."
Seal is confused at this sudden turn in conversation.
"So are you saying we should go to the goblin tribes and cut out their tongues and eyes? I'm more of a lop of the head kind of dwarf, but what ever sends a message not to attack Sandpoint, I'm for it!"
"It is strange that the two *chhh* events occurred so closely together, and I suppose it could be *chh* possible that a demon-worshipper and the cathedral fire could be connected. Symbolically, fire seems to be a connecting feature: a burned murder, so perhaps the latter event was homage from a pyromaniac, or vengeance from an ally? Could there be any other connection between *chhh* Ezakien Tobyn, his daughter and the killer?"
She meditates for awhile.
"I wonder... was it ever confirmed that this *squeek* Jervis was acting of his own volition? The are a variety of means by which a mind can be influenced, and I've heard that *chh* demons can possess bodies. Some of them are divine. It is certainly hard *chhh* to delve into the past when the past has been burned to the ground."
"what are the major goblin tribes in the area and which one would have the gall to strike a town this size?"
"I'm sorry, Miana. I'm sure we'd all like to take our revenge. But no goblin tribe is as big as the raid we had during the Festival; it seemed a coordinated effort, which is nothing we've ever seen in a while. I'm hoping a friend of mine will drop by soon with some more information. We'll have to wait and see."
You can spend another day studying and asking around about Jervis Stoot if you'd like to know more. Lucian would have been young when it happened so I didn't give him everything. Knowledge (local) would probably be most appropriate.
Lucian will reluctantly ask around the next day, visiting Belor Hemlock and others who lived through these unfortunate events to find out anything useful.
Knowledge (Local): 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (15) + 9 = 24
When Jervis Stoot made clear his intentions to build a home on the then-nameless tidal island just north of the Old Light, many worried that he'd break his neck climbing up and down the isle's cliffs. Jervis had already garnered something of a reputation for eccentricity when he began his one-man crusade to carve depictions of birds on every building in town. Stoot never made a carving without securing permission, but his incredible skill at woodcarving made it a given that, if Stoot picked your building as the site of his latest project, you seized the opportunity. "Sporting a Stoot" soon grew to be something of a bragging point, and Jervis eventually extended his gift to include ships and carriages. Those who asked or tried to pay him for his skill were rebuffed-Stoot told them, "There ain' no birds in that wood for me t'set free," and went on his way,k often wandering the streets for days before noticing a hidden bird in a fence post, lintel, steeple, or doorframe, which he'd then secure permission to "release" with his trusty hatchets and carving knives.
Stoot's excuse for wanting to move onto the isle seemed innocent enough. The place was a haven for local birdlife, and his claim of [b]"wantin' ta be with th' birds" seemed to make sense-so much so, in fact, that the guild of carpenters (with whom Stoot had maintained a friendly competition for several years) volunteered to build a staircase, free of charge, along the southern cliff face so that Stoot could come and go from his new home without risking life and limb. For 15 years, Stoot lived on the island. His trips into town grew less and less frequent, making it something of an event when he chose a building to host a new Stoot.
"I've learned more. I didn't recall it by myself since I was too young at that time, but Stoot's woodcarvings of birds were quite prized. He used to carve them into buildings, then eventually ships and carriages. Stoot called it "releasing" the birds out of the wood. Of course, they were all destroyed after the Late Unpleasantness, leaving scars for the observant eye all around town. The carpenter's guild was so grateful that they made him a staircase to access his island, since it was so dangerous to reach."
Lucian stops and ponders for a moment. "Apart from the fact that Stoot's life ended in fire just like Father Tobyn and his daughter, both events seem very remote from one another. Did Stoot's ghost come back from the afterlife to burn the cathedral down? Even then, why kill Father Tobyn? As far as I could hear, he didn't take part in the Late Unpleasantness."
"There is logic and common sense, and there is reality. In exploring posibilities *chhh* we may not find the answer, but a least we come to *chhh* understand the nature of that reality better."
She coughs in a high squeeky voice.
"I for one would be interested in mapping out these *chhh* destroyed carvings, and visiting this island. It probably has nothing to do with goblins raids, but it does not hurt to learn. If anybody feels *chh* bored I would welcome the company.
The next day the town of Sandpoint sees the arrival of the elven ranger Shalelu Androsana. The locals are familiar with her, as she passes through town once or twice a season to buy supplies. She never remains more than a few days and always stays in the same room at the Rusty Dragon free of charge thanks to her long friendship with Ameiko. During each visit she always visits with Sheriff Hemlock and Mayor Deverin for a few hours at the garrison to give a report on the state of the hinterlands before she leaves town again.
This time she has dispensed with her usual stay at the Rusty Dragon and has instead requested an immediate meeting with Sheriff Hemlock and Mayor Deverin. Sheriff Hemlock sought you ought in the morning as soon as she hit town to ask you to sit in on the meeting.
The meeting takes place in a comfortable office on the second floor of the town hall. Mayor Kendra Deverin is already there with a ragged looking elven woman whom Sheriff Hemlock introduces as Shalelu Andosana. Hemlock introduces you as "unofficial members of Sandpoint's town guard", which causes Shalelu to smirk. Hemlock explains, "Shalelu has been a thorn in the side of the local goblin tribes for years and few in the region know more about them than she does. Apparently Sandpoint hasn't been the only place in the region that's had goblin troubles-it's been happening all along the Lost Coast, particularly in the dale between Nettlewood and Mosswood. Only a day ago, a farm south of Mosswood was burnt to the ground by a group of goblins. Thankfully Shalelu was nearby and able to save the family, even if the farm couldn't be saved."
