The Watcher of the Mists

Retreat from Thistletop
Session 14

Oathday, 15 Rova 4707, early afternoon

[Note: The game picked up immediately following the events of the previous session.]

After defeating the goblins in the Thistletop throne room, including the goblin shaman and Ripnugget the chieftain, the Sandpoint Heroes began to systematically examine the bodies of the fallen goblins, and to check the room for treasure and any clues about Nualia. A detect magic spell cast by Ted revealed that the chieftain and shaman had a few magic items, including the chieftain’s halberd (or “horsechopper” as it’s called in Goblin) and breastplate, and several potions. Ted found Ripnuget’s ring of keys. McGregor also noticed that a few of the goblins were still breathing, and he used a dagger to put a stop to that. Larissa assumed that the goblin who’d ran out the back door was going for help, and spiked the door shut.

Without warning, two side doors burst open and six more goblins ran in, brandishing dogslicers! The unexpected attack caught the entire party off-guard, and several of the goblins managed to slash party members. Following the goblins were a bugbear wielding a two-handed heavy flail, and an armored human(!) with a hand-and-a-half sword and shield. The bugbear charged Larissa and smashed her squarely with its flail, knocking her aside. She staggered back behind Halfred for support, who used his ranseur to keep the bugbear at bay. Meanwhile, the goblins swarmed Charrone and Declan, who held them back with their swords. Charrone managed to take down a goblin, but he managed to cut her again before he fell. The wizards were down to using their cantrips, but, between McGregor’s ray of frost and Ted’s acid splash, managed to take out another goblin.

The bugbear evaded Halfred’s ranseur and smashed him on the shoulder with its flail. The enemy human mainly seemed to defend himself, but drew some fire from Larissa, who managed to drop back and get out her bow. Halfred thrust his polearm at the bugbear again, and connected, but at the same moment, felt a stabbing pain in his back. Wheeling, he saw a female half-orc dressed all in black with a black face veil pulling back a dagger dripping with both his own blood and a foul-looking green oil. He felt a chill course through his veins, but managed to shake it off.

“Fall back!” shouted Ted, and the wizards and Larissa backed into the corridor from which they had entered the room. Larissa kept to the shadows, trying to make herself inconspicuous. Charrone and Halfred held the enemies at bay, and Larissa, firing from the shadows, targeted the veiled half-orc woman, and let fly an arrow. The arrow caught the green-skinned woman in the neck, spraying crimson blood across the room, and she collapsed to the floor gurgling. At that, Halfred, Charrone and Declan fell back through the doors, and Ted used magic to pull the doors shut behind them. Larissa quickly jammed the lock, and the group ran back for the main entrance. Seeing no pursuit, the party ran back across the rope bridge and into the tunnels through the thicket. Exiting the thicket, Charrone found her warhorse safely grazing next to the tree she’d tied it to earlier. Declan summoned the healing power of the Dawnflower for the last time of the day, and the Sandpoint Heroes quickly retreated from Nettlewood. They then followed the Lost Coast Road back to Sandpoint, making it back by late afternoon without further incident.

The party returned to the Rusty Dragon for drinks and a hot meal. After their early dinner, the group did a bit of shopping to replenish their supplies. They then retired for the night, planning to return to Thistletop again tomorrow morning to finish the job.

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Thistletop: First Incursion
Session 13

Oathday, 15 Rova, 4707, early afternoon

[The session picked up immediately after the events of the previous session.]

The party stood before the main doors of Thistletop. They could see that the wooden fortress was made mostly of wood scrounged from shipwrecks. Indeed, the nameplates of a few ships could be read from where they stood. Halfred glanced down at the surf 80 feet below, to try to get an idea of where his earthbreaker may have fallen. He noticed the bodies of two goblins and a goblin dog floating on the surf, and that there was a lot of blood in the water. He then saw something pull one of the goblin bodies below the surface, and thought he caught a glimpse of a dorsal fin breaking the surface, but the shape looked more like that of a seal.

Larissa successfully disabled the lock (by sawing through the wooden bar that held the door shut), and Halfred opened the doors. Six goblin dogs immediately attacked from the room beyond the door, and two goblin archers let loose arrows from behind an overturned wooden table. Halfred and Charrone engaged the dogs, and MacGreggor and Ted cast spells at the goblin dogs and archers. Halfred seemed to take out one dog every round, but the rat-like creatures seemed to be more interested in attacking Charrone for some reason, and chewed her up pretty badly. Larissa managed to shoot one of the goblin archers with an arrow through the eye, and the other turned and ran out of the room screaming. After three rounds, the goblin dogs were all dead, and the party entered the room.

The room appeared to be some kind of grisly trophy hall. The badly-preserved heads of over two dozen dogs and five horses adorned the walls. Affixed to a wall by several daggers were a pair of large bat-like wings. Horse, dog, and firepelt skins were scattered over the packed dirt floor. MacGreggor noticed that most of the daggers were human-sized, but old and rusty. One of them had a silver and mother-of-pearl handle and might be valuable, so he pulled it out of the wall.

A set of double doors led north, and the group decided to head that way. The doors led to a short hallway, which ended in another set of double doors. The next set of doors were locked, but didn’t slow Larissa down very much. She stepped aside, and Charrone threw open the doors. Beyond was a large throne room— filled with goblins! Several goblin arrows rained down on the party, but the goblins were terrible shots, and they all missed. Led by Halfred and Charrone, the adventurers fought their way into the room. The goblins scrambled to defend themselves, bounding to and fro. One produced a flask of alchemist’s fire, and hurled it at Larissa, who managed to dodge it. Then, everyone noticed that several of the goblins were singing a terrible (but disturbingly catchy) song, led by a female goblin. Declan called the power of Sarenrae to silence the evildoers, and a field of silence filled the back half of the room. The silence made it impossible for the enemy shaman or warchanter to cast magic, and the shaman fell to Halfred’s ranseur quickly.

But the most dangerous figure in the room was a burly goblin with an impossibly big head who rode a giant gecko lizard. This goblin was apparently the chieftain, as he wore a dented golden crown on his head. He charged Charrone, and managed to slash her with his goblin-sized halberd. Halfred waded through the goblins to assist, and between the two of them, they killed the chief. Now riderless, the lizard ran up the wall and retreated to the ceiling!

Without their leader, the remaining goblins fought even more desperately, one dropping his weapons to fight with his teeth— he got a boot to the face for his trouble. The chanting goblin then pulled out a wand, pointed it at the ceiling, and a huge purple curtain suddenly dropped. It turned out to be an illusion, but in the moment of confusion, she slipped out a back door. At that time, though, no one paid her much mind, as the fight was still on, but it was over in two more rounds.

The group took about a minute to search the throne room and gathered up the treasure on the fallen goblins.

