Rise of the Runelords - Ninja Island

Burnt Offerings 2.9
Town Heroes

The Birdcruncher tribe

Griz led Pips up through a narrow, rocky pass, up into the Devil’s Platter. The lush farmland changed as he headed up onto a dry and rocky area, with plateaus leading to cliffs leading to higher plateaus like a stair case for titans. Large boulders littered the area, allowing neither a straight path nor a clear view ahead.

At least up here the smoke from the burning farm cleared. It wasn’t hard to track the goblins who had burned the farm and kidnapped the family members who hadn’t been killed. Even though the rocky area didn’t allow for many tracks, the goblins left a trail of debris and carnage as they went. Griz wanted to go back to gather his friends for help, but didn’t dare risk the family members’ survival. He knew they would probably be eaten in the time it would take to get to town and come back.

Griz came upon an area that he knew from previous explorations contained caves which the Birdcruncher tribe used as shelter. He left Pips a ways from this area, and proceeded quietly and cautiously, until he came upon what he was looking for … two goblins standing outside of a cave. He waited patiently and watched from behind a boulder for thirty minutes, but, while the goblins did many things including pacing, singing, throwing, wrestling, eating, snarling, snapping, and yapping, they didn’t leave their posts. Griz listened to their singing … “One day goblins came to town, looked around and then they found, yummy doggies on the ground, goblins ate those doggies!”

Griz, rolling his eyes while his stomach turned in disgust, crept away from the cave entrance and made his best attempt to bark, yap, and whine like a dog. Almost immediately he heard the commotion of the goblin guards yapping and squabbling as they ran after their imagined prey. As they ran past him, Griz quickly slipped back towards the cave entrance. He peered in, and unsurprisingly, it was pitch black not twenty feet in: goblins have perfect darkvision. Griz listened and heard the sound of a single goblin muttering and snarling to itself. He lit a torch, threw it toward the sounds, and as soon as he saw the goblin drew an arrow and shot the goblin directly between the eyes. The goblin died before it could even make a sound. Griz quickly went in and heard from beyond the torch light the sound of children crying and a tentative voice saying “Hello, who’s there, please help us!” As he entered, he noted from another cave tunnel a light and voices… goblins and the voice of a human. He didn’t have the time to investigate or listen.

Griz silently went to the voices. The surviving family members — Merripen Perry and her two young children — as well as a man he didn’t recognize, were tied up in a cave. “I’m here to save you”, he said. The man looked at him and shook his head “They sent a kid? Oh… a halfling, not much better.”

Griz cut their bonds and cautioned them to silence as they left the cave. Upon leaving, the snarling guards returned, and the children began crying. “Flee, I will hold them off.” He tossed a shortsword to the man, but his aim was off and the sword went sliding off a boulder. The man scrambled after it but the goblins were quickly on top of Griz, and although he was able to slay one of the goblins, he was quickly overwhelmed by the flurry of blows of the goblins — stumbling backwards, he struck his head and all went black.

Griz awoke, and by the position of the sun, he could see that an hour had passed. “Mommy, mommy, Griz woke up!” Griz looked over, and was pleased to see the two children standing with the man. Their mother came around a boulder, and Griz stared open mouthed at the woman, as she was covered in blood and gore. “Are… are you ok? I can provide some healing…” The man laughed “Ah, little halfling… the goblin should have known better than to mess with a mother protecting her young. She killed him with her bare hands!” The man introduced himself as Jack Burton, a merchant who had been ambushed by the goblins. He was thankful to Griz for rescuing them, and was upset about losing his cargo, but his larger concern was “Did you see any sign of my horse? She’s a black stallion, Shadowmist…”

They went back to the remains of the farm, where Merriepen and her children prayed to Desna for the safe journey of her husband and elder son. They gathered what belongings they could and headed to town. As they walked, Merriepen again thanked Griz for rescuing them from a terrible fate. “They had another prisoner, and elvish woman, and they took her away for what sounded like a fate worse than death, from the sounds of her screams. Her name was Shalelu.” Griz knew that he must return to the caves.

Franklin Sharpe’s funeral

Father Abstalar Zantus wore white robes and a silk hat. “Franklin journeyed with us. When Sarenrae, Iomadae, and the other gods and godesses busied themselves creating the earth, Desna was dreaming the heavens. This she still does and now Franklin creates that dream with her.” Franklin’s widow and his children stood, weeping. The heroes were gathered in the Sandpoint boneyard. The sun shone brightly.

James Bacca stood next to Ameiko, head down, listening to the eulogy.

Mordecai stood with them, antsy. As he looked around, he noticed some young ladies he had not seen before.

Griz stood with Mayor Deverin and Sheriff Belor. Near them stood Titus Scarnetti and Ethram Valdemar. He had been unsuccessful in his attempts to convince the sheriff to order the town militia to raid the Birdcruncher caves. He stood, listening, tears silently flowing down his cheeks.

Naeric stood, seething, stoking the redeeming fires of Sarenrae. He gazed towards the town wall, and saw the hunchback, Naffer Vosk, keeper of the Sandpoint Boneyard. Near the temple, he saw the guard he had spoken a few days before. He made a mental note to speak with them. They were both faithful, and in their hearts Sarenrae would shine her light.

Rhoggar sat in silent meditation with Sabyl.

After the funeral, James Bacca approached Shayliss Vinder, who stood with Jargie Quinn and another young man that he didn’t recognize. They were towards the south edge of the boneyard, where the temple gardens grew lush. “Shayliss, what was it you were trying to tell me at the store the other day?”

