23 Rova, 4707 AR
Set on a natural harbor, nestled within a rocky valley is Sandpoint, a small town on the Loast Coast of Varisia. Mostly quiet and peaceful, it's a welcome sight for those who have spent a while on the road. It's big enough to support a fishing industry, outlying farms, and other businesses, but small enough to avoid attention from most unsavory sorts. Banditry isn't lucrative enough to gain a foothold, and outside of the occasional goblin, the town is very safe. As you enter the town via the northern or southern roads, you may see, hanging from a bent nail, a mirror and a sign which reads, "Welcome to Sandpoint! Please stop to see yourself as we see you!"
For the last five years, religious services have been held in ramshackle wooden buildings and open air spaces, ever since the old church burned to the ground during the Late Unpleasantness. This year's Swallowtail Festival marks the consecration of the new chapel, the Sandpoint Cathedral. People have come from miles around to celebrate the festival and to observe the consecration.
Near to noon folks begin to gather in the cathedral square to await the opening of the festival. The beautiful cathedral rises before you, a structure of stone and glass. From where you stand, you can see stained glass windows depicting Shelyn and Gozreh, looking out to the west in the direction of the ruined lighthouse, called the Old Light, and the sea beyond.
A young Varisian woman continued her way down the road towards the small town known as Sandpoint. Covered in the dirt and grime from the rough obstacles of traveling, she had never felt better. Finally, she had been able to reach the point to where she felt confident enough in her strength to leave home and search for bigger and better challenges. She knows she's tough, but she needs to be tougher. She can't let any more innocent people get hurt. She won't. Her hand immediately goes to toy with the butterfly necklace around her neck, the last gift she received from her father before he passed. It was given to her as a good luck charm, one she could use to pray to Desna for better game to bring home. Now, however, it served as a reminder of that day. How she wasn't strong enough. But, soon she will be.
After taking a deep breath and calming herself down, she stretches her arms out, making sure to shake the exhaustion of travel from her bones. Out of the corner of her eye, she spots a peculiar sign with a mirror hanging from a nail underneath. She wasn't sure whether it was out of humor or curiosity, but she decided to take a peek at how she looked, having not seen her reflection in quite some time.
She gave a grim chuckle at the sight. A face that used to be referred to as "pretty" was now marred with dark, tired eyes, smears of dirt across her cheeks and forehead in no particular pattern and a large scar running over her right eye in the shape of a large claw. She remembered that fight well, actually. That bear certainly didn't give her an inch and she had only barely come out on top. Coming back home with that scar certainly didn't cheer her mother up.
Valerica sighs, muttering under her breath, "Sorry, mama." With that, she stood upright once more and continued on her way to Sandpoint. A while later, she soon saw the small town come into view and shortly after stood in awe at the new Cathedral in the center of the city. "Certainly better than anything I've ever seen..." she says to herself, standing in the crowd of people now. "Looks like I came on a good day for information," she says, looking around. "Lots of people means lots of stories."
The tall man walks up to the mirror on the post. He checks his hat. Smiles in the mirror. Picks a piece of jerky out of his teeth. Brushes some dirt off his face. Straightens his dusty pack.
"Yep, handsome as ever," he says wryly.
Wayland strolls into town, looking west toward the Old Light. Now is that Thassilonian? Would be a good start for my report. Will have to see what the scholars in town say. Do they even have any scholars? Pretty small town. Nice church for a small place, though. Wonder who put up the coin for it. Shelynites, probably. Rich art patrons or something. I don't imagine the Gozreh folks have much in the way of money.
Two small cloaked figures approach the gate, leading a donkey between them. The larger one glances up at the mirror, catching a glimpse of her own small brown face peering out beneath the finely embroidered hood.
Turning to her companion, "Here we are Kitchel, just in time for the festival. Even if the Sandpoint Devil turns out to be just a rumour, we should be able to make a profit at least."
Kitchel nods to her companion as she watches her reflection in the mirror nod with her. It's grey furred nose twitching and black eyes sparking in excitement beneath it's hood.
"Indeed! And we've got a festival to explore! Just think of the food, hot food that neither of us will need to cook! And the music. I wonder what sorts of music they play here. Maybe we'll learn some new songs. And the secrets! Even if we don't find the Sandpoint Devil I'm sure we'll dig up something here worth knowing!
But first I suppose we should see if we can find an inn with a stable. Once we've settled Old Nosy here we can see if there's a registry of merchants and then get our bearings. So many exciting new things to do!"
As the two head through the town gate Kitchel continues to prattle on about the things to do for the day even as her eyes dart from place to place taking everything in.
As the crowd gathers, a young Kellid woman walks casually into the cathedral square from the south. Edamm is accompanied by a small black leopard which walks comfortably beside her. She wears comfortable traveling clothes, those common among the Varisian people, and she carries with her a sword and dagger on opposite hips. Her long dark hair hangs limply over her shoulders and her dark eyes scan around seeming to take in most of the crowd.
Edamm makes her way into the square but stays toward the south edge of open area. She leans on a nearby wall and watches as the festival begins. The leopard lays at her feet, settling in with its head on its paws. She leans down and rubs its head briskly.
That’s good Ponok. Settle in and enjoy the sun.
A few of the locals look towards her and she smiles warmly. Not all smile back but a few do, especially the younger ones who still view Ponok with wonder instead of fear.
The people here remind me of those among the tribes. No wonder a few have decided to settle here.
Trig shifted her heavy pack as she walked towards the gates to Sandpoint, the morning sun shining onto her face through the gaps in the leaves. She kept her right hand covering her eyes as she scowled. In Magnimar, you only needed to worry about the sun when it was noon. The buildings made sure of that.
