Wayland shrugs. "A wizard's got to be curious. A diviner especially. Comes with the job description as I understand it. Now, that don't mean rushing in blindly. But it does mean learning things and poking into things and figuring out what's going on."
Kitchel grins at Trig as she raises her not unexpected objections. "It's good that you're with us Trig. You help remind us of our mortality. Oh, and that thing that we're not talking so much about, but which you do that's mighty helpful! Now, who else has entirely reasonable objections to raise before we throw ourselves into danger?"
Edamm comes back in from feeding Ponok as the four debate the next move.
"Pnok and I are more inclined to action than research," she says. "but being informed about the group we are moving against is also a very valid thought. Perhaps a few days asking around town, especially if our new friends could point us to some trusted sources, would pay off in the long run."
Edamm grabs another piece of the boar meat as she sits down.
"Either way, count me in. I'm sure between Ponok, Tif, and Kit could helps us sniff out the goblins."
"I appreciate your enthusiasm," Shalelu says. "My partner and I will be headed southward tomorrow, leaving at the crack of dawn. No offense, but I work better just with him. But, I pray I'm just being paranoid about all of this." She shakes her head.
If you have any more questions for Shalelu you can put them in a spoiler, but for the sake of moving on I'll continue.
The Next Morning
Early, but not too early, as you're first waking up and descending to the mostly-empty bar, you are approached by a timid elderly halfling woman who you would have seen a few times around the Rusty Dragon. Bethana Corwin is a maid working for Ameiko.
"I, em, please--I need your help," she says. "Could I speak to you in private?" She inclines her head toward the kitchen.
Tif raises her eyebrows in surprise. "Sure thing, what's the matter?" she asks quietly as she heads where Bethana is pointing.
Glancing around to Kitchel tries to determine if anyone in the bar is paying more attention to Bethana's behavior and Tif and Trig heading towards the kitchen than would be expected.
Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18
Assuming no one seems overly interested, Kitchel will follow as well.
Shalelu takes out a map of Sandpoint's surrounding area and points out a few places of note.
The Seven Tooth Goblins live in Shank's Wood to the east of Sandpoint; it's just to the north of the Tickwood, where you hunted boar yesterday with Foxglove. They make their shelters and equipment out of human garbage, raiding Sandpoint's junkyard in the dead of night.
The Thistletop Goblins live even further to the east, on the northern coast of the Nettlewood, specifically on a small island just off the coast that, some claim, resembles a decapitated head.
The Birdcruncher Tribe lives on the western edge of the Devil's Platter, a rather large rocky plateau, the Mosswood Goblins, though they tend to be somewhat nomadic within that area, and the Licktoad Goblins live in the Brinestump Marsh to the south-southwest, which poses its own challenges in navigation.
"Be careful out there," she says. "Goblins aren't the only thing you'll find. There's a bugbear, another type of goblinoid, that frequents these parts. Called Bruzthamus, I've tangled with him a few times. And that's just the start of it."
Kitchel doesn't notice anybody who seems to be paying much attention to Bethana and the party.
Bethana pulls you into the kitchen. She wrings her hands nervously as she says, "Ameiko is missing.
"Usually she's already started breakfast by the time I wake up, but this morning she hadn't. I went to check her room but she wasn't there, I don't think she even went to bed last night. And then I found this on the desk--"
Bethana takes out a wrinkled note. "It's, um, Minkaiian, probably to deal with prying eyes, but Ameiko's been teaching me her ancestral language. It's a letter, from Ameiko's brother, and it says:
"Hello, dear sister! I hope this letter finds you well, and with some free time on your hands, because we've got a problem. It's about father. It seems he might have had something to do with Sandpoint's recent troubles with goblins. I didn't want to bring this to the authorities because we both know he would just weasel his way out of it. You have some pull in town, though. If you can meet me at the glassworks at midnight tonight, maybe we can figure out how to make sure he faces the punishment he deserves. Knock twice and then three times more then once at the delivery door and I'll let you in.
"In any case, I don't have to impress upon you the delicate nature of the situation. If this got out, you know these local rubes would assume you and I are in on it, don't you? They have no honor around these parts, I don't know how you can stand to be around them.
"Anyway, don't tell anyone about this. There are other complications as well, ones I'd rather discuss in person tonight.
"Don't be late. Tsuto."