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Attack on Thistletop
Session 12

Oathday, 15 Rova 4707

Just after dawn, the Sandpoint Heroes marched from the North Gate of Sandpoint along the Lost Coast Road. The plan was to follow the road northeast until the road crossed the Thistle River over a stone bridge. They would then leave the road and follow the river north through Nettlewood to the coast east of Thistletop, then follow the coastline west until they found it. Charrone rode her warhorse, but the rest of the group walked. They made it to the river without incident after an hour, and followed the river as it made its way through the moors. After about a quarter-mile, the moors gave way to a scrubby forest that got denser as they approached the coastline. There was no trail along the river, but they did find a game path that led in the right direction. The terrain also got rockier, with large boulders and deep ravines that cut through the hillsides, making it difficult to follow the river, and after an hour they lost their bearings. Halfred also noted that the plant life included a lot of irritating plants, including poison ivy and stinging nettles. The trees got shorted and the underbrush got thicker as they got closer to the shore. The party tried to put rumors of strangle vines out of their minds.

At about an hour before noon, they made it to a rocky overlook on a sea cliff, and spied Skull Rock about a half mile to the west. It was indeed a gigantic round boulder, about 80 feet in height, and perhaps 100 feet of the shore. The top of the boulder was more-or-less at the same height as the opposite sea cliff, and a large wooden fort had been built on its top. There was some kind of bridge that connected the rock to the mainland. It was too distant to see any activity.

The party found a goblin path that led to a dense thicket of thorny bushes that grew on the edge of the cliff opposite the bridge. Halfred noticed tracks that seemed to go in and out of the thicket, and discovered a woven mat of branches and leaves that had been placed over an opening in the thicket. Moving it aside, Halfred got the distinct odor of goblin from the chamber within.

The passage into the dense thicket was barely five feet tall and only two feet wide, and Charrone decided that getting her horse into that passage would not be a smart decision, so she tied the horse in the woods, giving it plenty of slack to defend itself. Halfred stooped over and entered. Almost immediately upon entering, Halfred stepped onto a covered pit and fell in. Fortunately, it was only five feet wide, so climbing out wasn’t difficult. Larissa scouted ahead for a few moments, and reported that the tunnels opened up into larger chambers, and that she saw a few of the rat-like goblin dogs ahead. The group moved through the tunnels into the first large chamber. The branches of a tree held up the canopy of thorns, but the major feature of this chamber was the open hole in the middle. Sounds of surf could be heard coming from the hole. MacGreggor looked in, and saw nothing but darkenss, so he cast dancing lights and sent a globe of light down into the hole. It went pretty much straight down for 70 feet, ending in a chamber. The ceiling of the chamber seemed to be about 10 feet above the surface of the water, which was churning. MacGreggor brought back the light.

The party then moved to attack the goblin dogs in the next thistle-walled chamber. The eight rat-like creatures fought ferociously. While fighting the goblin dogs, a goblin appeared to step out of the thistles as if they had been a silk curtain. He wore hide armor, and had numerous amulets, medallions, talismans, and fetishes adorning his body. He then cast a spell, and a small globe of flame launched from his hand toward Charrone, singeing her slightly. Halfred ran forth and smashed the goblin in the gut with his earthbreaker, and the goblin stepped back into the hedge of nettles as if it wasn’t there. The party turned its attention back to the goblin dogs.

Just as the last of the goblin dogs fell, goblins began to stream into the room. These goblins seemed to be using gear that was ragged even by goblin standards: their dogslicers seemed to be ever rustier and flimsier than usual, and their leather armor was in a very bad state of repair. The goblins themselves appeared to be thinner than typical. Nevertheless, they fought with typical goblin ferocity. During the fight, the goblin spellcaster stepped out of the hedge again, and this time cast a spell at Halfred. Halfred felt his armor get warmer for a brief moment, but then it returned to its normal temperature. Larissa, hiding in the underbrush, managed to hit the goblin shaman in the back with an arrow, and again he stepped into the brush.

MacGreggor cast a spell that caused several of the goblins to fall asleep, and Ted cast a spell that caused Halfred to grow to 10 feet tall again. The goblins were little match to a giant-sized Halfred, and the Sandpoint Heroes prevailed with minimal damage. However, just as they started to lower their guard, a man-sized wildcat pounced on Halfred! The cat was a locally common orange-and-black striped creature called a firepelt, and it managed to maul Halfred somewhat seriously before he and Charrone killed it.

Exploring the rest of the tunnels through the thicket of brambles, the party found what was apparently the shaman’s chamber, and while the hand-made totems hung from the ceiling seemed genuinely creepy, they didn’t find much of value. Later, they found a chamber that until recently housed about 10 goblins, although their supplies seemed to be in a very sorry state. While that part remained a mystery, none of the party members seemed to think it was worth trying to solve with all of those goblins dead.

While searching that room, in the distance, they heard the sound of a conch horn being blown in three short bursts, followed by another three short bursts. Ted suggested that someone had tipped off the fortress that they were under attack, so they pressed forward quickly. They found a tunnel that led to an opening in the thicket right on the edge of the sea cliff. Thistletop stood directly ahead, but to reach it, everyone would have to cross a rickety rope-and-plank bridge that was supported by two stout wooden posts on either side of the chasm. Goblin sentries on two 30-foot watchtowers could be seen, as could a patrol of goblins mounted on goblin dogs.

Without debate, Halfred charged across the bridge, screaming, and brandishing his earthbreaker. Still 10 feet tall by Ted’s spell, Halfred was a very imposing figure. Unfortunately for Halfred, the bridge was trapped: As soon as he made it to the middle, the right rope supporting the bridge came loose, and one side of the bridge went slack. Dropping his earthbreaker hammer, Halfred managed to grab hold of the rope before he plunged 80 feet into the water and jagged rocks below! Unfortunately, he now became an excellent target for the six goblin archers, three on each tower. Luckily for Halfred, the goblins seemed to be poor shots, and he made his way hand-over-hand to the Thistletop side. With a mighty cry, Halfred swung himself onto the ledge of Skull Rock, and managed to knock two goblins off the ledge in the process! Once on his feet, he drew his greataxe and started chopping up goblins.

While Halfred faced three goblin dogs and their riders, four additional goblin guards, and six entrenched archers, the rest of the party fired missile weapons at the goblins from the sea cliff. Ted, MacGreggor, and Declan used their magical abilities to attack at range, Larissa fired volleys of arrows, and Charrone used her sling to let loose lead bullets at the goblins. Ulfen luck saved Halfred, who was only scratched a few times before he dropped the goblin riders and slew their mounts. The rest of the party managed to take down four of the foot soldiers with missile-fire before the remaining two retreated into the fortress. Halfred took that opportunity to re-tie the bridge, making it possible for the rest of the party to cross over

They then began to break down the front door.

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The Sheriff Returns & Next Steps
Session 11

Moonday, 12 Rova 4707, afternoon

[The session picked up immediately following the previous session.]

After their exploration of the Thassilonian catacombs, the group decided to finish following the smuggling tunnel that originated in the Glassworks basement. About 30 yards northeast of the side-passage that led to the catacombs was another side-passage to the east. Painted on the rock wall in white paint was the phrase “Dead End” in Varisian. That passage ran for about 400 feet, and ended in an impassible cave-in. Returning to the main passage, the tunnel ran straight northeast for about another third of a mile. It ended in a small rectangular chamber. Larissa checked for secret doors, and found a sliding stone panel that opened into a short passage. That passage led to another stone door that opened into a large natural cave with a sandy floor. Sunlight streamed into the natural cave opening, and they all heard the sound of surf. The cave opened out to a secluded beach on the Gulf of Varisia, about a half-mile northwest of Sandpoint. It was now late afternoon. Inside the cave were remains of a goblin camp. Outside, Larissa found a switchback trail that led up the 40-foot cliff face to a goblin trail that went into the woods. The group returned to the tunnels and went back to the Glassworks.

