Rise of the Runelords

Welcome to Sandpoint part 1

23 Rova 4707AR

It’s the day before the Swallowtail Festival and the consecration of the new Sandpoint Cathedral. The townsfolk are busy getting everything ready for the festivities.

Rena lives in Sandpoint with her family, all of whom are involved in the celebrations in one way or another. She is handing out leaflets and welcoming visitors at the entrance to the town. Young and enthusiastic (not to mention slightly over-excited about the festival), she gives directions and informs people about some of the things they can look forward to experiencing during the festival period.

Once in town, Rose heads for the brothel and tries to embrace her human side (among other things). Tig sets herself up in a corner of the Fatman’s Feedbag and observes the events around her. Later, Rose arrives and buys drinks for the whole bar. Samoth Aggaagak Krok tries to communicate with the humans, eventually finding himself fetching drinks for the locals (including Rena and her brother Stig) who are building a stage in the square outside the cathedral. Kazallin gets food at the Rusty Dragon and organises a room for the night, as does Samoth. After being accosted by Rose in the Fatman’s Feedbag, Tig and her new friend arrive at the Rusty Dragon to book rooms, after being reprimanded by Ameiko (the landlady) for their lateness.

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Welcome to Sandpoint part 2

24 Rova 4707AR
The following morning, everyone gathers in the square for the opening speeches. First is Kendra Deverin, the Mayor, whose speech is perky and welcoming. She is followed by Belor Hemlock, the town Sheriff, who lowers the mood by asking for a moments silence for those who lost their lives five years earlier. Cyrdak Drokkus is next, with an animated and enthusiastic advert for his theatre and an attempt to lighten the mood. He is a replacement for Lonjiku Kaijitsu, who is, as head of one of the town’s founding families, conspicuous in his absence. Drokkus introduces the final speaker, Father Zantus, the High Priest of Sandpoint, who declares the commencement of the festivities.

Rena joins her family for the basic combat display by the students at the Turandarok Academy. Samoth, Tig, Kazallin and Rose take part in the games and competitions that are laid on. At noon, everyone gathers in the square for Father Zantus to tell the Parable of Desna, followed by the release of the Swallowtails. After the butterflies have flown, it is time for lunch, when all the local producers and vendors provide samples of their finest offerings to see which is the most popular. Tig expressed surprise that all the refreshments were free, having filled every available inch of pocket and bag space with food.

After more entertainment in the afternoon, at sunset, everyone congregated in the square again, this time for the consecration of the cathedral. Father Zantus dropped a thunderstone, to call the attendees to order, ready for the special one-off event.

Just as everything was about to start, the square was stormed by a horde of goblins, who ran amok and started to kill random townsfolk in a variety of grisly ways. Two waves of goblins are fought off by the combined efforts of Rena, Samoth, Tig, Kazallin and Rose, with support from Ameiko and help from Father Zantus.

When things have calmed down in the square, they hear screams from the direction of the north gate…

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Goblins! Attack! Part 1

24 Rova 4707AR

The party race to the North Gate to discover another group of goblins attacking a finely dressed nobleman. They fight off the goblins, capturing one. They also note that the North Gate has been left open. The noble introduces himself as Aldern Foxglove and seems to take quite a shine to Rena, much to Rose’s amusement and misunderstanding.

They take the goblin back to the garrison to interrogate it, with Zantus, Belor and Kendra in attendance. Kendra tells the gathered townsfolk that the immediate threat is over, they should return to their homes and she publicly thanks the PCs, who she proclaims the Heroes of Sandpoint. The goblin tells them that the attack was planned by a “longshanks”, and that the goblins were to keep the townsfolk away from the graveyard.

Racing over to the graveyard, they discover that one of the vaults has been broken into. Zantus says it’s where Father Tobyn and the other victims of the Sandpoint fire are interred.

They approach the tomb, and Rena detected evil within it. They are attacked by Skeletons, but between Rose’s channeling and the others attacks they are quickly despatched. Inside the vault they discover that Tobyn’s remains have been stolen. They also find a discarded and used up Robe of Bones.

Zantus can offer no reasons why someone would want to steal his predecessor’s remains. The party returns to the garrison intending to question the goblin further, only to find that an overenthusiastic guard with a dog has killed it.