By this point, Bethana is beside herself with anxiety. "Nobody's even heard from Tsuto in years! Y'see, he's--well, technically, I suppose he's Ameiko's half-brother. You see, Tsuto is half-elven, but, uh, neither of the Kaijutsus are elves. It was a real scandal, let me tell you, apparently the Lady Kaijutsu wouldn't ever say a word about who the boy's father was, took it to her grave.
"Ameiko's tried with him, bless her heart, but the boy was always angry, always resented Lonjiku, and of course Lord Kaijutsu pretended he didn't exist, sent him away from the manor. That he'd come back now, of all times. And if they really met at midnight, but Ameiko hasn't come back yet, oh, I'm so afraid something's happened to her!"
Bethana shakes her head. "Please, I, I don't know where else to turn. Shalelu left without saying a word to anyone, and the Sheriff's gone off to Magnimar to request more guards after all the mess that's been going on. You seem like good folk. Please, I, I won't ask you to get involved with their family business, but if you could just...go to the Glassworks. It hasn't been in use for a couple years now, nobody'll be around. Please, just...poke around a little, make sure that, that nothing's happened to Ameiko. Please, will you help?"
Tif's ears twitch when she hears about goblins. "Of course we'll look into it. People just can't go missing like that. But it looks like we found out who was helping the goblins. I wonder if it had anything to do with why they were arguing last night."
"I will go.
Now, we don't know this Tsuto and have no reason to trust him. He doesn't think highly of the townsfolk, and it seems he may be responsible for Ameiko's disappearance. So I am not sure we should trust what he says about Lord Kaijutsu and the goblins... there could be layers of deception here.
But I am willing to go investigate."
Kitchel listens as Bethana translates the letter and then nods as she makes the request to visit the Glassworks. "We're happy to investigate for you. It'd be a shame if anything happened to Ameiko, especially after the recent attack. I wonder though if there's anything that you see in this which might confirm that it was Tsuto who wrote it. It's in Minkaiian which is some evidence, but there are others who know the language. If he hasn't been seen recently then it is an odd time for a reappearance. You don't happen to have any other samples of his handwriting or the like we could compare it to? Or anything else, like a seal that only he would have or the use of language or something that I'm not thinking of that would confirm the authorship? I realize of course that Ameiko would be a better person to ask all this, but with her missing just now you seem the next best option!
"That sounds like a waste of time, Kitchel," Trig said with a shake of her head. "If it was Tsuto who wrote it, then we wasted time. If it wasn't, then we wasted time because who did it? If we're set on this, we might as well just go and figure it out. It'd get Ameiko home safer and faster."
"As rude as she is, I agree with shorty," Valerica sternly nods her head down in Trig's direction. "Let's go check out the Glassworks. Who knows if she's been hurt already? She's gonna need help."
Kitchel thinks momentarily before nodding. "OK, if there's anything you can tell us now that you might know about how authentic that letter is we'd like to hear it. If you can think of anything that might take time to investigate we'd like to do so later." Turning to Trig she smiles. "But I'd expect you to want to know what we're getting into. If we know that it's not Tsuto, and that happens to point to someone else in particular for some reason we could be better prepared. The more we know about enemies we might be approaching the safer we'll be, yes? Valerica I expect to call for action," and she looks up at Valerica nodding to indicate that's a good thing, "But you I expect to call for caution when possible. I suppose I've got you less figured out than I thought, so that's another mystery to keep working on!"
Edamm looks back and forth between her allies, then nods slightly to herself.
"Being informed is always a good plan," she says. "but often more can be learned with your own eyes. Perhaps Tif, Valerca, Ponok, and myself could scout over at the Glassworks to see if we can discover what may be going on there, and then the other can catch up with us after seeing if there is more here to discover. Either way, I will go get my things and prepare with Ponok outside."
Edamm turns to leave and get started.
"No, no, I agree that getting to the Glassworks quickly is important in case something needs to be done there. If there's not an immediate answer to the genuine author that Bethana knows then we should probably all go together, and I can examine this mystery later. If there's something dangerous out there we're probably better off if we encounter it together."
Trig snorted at being called a shorty, but shook her head. "I'm not supporting running face first into danger. I support Edamm's idea of scouting it out. Checking it out. Asking around. If we don't find anything related to Ameiko or who was behind this, then I support trying to find out who actually penned the letter so we better know what to expect when we piss off the wrong people. Which, of course we're going to be doing. The work must be done quickly and quietly."
