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.
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 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
The meeting of the Sandpoint Town Council