At this point Hemlock cedes the floor to Shalelu. She addresses the room in a quiet voice, clearly much more comfortable on her own in the woods. "Belor's told me of your work against the goblins-well done. I've dedicated the last several years of my life to keeping them from causing too much trouble around these parts, but they're tenacious and fecund little runts. Like weeds that bite."
"There are five major goblin tribes in the region, and, traditionally, they're pretty good at keeping each other in line with intertribal squabbles and the like. Yet from what I've been able to piece together, members of all five tribes were involved in the raid on Sandpoint. A fair number of the Mosswood goblins I dealt with yesterday were already pretty beat up, and there was a lot of chatter about the 'longshanks' who killed so many of them. Now that I've met you, it seems obvious from their descriptions who they were talking about. Seems like you've made an impression."
"in any event, the fact that the five tribes are working together disturbs me. Goblin tribes don't get along unless they've got something big planned, and big plans require big bosses. I'm afraid that someone's moved in on the goblins and organized them. And judging by these recent raids, what they're organizing seems like bad news for all of us."
After Shalelu's speech, Sheriff Hemlock announces-with nods of approval from the Mayor-that he's taking a few of his guards south to Magnimar to see about securing additional soldiers to station at Sandpoint for a few weeks, at least until the extent of the goblin threat can be determined.
"While I'm out of town, I'm asking Shalelu to sniff around Shank's Wood, Brinestump, Mosswood, Devil's Platter, and the other places where the goblins cluster to see if she can discover anything else. I'd like you folks to maintain a public presence in Sandpoint over the next few days, if you don't mind. The locals seem to have taken to you and seeing you around town will do a lot for keeping worries down over the next few days."
After the meeting adjourns, Shalelu approaches you all and asks you to join her for dinner at the Rusty Dragon; she'd like some more information on the raid but also has a fair amount of goblin lore she can impart on you.
Seal looks saddened by the request to stay in town.
"I didn't come here to be a city guard. If you are going out to where goblins are, I want to go too. Stop'em before they get started, I say."
Lucian's somber mood lightens up when Shalelu's elven voice is heard, but sinks deeper when he hears about the Mosswood farm. "I'm glad to learn these people were saved, though I fear these raids are only the beginning. We must act against these goblins and deal with them." he boldly exclamates. "However, you have a point Sheriff. If we can protect Sandpoint while you're away and raise the hopes of the population with our newfound status, we should do so. Just promise me we'll be allowed to take part in the counter-attack on the goblin tribes. I can't bear seeing more innocent dead any longer."
"See the big *chhh* picture, Sealman. Shalelu uses the *chhh* legendary stealth of Elven rangers to find out who is uniting the tribes, and we go *squeak* bring them to justice. Then the Goblins return to their internecine *chhh* wars amongst themselves, and you get to focus on killing *chhh* giants and getting vengeance for your birthday sheep"
She will turn to Shalelu. "I hope you are aware: evidence exists that goblins *chhh* have been working with at least one humanoid, and they have some *chh* connection yet unknown to Ezakien Tobyn, the previous *chhh* Sandpoint priest. Take care in your explorations."
Shalelu says, "For now, let me deal with the goblins; it's my specialty after all. After I've done some more reconnaissance I can report back to you and then perhaps an assault may be in order."
At Rissi's warnings, Shalelu responds, "I feared as much. Goblins aren't organizers by any stretch of the imagination and I have a feeling there is someone-or some group-behind it all using the goblins as pawns. I'll find out what I can. For now, let's get some food before I head out."
Over lunch, Shalelu shares what she knows. "Now goblins generally live short, violent lives. It's unusual for a single goblin to achieve any real measure of notoriety, but when one does, it's well earned. Currently, there are six goblins in the region enjoying the status of 'hero' amongst their kind."
"Big Gugmut is an unusually muscular and tall goblin from Mosswood who, it is said, had a hobgoblin for a mother and a wild boar for a father. I haven't run into him yet but the stories travel far."
"Koruvus was a champion of the Seven Tooth tribe, as well known for his short temper as he was for his prized possession-a magic longsword sized for a human that the goblin stubbornly kept as his own (despite the fact that it was too large for him to properly wield). Koruvus vanished several months ago after he supposedly discovered a 'secret hideout' in a cave along the cliffs. The Seven Tooth goblins remain convinced he's out there still, a ghost or worse, waiting to murder any goblin who tries to discover his hideout. I think it more likely that he killed himself trying to scale the cliff but haven't actually located his body."
"Vorka is a notorious goblin cannibal who lives in the Brinestump marsh, a 'hero' mostly to goblins other than the Licktoad tribe who lives nearby, who don't exactly appreciate her eating habits."
"Rendwattle Gutwad is the obese chieftain of the Brinestump goblins, a corpulent monster who, it is said, never leaves his throne."
"Ripnugget is the leader of the Thistletop goblins and controls what the five tribes agree is the best lair."
"And then there's Bruthazmus, an infamous bugbear ranger who lives in northn Nettlewood and often visits the five tribes to trade things he's stolen from caravans for alcohol, news, or magic arrows. He's got a particular hatred of elves and we've fought on several occasions. To date, neither of us has managed to get the upper hand on the other, but I vow that I won't be the first to fall in our private little war."
As soon as she is finished eating and speaking with you, Shalelu grabs her pack and readies to leave. "Well, good luck to all of you. Keep Sandpoint safe for me and drop back in later. It was a pleasure to meet you all."
Kuifieno takes in all the information, while watching Shalelu intently. "We will do what we can. Do have any inclinations as to who may be organizing the goblins? Hunches, so to speak?"