“James Bacca, how kind of you to come look after me. There’s some big ratshhh in the basement of the store, and daddy won’t get rid of them. I need a hero to help me. Haha ha!” Jargie and the young man laughed with her. She leaned on the young man then lurched towards James Bacca. He could smell her perfume, mixed with … “Shayliss… have you been drinking?” He supposed it wasn’t unusual, she had just lost what amounted to her uncle. “Bur seriously Shayliss, rats?”

“Sheriously. They’re really big ratshh!”

“Dire Rats?”

“Yessh!” The other men laughed. “Ok Shayliss, I will see what I can do?”

Naeric spoke with Naffer Vosk. “Sir, sir, I know you are a hand of the Dawnflower. I need to show you something.” Naffer Vosk led Naeric to the Northeast edge of the boneyard, to the wall that separated the boneyard — and the town — from the woods leading to the east. “This!” Naffer Vosk picked up a ladder laying on the ground next to the wall. “The day after the Festival, I found this laying on the ground near the wall — on the inside of the wall! I daren’t tell anyone but you, since you are a hand of the Dawnflower, and I dare not trust anyone. I fear that it was Aesrick Battlehorn or one of the Carpenter’s helped the goblins get in to town!” It was a well made ladder, certainly not something to be left laying around.

“This is not something that belongs to the temple, I presume?”, to which Naffer Vosk replied in the negative. Naeric gathered his friends. It was clear that this was a well made ladder and it was suspicious that it was found the day after the Festival — the goblin attack — especially considering that Father ___’s remains had been stolen during the attack. Griz observed obvious trampling of the ground, as if many people — or goblins — had recently come and gone. At the base of the wall he saw the obvious marks of the ladder being set into the ground. He climbed the wall. The other side contained the same marks of a ladder set into the ground. He followed the trail of a set of footprints leading away east from the spot, around the bluffs and wrapping back around south and west to the East Gate. And, it appeared that the same tracks had come this way once before, but apparently dragging a ladder. It was as if someone had carried a ladder from town and leaned it against the wall for the goblins to use.

Griz returned, and spoke with the Sheriff Hemlock. “Most disturbing. We have also found evidence that the north gate was left unlocked, and that goblins were hiding in a wagon belonging to one of the business’s in town.”

While Griz and Naeric investigated this disturbing turn of events, Mordecai did his duty assuring the town citizens that the heroes were protecting them, especially the beautiful young ladies he had spotted earlier. “Mrs. Avertin, it’s a pleasure! I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting your … daughters?” The two ladies, Arika and Aneka, nearly duplicates of each other, blushed. “Aye … Mordecai … they are my daughters.” Alma Avertin could barely speak, as she was on the verge of sobbing. “They took Franklin, just as they took my Casp!” Arika and Aneka smiled and blushed at Mordecai, at the same time looking concerned about their mother and pleased with the attention of the charming tiefling. “Sir, we made these savories for you and your friends. We’re so sorry sir, but we have to take mother back home now!”

Rhogar was been speaking with Father Zantus. They discussed the mutable nature of people, and the possibilities of setting people on the path of righteousness once they had strayed to far into wickedness. “Take the goblins, for example,” said the priest of Desna. “They grow up like animals, they keep their young in cages, like beasts. But, if they were to be raised in a civilized manner, perhaps they could be civilized.”

Mordecai wandered to the a raven haired, tall beauty, who introduced herself as Jasmine. “You must be from Cheliax,” she noted. “It’s obvious, as where else would a tiefling be from. I’ve just moved here from there, it’s good to see a familiar face.” She asked Mordecai for a quick hand with something in her home, and he gladly obliged. Mordecai called to Rhogar — “Hey, I’ll be back soon, eh?” Rhogar watched him walk off with a beuatiful raven haired woman and nodded assent.

Mordecai and Jasmine chatted easily as they walked around the side of the temple, and Mordecai asked why she moved to Sandpoint. “Well, I wanted a fresh start, with my children. It was so hard in Cheliax when my husband died, you see. But, to be honest, the real reason I came today was because I caught a glimpse of you.” Her voice trailed off behind and Mordecai turned around, a moment to late catching on that all was not as it seemed, as Jasmine’s features changed. Her long straight raven hair changed into dreadlocks. Her conservative purple dress faded into a low cut croptop and silky pants. She wore a hood. It was Lyrie Ajenka, the wizard who, with the warrior Orik, attacked and killed Franklin at the Rusty Dragon earlier that week.

With a word he was paralyzed, bound by magical energy. “I came with my friend for a drink and a foolish tiefling decided to interfere with something that didn’t concern him!” She dug a dagger into Mordecai’s thigh. In his mind, he screamed in agony, but no words came out. She twisted the knife, pulled it out, and sliced open a gash in his chest…

Father Zantus concluded “What I’ve learned about people is that everyone dreams. Some forget them, some remember them, and some move in them.” Rhogar wanted to share that with Mordecai, so he jogged after him. “Aye, Mordecai,” he called out “You should hear what Father Zantus shared with me…” Lyrie drew the dagger across Mordecai’s cheek, near his eye. "Rhogar stepped in, and quick as sight struck her hand away. She let loose a piercing shriek, sending vibrations in Rhogar’s sword, threatening to shatter it. He loosened his arm and allowed the vibrations to disappate, and slced at Lyrie. She spoke a word and he was plunged in darkness. When the darkness dissapated, he was alone with Mordecai.

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Burnt Offerings 2.8
Town Heroes

Dinner With the Kaijitsus, cont…

James Bacca sits awkwardly on the floor of the dining hall of the Kaijitsu family home. The cushion is comfortable, but he is not used to it, and he shifts each time he hears a crash or the raised voice of Ameiko Kaijitsu or Lonjiku Kaijitsu coming from the kitchen.