Excitement. That's what she felt, but it wasn't her emotion. Something skittered across the back of Trig's neck, under her thistle-colored hair, and she resisted the urge to smack it. Cal crawled along, taking in the sights on one side before moving to her other, never sitting still for too long. Trig still wasn't used to it, but the cockroach was starting to grow on her. "You quit that, Cal," she said gruffly. A casual glance at a signpost on the side of the road, inviting her to look into the mirror they had placed there. Trig continued her brisk pace. "If anyone sees you running around, no one's going to trust me as a healer. Sczarni maybe if they really need it, but certainly no one reputable.
That feeling of excitement reigned itself in. Feeling Cal's emotions was strange. That something like a cockroach could feel a myriad of emotions was strange. Trig raised her left hand, her right still shielding against the sun, and remembered back to her first spell cast. It had been at that exact moment that she had decided Cal wasn't too bad. A small price to pay to help her family, even if she didn't understand it.
Before she knew it, Trig found herself over the Turandarok River at the gates to Sandpoint. She stopped herself as the sounds of Magnimar floated through her mind. Sandpoint had all the noise of home, but not nearly as loud. Excitement again, but laced with confusion. Cal's emotions knocked her back to the present as a wagon passed on her right, shielding Trig from the sun. Taking advantage of the shade, the gnome surged forward.
As she began to approach the locals to ask where she could find the Fatman's Feedbags, she saw a flier for the Swallowtail Festival. Trig nodded to herself and started towards the cathedral square. "Where there's crowds, there's Sczarni," the gnome said under her breath. She shifted her pack once more and continued forward, following the flow of people already heading that way.
Townsfolk and visitors alike begin to settle in to the cathedral square. On the east side in front of the cathedral, a small wooden stage holds up several people; a noblewoman with red hair; a ruddy-skinned man dressed similarly to the other guards in town, a mail shirt and red tunic with the addition of an amber cloak pushed back over his shoulders; a flamboyant man with a large, curly mustache, colorful clothes, and a red top hat; and a youthful Varisian man in the dress of a Desnan priest.
The noblewoman steps forward, clapping her hands several times to grab attention. She is dressed well but practically, wearing trousers and boots. "Friends and guests! Welcome, one and all! For those of you who don't know me, I am Kendra Deverin, mayor of this fine town, and I could not be more proud!" Over the next few minutes she gets people loud and excited for the festival, her excitement is sincere and contagious.
When things settle a little bit, Mayor Deverin claps again to grab attention. "Now then, before we get into it, I believe that Sheriff Hemlock has a few things he wants to say?"
The mayor steps back and the guardsman, Sheriff Hemlock, steps forward. His deep voice projects across the square, and he is much more serious than Mayor Deverin. "Thank you, Mayor. I want to remind everyone to be safe today; exercise self-control with your celebrations, and be careful around tonight's bonfire. Additionally, this festival is both a celebration of the new chapel, and a commemoration of those lost during the Late Unpleasantness. I would like to ask for a moment of silence, in their memories."
The crowd goes quiet, broken only by children who are quickly shushed by their parents and the barking of a dog somewhere in the distance. After a very long minute, the flamboyant man calls out, "Are we done? Sheriff? We are? Excellent!"
He steps forward, swinging a decorated cane. "Ladies, gentlemen, and esteemed guests! I, Cyrdak Drokkus of the Sandpoint Theater, am happy to announce that Sheriff Belor will be the only one ruining the mood today!" There is some light laughter, and Sheriff Belor gives Drokkus a sharp look, which the showman ignores. "Lord Kaijutsu was to be the next speaker, but he was, ah, "sick" and couldn't make it." He exaggerates his air quotes, to more laughter. "So we'll just have to make do with the second-biggest ego in town. I, Cyrdak Drokkus of the Sandpoint Theater!"
Cyrdak speaks briefly about the efforts to finance the building of the cathedral, mainly with the support of the four founding families of Sandpoint, local businesses, and the six churches with stake in the cathedral. He finishes up by announcing tomorrow's production of The Harpy's Curse, starring the Magnimarian diva Allishanda in the lead role.
Finally, the Varisian steps forward, and he is introduced by Mayor Deverin as Father Abstalar Zantus. Upon his chest he wears a Desnan holy symbol, a silver butterfly. "Friends and guests," he says, and he isn't as loud as the Sheriff nor is he as exuberant as the Mayor or Cyrdak, but the respectful silence that falls over the crowd renders him just as easily heard. "It is said, that long ago when the world was young, the goddess Desna, in Her travels across the cosmos, tumbled to the earth and was injured in the fall. Many people passed Her by, glancing away, for they only saw an itinerant woman, not worth their time. It was a blind child who came to Her aid, who bandaged Her wounds and brought her to a safe place to rest for the night. The child knew not who She was, only that She needed help. For the child's kindness, Desna gave them a great gift, transforming the child into an immortal butterfly--the first Swallowtail."
He signals to the western entrance of the square, where several acolytes have wheeled in a covered wagon. At his signal, one of the acolytes pulls on the tarp, and a furious storm of violet butterflies scatter out of the wagon, taking flight in a swirl of colors, and the festival-goers cheer wildly as the swarm of butterflies spread out, some going up, many more spreading quickly across the town.
"Let the festival begin!" Father Zantus cries, and the cheers are renewed.