"Let's go to the Glassworks. Ameiko may not have much time if she is in trouble."
OOC, I do not want to spend time getting sidetracked. We are taking this AP at a very slow pace, which is fine, but let's not make it slower by ignoring the very nice railroad that is waiting for us to get on board.
"Only way to find out is to search the glassworks."
On the way there...
"If it is closed up, we may need to break in - can anyone do that quietly? It's still early so it should be quiet, but we don't want to alarm the townsfolk if we don't have to."
The Glassworks is on the west side of town. It's rather large, and noticeably quiet. There are a few passers-by who occasionally stop in front to gossip on the silence, but mostly figure that the doors have been locked while the employees and Lord Kaijitsu work on a large project. The building's back is towards the sea. From the front, there are two visible entrances, and some windows which have curtains drawn. There is a domed glass skylight over a circular area on the front side, a testament to the skill of the glaziers employed by Kaijitsu.
A map has been added for your reference.
I'm guessing the paths all go to entrances of one sort or another
Tif walks around the building, looking for entrances or anything suspicious.
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (12) + 4 = 16
"Well, there's a door at the back, we can use that if we don't want to attract attention. I suppose we could also just see if the front door is unlocked. Nothing suspicious about a potential customer seeing if they're open"
She will try opening a door that looks like a shop front or similar.
There is one door that seems to lead into a reception area of some kind (the door Tif has stopped in front of), but the room is empty and the door is locked, as are any other doors.
As Tif walks around the back side of the building, drawing closer to the wall, she can hear the ocean, she can hear the rumble of the Glassworks' furnaces, and she can hear something, more than one something, giggling, shrieking, and the sound of breaking glass.
Wayland has his bolas in hand, and takes up position near Tif.
"Locked door? Anybody got a way to handle that?"
Looks like Edamm is the one with Disable Device.
"Goblins!" Tif exclaims worriedly. "Or something laughing and breaking glass, at least. We'd better get in there quickly!"
If we're going to pick locks, we should do the one in the reception area.
"Why would it be goblins?" Trig asked, her ever-present frown deepening into a scowl. "Are there any broken windows? If not, I'd be surprised if they could break into a place like this."
Trig would pull out her longspear, clutching it tightly at the thought of having more goblins to deal with.
Edamm steps around to the area Tif indicates the group should try to move in through.
"I've got it." she says. "I think we should see a little more before all heading in. Ponok and I can move together really well, and maybe Tif or Kitchel should join us. The rest wait here for us to make sure its not immediately dangerous."
Edamm and Ponok approach the door, she removes her pack pulls out some tools and begins to work on the door.
- Perception for traps: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (20) + 10 = 30
- Disable Device: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (19) + 8 = 27
If the perception check finds a trap, please use the disable device as the check to remove the trap.
Edamm doesn't find any traps, and her work is swift and easy--the door opens easily. The reception room is empty and dim, and there are three doors leading elsewhere.
There is something of an issue, however, as a few of the residents of Sandpoint who were gossiping about the Glassworks are very interested in how their new heroes, after walking around, now seem to be breaking into the building. There were about five, and a couple more come up, and they don't bother hiding their gawking.
A thin young man, about fifteen years old, already dirty, shouts out to you, "Oi! What're you doin'?" and an older woman, probably his mother, cuffs him on the back of the head.
Addressing the crowd beginning to surround them, Kitchel steps forward and uses her most projecting voice. "We heard reports that something was amiss here at the Glassworks. I'll ask everyone to stay back as we're not sure what we're going to find in here and we'd like to keep everyone safe. After the goblin attacks we can't take anything for granted and we need everyone's cooperation!"
Diplomacy to Persuade Others: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13
Diplomacy assist: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (11) + 1 = 12
"So much for avoiding attention." Tif mutters to herself.
Turning to address the onlookers, Tif backs up Kitchel's words. "Don't worry, we have experience in dealing with dangers!"
"Don't you recognize us? We were in the thick of things at the festival. Our actions saved countless lives that day, maybe even one of yours. We have been recognized by nobility as heroes. We have it on good word that there may be goblins in there, and a young lady in trouble. If you think you can help, then help, but otherwise stop gawking."
Diplo aid another: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (5) + 8 = 13 +2 to Kitchel.
The DC was 15, good that you got that aid.