Suddenly, the screaming and crashing stops, and, but for what sounds like soft crying in the kitchen, there is silence. Lonjiku quietly and gracefully comes out of the kitchen alone, and seats himself at the table. He continues the conversation, telling James Bacca about the Kaijitsu family history.

“The process of glassmaking is as much an art as it is a craft, and one that the Kaijitsu family has held pride in for several generations. After my family was exiled from Tian Xia and made the perilous journey over the crown of the world, we finally settled in Magnimar, where the family trade played a key role in our acceptance into society.

“When the Sandpoint Mercantile League was established, the Kaijitsus were there, and not long after Sandpoint was founded, we began construction of what would become one of the town’s most unique and profitable businesses—the Sandpoint Glassworks.

“The three main components of glass are all found in abundance locally: sand, seaweed, and salt-resistant plants (the ashes of which form an important reagent in the process), and lime extracted from stone quarried from the cliffs of Devil’s Platter and the Ashen Rise. All that remained was the technical proficiency to work these components into glass.”

James Bacca broaches the topic of Tuk Thor. “Sir,” he say, “I understand you will be sitting on the town council for the trial of Tuk Thor…”

“Who?”, interjects Lonjiku. “Oh, the orcs? Yes, those traitors will have what they deserve.”

“But sir, I fought along with Tuk Thor during the Swallowtail Festival. He is certainly no traitor…”

“Heh, orcs are animals. They just live to fight. Good riddance to that scum.”

Lonjiku changes the subject back to sharing stories with James Bacca about Tian Xia, stories that he only heard from his parents, as he was born in Magnimar. James shares stories with him about demon haunted Cheliax. They continue talking for a while, and Ameiko comes out of the kitchen with the rest of the dinner, with a joyful smile that evaporates as Lonjiku loudly says "It is unfortunate that my daughter refuses to learn the family trade. She is my only child but will not take over the business when I am no longer able to do so. She shames me. She went off galavanting as an “adventurer”, hardly woman’s work. Now, she runs a flophouse and spends her time with low-born drunkards." He shakes his head emphatically and looks down. “Sit daughter, that is work for servants.”

Ameiko sits, eyes cast down, and says “Father, if you would forgive Tsuto …” Lonjiku slams his fists on the table and screams “Do not speak that name in my presence! You continue to shame me!” Ameiko says calmly “But father, he’s my brother, your son…” and Lonjiku screams “I have no son!”

The dinner is finished in awkward quietness, with small talk and superficial polite exchanges between Lonjiku and James Bacca, interjected with occasional sharp remarks from Lonjiku towards Ameiko. When dinner finished, Lonjiku walked with James Bacca and Ameiko to the front gate of the family home, and bid Ameiko farewell in a formal and cold manner. Then, he smiled and turned to James Bacca, and stated “You have honored me with your presence. I hope you will make an honest woman of my daughter, and bring an end to my shame. Oh, and James Bacca, if you wish to be of service to Sandpoint, you should do something about the Sczarni. They are a scourge to the honest and hard working people of this town.”

On the way back to Sandpoint, James Bacca and Ameiko walked silently. As they reached the Rusty Dragon, Ameiko said “Lonjiku is my father. He and Tsuto are the only family I have left. My mother died about five years ago. She slipped or tripped from the bluffs near our home. Since then, my father and Tsuto have not spoken, and I’ve only seen Tsuto a few times. You see, Tsuto is my younger half brother… He is half elf, and neither my father nor my mother have any elvish blood. My father is a very proud man… And that is a trait Tsuto takes from my father, but they are the only family I have.” Tsuto and Ameiko bid each other good night and each went to sleep.

Gorvi’s Shack
Naeric goes to Gorvi’s shack. There are kids outside waiting around with red garbage wagon. “Hey, you know when Gorvi is coming. We ain’t haulin’ trash unless we get paid.” Naeric gives them a gold piece. “Did you know that goblins dig through the trash you kids throw over the cliff?”, he asks. “Yeah, of course we do!” With that, they run off, bickering about who owns the gold piece.

James searches Gorvi’s shack (picks the lock). The place is stuffy, he opens the window. Rotting food, spilt beer, clutter, garbage, juxtaposed with well made furniture, fine erotic art, expensive spirits. A small chest with copper peices and a clipboard with notes about the kids. In Gorvi’s closet is a loose floorboard in which is hidden a sack full of gold pieces. Under Gorvi’s bed some lacy women’s undergarments. Naeric is convinced that, while perhaps uncouth and drunkard, Gorvi is a normal single male with no evidence of treachery.

Content Not Found: null, an elderly elf herbalist and midwife, is waiting for Naeric when he exits Gorvi’s shack. As Naeric locks the door, she asks “Did you find anything interesting in there?” He shakes his head No. “Please walk with me, little Dawnflower.”

Naeric recognizes Hannah from the temple. She is a worshiper of Gozreh — The Wind and the Waves — somewhat unusual in Sandpoint where most people worship Desna, the Song of the Spheres. Hannah leads Naeric to the bluffs where Gorvi and his boys dump trash. Naeric can see that much of the trash is floating off to see, but a large pile of it remains. Hannah shakes her head sadly. "I’ve asked the Sandpoint Council many, many times to end this abhorrent practice. But they directed it to continue. "

Naeric is shocked. “Wait, what?! The Council directed Gorvi to dump the garbage over the cliff?”

“Well, not directly. But as the town grew, he ended up with the job of removing the garbage, debris, and … waste from the town. All that was unsightly and unseemly to the smell. His solution was to dump it over the cliff where it would be washed off to sea. The Council has been happy enough to pay him to continue the practice despite my protests. I suppose I could now tell the council that goblins were sent by Gozreh in payment for this abysmal practice, but…” she paused, turned from the sea and walked towards the temple. As she passed Naeric she winked, “… but, if Gozreh saw fit to show her wrath it would in all likelihood be a wave of cleansing water that would sweep the town away.”