There are several festival games set up around town available to you. There's time enough for about two games per person, if you wish to play. Alternatively, if you want to try to gather information as some of you indicated, you may make a Diplomacy check to ask around, gather information, and search for rumors. This takes up about as much time as it takes to play one game. The available games are as follows:
The Devil Hunt--Do you have what it takes to bring down the Sandpoint Devil and stop it from menacing the surrounding area? Take a shot and see. A target-shooting game run down by the beach near the lighthouse, run by local hunter Jodar Provolost.
The Goblin Toss--Three goblins have made their way into your home; grab them and toss them into the fireplace before they can destroy everything. A beanbag throwing game, try to get the goblin-shaped beanbags into the fireplace. Located in Market Square, run by Daverin Hosk of the Goblin Squash Stables.
The Lighthouse Smash--Who needs a lighthouse without a light? Let's smash it down so we can use the stone to build something better! Use a small catapault built by artisan Aesrick Battlehorn to knock down stacked stones and win prizes.
The Hagfish--Several inns have set up stands to advertise their best dishes, including the Rusty Dragon and the (in)famous Hagfish. Try the food, or take a crack at the Hagfish Challenge to win a purse full of silver. If you'd rather test your strength than your stomach, a couple of the biggest and burliest shipwrights employed by the Valdemar family are taking challengers at arm wrestling.
As the opening ceremony comes to it's butterfly filled conclusion Kitchel watches the insects scatter throughout the town, looking for patterns in the flight out of habit. As the crowds cheer and begins to disperse some she overhears a child telling her mother that she wants to go hunt the devil by the beach. The mother nods and begins to lead the child down towards the beach, smiling and saying she's so glad the village will be safe now.
Turning to her compaion, Kitchel fails to keep the excitement at the prospect of playing a carnival game out of her voice. "It sounds like there's a Sandpoint Devil themed game over that way, Tif. It probably won't lead to anything serious, but shall we head down, give it a try and see if there's anything at all to learn about the real thing there?"
Whether Tif comes with or not, Kitchel will go try the Devil Hunt game once and try to talk to Jodar Provolost and whoever else about the real Sandpoint Devil if she can find anyone willing to tell any tales.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
Valerica is amongst the crowd as the Mayor and the others take the stage to give the opening speeches for the Festival. She certainly seemed to admire the bluntness and cautiousness shown in the Sheriff’s short warning message and grew somewhat upset when Cyrdak made light of it by saying he ruined the mood.
She quickly got over that as she soon became entranced in the swarm of butterflies fluttering around. Even she couldn’t help but crack a small smile at the beautiful sight of children running around and chasing some butterflies without any cares in the world.
With the Festival now underway, and Valerica having broken from her trance, she made her way around the town, focusing in on her mission and the reason why she came here. There wasn’t time for her to have fun, although, she certainly didn’t mind grabbing a drink first.
While grabbing a drink, Valerica uses this time to ask around about the Sandpoint Devil, and gathering any rumors she can about it’s possible whereabouts. Perhaps with some drink, some folks tongues will be looser.
Diplomacy: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (3) - 1 = 2
Unfortunately, she’s rather gruff and not used to talking to strangers outside of her hometown, coming off as rather rude as she doesn’t really partake in pleasantries.
While trying to gather information about the Sandpoint Devil, she comes across a sign for a game that seems particularly suited for her. The Devil Hunt. Sure, it wasn’t the real Devil, but perhaps this would be a nice distraction from striking out on the information gathering. Striding up, she nods at the hunter running the game and pulls out her bow and notches an arrow. She takes a deep breath, pulls back, and releases!
Ranged: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
She was having somewhat of an off day.
Wayland takes it all in, listening to the interactions and getting a feel for the town.
Enthusiastic Mayor... sensible cautious Sheriff... flamboyant showman... devout priest. Or at least that's how they seem on the surface. Who's this Lord Kaijutsu? Hmm.
He watches the butterfly release.
It is a beautiful ritual, I must say.
Then he wanders over to the Lighthouse game, and makes small talk while trying to pick up local rumors about the structure. Who do people say built it? Is it possible to go inside?
Diplomacy: 1d20 ⇒ 20
Well that's a good roll.
He also notices a few other outlanders. One of them, who actually looks Varisian, being particularly coarse in her blundering about. I wonder what she wants? And then two ratfolk? Really? This far from their homelands? He decides the others are not his concern, and goes back to his inquiries.
Kitchel gets the attention of Jodar Provolost, the man running the game, and the large Varisian hunter only too eagerly launches into the tale of how he personally encountered the Devil one foggy night of three years past, how it faced him down with its blood red eyes and he tried to shoot it, only for the arrow to bounce right off its hide. He goes on to how it struck him viciously, and he managed to give it the slip while holding his guts in.
Unasked, he lifts his shirt to show a scar on his side the length of a hand, and says, "The creature damn near killed me! I barely escaped with my life!" To which a passerby shouts out, "Don't listen to that old fool, the only thing that nearly killed him was his own self when his sawblade slipped!"
Listening to him, one gets the sense that Jodar is a man who loves to tell tall tales.
Valerica's efforts to gather information are quite unfruitful. The archery game has a target set up, painted on the side of a wooden cutout with a shape resembling the silhouette of a horse, reared up on its back legs, with a pair of large wings, some of the shared traits between stories of the Sandpoint Devil.
Jodar winces when Valerica's first shot goes way wide. "Would you like to take your second try?" he says, lifting the quiver he has by his side. You get two shots, you've already made one.
Asking around, nobody really seems to know much about the Old Light, it's just an old, ruined lighthouse that some like as a local landmark but others see it as an eyesore. It can be climbed, though it is not necessarily safe to do so.