Exiting the Glassworks cellar, the guards on duty (now Zandu and Mirian) mentioned that Sheriff Hemlock had returned from Magnimar, and had asked the Heroes to meet him at the Garrison “whenever you can make it over.”

The Sandpoint Heroes went straight to Hemlock’s office and filled him in on what they had discovered in the Glassworks and below, especially Tsuto’s journal which detailed a possible goblin invasion. Hemlock sighed deeply. “Damn. This is even worse than I’d feared. His Corpulence the Lord-Mayor brushed me off entirely for three days, then gave me a ten-minute audience. In the end, he loaned me just six members of the City Watch, the least prestigious, and least trained, of the various military and police forces in Magnimar. I know local farmhands that are better soldiers than these guys! And I can only have them for a month! Why do we even bother paying taxes to those guys?” He sighed deeply again.

“So, I wanted to ask Tsuto a few questions, but it seems that he hanged himself in his cell last night. No, I have no reason to think that anybody did it but himself— none of my people would murder a prisoner. Hell, three of those goblins you captured are still alive and waiting trial!

“From what it looks like, he was working with Nualia to do some very bad things in Sandpoint. Nualia? Before I thought she’d died, I’d always liked her, and actually pitied her a bit. Why? Well, she was a real fish out of water. Twenty three years ago, an elderly villager brought her as a six-week-old baby to Brother Tobyn, the old village priest. The villager said that she’d found the infant in a basket on her doorstep. Tobyn took the child in and raised her as his own. It didn’t take long to realize that Nualia had celestial ancestry: she was strikingly and unearthly beautiful, with perfect skin, violet eyes, and ash-blonde hair that sparkled in bright light as if it were made of spun silver. She was much taller than any of the other children her age, and the other kids were either jealous of her beauty or extremely shy with her, and teased her mercilessly. Tobyn was also pretty strict with her: he felt that since she was a gift from the Heavens, that it was his duty to keep her “pure” so that she could become a priestess of Desna and maybe become one of the Rectors of Windsong Abbey some day. The adults in town weren’t much better: old ladies were always asking her to touch their warts or to give them clippings of her hair to “bless” them. I kept telling them to leave her alone, but they wouldn’t stop! Tobyn told her that they meant well, and to indulge them, which I think she really did not like at all.

“Anyway, when she was sixteen, I heard rumors that she started courting Delek Szarniasian, a real unsavory guy. A few months later, I heard that he was bad-mouthing her pretty publicly at the Feedbag Tavern, saying that she was a real slut. Tobyn started keeping her at the church all the time, and Delek skipped town. There were rumors that she was pregnant. That was about a month before the Chopper started his bad business, and three months before the Fire. But I guess that the charred body we found in the fire wasn’t Nualia after all!

“From what you’ve uncovered, it seems that we don’t have a lot of time before Nualia puts together a real army of goblins and there’s going to be real trouble here. It looks like Thistletop is the center of the action. I’m going to get some miners to collapse the smuggling tunnels shortly, and will also start building better fortifications for the town. But that will take time, and I’m not sure how much we have. I don’t have any men to spare, and I don’t have a way to get in touch with Shalelu to help you out. I can give you a rough map and any supplies you think you’ll need.”

The group said that they already planned to tackle the Thistletop goblin problem, thanked the sheriff for his support, and left to determine the best way to attack. They spent the rest of the night at the Rusty Dragon.

Toilday, 13 Rova 4707

The next day, Declan, Halfred, Charrone, Larissa, Brother Zantus, Brodert Quint (the local scholar), and one town guardsman (Zandu) returned to the Catacombs. Declan, Zantus, and Charrone performed a ritual to break the Demon-Mother’s unholy connection of the shrine to Lamashtu, which they deemed a success. While Zandu assessed the security situation, Quint and Larissa re-examined the Thassilonian runes, particularly those in the underground cathedral. “This is odd,” said Quint, “while the shrine was to Lamashtu, the cathedral seems to be dedicated partly to the Runelord Azlantist herself, and partly to the, ahem, ‘virtue’ of wrath. Y’know, it’s interesting that the runes for ‘wrath’ and ‘righteousness’ are the same rune, but with the ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ aspects respectively. You see, the ‘negative’ aspect of Thassilonian runes are spikier in form. Hmm… for that mater all of these runes seem rather spiky… Interesting…”

Ted and MacGreggor stayed in their rooms studying their magical tomes and working on magical writings.

Wealday 14 Rova 4707

According to the map, Thistletop is located atop a huge boulder island called Skull Rock. Reportedly, the top of Skull Rock is about 80 feet above the surface of the waters of the Gulf of Varisia, and the rock is about 100 feet away from the 80-foot sea cliff. Reports also indicate that the goblins have built a bridge from the top of the cliff on the mainland to Thistletop. MacGreggor suggested that sailors may know a bit about the area from the sea, so he and Halfred decided to head over the Hagfish Tavern, which was most popular with the men and women of the sea.

“Hey— it’s the heroes of Goblin Day!” shouted someone when they entered the Hagfish. Jargit Quinn, the owner, came up to them and shook hands. “You’re finally giving us a visit! Welcome!” Halfred ordered two ales and two bowls of fish chowder, the tavern’s specialty. MacGreggor noticed a large fishtank sitting on the bar, filled with opaque green water. He thought he saw something move in the water, and asked Quinn about it. “Oh, that’s Nora. My pet hagfish. Wanna meet her?” Quinn rolled up his sleeve and stuck is arm in the thick-looking water, swished it about slowly, then said, “Gotcha!” with a wide grin. He pulled from the water an extremely revolting 2-foot-long grayish-brown eyeless eel that wriggled and exuded white milky slime from its skin. “Ain’t she a beauty?” he asked as he pushed the thing closer to MacGreggor’s face. “Um…” Most of the patrons burst out in laughter, Quinn dropped the eel back into the tank. “You can’t call your bar the Hagfish unless you actually have a hagfish, right?”

MacGreggor then noticed that there was a pouch of coins tied to a stake that was hammered into one of the posts holding up the roof next to the fishtank. Looking up, he saw carved into one of the rafters “Nora’s Challenge Winners” and a list of about thirty names with dates. “Um, what’s Nora’s Challenge?” he asked.

“Oh, that’s easy! Costs you one silver. Wanna play?” MacGreggor handed over a coin, which Quinn put into the coin pouch. He then pulled a large tankard from below the bar, dunked it in Nora’s tank to fill it, and handed the mug to MacGreggor. “If you can drink the whole thing, you get all the money in that purse, plus bragging rights!” MacGreggor looked at the thick, slimy, greenish water that smelled equal parts a salt marsh at low tide and the trash pile behind a fishmonger. He rose the glass to his mouth, and just couldn’t bring himself to do it.