Hannah and Naeric continued to talk Hannah led Naeric on a walk at the edge of the town, near the cemetery. Naeric spoke of his quest to find calm. Hannah spoke of her role in the joy of serving as midwife to to women of Sandpoint, as well as helping them control of their bodies through contraception, education, and, occasionally, ending unfortuitous pregnancies, much to the consernation of some of the more conservative members of town such as Titus Scarnetti.

As they turned back towards the temple, they observed the late Father Tobyn’s grave, which had been restored, even though his remains were still missing. Hannah’s gaze went next to Father Tobyn’s grave, to his daughter, Nualia’s grave. “Such a shame. Such a loss. When Father Tobyn and Nualia died so many years ago in the fire. Nualia was such a beautiful girl, a foundling. Father Tobyn found her on the steps of the old temple. Some believe that she had divine blood, that she was the son or the daughter of an angel. People would come to her and beg her for healing. She became pregnant. Her lover, Delek…” Hannah spit, “fled rather than live up to his responsibilities as a father. Her father — Father Tobyn — was so angry.” Hannah paused. “She … miscarried. The child was … an abomination. It was a very difficult time for her and it was such a tragedy that her life was cut short.”

Griz
Griz returned to the Tickwood, just north of the Devil’s Platter, to look for Shalelu. He found traces that she had been in the Tickwood in the past few weeks, but no sign of her more recently, since the Swallow Tail festival. As Griz rode his pony back to Sandpoint, he observed a fire in the fields. He rushed to find a group of goblins attacking a farmstead. Inside the house were a family of farmers, fighting desperately to fight off a dozen goblins, including a Warchanter. Griz rushed to the house, and explained that he would make a distraction and they were to flee to Sandpoint. He ran out, calling to attract the attention of the goblins. The Warchanter called “Kill that short longshanks!” Griz fled away from the farmhouse, but the goblins were faster than him and were catching up. He drew his bow and shot, missing, and the goblins were on him, hacking at him. A blow to the head left him in the dark.

He awoke, and it was nearly night. The sky was lit up red with the flames of the burning farmhouse and the other buildings and fields, which were now becoming embers. Slaughtered animals were everywhere, with chunks of meat ripped out of them, obviously by ravenous goblins. Griz staggered to his feet, not mindful of his many wounds. With a pounding heart, he headed back to the farmhouse. He found the body of the father and his eldest son, and saw that they had been hack nearly to pieces. He searched around and found tracks of people running, and goblins following. It was clear that they were all moving together.

With tears in his eyes, Griz buried the body of the farmer and his son. “No sense to run off after them tonight. I won’t be able to track them.” He used the last of the light to track his pony back in the Tickwood. “Good boy. You had the sense to run.” Tomorrow is another day, and we will do what we can for those good people."

Dinner with a local family
Naeric walks through town and comes upon Petal, yapping and barking. Naeric bends town to pet her, and she stops for a moment before running back into her house, barking again. A loud voice from inside comes “Petal, shut that yapping!” Petal runs out, and a large, dark haired man sticks his head out of the door. “Shut up!”

The man makes eye contact with Naeric, who is again petting Petal. “Sorry, that mutt is a nuisance.”

Naeric replies “It’s no problem sir, I’ve met her before, and I’ve met your ”/characters/barett-amele" class=“wiki-content-link”>wife and children. You are Aldergast, I presume? Naeric Petayarus." With that, Aldergast’s eyes widen with recognition and he invites Naeric in enthusicastically. “Yes, yes, of course! Aeren couldn’t stop speaking about how one of the heroes of Sandpoint was here, and would scare all the goblins away. The damned boy won’t stop crying about goblins. I’ve about lost my patience with his nonsense, constantly crying about goblins and monsters under his bed ever since the Festival…”

Amele Barrett enters the room, nursing her baby, Verah. “Aldergast, stop that. Naeric, thank you for taking the time to visit us again. Poor Aeren is traumatized after the festival. He witnessed some goblins tie a cat by its tail then light it on fire. He’s convinced that the goblins are going to return and set Petal on fire.” With that, Petal runs back inside and down the hallway towards the back of the house, barking and yapping. “Petal! Out! You’re going to wake Aeren!”

Amele, Aldergast, and Naeric speak some more. Naeric speaks with Aldergast about his work as a shipbuilder. Aeren begins crying in the back room “Mommy! Daddy! There goblins under my bed! Daddy!”

Aldergast, with rage in his eyes, stands up and says “I’ve told that boy enough about monsters …” but Amele rushes back and brings him to the front room, crying. Aldergast says “Naeric, perhaps you can help the boy grow up, I certainly can’t!”

Aeren sits on Naerics lap, and his crying stops, a little … “I had a scary dream… a giant opened his mouth and all the goblins came out. And the set everyone on fire! And there was a lady in the goblins head and she turned into a monster with sharp claws! Sir, you won’t let them set Petal on fire, will you?” Naeric promises that Sarenrae will use good fire, the fire of redemption, which will stop the goblins from burning anyone else…

To be continued…
Griz and the Birdcruncher goblins
Franklin’s funeral
The meeting of the Sandpoint Town Council

View
Burnt Offerings 2.7

Naeric continued leading the heroes higher into the ancient Thassalonian tower, using the rough maps copied from Brodart Quink’s notes as a guide.

He ascended the stairs onto the third floor, and came out into the hallway. He saw Brodart Quink laying in the hallway, not moving, and sensed an undead presence nearby. Assuming that this was what was stealing their voices and enervating them, he immediately summoned fairie fire, bathing everything in the hallway in sparkling green lights.