However, Wayland does learn of a scholar in town from the dwarf running the Lighthouse Smash. The scholar is Brodert Quink, an older gentleman interested in the Old Light. Aesrick regards the old man as something of a crackpot. Brodert is quite loud about his theory that the lighthouse is not, in fact, a lighthouse, but an ancient Thassilonian war machine that could shoot fire. Most people in town shut their ears when Brodert starts rambling.
The dwarf indicates a stone building a hundred feet from the base of the lighthouse as Quink's home.
Edamm takes in all the introductions, lowering her head at the solemn moment, and laughing lightly at the jokes. She makes special note to speak to this Father Zantus at some point.
A solemn opening to a celebration. I wonder what this unpleasantness was they were referring to.
Edamm wanders a little bit, leaving Ponok to rest some more. She approaches the Lighthouse Smash game, and while waiting her turn she makes light conversation about the festival and tries to dig up what the Late Unpleasantness is referring to. When her turn comes up she excuses herself and tries to knock down the stacks as best she can.
Eventually Edamm returns to Ponok, who seems to be enjoying the sunshine as expected. She sits down next to the leopard and slums hard against his ribs.
Come on little friend. Lets see some of the sights. There are some other strangers in town, and if I am correct, two of them might be of interest. I've heard of the ratfolk in stories, but never thought I'd actually see some in person.
Tif smiles at Kitchel's eagerness. "You head down to check it out. I will go and set up the stall. Come back and tell me if you learn anything interesting."
On her way over to the merchant area, Tif passes by the Hagfish, taking the opportunity to sample the different dishes. The wrestling does not interest her, but she eyes the Hagfish speculatively.
At the markets, she chats readily with prospective customers and nearby stallholders, keeping an ear open for any local rumours.
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Kitchel listens to Jodar's account with interest and she examines the scar closely when it's presented. She can tell that the tales are tall, but humors the hunter anyhow. "That's fascinating. Is it possible that I could talk with you more about where to find the devil if I were to try hunting at some point in the future?"
As she's talking with Jodar a slender, fit, dark haired Varisian woman approaches and takes a first shot at the Sand Point Devil Hunt. Kitchel watches with fascination as the first arrow goes wide. She squints as the target as the shot takes place, and when it's done she looks back at Jodar delighted, her nose aquiver. "I'd like a chance at your game when she's done, if you please. I need to show you how my hunting might go!"
Perception to see if there is a trick to the game or if it seems rigged in any way based on Valerica's shot: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (10) + 5 = 15
Trig scowled had only deepened as she found herself lost among the crowd. It wasn't as bad as Magnimar. Not nearly as bad. The people made it just as bad, though. So many, and most of them were so tall! People were talking, the crowd was listening. Sometimes they murmured, sometimes they were silent. Near the end, everyone was hoo-ing and ha-ing about something. Trig couldn't see anything from under the feet of all these people.
The gnome walked through the crowds until she came across an area serving food. Trig's eyes lingered on a sign for an inn called the Hagfish. Something about choking down the inedible and winning some silver. She lightly squeezed her coin pouch. Nearly empty.
"One of those Hagfish Challenge dishes," she ordered as she sat down at the table. Whatever it was, it couldn't be worse than some of the things she had needed to eat before. Probably wasn't. She hoped it wasn't.
Hagfish Challenge: 1d20 ⇒ 14 Assuming Fort, so 16 total. 20 if it somehow deals with poison or disease
Before and during her meal, she begins asking passerbys and servers. "Hey, know anything about the Fatman's Feedbag? They here in this lineup or no?" A part of her figured she was giving away too much information, but another part of her figured that was silly. No one was going to remember a random gnome in a crowd like this, and when it came down to it, who would even care?
Gather Information: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (4) + 8 = 12
Valerica grumbles as her first shot misses the target completely. ”Yeah, give me the second shot. THIS time will be better.” She takes another shot at the target after conecntrating, and lets loose the arrow.
Ranged: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (13) + 6 = 19
She smirks this time at the much better shot. Turning around with a playful smile on her face towards the smaller ratfolk, she says, ”Think you can beat that? Heh, I’d like to see you try.”
She suddenly realizes just who she’s talking to and raises an eyebrow. ”Wait, a ratfolk? I’ve...never seen one in my life, granted I haven’t ever been too far from my village, so maybe that’s on me.”
"Is this Brodert here at the festival?"
Wayland wanders over to Goblin Toss.
He takes a beanbag and smirks at the thought of throwing the nasty creatures in the fireplace.
Ranged Attack: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11
Not a great shot, but not embarrassing. They'd probably have noticed if I'd cast True Strike.
1d20 + 15 ⇒ (15) + 15 = 30
Smash the Lighthouse is being run by a middle-aged dwarf, Aesrick Battlehorn, who is enthusiastic and cheerful. The catapult is custom-made, a beautiful piece of carpentry shaped like a stone giant with its arm throwing the ammunition. As Edamm waits her turn, she strikes up conversation with a young mother whose son is taking his turn at the game. The woman waits until her son has stepped away to answer Edamm.
"You really aren't from around here, are you?" she says. "You ain't never heard of Chopper? Vile piece of work, that one, for a good month I didn't want to leave my home. Bodies left in the streets, chopped to bits. That's how Sheriff Hemlock got his job, you know? Chopper killed his predecessor, Belor took down Chopper. And it weren't long after that the old church burned to the ground, nobody knows how it happened. There were folk trapped inside--the acolytes, old Father Tobyn, rest in peace, and his daughter, Nualia--I remember the girl, she was beautiful. Such a shame."