Everyone applauded anyway. “That’s the smart move!” shouted one voice. Halfred pulled out a silver and said, “OK, my turn.” Halfred managed to down the whole thing, and, while thoroughly revolting, managed not to lose his lunch. The crowd erupted in applause. Quinn slapped Halfred on the back, and handed him the purse, which contained about a hundred silver pieces. Halfred then bought everyone in the bar a round, and carved his name on the rafter.

Asking about Skull Rock, a one of of the fishermen said that he’d sailed near there occasionally, but the fishing is notoriously bad there. “I hear the Sandpoint Devil sometimes goes there, and he eats up all the fish!”

“I saw ’im there once!” interjected a second sailor. The others rolled their eyes. “It looked like a huge seal with shark teeth and fins!” he continued.

“Roger, all you saw that day was the bottom of a whiskey bottle!” said the first. The others laughed.

“Well, he’s right that the fishing there is terrible, plus the goblins sometimes shoot at ya.” remarked a third.

“Plus, there’’s no good place to go ashore— the currents there are unpredictable. Actually, there’s no good reason to go there at all.” said a fourth.

“Of course, the rock does look like a big skull.” said Roger. At that they all nodded.

Halfred and MacGreggor chatted a bit longer, and returned to the Dragon. After discussion, the party decided to leave the following morning and to approach Thistletop by land: They would take the Lost Coast Road as far as to the Thistle River, then would follow the riverbed to the coast, then would follow the coast back west until they found Thistletop.

Oathday 15 Rova 4707

At sunrise, The Sheriff, the Mayor, and Brother Zantus were waiting in the Rusty Dragon barroom before the party left, to wish them luck. Zantus also had several small bottles to hand out to each member of the party: one vial of holy water, one potion of cure light wounds, and one potion of cure moderate wounds to each of the six Sandpoint Heroes.

The heroes then left for Thistletop to stop Nualia and her army of goblins.

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Exploring the Catacombs
Session 10

Moonday 12 Rova 4707, late morning

[The session picked up immediately following Session 9]

After defeating the six human zombies, Halfred and Larissa examined the prison chamber again, while Declan and Charrone examined the zombie corpses. The zombies were wearing tattered rags that seemed to be extremely old and brittle, and were otherwise unarmed and unarmored. The room itself appeared to be unchanged since the previous day. Freshly dried blood still stained the floor from yesterday’s fight with the “catacomb creatures.” Larissa found a cell which still had a working lock, and Halfred and Charrone piled the zombie corpses into it. Larissa then locked the cell door and jammed the lock, making it unlikely that the zombies would be able to escape if they were to somehow re-animate.

The group took the wooden gangway to the next chamber. That room appeared to be the ruins of an office of some sort, but the furniture and papers had long since crumbled away into only partially-recognizable debris. Bits of wood and paper littered the floor, and a large pile of bones was in the corner. There were also three stone doors on the south wall, each bearing the seven-pointed star shape the party had seen previously. The scraps of parchments were inscribed with Thassilonian writing, but were too fragmented to make any sense. Larissa listened at one of the stone doors. As soon as she touched a door, the pile of bones in the corner animated, and rose to form the shape of a skeletal snake with a fanged human skull for a head! The skull had glowing red gems in the eyesockets. Startled, Larissa was struck by the snake-skeleton. She felt a brief numbing sensation, but almost immediately shook it off. The thing then began to sway back-and-forth in a manner that was hypnotic to watch. Declan and Ted became fascinated with its movement, but Charrone and Halfred were not, and managed to smash it to pieces. The glow in the gems in its skull dimmed, and Larissa liberated them. Inside each of the doors was a tiny chamber, to which was chained a skeleton. However, each of the skeletons seemed to be terribly deformed: one had three arms, one had an immense skull and a very long limbs, and one had a ribcage that went all the way to its pelvis. The party decided to smash these skeletons as well, and they crushed easily. A detect magic spell indicated that one scrap of paper was magical— a scroll of flaming sphere.

A door to the east led to a stairway going down 20 feet into a dimly-lit chamber. As the party began its descent, a creature stepped from the shadows, vomited a stream of acidic fluid at the party, then stepped back into the shadows! Halfred burst into the room to find a disturbing scene: A large rectangular room with a high ceiling. Eleven chains hung from the ceiling, each passing through a wooden trap door in the floor. Standing next to a large iron lever sticking out of the wall was a hideous creature. Standing a hand taller than a man, it resembled a stout, oversized goblin, but it had strange bulbous growths on its face and arms, and several extra limbs: a foot grew out of the side of its face, a tiny arm sprouted from its shoulder, and a fully formed arm grew out of its left hip. It held a shield in its left “normal” arm, a glowing laongsword in its right, a handaxe in its large extra arm, and a dagger in its tiny arm. It roared in rage, and pulled the lever. Immediately, a grating sound was heard, and five of the eleven chains began to move upward into the ceiling! Halfred attacked.

The creature attempted to keep itself between the party and the lever, but Halfred and Charrone engaged it in melee and managed to get it to move away. It struck Charrone a mighty blow with its sword, but then Halfred impaled it with his mithril ranseur. Not quite dead, it belched more acid at the party before the party took it down. Ted managed to push the lever back just as cages began to rise out of pits in the ground— stopping them. Each of the five cages held a humanoid zombie which resembled the earlier-encountered ones. Still immobile in their cages, the party made short work of the trapped undead. Charrone claimed the mutant zombie’s glowing sword.

Heading south from that room, they checked out a side passage that led to a collapsed staircase heading down. That staircase was completely impassable. The main passage led to a strange spherical chamber which had several objects floating in air: a bottle of wine, a book, a wand, a scroll, and a dead raven surrounded by a halo of floating maggots. The smell of death was heavy in the room. The metallic walls of the room glowed red and crackled with bolts of black lighting, and occasionally the bolts formed spiky runes— Thassilonian runes. MacGreggor saw that occasionally, whole words formed. He saw the words “slay,” “fury,” “avenge,” and “scribble” form briefly after several minutes of observation. He then entered the room. MacGreggor found that he also floated in midair in the room. Careful not to touch the walls with his hand, he collected the book, scroll, bottle, and wand. Examining the raven, it appeared to have several bites taken out of it, as if it had been half-eaten, and had probably only been dead for a couple of days. The bottle was of fine Korvosan wine of recent vintage. The scroll was ancient, and was in a strange arcane script that used Thassilonian runes. A read magic revealed it to be an arcane scroll of burning hands. The wand was magical, and tests indicated that is was a wand of shocking grasp. The book was written in Abyssal, a language that Declan recognized but could not read, and it included accurate drawings of scores of terrible-looking creatures.

Larissa was able to open a secret door behind the hollow panel, which led to a short passageway that ended in an iron ladder leading up through a chimney-like passage. At the top of the ladder was a stone trap door. Halfred climbed the ladder and opened the unlocked trap door, finding himself in a large closet. Tattered remains of robes hung from hooks on one wall, and two rusty ranseurs hung from a rack on the opposite wall. A closed stone door stood to the southwest. The rest of the party climbed into the room.