Griz quickly approached and heard the whispering sounds … “Play with me… Gadanthus… I bet you I can run faster than you… Ocean… Sandpoint… Gimme!… Mine!… The tower is haunted… Sarenrae will cleanse… Turandarok… Basement … Devil… You simple fools, get out!” Griz and Naeric dragged Quink toward the stairs as Mordecai and James, who wildly cast spells into the hallway, covered their retreat. Griz and Mordecai were scratched by the undead force, enervating them and rendering them silent. The heroes were able to get Quink back to his house and laid him down in his study to rest.

Naeric and Father Zantus speak. Naeric is surprised at Tuk Thor’s arrest because Tuk Thor fought at his side against the goblins during the Swallowtail Festival. Father Zantus is a member of the Sandpoint council . He believes Tuk Thor and Gorvi are innocent but must hear evidence at the trial. He remembers Tuk Thor defending the refugees during the festival at the steps of the temple. People are afraid, prejudices are out of control.

Father Zantus uses his influence and he and Naeric visit Tuk Thor and Gorvi at the Sandpoint Garrison. Naeric speaks with the town guard Manuel Sharpe, who shows interest in following Sarenrae.

In prison, with Gorvi. Gorvi and Tuk Thor are contrite. Gorvi insists that he is innocent and never worked with goblins. Tuk Thor is contrite and apologetic about sneaking into town. He says he only wanted to get help for his Shoanti tribe, who are being attacked more and more by giants and ogres. Across the hall is Gresgut, the goblin they captured during the Swallowtail Festival attack. Gresgut speaks in broken Varisian, that orcs are stupid longshanks, not smart ones. And She’s real smart, and mean… she has a claw! The Mother of Monsters gave her a claw!

James Bacca speaks with Ameiko about setting up a meeting with her father, Lonjiku, who is a member of the town council. Ameiko suggests they take dinner with her father at the family home on the south part of town. The next day, James Bacca dons his finest clothes and they walk together to the Kaijitsu family home. It is on the outskirts of town, across the Turandarok river to the south. They are greeted by servants who show them in. The home is tastefully and sparingly decorated with exotic art pieces from Tian Xia on the other side of the world, as well as beautiful glass pieces created in the Sandpoint Glassworks.

Dinner is served as James Bacca, Lonjiku, and Ameiko sit at dinner in the traditional Tian Xia style, on cushions on the floor. Servants serve food and suddenly Lonjiku flies into a wrath, screaming at the servants. He stands up and storms into the kitchen, screaming in a Tian Xian, which James Bacca cannot understand. He hears servants crying out in fear, and Ameiko asks him to wait as she enters the kitchen. James hears her voice raised as well…

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Burnt Offerings 2.6
Town Heroes

4047 Rova 4

James goes into the tower and is bitten. He comes running out cursing silently. Griz asks him to take a walk and explains that he wishes to pay respects to the family of the townsman that was killed by Orik. They go to Ven Vinder’s general store and greet him and Shayliss. Ven thanks them for again protecting the town and saving his life, and expresses grief that his good friend Franklin was killed. He says that if they pay their respects at the funeral, it will likely be sufficient. Griz and James attend Franklin’s widow and Griz apologizes but James is testy.

Rhogar meditates by the ocean and Naeric approaches. They speak of how to cultivate inner peace. Naeric specifically asks about cultivating peace given the fire in his heart. They see and approach the House of Blue Stones, a center for meditation in Sandpoint. Inside is Sabyl, a young monk who follows in her late father’s footsteps. Rhogar joins her in meditation.

Naeric heads back to the temple. On the way he spies a cute dog, barking frantically, and running in and out of his house. A young mother, Amele, calls for the dog “Petal” to shush. She sees Naeric and is flustered at speaking to on of “The Heroes”. She brings her two children, Aerin and Verah, to meet Naeric.

Mordecai meets with Mayor Deverin. She explains that Gorvi and Tuk Thor will have a trial in front of the town council. Charges have been brought by an officer of the guard that Tuk Thor snuck into town with the goblins, that he and Gorvi supplied weapons to the goblins. A member of the council has approved the charges. She doesn’t believe it but it isn’t in her power to stop this unilaterally. The other four council members are Father Zantus, Titus Scarnettis (whose family owns and operates the lumber mill), Ethram Valdemar (whose family owns and operates the shipyard), and Lonjiku Kaijitsu (whose family owns and operates the glassworks). She invites Morecai and the heroes to invest in property.

Later, Mordecai is invited by Ameiko Kaijitsu to play music at the Rusty Dragon and is paid handsomely.

4047 Rova 5

The heroes come up with a plan to face the threat in the Old Light. Preparing spells to detect invisibility, they slowly explore the first and second floors of the Old Light and prepare to head up to the third floor.

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Burnt Offerings 2.5
Town Heroes

At the Rusty Dragon Inn big celebration in honor of the heroes.

Naeric shares rare drinks with Ven Vinder, owner of the General Store. Ven introduces him to his daughter Shayliss, says she is a good girl (unlike her sister, “the whore”). Later Shayliss disappears but Ven doesn’t seem concerned.

Rhogar, Griz, and James speak to the mayor about their plans for the town. She tells them people are talking about building a bank and a wall. Two of the town council members — Scarnetti and Lonjiku Kaijitsu (Ameiko’s father) — are advocating for building a wall. She invites the heroes to go to the Mercantile League and purchase property.

Aldern announces dinner is bought by him for everyone on behalf of the new heroes, especially Finton, his Angel. He talks about his plans to renovate his family estate to the south, and hints that he has debts, and that adventuring could be a good way to find new wealth. He promises to build a statue for his angel and to further supply the heroes.