They decide to return to the Rusty Dragon, where Ameiko gives them free board and lodgings, and proceeds to sing a song honouring their deeds, to Rena’s embarrassment. Aldern invites them to join him, reqarding them with a pouch with 150gp and offering to take them boar hunting the next day. His obvious attraction to Rena is making her somewhat uncomfortable, and the party decline as they want to follow up on the day’s events. Aldern offers to take them the day after instead. The Heroes all retire for the night.

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Goblins! Attack! part 2

25 Rova 4707

The group meet at the garrison to discuss what might be done to investigate how the goblin attack came about. Rena tells them some of the history of the town, including the Chopper murders and the major fire from 5 years ago.

There is some suspicion about Lonjiku and why he wasn’t at the festival yesterday. Ameiko says she isn’t surprised and paints an unpleasant picture of her father to the group. They decide to speak to him to see if he really was ill. Rose accompanies Kendra to the Kaijitsu mansion, while the rest head to the Glassworks. Rose learns that handkissing is not a standard human greeting, despite Aldern’s insistence on kissing Rena. Lonjiku turns out to be at the glassworks. Apparently his absence was merely coincidental.

The get back together at the Dragon, only to be interrupted by screams. It appears that one of the goblins hid in a house and has now attacked the residents. The party races over and dispatches the goblin, saving the father of the family from a grisly fate.

They resolve to accompany Aldern the next day, and then split up to spend the rest of the day following their own interests. The results in Kazillian getting caught in a basement, by with owner of the General Store, in a state of undress with the owner’s younger daughter.

The rest of the day passes off uneventfully.

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Goblins! Attack! Part 3

26 Rova 4707

The team meet Aldern at the Goblin Squash stables to be bought a horse each by Aldern, prior to the hunting expedition. In spite of initial hesitation, Rena decides to join the hunting party, largely because she finds Aldern untrustworthy.

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A Family Dispute Part 1

26 Rova 4707

The PCs all set off for the hunt with Aldern and his 3 manservants. During the journey he asks them each where they’re from and how they came to be in Sandpoint. After an hour of travel they arrive at the Tickwood.

Samoth sends his familiar, Baztarj to scout out the location of some boar. An idea that impresses Aldern immensely. Aldern sends two of his servants off to scare out the boar, while the party line up to intercept them.

The first boar emerges, charging at Rena, the second charges at Rose, and the third at Tig, who spears it mid-charge. The other two boars injure their targets but are soon despatched. Aldern pronounces the hunt a great success, despite not doing anything himself. The group return to Sandpoint with 3 animals for feasting at the Rusty Dragon.

Back at Sandpoint, the group split up to follow their own interests for the day, when word comes out that Shelalu, the elven ranger, has returned. The PCs gather at the Town Hall with Mayor Deverin and Sheriff Hemlock to see what she has to say.

Shelalu, tells them of the 5 local tribes of Goblins and how their infighting has kept the region relatively safe. That has now changed, with reports that they have been co-ordinating their attacks across the region. She describes the tribes and their bases of power.

Both Kendra and Belor are seriously concerned and decide that Belor should head to Magnimar to request help. Samoth argues that the group should head off into the hinterlands to track down the Goblins, but Belor and Kendra ask that they stay here to look after the town.

The PCs head back to the Dragon to partake in the feast of boar. The inn is packed out with guests as word of the feast has spread. As the night draws on, there is a slam as an angry Lonjiku bursts in demanding to see his daughter. When it’s apparent that she is not in the room, he rounds on the PCs, ranting about filthy adventurers and the danger and trouble they bring. At that point Ameiko appears and they have a loud and violent argument which culminates in Lonjiku attempting to manhandle Ameiko out of the inn and her smacking him around the head with a ladle. After he departs with a stinging rebuke to Ameiko, the evening resumes and then draws to a close.

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A Family Dispute Part 2

27 Rova 4707

The PCs that are staying in the inn, awake to discover that Ameiko is missing. Her cook has discovered a note from her estranged brother Tsuto. The note asked her to meet him at the glassworks during the previous night. Surmising that Ameiko may be in danger the party sends for Rena and then heads to the Glassworks.

They find it locked up and break in. Tig scouts out the rooms until she discovers that there are Goblins in the main workroom, playing around a figure covered in molten glass.

The group attack the Goblins, who fetch their boss – Tsuto.

The battle continues with Rena trying to talk Tsuto into surrendering, until Rose strikes a huge blow that forces him to flee.

