Sunday 04 Rova 4707
Over drinks at the Rusty Dragon late the previous night, Larissa and MacGreggor agreed to meet the following morning to explore the Old Light a bit more. Larissa was intrigued by the story she’d heard of people entering the centuries-old ruins and never being seen again.
Sunday morning, just after sunrise, they met at the edge of the ruins, which are situated on a point overlooking the Varisian Gulf, at the edge of a sheer cliff. The cliff rises about 100 feet from the surface of the gulf. The base of the tower seems to rise out of the gulf itself, and appears to be built into the side of the cliff. The tower rises another 60 feet or so above the top of the cliff face, and is by far the tallest structure in the town of Sandpoint.
Larissa and MacGreggor scrambled over the chunks of worked stone strewn about the tower at street level and approached the tower proper. They found an opening that was about five feet tall and three feet wide, and scrambled through. Once inside, they climbed a path that had been worn into the pile of stone rubble that littered the interior of the tunnel. While dim, there was enough light to see, as they could see the sky through the top of the tower: apparently, the roof and floors of the tower had pancaked over the centuries into the pile of rubble they stood upon. While a few faded runes and weathered carvings were visible on the walls, time had defaced them beyond any translation. One image remained visible: a ceramic mosaic that clearly showed an immense tower with a huge flame atop it.
They then left this part of the ruins and took the stone stairs near Chopper’s Isle down to the beach below to examine the base of the tower. The base of the tower rose out of the water, and waves broke against it. Strangely, while the rocks that jutted out of the breakers were covered with seaweed, mussels, and barnacles, the stone of the tower itself was eerily devoid of attached sealife. It also seemed far less eroded than one would imagine. Looking up at the tower, Larissa spotted a crack in the wall about 80 feet up that might just be wide enough for her to squeeze in. She attempted to free-climb the tower, but the stones were much smoother and were fitted more closely than she had reckoned, and the way up was too difficult. They returned to the street level of the ruins.
They re-entered the tower, and Larissa saw that the interior was much easier to climb than the exterior. She made it to the top of the tower, secured new ropes, and dropped them over the outside wall near the opening she’d seen below. MacGreggor climed up to watch, and she went down the rope and into the opening, pulling the end of the rope in behind her.
The opening was about six feet from a stone ceiling, with a jagged stone floor about 30 feet below her. The air inside was extremely foul. Looking up, she saw several hundred bats hanging upside-down from the ceiling, apparently asleep. Looking down, she saw two human skeletons sprawled directly below the opening, apparently people who had entered but not returned. The floor was strewn with guano-covered rubble. The room appeared to have originally been two different floors, and she surmised that the stone rubble on the floor was what remained of the floor and any interior walls. There were no obvious exits from the room, and Larissa had a bad feeling about the stability of either the floor or the ceiling, so she did not leave her perch in the opening. She did manage to see some Thassilonian inscriptions on the walls, including the passage “Behold the glory of Xin-Bakrakhan” and “Fear the [wrath? righteousness?] of Alaznist and her might.” Larissa took note of these inscriptions and climbed back up. She and MacGreggor then descended the tower and returned to town. It was just before noon by then.
Meanwhile, Declan went to the cathedral to assist with the dawn ritual of Sarenrae and to chat with Father Zantus. Declan asked Zantus if he had any idea as to why the goblins would want to rob the grave of the former priest, but Zantus had no idea. Declan asked if any part of the church had survived the fire, to which Zantus replied, “Nothing. Well, nothing except the standing stones, but they were there before that chapel was built.” He led Declan to a small grassy courtyard, in the center of which was a round stone altar surrounded by seven monoliths. All were made of polished basalt. The altar was unmarked by carvings, and each of the seven monoliths bore a single Thassilonian rune. When asked about the runes, Zantus replied, “I believe those were the Seven Virtues of Thassilon: wealth, fertility, self-assurance, abundance, self-improvement, righteousness, and rest. Obviously, this stone circle is of Thassilonian origin, and the native Varisians who lived here before the founding of Sandpoint used this as a place of worship. They had consecrated it to Desna specifically, and we later consecrated it to all of the deities that Desna counts as allies… including Sarenrae, of course.”
That evening, MacGreggor, Charrone, Larissa, Ted, Halfred, and Declan met at the Rusty Dragon for dinner, and there they met up with Aldern Foxglove. Aldern bought dinner again (albeit a much less-lavish affair than their previous meal together), and confirmed that they would all meet by the North Gate the following morning for the boar hunt.
Moonday 05 Rova 4707 A.R.
The weather didn’t bode particularly well for a hunt: the first cold winds of autumn blew through town on an overcast and muggy day, as drizzle spit from a slate-gray sky. Nevertheless, the group mounted the rented horses and took their boar spears in hand, and followed Aldern along the North Coast Road, eastward along the shore. At a crossroad about half a mile later, they took the much less-traveled Tickwood Road that runs between Tickwood Forest and Turandrok River. Unfortunately, the weather turned out to be an omen of what was to come.
About halfway through Tickwood, before the turnoff for the huntsman’s road that Aldern intended to take, the group was waylaid by a band of gobin raiders. Six goblins positioned in trees alongside the road let loose a volley of arrows, and two goblin spellcasters attempted to ensorcell the party. Halfred dismounted and charged one of the spellcasters, and Charrone charged the other on horseback. Both hit, and neither goblin spellcaster was able to cast a spell off that had any effect. Charonne and Aldern were hit by goblin arrows, but the group managed to take down four of the archers and both spellcasters before the remaining goblins fled. Examining the fallen goblins, Charrone discovered that the shaman was still alive, and announced that she would be taking him back to town as a prisoner: perhaps he would have more information about Friday’s attack on the town. Aldern tried to convince her to continue on the hunt, but was unsuccessful, and he reluctantly declared the hunt over to accompany her back to town, and the rest of the group followed suit.
Back in town, Charonne delivered the goblin to Sheriff Hemlock, who offered to let the party sit in on the interrogation once the goblin regained consciousness. The group then joined Aldern for a farewell dinner, as Aldern said he had business to attend back in Magnimar and would need to leave in the morning.
As dinner was starting to wind down, a local woman burst into the Rusty Dragon, with two young children in tow. Upon seeing the party, she ran up to them and exclaimed, “Thank Desna I’ve found you! We need your help! There’s a goblin in my son’s closet!”