Aesrick helps the boy aim the catapult, and the boy successfully knocks down the stones in three shots. He is rewarded with a miniature catapult the size of a slingshot, which the boy immediately starts playing with, to his mother's exasperation. "Yessir, yessir! Who would like to take a shot? You, lass! Come on up, come on up!" Aesrick encourages Edamm to step on up.
You get three shots to try and knock down the stones. Make three ranged attack rolls, with a -4 nonproficient penalty.
The Hagfish is a bar with mediocre food, a good bit of gaming, and its big attraction, a positively disgustingly filthy glass tank, in which swims an ugly hagfish. The filth is from the hagfish itself, sloughing off its coat of slime. A sign on the tank identifies the fish as 'Norah'.
"Tha's my pride and joy, my Norah!" the bartender and owner Jargie Quinn says. He takes a big wooden mug from out behind the counter, dips it into the slimy water, and sets the full mug on the counter. "If'n you're wanting to give it a try, wee one, it's a silver to try. If you can keep that down, you get the whole pot and yer name up there." He indicates the ceiling beam above the bar, into which maybe two dozen names have been carved. This isn't a very new bar, and Jargie has been offering the Hagfish Challenge for years.
Trig grabs the mug and downs it in a few swallows. It is even more foul than it looks, and probably not healthy. Her stomach is not pleased with her, and she gags, but she keeps it down.
She slams the mug down on the bar, and Jargie's jaw is hanging open stupidly. "Ah...wha...didja say yer name was, lass?" The bar's patrons are also stunned to see this tiny gnome, but some do start to cheer, while others wonder if the tank was cleaned recently.
The coin purse from other people trying and failing contains 30 silver pieces, and at the bottom is 1 platinum piece--an extra prize from the bartender.
Asking around about the Fatman's Feedbag is mildly successful. The owner and bartender Gressel Tenniwar, a huge man with the face of a thug, is not open for the Swallowtail Festival. Trig is able to get directions, but is warned that it's a little dangerous, and if she is looking for a place to stay she's much better off looking at the Hagfish or the Rusty Dragon.
You can try the Hagfish challenge if you want, it's a fort save treated as a poison effect, but since Trig already won you will win nothing but prestige.
Tif asks around for local news and stories. A human man, the local butcher, he says, tells Tif, "It's bad luck, is what it is, making those targets at the game up the ways. Everyone knows, the Devil doesn't appreciate pictures of itself. Bad luck follows that Devil--saw its shadow myself, once." He leans in close to emphasize his point. "The next day, they found the first of the Chopper's victims." His breath smells like alcohol.
Jodar laughs loudly at the prospect of Kitchel hunting the Sandpoint Devil. "Be careful, now, you're just the size for a snack for a creature like that."
Watching Valerica shoot, there doesn't seem to be any trick to the game, it's just target shooting.
If you play, you get two shots to try for the bullseye.
Valerica's second shot is much better than the first, and for a moment, it looks like it's a bullseye, but it's just so slightly off the mark. She still managed to get an arrow in the innermost ring, just outside of the center.
Jodar whistles, impressed. "Well, now, that's a fine shot. Not bad, just gotta practice some more. And here's your prize."
Valerica receives as her prize an amateurish piece of scrimshaw, a butterfly carved out of a piece of fishbone.
"Ah, I dinnae think so, he's a bit of an odd one, that. Probably stuffed up in his library."
The Goblin Toss is run by Daverin Hosk. When nobody else is playing, he stands up and starts playing his own game. When Wayland approaches he cheerfully hands over three goblin-shaped beanbags, each with a name(?) written on it, 'Gogmurch', 'Lunthus', and 'Poog.' "Little green vermin, they're crazier than anything, you know that?"
The game is set up as a board with three holes in it, painted to resemble a fireplace. The closest hole is the largest, the furthest hole is the smallest. As an adult man, Wayland is instructed to aim for the furthest hole, but his first shot comes short.
Ranged attack rolls, your target is AC 15. You get two more throws.
"Yeah, I hate 'em too. Sadistic things."
Ranged Attack: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3
Gogmurch having already missed the fireplace, now Lunthus also escapes a fiery doom.
Ranged Attack: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (18) + 2 = 20
Poog, however, ends up where all goblins should end up. In the 'fire'.
Edamm listens to the young mother with slight concern. When the woman finishes explaining Edamm responds with a gentle tone.
"That sounds horrible, especially is such a peaceful little town. I am guessing this Sherriff Hemlock is a good man if he ended such evil events. Still, it appears that buildings can be rebuilt and people move on and can find peace again. Thank you for letting me know, I will now know what I am asking if I should inquire again.
Edamm sees the boy returning to his mother and smiles.
Seems your boy may have a good hunter's eye. Well done.
Edamm then turns to the cheerful dwarf and steps up to take her shots. She lines of the target as best she can, having no experience with such a 'weapon' makes things interesting. Seeing how bad her shots are, she looks around sheepishly but smiles.
Seems the master dwarf has outdone himself in crafting the lighthouse. How did you make such a nimble stone structure? She then nods at the dwarf with a knowing smile. Thank you sir.
- 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (7) - 1 = 6
- 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (1) - 1 = 0
- 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (6) - 1 = 5
The slime stuck to her teeth, her tongue, her throat. The Hagfish Challenge had been much worse than the standoffish gnome had imagined it would be. Trig tried spitting what remained in her mouth back into the mug even as Jargie asked her name. Envy. Somehow, she was filled with even more disgust. Of course Cal would have wanted whatever this was.
Jargie's question caused Trig to raise her eyes even as she wiped the slime from her lips, wiping her hand on the side of the mug. Several names caught her eye, and she tried to read them. Apparently, this was quite a prestigious event in the town for reasons the gnome couldn't comprehend. Is this how the locals passed the time?