Orik Vancaskerkin, a strong fighter, and Lyrie Akenja, a spell caster, two strangers to Sandpoint, fight with the heroes after cutting down Ven Vinder. When Lyrie is knocked out, Orik takes a hostage — Franklin, a friend of Vens who was drinking with Naeric — and cuts his throat after James casts a spell at him. Ameiko ended further melee by getting the drop on Orik and inviting him to leave Sandpoint and never return. Lyrie calls to Ameiko that they’ll be back when “She” says they will be back — Nualia has plans for their town. Ameiko is shocked and explains that Nualia is the name of the adopted daughter of the former priest of the town — father Tobyn — and both were killed in the fire that burned the temple during the Late Unpleasantness.

During the fight townsfolk are divided by Tuk Thor, some of them accusing him of being a traitor. After the fight Kaddock Darthlai – lieutenant of the town militia, arrests Tuk Thor on suspicion of being a traitor and assisting the goblin attack. In addition, many of the people in the Rusty Dragon are angry with James for attacking Orik and causing Franklin’s death. Naeric goes to the temple to meditate.

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Burnt offerings 2.4

On the way back to town from the boar hunt, goblin ambush. Goblin snake, warchanters. Aldern tries to get into armor. Heroes find goblins hiding in woodpile near the lumbermill after hearing dogs bark.

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Burnt Offerings 2.3

Griz tells the sheriff about the goblins gathering weapons from town dump.
Rhogar, James, and Naeric explore the tower and speak with Quink.

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Burnt Offerings, 2.2
Town Heroes

4047 Rova 2

Shank’s Wood

Griz silently brushed away a mosquito that landed on his neck. He had felt it bite without reacting suddenly, and moved his hand slowly and deliberately so as not to disturb the brambles that he was hiding under and give away his position to the Seven Tooth goblins that he was observing. He had been under the brambles for over three hours, and was feeling a bit stiff, so he stretched his muscles and breathed deeply. As a halfling, it was easy for him to hide in places like this.

He had been amazed at the calm and deliberate way that the three goblins were sorting through the refuse that they had scavenged from the Sandpoint trash heap. There was a minimum of squabbling and random acts of viciousness, rather a deliberate sorting of material into piles for weapons, tools, and obvious junk. The one way the goblins remained in character was that they ate anything that resembled food, no matter how stomach turning it seemed to Griz. As they sorted, the continued to focus their discussion on their apparent enemies, “Bruthazumus” and “Ripnugget”, and discuss how “Koruvus” would lead them to victory against the other tribes.

After finishing the sorting, one of the goblins left and returned with nearly a dozen more goblins, and the scene began to take a different tone in a rapid pace. The goblins began growling and snarling, sniffing and glancing around. Tension was obviously building.

Griz once again took some deep breaths and subtly shifted himself when he heard from off to the east a commanding and vicious snarl. “Seven Tooths, where are you? Seven Tooths better have good tools for Thistletop.” Into the clearing, Griz saw a half dozen goblins and goblin dogs led by a tall, swaggering goblin armed with a half dozen knives, short swords, and crossbows.

The Seven Tooth goblins backed away from the approaching Thistletop goblins, intimidated despite their greater number. “What you got! Speak up? You want cuts?”, the swaggering goblin snarled. One of the Seven Tooths found enough courage to step forward and say “We got good steels Brunkel, you take and just go!” He pushed the sack filled with quality scrap metal towards Brunkel, who began rooting through the back, grunting with approval. “Yeah, Ripnugget probably happy with this. No Seven Tooths go to the Howling Hole today. Maybe.” The other Thistletop goblins snickered as they looked at the other scavenged material collected by the Seven Tooth goblins.

During this exchange, the three goblin dogs sniffed curiously around the brambles under which Griz was hiding. Griz began backing out from the brambles, but froze as he realized that his bow was caught on the bramble and dislodging it would attract even more attention. He muttered under his breath … “Good doggies, look, there’s a squirrel over there…” As they sniffed closer and closer, they became more excited and began growling and barking, until finally Brunkel looked towards them. “You got someone hiding there? Koruvus there? You tell me! If you hiding someone you gonna get it! I gonna take you to HER!” At that, the Seven Tooth goblins cowered and simpered in fear
“We don’t know nothing Brunkel, honest!”
“Looky looky, we found goody goody metals and ropes and woods, we really really nicey nicey, we not hiding no one…”
“Koruvus gone, Korvus gone!”

Brunkel sauntered over to where the goblin dogs were sniffing and snarling, and peered intently into the shadows of the brambles. He turned around and Griz breathed a sigh of relief. He called to one of the Seven Tooth goblins, who came meekly to his side. Brunkel turned around and smacked him, saying “You stupid. Why you let some longshanks spying on us? You Seven Tooths better catch the longshanks or SHE gonna catch you!”

With that, Griz frantically scrambled backwards out of the brambles, and ran through the coastal woodland. Griz scrambled over and between boulders up and down the sloped terrain, dodging behind the lush ferns and evergreens, and hopped over a fallen log, laying behind it and scraping the crumbling wood over him to cover his body while the pursuing goblins and goblin dogs ran past him and spread out through the woods, searching for him.

Griz waited for about fifteen minutes, until the sound of pursuit died down, and headed west, towards the cliffside ladder which he had used to ascend to Shanks Wood from the beach. After another fifteen minutes of walking, he found himself at a ravine. He began to walk north towards the ocean along the edge of the ravine, when he heard the sniffing and snarling of the goblin dogs approaching. “Crap, looks like they caught my scent again.” He ran along the edge of the ravine but was not quick enough, the dogs had found him, and he was backed against the ravine.