Larissa listened to the door and thought she heard bubbling water and the sound of a guttural voice chanting. Halfred threw open the door and the party burst into the next room. The room looked to be an immense underground cathedral. Large closed double-doors seem to lead to the northwest. The vaulted ceiling arched 30 feet overhead. The walls were covered with spiky Thassilonian runes. In the center of the room was a large pool of clear water, about 20 feet across and three feet deep, with a ring of polished human skulls balanced on stone spikes surrounding the deeper middle section. At the far end of the room, a pair of stone stairways led to a pulpit on which stood a second pool, this one triangular and filled with churning, bubbling water that glowed bright yellow. The glow filled the room with dim light. Six skeletons, each holding a rusting scimitar, stood immobile along the stairs. A tiny winged humanoid creature wearing a golden tiara and a black dress flew into the air above the glowing pool, and shouted in a guttural, hoarse cry “Intruders! Face my mother’s wrath!” It slashed its hand with a dagger, and the blood dropped into the glowing pool. Immediately, the larger pool bubbled violently, and another “catacomb creature” rose out of the pool and attacked, just as the immobile skeletons animated and brandished their scimitars wickedly.

The battle began. Declan summoned the power of the Dawnflower, and the light of Heaven burned away most of the skeletons. The catacomb creature attacked Halfred, and Charrone charged up the stairs to try to engage the creature. It suddenly disappeared. Charrone cleared her mind to bring forth her Sense of Justice, and felt a dreadful evil from beyond radiating from where she had last seen the thing. She swung at the place she felt the evil most, and called out to Iomede to smite the thing from beyond. Her strike was true. The creature attempted to enchant Charrone, who resisted, and became visible again. Larissa hit it with an arrow, and MacGreggor hit it with a magic missile. The creature then swooped at Charrone with its claws out, but Charrone struck it in midair, and it fell, lifeless, into the triangular pool. Both pools bubbled violently, and three more of the catacomb creatures came forth from the larger pool. However, then the bubbling stopped, and glow of the triangular pool quickly faded to nothing. The four catacomb creatures (two male, two female) fought hard, but unarmed and naked were not much of a match for the party, and were all slain.

Charrone pulled the body of the tiny creature from the triangular pool, but it quicky began to liquefy into a foul-smelling black ichor which began to evaporate. It left behind its possessions, including a tiny golden tiara, a magic wand, a magic amulet, and an uholy symbol of the demon-goddess Lamashtu.

MacGreggor translated the runes carved on the walls. They were praises to the Runelord Azlantist, and admonishments to “Revel in the fury of battle,” “Crush your enemies and slay their children,” “From hatred comes strength, and from strength comes power,” and other equally disturbing phrases that exhort violence, hatred, and embracing anger.

The double doors led to the strange alcove in the shrine to Lamashtu. Exploring the rest of the complex, the group found two other empty rooms, and a set of stairs leading up, but the roof above the stairs had collapsed and the passage was impassable…

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Return to the Catacombs
Session 9

Moonday, 12 Rova 4707

The Sandpoint Heroes woke up early on Moonday morning, and had a quick breakfast at the Rusty Dragon before gearing up for another foray into the catacombs under the town. Everyone felt refreshed and ready for another adventure.

They re-entered the smuggling tunnel through the Glassworks cellar, and followed the tunnel to the first intersection, turning to the west. They followed that passage back to the natural cave where they had killed the strange creatures the day before. However, as they approached the cavern, they noted that blood from their fight yesterday was still on the floor, but the bodies of the creatures weren’t there. As they passed the entrance to the dead-end natural cavern, two more of the same creatures lurched toward them, striking with their claws!

However, as they fought, they noticed that there was something different about these creatures. They moved with a jerky clumsiness, there was no spark of rage or emotion that they had seen yesterday, and most disturbing, these creatures bore horrible bloody wounds that did not seem to still be bleeding. Declan shouted,“They’re undead! I think they’re zombies!” as two more shambled from the northern passage.

While the fact that they were fighting the animated corpses of the monsters they’d fought yesterday was very disturbing, the zombies were far less-effective combatants. The party destroyed the abominations before too long, while taking only minimal damage themselves. Halfred suggested chopping up the zombie corpses to prevent whoever animated them from doing it again. The party agreed, and commenced chopping.

The Heroes entered the complex again, and finding nothing in the entry room, proceeded to the first junction in the hallway. They decided to turn right this time, and followed the passage a short way to an irregularly-shaped room with a dais and altar on the back wall. The walls were carved with images of many foul-looking monsters, and the altar itself bore the carved image of the head of a three-eyed jackal. Declan identified it as the symbol of Lamashtu: The Demon Mother of Monsters. On the top of the altar was a basin-shaped depression, which was filled with water that seemed perfectly clear but smelled foul. MacGreggor took a flask of the water for future study. Charrone suggested that it was probably unholy water of some kind, and perhaps even a rumored unholy substance called “Waters of Lamashtu” which bestowed a dark gift to those foolish or devout enough to drink it. MacGreggor declined to sample the water. Ted and Larissa examined a suspicious-looking alcove, but were not able to figure out its purpose. Charrone sensed a palpable aura of evil in this place, and suggested that they get going— which they did.

They walked past the statue room, and came to the door to the prison, where they had fought their second battle with the strange creatures. Larissa heard a shuffling and moaning on the other side of the door, so she opened it very carefully— which was a good thing, because on the platform on the other side of the door were six humanoid zombies!

Declan summoned the power of the Dawnflower against the undead, and many of the zombies seemed to sizzle in concentrated sunlight. Charrone and Halfred waded into combat, and Larissa fired arrows into the frey. MacGreggor fired some magic rays at the zombies, and Ted used his telekinetic attack against them. The zombies put up a hard fight, slamming Halfred and Charrone a couple of times each, but the party was able to destroy them. and enter the room.

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Into the Catacombs
Session 8 (part 2)

Sunday, 11 Rova 4707, early afternoon

The second room off of the secret corridor was even more interesting. It was a simple stone-walled room, but a five-foot wide worked stone passage was visible in the far wall. It looked like the opening of a mine shaft, with wood beams reinforcing the walls and ceiling every thirty feet or so, and went to the northeast. It seemed to slope slightly downward. Halfred could feel cooler air waft from the opening, and he saw what looked like a lot of goblin tracks come out of the tunnel into the room. Any tracks going back into the tunnel were obscured by the rest of he tracks.

The group guessed that the two escaping goblins must have run out through this passage, which was most likely the “smuggling tunnel” that Ameiko had mentioned. Lighting torches and lanterns, the group decided to pursue the goblins via the tunnel. Halfred led the way. The tunnel itself was expertly constructed, fairly old (at least 20 years old, thought Ted), and very straight. After following the tunnel for about 400 feet, the party found a side tunnel leading west. That tunnel had been bricked up at some point in the past, but now the wall had been knocked in, from the side of the main tunnel. Broken bricks and mortar were scattered on the floor of the side tunnel. given the amount of dust on the fallen bricks, MacGreggor estimated that the brick wall had been down for at least a few years. Painted on the wall of the side tunnel in Varisian was the message, “Do not enter. Danger.” The party decided to investigate this side passage.