"Trig, T-R-I-G," she finally responded, still perusing the names. "Is this something people try often?
Trig finally looked back to the barkeep with a small smile that almost looked out of place on her perpetually scowling face. She had ignored any advice that said the Fatman's Feedback was dangerous, but made small talk instead. If they were going to remember her anyways, it was best to be pleasant about it.
Kitchel thinks for just a second before replying. "Hmm, I've seen plenty of Ratfolk in my time, so I imagine this one's on you. As for how well I can shoot, take a look at these shots!"
The ratfolk pulls out her shortbow and in quick succession lets two arrows fly.
First shot at the Target: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (3) + 5 = 8
Second shot at the Target: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12
Kitchel's ears slump momentarily as she watches her (lack of) aim, but then they perk right back up. "Well, looks like I still need some more practice. Maybe you can give me some pointers!"
Turning back to Jodar she tries to sound optimistic. "I bet that the real Sandpoint Devil is much larger than that target. That should make it easier to hit when I meet it!"
The Varisian takes her prize from Jodar, nodding at his words. She quickly compares the fishbone butterfly to her other charm and pockets it.
Valerica then watches Kitchel take her shots and sighs a bit, replying to her with, "You could be a pretty good shot from the way I see it. Your form's good...just a bit off. If you practiced more on your shot, I'm sure you'd be even better."
She puts her hand behind her head, continuing, "And either way, I ain't good enough yet. That should've been a bulls-eye. I need the practice just as much as you."
As Kitchel turns to talk to Jodar, Valerica's eyebrows raise when she hears mention of the Sandpoint Devil. "Wait, you're looking for that beast too? Tell me what you know. Er...please? I'm on the hunt for it as well."
Kitchel turns back to Valerica and nods enthusiastically. "Oh yes, that's the reason, well, one of the reasons, Tif and I are here. If you're hunting the devil as well you should come meet Tif and we can compare notes! Hmm, I suppose I should figure out what she's been up to. I don't suppose you need a tailer?" Without pausing from her talk Kitchel looks Valerica over with a quick, critical eye. "No, I don't expect that you do. Ah well, Tif will be happy to meet you anyhow. And speaking of meeting, I'm Kitchel, it's a pleasure to meet you!"
The ratfolk stops and thrusts out a small paw in Valerica's direction, her eyes and ears pert and alert and a happy quiver in her whiskers.
"Depends on how many tourists are in town, and how much liquor they drink," Jargie says, and winks. He gets out a stepstool so that he can hop up on the bar with a knife and start writing Trig's name into the beam. A few names are legible, but Trig doesn't recognize them: 'Tandem the Bard', 'Jakardros Sovark', 'Grog' and others. There is one name she sort of recognizes, 'Red Carent'. Donal Carent is the leader of a band of Sczarni back in Magnimar, Red may be a relative.
Daverin claps for the last good throw. "Well, technically this is only if you get all three in the fireplace, but I like ya, kid," Daverin says, and he gives Wayland his prize, a small bag of jerky. "There ya go! Fresh goblin jerky!" he says loudly, then leans in and says conspiratorially, "I'm only jokin', it's venison but you should see the look on these kids' faces when I tell 'em that, ha!"
As it gets closer to sunset, folks begin to gather back at the cathedral square for the consecration ceremony, milling about and chatting while they wait for the event to begin. Father Zantus stands off to the side of the stage, giving people a few minutes to file in and get settled.
If you would kindly arrange yourself on the map wherever you'd like to be for the consecration, there's townsfolk and visitors all around. I recommend zooming in. Trig, I've included an icon for Cal but you don't have to move him if he's just staying on your person.
Back in the cathedral square, having checked in with Tif (and perhaps introduced Valerica to her,) Kitchel is soaking it all in. Trying to listen to six conversations going on around her at once she makes her way towards the front of the crowd. She's both curious and relatively small and that strikes her as the best place to be able to both hear what Father Zantus has to say and see how he presents it. As the time to start draws nearer Kitchel finds her self distracted by the Cathedral itself with it's intricate stained glass and the architectural flourishes that make it a unique place of worship. She wonders how long it would take to learn to build something like that.
Such a good day. So much I've learned and so much I've learned I need to learn. Now, I wonder what a consecration ceremony looks like. I suppose I'll find out shortly!
"Ah, you're here with a companion? Interesting..." She begins to tap her chin in thought. "I guess having someone else to hunt this thing with would save me some time in finding it. Just so you know, I plan on doing the most in bringing the beast down. Kinda surprised anyone else is even looking for it in all honesty."
She looks at Kitchel's paw for a moment, unsure what to do, but cautiously sticks out her hand and shakes it, mumbling, "I'm Valerica. Nice to meet'cha."
After some time, while Valerica is not much one for talking, she takes on the more listener role as her and Kitchel converse. Not knowing much of anyone in town besides Kitchel (and possibly Tif now), she decides to stick close by her in the crowd so she can hopefully rely on Kitchel's social skills in finding more information.
Edamm and Ponok take up a spot to the south of the stage on a section of grass. Ponok curls up and puts his head down, relaxing but alert. Edamm squats down and begins petting the big cat.
Tomorrow friend, we'll go out and run tomorrow. Maybe we can find a deer to bring back to the local butcher, earn a little coin
Whatever it takes to keep out of Jubrayl's sight. And hopefully out of sight, out of mind will work out as well.
Edamm then turns her attention to the stage.
Wayland finds a spot near the stage. He adjusts his hat and nibbles on his newly-won venison jerky.