Kitchel's words, bolstered by Tif and Trig, have an immediate effect. The boy who had called out, his eyes go wide with astonishment and his mother ushers him away, most of the rest go quickly on their way to avoid getting caught up in things, and the few that remain back up further on the other side of the road from the Glassworks.
"Good luck, then," a Varisian woman in a shawl calls to you, before she, too, goes on her way.
Wayland tips his hat to the onlookers. He makes a point to tell the Varisian woman, "If there's trouble back in town, come back here and find us! This could be a diversion to get us out of town for all we know."
Tif breathes easier as the people move away. "Well, that's a relief. We'll still need to make sure no goblins escape into the streets." She hurries forward and tries the inner doors. "Yes, that they didn't break in is a worry." she answers Trig. "If the letter was true, then that would explain why the goblins are here, and they might have been taken by surprise. If Tsuto was lying, then this does look more like a trap. I heard breaking glass, so they might be in a storeroom or showroom."
Perception: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22
Opening the doors (if possible), and listening for the sounds I heard before. Or signs to a showroom, storeroom, etc.
None of the internal doors are locked. Going clockwise from the entrance, the first door leads into a small office, empty; the next door leads into a hallway, and the third door leads to a filing room.
The hallway is lit a little bit better. There's a door at 9 o' clock that leads to that same small office, two doors at 11 and 12 o' clock, and a door at 5 o' clock. None of the doors are locked; at the last of the doors, Tif listens closely, and can just make out those same chaotic noises as before. The source isn't the room beyond the door, but it's in the right direction.
"It's this way! Let's get them before they know we're here!" She pulls open the door and rushes through, drawing her flail and following the sound.
"What happened to sneaking!?" Trig hissed in a panic. Her face fell as Wayland followed, and pulled her longspear. "We don't even know if it's goblins!"
Rushing forth into the next room, it seems to be a supply room for glass ingredients which has been ransacked considerably, jars of various reagents thrown from the shelves and shattered on the ground. There's a safe in the corner which is open and empty. There is one door leading outside, one door in the corner, and one at one o' clock; through the last of these is the sounds.
The door is unlocked, and looking within, there is a massive workroom that spans the length of the building. Along one entire wall are massive furnaces, still going strong. It is here that you find both a crew of goblins, and what remains of the workers: dismembered, desecrated bodies scattered around the room.
The centerpiece of the room, beneath the massive skylight, is a mass of thick, runny hardened glass encasing what is unmistakeably a human body.
The only word to describe what the goblins are doing is 'playing,' with the body parts, that is, trying to pour glass over the remains in imitation of the body in the center (with little success) and throwing the remains into the massive furnaces and cheering as anything that goes in the furnace is burned up completely.
The goblins don't seem to have noticed you yet. There are eight of them, closer to the far end of the room.
You have the element of surprise. Zoomed-in map has been added & rotated 90 degrees so it can be bigger, feel free to arrange yourselves as you like.
Trig does her best to take cover without being seen, clutching at her longspear, not at all ready to be going toe to toe with goblins but knowing that these people are more than willing.
Stealth: 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (17) + 8 = 25
Edamm moves along behind Trig, trying to remain hidden. Following closely as always is Ponok, slinking like the stalking cat he is. Edamm's usual grace seems to have been left behind as she kicks some debris.
- Edamm: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (4) - 1 = 3
- Ponok: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (1) + 13 = 14
Well, she'll be a better rogue as she levels. I promise.
Stealth: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Tif glances over at Trig as she sneaks foward, muttering "Well, what else would it be?!". Turning back to the goblins, her flail knocks into a relatively intact bottle that teeters briefly on the edge of a workbench, before plummeting towards the floor.
Trig and Kitchel are silent and sneaky. Tif clumsily knocks over a bottle, but somehow, the goblins actually do not seem to notice? Then as Edamm is about to kick up debris, Trig stops her and pulls her into the alcove with a glare.
Between the rumbling of the furnaces and the goblins' own inattentiveness, they still don't seem to have noticed you.
I'm going to borrow from 5e's rules on group checks, where if at least half of the checks succeed, everyone succeeds, and the DC was a big fat 5.
Prescience 1 of 7: 1d20 ⇒ 12 Maybe a hit...
Wayland takes a 5' step, stows his bolas (move), and fires his crossbow on Green (standard).
Attack: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (20) + 2 = 22
Confirm, using Prescience: 12 + 2 = 14 Against flat-footed.
Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 1
Crit Damage: 1d8 ⇒ 5