The side passage went west for a few hundred feet, the bent northward. The tunnel continued northward for several hundred more feet, whn the party saw another side passage to the east. As Halfred moved to investigate this new chamber, he was suddenly attacked by two hideous creatures! The creatures were roughly humanoid, hairless, and stood on two back-bent doglike legs. Their skin was a sallow flesh tone. Their two arms seemed to have two elbows, and their hands were three-fingered talons. Their mouths were filled with canine teeth, and were flanked by tiny arms, each with a three-fingered hand. It also looked like their lower jaws could also open sidewise. Their eyes glowed red with malevolence and anger. They wore ancient-looking chain shirts and wielded ranseurs. They shouted with eerie deep resonant voices in an unknown but chillingly evil-sounding language.

A fierce fight was joined by the rest of the party. At one point, one of the creatures bit Halfred, and his head was suddenly filled with feelings of anger and hatred, but he managed to collect his thoughts. The creatures proved to be fierce combatants, but the party outnumbered them three-to-one and prevailed with minimal damage. The victorious heroes took the creatures’ weapons and armor, on the chance that they might regenerate.

The cavern that the creatures had been in was apparently a natural cave that the worked passage broke into by happenstance. There was nothing of else in the cave other than interesting rock formations. Following the tunnel again, the party found another side-tunnel heading east about thirty feet ahead. Like the entrance of the original side-tunnel they had followed, the entrance to this passage seemed to have been bricked up once long ago, but the wall had been taken down some time in the past few years. They decided to follow the main tunnel this time, but found that it dead-ended in about sixty feet. Ted, who had knowledge of stoneworking, noticed that the workmanship of the passage seemed to indicate that the excavators seem to have abandoned the tunnel and simply stopped digging. They returned to the eastern side-passage.

That passage went about thirty feet and then seemed to break into the western wall of an existing chamber: the floor of the chamber was about a foot below the floor of the tunnel. The chamber was of very different construction than the tunnel: the walls and ceiling were lined with ceramic tiles, and the floor was marble. The floor was littered with lots of rubble— some of it seemed to be debris from the side tunnel punching into the wall, and the rest seemed to be broken pottery. MacGreggor thought that the architecture had a late-period Thassilonian feel to it. There was a stone door to the north.

Larissa checked the door for traps and listened at it, and found nothing. The door opened up into a dusty hallway. Following the hallway, the group passed one side-passage, and entered into a moderately-sized room with a vaulted ceiling. In the center of the room was a finely-carved statue of a wild-eyed female warrior-mage, holding a ranseur in a threatening pose. The statue bore an inscription in ancient Thassilonian, “Alaznist: Runelord of Righteousness.” Examining the statue, it was apparent that the ranseur held by the statue was not carved of marble, but was a separate item that could be fairly easily removed. The ranseur itself was a work of art.

The statue room had open passageways leading north and east, and they saw that the eastern passage ended in a staircase going upward. They went north, following the passage to another closed stone door. Larissa found no traps or heard anything through the door, and Halfred opened it. The door opened up into a much larger chamber, with a wooden platform just beyond the door. The stone floor of the chamber was ten feet below the platform, and the ceiling was 20 feet above. The room appeared to be a prison— small cells with iron bars lined all of the walls. Two wooden staircases led down to the stone floor, and a the platform extended as a catwalk into the middle of the room, then turned right into another stone passage. Halfred went down the stairs to examine the room, and a three-clawed hand grabbed his foot from below and tried to pull him off the stairs!

Two more of the same kind of creatures encountered earlier attacked. Again, they each wore chain shirts and were armed with ranseurs. However, these fought with even more skill and ferocity than the earlier ones. Charrone and Halfred both fought one of the creatures, while the other attacked Larissa and Declan. Ted and MacGreggor were out of spells, and were throwing knives, to little effect. One of the creatures knocked Larissa’s bow from her hand and closed in for the kill. In a desperate move, Larissa drew the blow-tube she’d taken from Tsuto earlier that day and blew the contents into the creature’s face. The effect matched what Tsuto had done to Halfred, and the creature broke off the attack, unable to see. Larissa and Declan were able to finish off the blinded creature, then assist Halfred and Charrone. While very bloodied, the combined forces of the party managed to drop the other creature.

While looting the creatures’ weapons and armor, the group decided that a retreat was prudent, and they went back through the complex to the entrance tunnel. Passing the statue of the Runelord, Larissa announced her intention to liberate the ranseur. MacGreggor did not sense any magic, Charrone did not sense any more evil than the rest of the pace, and Larissa did not find any traps, so Larissa carefully pulled the weapon from the statue. Nothing else happened, and the group left the complex, and followed the tunnels back to the Glassworks.

In the daylight, the ranseur’s quality, craftsmanship, and value became apparent. The blade was made of mithril, and the haft made of darkwood, and both blade and haft were decorated with exquisite markings.

Ted instructed the guardsmen to lock the Glassworks cellar doors, and to place a double guard on them. The party was surprised to find both Mayor Deverin and Father Zantus at the Glassworks, who said that they were discussing a discreet means of burying old Lonjiku without causing undue alarm with the townsfolk. Ted mentioned the double sets of books and said that when the catacombs were cleaned out, someone could go down and retrieve them safely.

The group went to check on Ameiko, and persuaded her not to leave the safety of the town without an escort. After that, everyone went to their rooms for a well-deserved rest.

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The Rescue of Ameiko
Session 8 (part 1)

Sunday, 11 Rova, 4707, late morning

[We picked up immediately following the events of Session 7]

After sending Tsuto off with the guards, the group decided to find out where the two goblins had fled, and proceeded downstairs to the Glassworks cellar. The cellar appeared to comprise of a single 10-foot wide corridor with two right-angle turns, as if it were three sides of a rectangle. There were storerooms on the outside wall, all of which were empty save for the one farthest from the staircase— in it they found a bound and badly-beaten Ameiko lying on the stone floor. She was alive, but semiconscious. They untied her, and Declan cast a curing spell, and she seemed to improve greatly.

Ameiko said, "Thank Desna that you came! I don’t know what my brother would have done with me— I think he’s gone completely insane! He’s working with the goblins, and I think it’s pretty clear that he had something to do with the attack during the Swallowtail Festival last week!

“Anyway, he called me here to tell me that Father is a crook— that he’d been working with Sczarni smugglers for years to buy and sell contraband using the Glassworks as a front: mostly poisons and drugs, things you put in bottles. Apparently, there’s some kind of smuggling tunnel here in the cellar somewhere. Tsuto used that tunnel to bring in some of the goblins during the raid, and he brought the goblins in that way last night.

“He also said that the first goblin raid was just the beginning, and that I was the only thing in Sandpoint that he thought was worth saving. He gave me the opportunity to join him and his little group of cutthroats. I slapped him for even contemplating committing such a heinous crime. At that, he sucker-punched me, then set his goblins on me. While they were beating me, he said that Nualia is their leader— and his girlfriend. I managed to say that she had died along with her father Curate Tobyn, but he chuckled and said that she had set the fire, killed her father, and faked her own death, and was glad she’d done it! I cursed him. At that, he back-handed me across the face, and I must have passed out.

“We’ve got to alert the Sheriff and the Mayor, and also tell Father what’s going on here. Let’s go!” Charrone broke the news of Lonjiku’s death, and Ameiko became quiet and solemn. “In that case, I think I just want to go home and be alone for a while.” Ted and MacGreggor saw her upstairs to the guardsmen, and Jubal brought her home.