He's mostly here out of academic interest. So is this going to be a Desnan ceremony? Shouldn't that involve like a procession down a road or something? Not standing in one place, you would think. Oh look, the out-of-town Varisian made friends with the ratfolk. I know she was looking for somebody to talk to. Good for her? Strange world we live in. Ratfolk in Varisia.
He looks around.
And a woman with a leopard? A druid, or a carnival performer?
He saw leopards more than once in Sargava, some of them tame even.
Trig absentmindedly fingered her now-heavy coin purse as she moved to the front of the crowd. She couldn't see what all of the hubbub was about last time, and she wasn't about to make that mistake again. Maybe something interesting was about to happen.
Her eyes searched the crowd as she waited. There was a Ratfolk in the crowd. That seemed out of place here. Then again, as Trig looked at all of the humans who had congregated behind her, it seemed like she was very much out of place here, as well. Was that the same one she had seen at the Hagfish? Trig didn't have a very good look at them before.
Excitement. Trig frowned. She didn't understand what Cal was excited about now. All she could see was people and more people and the cathedral. Brushing his feelings to the back of her mind, she stared at the cathedral until whatever was about to happen, happened.
At the Hagfish
Tif nibbles on one of the inn's sample meals as she watches the gnome manage to keep down the slimy liquid. Long ago, she'd been the one to test out concoctions that were just as fowl, and although she had got better at keeping the worse ones down, she'd found that she'd never got used to the taste.
Nimbly squeezing through the taller well-wishers, she adds her congratulations. "Well done! Although if you want my advice, try out the spicy chicken on the table out the front - add extra hot sauce. It'll burn your mouth, but will also numb your taste buds for a while."
Now that there's less incentive to risk her own stomach, Tif opts to hurry on to the market instead of attempting the challenge herself.
As evening draws near, Tif packs away the stall and hurries over to the cathedral, joining Kitchel and her new friend near the stage.
Father Zantus takes the stage and throws a yellow marble at the ground; on impact, there's a sharp retort like thunder. A stray dog that had been dozing under a wagon snaps up at the sound and barks, and people turn to the stage.
He clears his throat, takes a breath to speak, when suddenly, a woman's scream cuts through the air. A few moments later, another scream, and another. Past them, overpowering them, is a chorus of high-pitched, tittering, inhuman voices. The crowd parts, and something small and low to the ground races by, giggling with maniacal glee, and the stray dog yelps before collapsing to the ground, its throat cut ear-to-ear.
There's more sounds now, coming from further off, people yelling and small explosions like fireworks going off, but here in the cathedral square, people scatter aside as a small band of goblins run in with large knives and torches, laughing and taking swings at townsfolk and singing their gruesome song: "Goblins chew and goblins bite, goblins cut and goblins fight. Stab the dog and cut the horse, goblins eat and take by force!"
Goblins: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Edamm: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (12) + 3 = 15
Kitchel: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12
Tif: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (17) + 1 = 18
Trig: 1d20 ⇒ 8
Valerica: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (12) + 6 = 18
Wayland: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
Everybody but Trig acts before the goblins. Block initiative, everyone goes within their block as they're able to post.
At the scream, Tif turns and as she catches a glimpse of the goblin through the scattering crowd, she breaks into a run, throwing back her hood and drawing a heavy flail from beneath her robes as she goes. Darting between the fleeing townfolk, she stops in front of the nearest goblin, ready to strike.
Double move + draw weapon
Hearing the screams of the people and the disgusting song being sung by the goblins, Valerica begins to have flashbacks to that fateful day for her. She remembers how weak she was back then. She couldn't help anybody. But, that was different now. She'd been training for a moment like this for her entire life and wouldn't let these ugly, green monsters raid another peaceful village. "Fall back!" she screams to the townspeople.
Steeling herself for battle, not willing to let them kill any other innocent folk, she rushes forward a bit, pulls out her longbow and fires an arrow straight at the goblin directly in front of Tif!
Attack;FE: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (8) + 8 = 16
Damage;FE: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
Move + draw weapon
Standard - Attack
Hearing the sounds behind her, Kitchel turns and sees Tiff already running. "I'm coming! Don't let them overwhelm you!" Her cry is mostly lost in the noise of the crowd, but she springs into action. Drawing her rapier as she goes Kitchel scurries forward to stand at Tif's side. The ratfolk time their moves with practice, almost acting as a single enemy for the goblin host before them.
Double move to the space Tif occupies + draw weapon
If any goblins attempt to attack Kitchel she will attempt to parry and riposte the first attack.
Parry attempt: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Riposte if applicable: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Riposte damage (P): 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8
Prescience 1/7: 1d20 ⇒ 13
He sees it will be a good shot, on target. Good enough? We'll see.
Wayland draws his crossbow and fires at a goblin (the one 10' from the ratfolk).
Attack, Using Prescience: 13 + 2 = 15
Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 7
At the sound of the thunderous noise, Ponok perks up. Edamm clicks her tongue letting him know everything is alright. Then as if on cue, everything is wrong.
As the goblins appear Edamm stands tall and draws her shortsword. She begins approaching to help those in need, and those who seem to be stepping up to take care of it. She calls back for Ponok to join her.
"Ponok, Durere!" she says and points to the goblins.
Ponok seems unsure of what to do though. He stands and looks around as Edamm continues to move.
Edamm, move action to draw weapon, second move of 30 ft., free action to command Ponok (AND FAIL?). Ponok, move action to stand. End turn.
vs Tif: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (18) + 3 = 21
vs Kitchel: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6
vs Tif dam: 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
Tif rushes in to take on the goblins, and the one nearest her snarls--just before Valerica's arrow sprouts in its throat, right between the gaps in the piecemeal armor it wears. It gags loudly and falls on its face, and one of its fellows giggles madly at the sight.
