Rise of the Runelords - Ninja Island

Burnt Offerings 1.1
Festival and Fire

4047 Rova 1

The heroes came to Sandpoint for various reasons.

Tuk Thor snuck into town after being racially profiled by a guard at the East Gate. He befriended Gorvi, a drunken half-orc, and kept him out of trouble.

Ivan and James Bacca secured a room at the Rusty Dragon Inn, and spoke with Brodert Quink about ancient history.

Griz tried to speak with the sheriff and the mayor but didn’t assert himself and was unable to get to them.

They enjoyed themselves at the festival and stepped up to defend the town from marauding goblins. The battle has just begun!

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Burnt Offerings 1.2
The Swallow Tail Festival

4047 Rova 1

The heroes caught their breath in the town square in front of the new temple. They had killed a handful of marauding goblins, but it was clear that there were many, many more attacking town. Every direction they turned, they could hear screams and sounds of broken glass., and the smelled smoke billowing from nearby streets. As they looked around and quickly made each others’ acquaintances, they saw that townsfolk were injured … some perhaps fatally.

Griz and Tuk Thor rushed to heal the most injured of the townsfolk, and stabilised them until Father Zantus was able to come and tend to the wounded. While they did this work, James, Roghar, and Mordecai chased the remaining goblins out of the town square. The heroes followed the goblins for a few blocks, and came upon another group, led by a Warchanter, setting fire to a cart and trying to push it into a house. As the nearby townsfolk huddled in terror, the heroes stopped the goblins from spreading the fire and killed the Warchanter, causing the remaining goblins to flee, to the cheers of the townsfolk.

GoblinWarchanter.jpg

In the meantime, Tuk Thor followed a trail of food left by one of the goblins to a cliff, where the goblin was throwing the food over to its allies. Tuk Thor kicked the goblin over the edge and ran back to his allies.

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Burnt Offerings 1.3
Festival and Fire

Naeric, priest of Sarenrae, was roused from his meditation by screams and the sound of battle. He donned his gear and headed to the front door of the temple. As he approached the entrance, there were throngs of sobbing and wounded townsfolk crowded inside. He exited, and was shocked to see a scene of carnage from the steps of the front door of the temple.

The town square was empty, except for Father Zantus and a handful of acolytes that were tending to some fallen townsfolk. Booths were knocked over and tents were burning. As he looked and saw the bodies of some goblins, he heard some commotion to his left as from the direction of High Street, a slow moving group of elderly and children came towards the temple, followed by a couple of dog-slicer wielding goblins and a Warchanter. “Goblins bite and goblins chew, goblins will make you our food!”

Naeric moved quickly but calmly towards the Warchanter, silently praying to Sarenae and gathering an aura of brightlight around him, causing the goblins to slip and stumble. This gave the acolytes time to get to the refugees and in front of the goblins, who started hacking at them instead of the fleeing townsfolk.

As Naeric and the Warchanter engaged in melee, the rest of the heroes were catching their breath after stopping the burning cart from starting an inferno. They saw a large group of goblins running towards the temple square, and gave chase. The goblins entered the town square, attacking the acolytes and the heroes, and setting fire to tents and a stray cat. The refugee children, seeing this, started to cry in fear. The heroes quickly joined Naeric in the melee, and through their combined efforts, the Warchanter was brained by Naeric’s mace. Once the song stopped, the rest of the goblins fled and many were cut down while doing so.

A lean and muscular goblin ranger on a hairless, slithering dog-like creature broke off from the group and Tuk Thor gave chase. The goblin ranger rode up to some horses which were tied to a post, and whinnying in fear, and started hacking at them. Tuk Thor finally caught up to the champion but not in time to save the horses from being brutalized. As Tuk Thor swung his axe, the champion dodged and struck Tuk Thor, causing him to fall and strike his head.

goblin_champion_and_goblin_Dog.jpg

The town bells were ringing at this point, and the militia was being called into service. The heroes could not hear any battle for the time being. James Bacca notice that Tuk Thor was missing, went to find him, with Naeric’s help. They came upon Tuk Thor being stablized by some town guards. They returned to the temple square to meet with other heroes, and were met by Mayor Deverin, Sheriff Belerin, and Father Zantus, who all thanked them greatly for their help in defending Sandpoint. This had been an unprecedented attack, and there was no known reason that goblins would attack in such a brazen manner.

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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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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, 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

View
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 2.4

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 2.5
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 2.6
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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