While Ameiko was telling her story, Larissa and Halfred began looking for the smuggling tunnels that Ameiko mentioned. Larissa found a secret door which opened to a corridor linking the north and south passages. She found two rooms off of this corridor— one was an office which contined a desk and a bunch of filing cabinets. The cabinets contained records of Lonjiku’s dealings with the smugglers and other illegal activity. Also on the desk was a small leatherbound journal, with Tsuto’s name on the inside cover.

The journal had about two dozen pages of vellum. About half of the pages contained charcoal-ink-and-chalk drawings of the same beautiful woman, most often nude, in various erotic poses. The woman’s hair was always colored with white chalk. Interspersed with the erotic drawings were several maps of Sandpoint, each of which detailed a different attack plan with about 50 goblins. Four of these plans were crossed out, and a fifth was circled. The party recognized this plan as the actual plan used by the goblins for the attack at the Swallowtail Festival. After more erotic drawings were a second set of attack plans, these using about 300 goblins and included siege engines. A few of these plans were scratched out, and none were circled.

After the circled attack plan was written:

The raid went about as planned. Few Thistletop goblins perished, and we were able to secure Tobyn’s casket with ease while the stupid rubes were distracted by the diversion. I can’t wait until the real raid. This town deserves another good burning, and this time it won’t just be the north end!

After the second batch of attack plans:

Ripnugget seems to favor the overwhelming land approach, but I don’t think it’s the best plan. We should get the quasit’s aid. Have her send up her freaks from below via the smuggling tunnel in Father’s factory, and then invade from the river and from the Glassworks in smaller but more focused strikes. The rest except Bruthazmus agree, and I’m pretty sure the bugbear is just being contrary to annoy me. My love is too distracted with the lower chambers to make a decision. She says that once Malfeshnekor has been released and is under her command, we won’t have to worry about subtlety in our attack. I hope she’s right.

The second-to-last erotic drawing of the woman depicts her with a bestial right hand with three talons. The final drawing in the journal shows her with two such clawed hands, elongated canine teeth, horns, bat wings, cloven feet, and a forked tail. On the page between these drawings is the following passage:

My love seems hell-bent on going through with it–nothing I can say will convince her of her beauty. She remains obsessed with removing what she calls her “celestial taint” and replacing it with her Mother’s grace. Burning her father’s remains at the Thistletop shrine seems to have started the transformation, but I cannot say that her new hand is pleasing to me. Hopefully, when she offers all of Sandpoint as a burnt offering to Lamashtu, her new body won’t be as hideous as that talon. Maybe I’ll still luck out. A succubus is a kind of demon, right?

Larissa compared the handwriting of the journal with the letter to Ameiko, and thought that they matched.

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Goblins in the Glassworks!
Session 7

Oathday 08 Rova 4707 A.R.

Early Oathday morning, Sheriff Hemlock dropped by the Rusty Dragon to tell the Sandpoint Heroes that he and three men would be leaving for Magnimar within the hour, and would probably be gone for several days. He again asked the adventurers to stay in town and to make their presence known, as the townsfolk had mostly taken a liking to them, and their presence would likely make residents feel less uneasy with the sheriff away. Shalelu also wished Hemlock a good journey, and said that she would be leaving for her homeland in the Mierani Forest that morning as well, as she wanted to get there before the winter set in.

The next three days passed without any major incidents. The adventurers conducted some personal business, and otherwise acted like de facto town guardsmen.

Sunday 11 Rova 4707 A.R.

That ended early Sunday morning. Over breakfast at the Rusty Dragon, the heroes were approached by a visibly upset Bethany, the Dragon’s chief of staff. Bethany reported that Ameiko Kaijitsu, the owner and proprietor of the inn, failed to show up to work. That was strange: Ameiko never took a day off without telling anyone first. Bethany said that she went to Ameiko’s apartment, and she wasn’t there either. She said that she let herself into Ameiko’s apartment, and found that her bed hadn’t been slept in. She said that she briefly searched the room and found a crumpled-up letter in the wastebasket, which she had smoothed back out. She handed the letter to Ted:

Hello, Sis!

I hope this letter finds you well, and with some free time on your hands, because we’ve got something of a problem. It’s to do with Father.

Seems that he might have had something to do with Sandpoint’s recent troubles with the goblins, and I didn’t want to bring the matter to authorities because we both know he’d just manage to weasel his way out of it as usual. I know you’ve got some pull here in town. 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, then three times more at the delivery entrance, and I’ll let you in.

In any case, I don’t have to impress upon you the delicate nature of this request. If news gets out, you know that these local rubes would assume that you and I were in on the whole thing too, don’t you? They’ve got no honor at all around here. I still don’t understand how you can stand to live in this stupid little backwater. It’s so much better in Magnimar, or even Riddleport!

Anyway, don’t tell anyone about this. There are other complications as well, and I’d rather talk to you in person about those later tonight. Don’t be late!

— Tsuto

Charrone asked Bethany about Tsuto, she made an unpleasant face. "Ameiko is the eldest of the Kaijitsu children, but old Lonjiku wasn’t too thrilled about that— he wanted his firstborn to be a son. While his second child Tsuto was a boy, he was even less pleased. You see, Tsuto is of part-Elven blood, but he looks for all the world like his mother. Neither old Lonjiku nor the late Lady Kajitsu were of Elven descent, if you catch my drift. While everyone pretended that the old man was the boy’s father, Lonjiku never warmed to the child, obviously not his. When Tsuto was very young, he sent him to Turandarok Academy to study with the waifs and orphans. He also forbade his wife from visiting. Only Ameiko ever visited.

“Tsuto was trouble. He frequently fought with the other children, and only old Lonjiku’s money and influence kept him enrolled. The day he graduated, Tsuto left town, and the rumor was he went straight to Riddleport. Ameiko had a big argument with her father over this, and she joined a band of adventurers not too long after that. She was gone for two years, and made enough money adventuring to buy the inn! She says she only returned when she learned of her mother’s death five years ago.

“Lady Kaijitsu? Oh, it was a tragic loss. She was the Chopper’s first victim. She went suddenly missing one day about five years ago— Old Lonjiku got the sheriff and the guards to look for her, they checked ship manifests, everything. But then other bodies started to show up, and the town became terrified of a killer we called the Chopper. No, they never found her body, but we all figured she must have been Chopper’s first victim and after killing the second, he stopped trying to hide the bodies. Anyway, when Tsuto found out his mother died, he returned for the funeral. At the funeral, he publicly accused his father of pushing her off the balcony of their manor, and old Lonjiku slapped him, then struck him with his cane. Tsuto cursed his father and left, for good he said. I haven’t seen or heard of him since! And good riddance, I say!”

The party decided to check out the Glassworks to see if anyone there had seen Ameiko or Tsuto. On the way over, they stopped by the Academy to find out if their recollection of Tsuto matched Bethany’s assessment. The headmaster was engaged, but they spoke with one of the teachers, who gave pretty much the same story as Bethany.