The halfling leaped for his life across the ravine, trying to gain purchase on the opposite edge, but he failed, cracking his head on the sheer edge and falling down twenty feet, slicing his leg on a jagged log at the bottom. “I’m lucky I didn’t sprain or break an ankle” he thought as he continued north along the narrow defile looking for a place where he could scramble out of the trap he had found himself in. With the goblin dogs barking and snarling, it wasn’t long before the goblins returned, and the chase began again. He ran along the bottom of the chasm floor as goblins threw rocks at him. Finally, the ground began to rise and the edges of the walls gained texture, and he was able to find purchase to escape. He scrambled down another hillside, and as he heard the pursuers coming over the edge, he made a split second daring decision to leap for an overhanging branch, and crawled into the foilage just as the pursuers ran past him underneath the tree.

Griz waited an hour, until dark, when the last sounds of the pursuing goblins were long gone. He crawled down the tree, made his way to the western cliff edge of Shanks Wood, climbed down using the handholds, and made his way back to Sandpoint.

Chopper’s Island

The Old Light

The Sheriff and Casp Avertin

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Burnt Offerings, 2.1
Town Heroes

4047 Rova 2

Griz

At first light, Griz walked to the cliffs on the north side of town, and looked down at the heaping pile of garbage at the based of the bay with disgust. “The town dump”, he thought to himself, shaking his head. There were food scraps, pieces of cloth, broken furniture and tools, and any manner of junk that he could imagine. The rotting smell intermixed with the fresh sea air. As he looked down, a couple of children stepped next to him and through some stinking bags over the edge. The tide was high, and the base of the garbage heap was buried in water. He could see that some of the refuse was carried away into the bay, but wondered at how the garbage didn’t come all the way up to the wall. Was it all being carried away by the sea? When he looked to the east, he could see along the beach scattered pieces of rubbish in a trail to the east, and when he looked the other way, towards Chopper’s Island, he couldn’t see such a trail.

As the halfling climbed down the thirty foot sandstone cliff, he noticed some rustling in the heap of garbage. He gently hopped onto a board and deftly balanced on it. After a few moments, he heard the excited squeals of goblins from in the heap of rubbish where the rustling was, and one, two and then three goblin heads, out of proportion to their bodies as always, popped out of the rubbish heap. “We gots some good irons, now we go back to camp and make stuff with it!” The three goblins started heading east, and as they left they noticed Griz. One laughed and cursed at him. “Hey long-shanks, we make good dog slicers and come back to kill you!” Another one laughed “Ha, he not long-shanks, he short shanks”, and with that the three rushed off down the beach with their box of iron scraps.

Griz easily tracked them down the beach, along the bluffs for a couple of hours, watching as they took a break to catch fish and throw rocks at each other. Finally, he followed them to an place where the bluffs took an abrupt turn to the north, into an archipelago of rocky islands. The goblins quickly climbed the fifty foot bluff, and then dragged the metal scrap up the cliff. When they were away, Griz found that a series of foot / hand holds had been set into the cliffs, allowing easy scaling. And, at the top of the cliff was a crude contraption for hauling items up the cliffside using a rope and basket.

Griz followed the goblins to a clearing and watched as they met some others, and methodically sorted the metal into different piles, obviously based on quality (quite out of character for goblins). And, in character, they continued squabbling, talking about food, playing with their campfire. “We gonna make really good dog slicers with these ones… we gonna make traps with these, then nobody gonna mess with Seven Tooths no more. Brathazamus can’t even come into Seven Tooths territory cuz then we trap him and stick him!”

Mordecai

Mordecai yawned his way to the main room of the Rusty Dragon Inn, where half a dozen oldsters were gathered around Rhogar and James Bacca. “You’re finally up. We’re going to investigate the ruins of the Old Light, as we originally came to do.” “As you wish,” said Modecai, who began to strum his instrument and sing slowly. The townsfolk gathered around him and asked about the plans of the new heroes. Rhogar quietly chuckled and sang about their exploits from the day before. Soon, Aldern Foxglove made his way downstairs and joined in, bragging about his role in the valorous defeat of the Goblin General Gresgut and the dozens of goblins that were intent on burning down the town.

“So, really Mordecai, what are your plans”, asked Ameiko Kaijitsu, as she brought plates of savoury curried potatoes and eggs. “What are the next exploits of the new heroes of Sandpoint?”

Mordecai strummed his instrument and sang:
Let goblins cower
Evil shall not flower
We come to bring peace
Your burdens release
For we are here to serve!

“Aye,” said an old man in the small crowd. “In that case ye should find and kill the Sandpoint Devil. It’s been plaguing and killing for years.” At that, an argument erupted in the crowd “You’re crazy Nico, there’s no Sandpoint Devil, it’s just your drunk nephews out in the farms filling you with stories.” “Nay, the Devil be real,” said another voice “It has two heads. One of a devil, one of a dragon. And the body of a horse. And the tail of a crocodile. And bat wings!” Someone else spoke up “It’s no devil, it’s an angel, here to protect Varisia from the Chelaxians who have been invading. Those are the real devil worshippers!”

As the crowd roared in its debate, Aldern approached Mordecai. “Sirrah! We shall have a boar hunt to provide meat for the feast that I promised. You and the other heroes must join me! Especially my angel, the tiny ranger Griz. He shall lead the hunt! Please promise me that you will convince the others to join us.”