Wayland's shot just barely misses the goblin, and both the one he was aiming for and another one move up to attack the ratfolk. One swipes at Tif with its knife and puts a slash across her snout, and it cackles wildly. The other goblin sees Tif and Kitchel moving in sync and seems to get a brilliant idea, and it moves to stand beside its ally. When the first goblin swings, he elbows the other right in the face, and though Kitchel is ready to parry, the goblin doesn't even come close to hitting her. The first snaps at the second, "Tokhel, tuul or or daan duul!"
"Stupid, stay out the way!"
Another goblin throws its torch at a small tent, and the flames quickly catch. Yet another rushes over to a wagon, drops its weapon, and starts stuffing its face and pockets with smoked salmon left over from the festival without a care in the world.
One goblin is down, Tif has taken 3 points of damage. Kitchel is down one point of panache. Trig is up, then everyone else before the goblins go again.
Trig drops her backpack and moves forward towards the Goblins. Not into the line of fire, of course, but only barely in the fight. She began shouting in Goblin.
Her last sentence was laced with magic as she cast a Command spell at a standing Goblin near the two Ratfolk.
Goblin needs to make a DC 15 Will save (14 base, +1 for Magical Linguist) or fall prone, but can act normally, for 1 whole round.
Drop pack as a free action to get into light encumberance, move 20 feet, cast Command
Kitchel's attention is on the goblins in front of her, but she is aware enough of Tif to notice the hit. She chides the aggressor in an indignant tone. "Hey, you can't do that to Tif!"
Rapier Attack on the Goblin that hit Tif: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Damage (P): 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Confirming Critical: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22
Critical Damage (P): 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (4) + 4 = 8; 13 total damage
Assuming that critical goes through Kitchel gains her panache back. She will once again attempt to parry and riposte the first melee attack made against her.
Parry attempt: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26
Riposte if applicable: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (7) + 6 = 13
Riposte Damage (P): 1d4 + 4 ⇒ (3) + 4 = 7
Seeing her first arrow take out one goblin, she smirks to herself, feeling more confident as she takes a step closer in front of the gnome that had just run up, loads another arrow and fires at the goblin near the northernmost tent!
Attack; FE: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (1) + 8 = 9
Damage; FE: 1d8 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
As she moves forward, she trips over a rock, stumbling a bit as she tries to fire her shot.
5ft step and attack the goblin near the northernmost tent.
Edamm frowns back at Ponok as he continues to look around. Then she notices the fire on the tent and decides someone should make sure that does become a problem. She chants slightly to herself and gestures to the fire, then a drenching rain falls over the tent.
That should take care of that. Now Ponok, Durere
- Attack DC 10 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (12) + 8 = 20
Edamm then circles around a bit, clearing the way for Ponok as she moves to engage the goblins. Ponok takes the command instantly this time and charges forward at the southern goblin.
- Bite 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (5) + 9 = 14
- Damage 1d4 + 1 ⇒ (4) + 1 = 5
- Trip 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (5) + 3 = 8
- +2 bonus from charge, AC is now 15
Edamm, standard action to cast Create Water on the fire, free action to command Ponok, move action to move. Ponok, full round action to charge and attack.
PA Heavy Flail Attack w/ flank: 1d20 + 3 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 3 + 2 = 6
PA Heavy Flail Damage: 1d8 + 6 ⇒ (5) + 6 = 11
Kitchel ducks slightly as Tif swings wildly over her head, but the goblin's hit splattered blood in her eyes and aim is wildly off. She scowls at the goblin as she wipes her eyes clear.
Kitchel swiftly swings about and runs the goblin through, and it falls as she sweeps back again in sync with Tif. In turn, Tif takes a swing at the next little monster but misses.
Anybody watching would see a miniature raincloud form above the fire, which only just started to catch, and pour on the flames, before the cloud dissipates as quickly as it appeared. The goblin that threw its torch is visibly confused, but makes the connection to the woman chanting and spits foul curses Edamm's way. Meanwhile, Ponok snaps at the goblin in front of it but misses, and the goblin shrieks in terror and anger.
I have now put colored borders onto the goblin tokens for ease of reference. Kitchel regains her panache. Wayland is up.
Waylands watches as this band of strangers gathers to confront the goblins.
Fate? Or maybe just a bunch of people who all hate goblins. Smart folk, then.
Foresight 2/7: 1d20 ⇒ 14
The Sargavan sees a slightly better shot in his future.
He reloads his crossbow, takes a step, and fires again, at Blue.
Attack, Using Foresight: 14 + 2 = 16
Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 4
1d20 - 1 ⇒ (15) - 1 = 14
Y: 1d20 + 3 - 4 ⇒ (13) + 3 - 4 = 12
B: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
G: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (13) + 3 = 16
1d4 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3
One of the goblins' eyes glaze over and it falls back on its bottom. It flails wildly in Ponok's direction but can't touch the panther, and then the next goblin steps on its hand so it can leap up at Edamm. It just hits her, stabbing her in the thigh and cackling as it darts back again. "Tokhel kuukac huukuul draal!"
"Stupid longshanks gonna die!"
Wayland's crossbow bolt has an uncanny trajectory, just barely missing the ratfolk and taking the goblin in the eye. It screeches wordlessly in pain and anger, and grabs its backup knife as it rushes at the first target it sees, Valerica. Half-blind as it is, however, it swipes at her and comes up short.
Edamm takes 3 points of damage from Green, Blue is heavily injured but still standing, Yellow is prone. Party is up.