When they got to the Glassworks, it was about half past nine on a Sunday morning. The sign on the door indicated that the shop should have opened half an hour earlier, but the door was locked and nobody answered the door. Larissa checked the back door, the delivery entrance, and the service doors— all locked. However, smoke still came out of the chimneys, indicating that someone was still stoking the furnace used for fusing glass.

Looking in the windows, Larissa made a horrific discovery: the main workshop was overrun by goblins, who appeared to be amusing themselves by smashing glassware, burning and/or melting things in the furnace—and mutilating the bodies of the dead glassworkers! One sight was particularly ghastly— a man, obviously dead, was seated in a chair and completely encased in glass. Fortunately, the goblins seemed to be having too much “fun” to notice the rogue peering through the window. Larissa returned to the main group, and informed them what she saw.

Larissa picked the lock at the back door, near the workshop, and the party entered. They burst into the workshop, and immediately began exterminating the goblins. There were about ten goblins in the place, and they attacked the party with tongs dripping with molten glass, hurled glassware, whips, and dogslicers. A pitched battle ensued: the party was outnumbered, but better-armed and better-disciplined, and quickly began a goblin body count.

At one point in the battle, Halfred found himself attacked from behind. He wheeled to find a young half-elven man in leather armor had jut hit him in the back with an arrow. Enraged, Halfred leapt at the man, assumed to be Tsuto, and struck him before he could escape. While the blow was mighty, Tsuto didn’t fall. Instead, Tsuto produced a heavy paper tube, put it to his mouth, and blew into it. A cloud of black dust shot out of the other end, catching Halfred in the face. Halfred felt a severe burning sensation in his eyes, which became so irritated and teary that he was effectively blinded. Tsuto tried to move past the blinded Halfred, but Halfred’s reflexes were too good, and he caught Tsuto before he could make his escape. With a blow to the head from Charrone, he went down, unconscious but not dead. Larissa removed his weapons and tied him up securely.

The rest of the party slew all but two of the goblins. These two managed to make it to a back door of the workshop, and eluded Ted and Declan, who went searching for them. The party found a stairway into the Glassworks cellar, and assumed that the goblins must be holed up down there.

Ted sent for the town guard, and the adventurers made a quick search of the rest of the Glassworks main floor. The body of one of the eight glassworkers was found in the worker’s dormitory, but there was enough blood and signs of a struggle to indicate that the goblins most likely attacked the workmen while they slept. One other body was found butchered like a hog in the factory’s dining room, with a good amount of its flesh unaccounted for. Declan suggested that the goblins must have eaten it.

In the workshop, the party found the mutilated bodies of six more glassworkers, plus the glass-encased body in the chair. That body was older, with Tian features. MacGreggor recognized him as Lonjiku Kaijitsu from the brief address he’d given early in the day at the Swallowtail Festival.

Turning their attention to Tsuto, they found a set of lockpicks, a potion, a finely-crafted rapier and shortbow, a potion, and another one of the blow-tubes full of blinding powder. Larissa claimed many of these items, as they fit her style. He also wore enchanted leather armor.

Jubal and Sandi of the Sandpoint Guard arrived. They woke Tsuto and attempted to interrogate him. Aside from a smug grin that even a few back-hands couldn’t remove, he said next to nothing. The guards took him to the garrison for further questioning.

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Lair of the Toadstool Goblins
Session 6

Wealday 07 Rova, 4707 A.R.
[continuing immediately following previous session]

With the destruction of the Toadstool Goblins, the group first examined the black metal scimitar that had been Chieftain Kneecrusher’s. MacGreggor determined that it was made of the mystical metal called cold iron, a metal particularly effective against fey creatures. The scimitar was finely crafted, and the black metal blade was etched with unfamiliar runes. Aside from the runes, the blade completely lacked any decorative touches. It was finely crafted and perfectly balanced, but was not a piece of beauty— indeed the weapon seemed built for one purpose: brutal efficiency. Shalelu said that the blade appeared to be of Orcish manufacture, and that the runes could be Orcish writing, although she did not know how to read them. Declan claimed the blade.

Shalelu stayed behind to guard the prisoners, and the rest of the group went to the open gate. It was easy to see inside the goblin compound, as the rail fence surrounding the ruined temple did not impede vision. Inside were about a dozen goblin tents and several unattended campfires. An inner fence formed an animal pen to the east of the temple ruins. The ruins were quite overgrown by bushes and vines, but still stood about twelve feet above the ground. The roof had collapsed, but still remained more-or-less in one piece, held up now by broken columns.

The main staircase of the temple was passable, and led to an opening in the rubble that formed the outer walls of the temple. Larissa entered the passage, and found it to be a small 10-foot round chamber, with no visible means of exit other than the entryway. The stench of carrion was overwhelming, and flies buzzed everywhere. She saw what looked to be an animal ribcage in the corner. That part of the room was also covered with sickly-looking purple-capped mushrooms with white stems. While examining the walls for a possible hidden door, Larissa suddenly realized that several much-taller mushrooms had seemingly appeared between her and the exit. When she turned toward these fungi, one of them shot a fist-sized glob at her, striking her squarely in the chest! The liquid burned like acid, and she felt momentarily weaker, but shook off that effect. She ran out of the room, and the mass of fungi oozed after her, firing a second glob, which missed. Back in the sunlight, the rest of the group shot, chopped, and burned the mass of fungi, eventually destroying it.

Halfred found a goblin path through the bushes on the northern wall of the temple, and saw that the path entered the ruins through a gap in the wall. The group entered the ruins through that opening, finding the interior to be mostly goblin-sized, with a ceiling barely five feet tall. The temple ruins had apparently been turned into the goblin command center: the party found the chieftain’s room, two storage areas, and the shaman’s alchemy lab. One of the storage rooms was covered in green slime, but McGreggor recognized it for what it was and successfully destroyed it before it could affect anyone. They discovered a wooden chest containing valuable spices; two stone coffers, one full of silver and gold coins, the other full of gems and jewelry; a cache of mostly useless goblin weapons; an alchemical silver dagger; two magic potions; and several alchemical items.

After looting the ruins of the temple, the party gathered the goblin corpses, the remains of the fungus creature, and just about all of the goblin gear and burned it all in a large bonfire.

Turning their attention to the prisoners, they were able to piece together the following story: Several weeks ago, Ripnugget, the leader of the Thistletop Goblins, paid a visit to Gugmurt, the leader of the Mosswood Goblins. Ripnugget offered an alliance to gather all of the local tribes under his banner to attack Sandpoint— he said that the humans who lived there were not warriors, and that most would run away from an attack, leaving the goblins to loot what they wanted after the hmans left. After a while, Gugmurt agreed, but his rival Kneecrusher warned against the plan, saying that Ripnugget just wanted the Mosswood goblins out of the way so he could take over their hunting grounds. Kneecrusher, Firewind (the shaman) and about a dozen goblins who supported them eventually lost the argument, and were kicked out of the Mosswood tribe. Cut off from their hunting grounds, the new Toadstool goblins were forced to raid the human farms.

The prisoners were brought back to Sandpoint, after a brief stop in Ulmsford to let the farmers know that the goblins had been defeated. The party returned to Sandpoint early that evening, depositing their prisoners with the town guardsmen to be locked up at the garrison.

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