The Tower and the Island

Mid-morning at the north end of Sandpoint, a crowd had gathered as Rhogar and James Bacca pounded on the door of the out of place three story house laying in the shadow of the ancient tower known locally as the Old Light. Rhogar, James Bacca, Naeric, and Tuk Thor chatted with the growing crowd. A group of young ladies peeked at James Bacca and giggled when he glanced at them. A young man gave the heroes a meat pie that his mother baked for them. As they waited for Brodart Quink to answer their knocking, they looked up at the five sided tower rising 50 meters above them. The tower’s base was on a pile of crumbling granite that looked to be scalable, but not completely safe. And, other than small openings occasionally populating the sides of the tower, they could not see an entrance.

As they looked, some kids gathered around them and started talking all at once. “You don’t want to go in there, it’s haunted!” “The ghost of some kid Chopper killed haunts it!” “No it ain’t, but Chopper’s Island is haunted. I seen Chopper going back and forth looking for more victims.”

A calm and firm voice interrupted “You kids get out of here, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” He turned to the heroes and stated “There’s no point in banging on the door. Cranky old Quink works all night and sleeps all day. Pleased to meet ya, I’m Ven Vinder.” ven Vinder was barrel chested, stood over two meters, with a thick beard and a calm but piercing gaze."

“Now… Chopper.” He pointed to the island north of town, forming one side of the bay. “Jervis Stoot used to live out there. Everyone knew he was a bit mad. He was a brilliant artist. He carved birds into the walls and doors of buildings and houses around town. We called ‘em Stoots. But … well, it turned out he was carving up people as well. He terrorized the town for a month before Sheriff Casp caught up with him. Unfortunately, the Sheriff didn’t survive the encounter.” He pointed to a scarred and charred patch on a nearby building. “Now, Stoots bring up painful memories for most folks. Nearly everyone in town lost someone close or knows someone who lost someone.”

While Ven Vinder spoke with James Bacca and Rhogar, Mordecai and Naeric talked to the group of kids. One of them, Stefan, spoke up, “Honestly, I’ve been to Stoots Island and I know where he lived. I can take you there.” They followed, Stefan to the beach, and, as the tide was low, waded the twenty yards to the island. There was no path up the three meter rocky bluff to the island, so they scrambled up the side and found themselves on a grassy, serene, lightly wooded island. At last they came to a clearing, in the middle of which was a dilapidated shack. They entered and noted that anything of value was long looted, and all that remained was a few pieces weather rotten furniture and other debris. Behind the shack, they came upon a patch of gravel and rocks, about three feet on a side. As they dug through this pile, it became clear that this was a tunnel that had been intentionally filled with rocks and gravel.

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Burnt Offerings 1.4
Feast and Fire

As the heroes gathered back in Temple Square, the sound of the town bells were clearly and constantly ringing, calling the Sandpoint militia into action. The sounds of battle were dying out, and the wounded were being tended and protected by the acolytes of the temple, and other than a few small fires, the attack appeared to be mostly over.

Griz spoke with Sheriff Hemlock and Mayor Deverin, who advised him that this type of attack was unprecedented in Sandpoint’s 42 year history, and that they had no idea why the goblins would attack. They too hoped to hear from Shalelu, who they were familiar with because she would meet with them regularly every two or three months, to give information about the local goblin tribes. However, it had been nearly a month since they had seen her (more recently than Griz had seen her).

Naeric asked Father Abstalar to walk with him. Naeric was frustrated by the lack of urgency to go out and meet the new goblin threat head on. As the pair walked, they entered the cemetary behind the temple and discovered that a grave had recently been dug up. Father Abstalar was shocked and explained that this was the grave of Father Tobyn, who, along with his daughter, Nualia, had died in the fire that burned the old temple down five years ago in the Late Unpleasantness.

Naeric repeatedly enjoined Father Abstalar to take action as they returned to Temple Square, where he frankly and adamantly insisted that Sheriff Hemlock gather the militia to march on the goblins. Sheriff Hemlock, typically brusk, bluntly told Naeric that he would not send the townsfolk on a wild goose chase to their deaths, and that if he obtained information regarding the location of the goblins, he was welcome to take action.

As evening fell, the heroes regrouped and considered their next actions. Their deliberations were interrupted by a high pitched and frantic scream from north. They rushed to discover a muscular and bold goblin, riding one of the rat like creatures that they called dogs, in combat with a german shepherd. A large group of goblins, cowering behind their champion, cheered:

Gresgut!
Kill the doggy!
Eat its tail!
Squash it like froggy!

Gresgut!
He not scared!
He cut and fight…

Their cheer was cut off as Naeric approached the group from behind, and channelling the redeeming power of Sarenrae, let forth a cone of flame into the group. “Burn, sinners! Feel the cleansing power of Sarenrae make you whole again!” Burning goblins fled everywhere, setting fires in nearby houses as they blindly ran into them. The other goblins joined the battle with the other heroes, and the german shepherd bit hard onto Gresgut’s leg as Gresgut and his mount sliced and bit at the brave and loyal dog. As the battle moved forward, Griz moved around the corner of the White Deer Inn to protect the screaming victim from being injured. He could see that the source of the shrill and frantic screams was a well dressed nobleman, sporting a blue velvet suit and a walking cane. As the dandy nobleman saw the battle being joined by the heroes, his screams turned into taunts and he started swinging in the air as if joining the battle. “Tally Ho, good of you gentlemen to join me in defeating these rapscallion goblins. Lets show them what’s what! Oh dear, don’t let them hurt Sniffles! Sniffles, do be careful!”

The heroes finally took the battle, killed the remaining goblins, put out the fires, and subdued Gresgut. The dandy introduced himself as Aldren Foxglove, a nobleman from Magnamar. He was most gracious and especially thankful to Griz, who he picked up and hugged, and called “My Angel” numerous times. He invited the heroes to join him for a feast at the Rusty Dragon Inn, especially extracting a promise from Griz to join, who merely replied “OK, but please put me down.”

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