The battle in the workroom comes to a close with the PCs wondering where Tsuto has run off to…

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Family Betrayal
Secrets from the past

27 Rova 4707

After the goblins have been dealt with, Rena and Tig rush after Tsuto following his path to the basement. Samoth, Rose and Kazillon check out the figure covered in molten glass – it’s Lonjiku and he is dead with his mouth open in a silent scream.

Rena and Tig run along corridors until they discover two more goblins – one pounding against a door shouting at it. The other rushes to attack them. Soon the others in the party join the fray, queuing along the corridor. The goblins flee at the sight of the whole group. Rena bursts open the locked door that the goblins were banging against. Inside she sees Ameiko lying on the floor unconscious, with Tsuto kneeling over her babbling in their native language.

Rena secures Tsuto, who puts up no resistance, while Tig chases after the Goblins and Rose tends to Ameiko. Tig discovers an old set of smuggler tunnels which lead under the town. After travelling for some distance she decides to return to the group.

Samoth and Kaz have searched Tsuto’s room, and discovered a disturbing set of papers. Tsuto has written notes about the raid and methods for a second raid. He refers to a Quasit below the town, and also his love for a woman with a ‘celestial taint’. The papers have plenty of evidence for his total obsession with her, and reading over them the group surmises that this mysterious woman could be Nualia, the daughter of the previous town priest Father Tobyn. They were both presumed to have died in the town fire 5 years previously. The papers describe a ceremony that Nualia has carried out with the remain of Tobyn that were stolen in the raid.

Samoth is sent to fetch Rena’s father and brother. Tsuto grew up in the orphanage, and was considered part of the family until he ran off following his mother’s death and his fight at the funeral with Lonjiku. Tsuto is taken to the garrison for detention by the rest of group. They are met by the town mayor, who is shocked at the news of Nualia and tells the sad story of her childhood and the her upbringing. She asks the group to search the tunnels to find out what the reference to the quasit means.

They head down the tunnels and discover two branches. One leads to the river, the other to a cave. Tig scouts ahead, and is attacked by a mysterious creature, when it bites her she is filled with a blinding rage distracting her fighting efforts. The creature is dispatched by the combined efforts of Rose and Rena and they move on. Beyond the cave are a set of ancient ruins. Exploring the corridors and rooms, Tig scouts ahead finding a lit room with a statue of a beautiful but angry looking woman clutching a very fine looking ranseur. She tugs at the weapon and it comes free in her hands. The rest of the group enter the room and Samoth decrypts writing around the base – Behold the Glory of Alaznist – Runelord of Wrath. She is depicted holding a book with a strange rune emblazoned upon it.

Following this discovery, the group separate – Tig and Rena head down a corridor discovering a black altar with a pool of evil liquid on it. Rose heads up another corrider, up several flights of stairs to a door, while Samoth goes to another door.

Rose opens her door to discover a flying demonic looking head, and Samoth opens his door and hears movemetn beyond it. Soon a pitched battle ensues. Two more of the strange creatures rush the door that Samoth opened, while the flying head comes after Rose. A three way battle is fought, the head screams paralysing Tig. The creatures attack Rose, hitting her and she is then filled with the mysterious rage. Their combined attacks almost knock her down into unconsciousness, but the ferocity of her orc heritage enables her to stay conscious long enough to heal herself. Then the demonic head lunges at Tig and forces itself on her in an unnatural kiss.

Samoth and Kaz fire magic at the enemies, while Rose and Rena strike with their swords. The tide is turned and the enemies are despatched. But the danger is not averted. Samoth recognises the demonic creature as a Vargouille, and deduces that Tig may be in mortal danger from the unholy disease the creature carries that will result in her unpleasant death.

The group rush back to the surface and Father Zantus is summoned. He performs a healing ritual on Tig to remove the foul taint. But not before she surprises everyone with her appearance. They had all realised that she was different, but how different!!

They decide to rest and recover before venturing back to the ruins, but before retiring for the day, they check in on Tsuto. He has started to talk, but simply rants about how the town betrayed him and Nualia. He seems convinced that the town had decided that he and Nualia were inferior due to the circumstances of their births, that they were both rejected and cast aside. And yet, there is a sadness when he speaks to Rena’s family as if he doubts his own words when he talks to them. Before they leave for the inn, the town historian and sage is summoned – Brodert Quink. He is an expert in the ancient history of the region, although he is known to have some strange theories of the past. He recognises the description of the statue as Alaznist and the writing as Thassilonian. He tells of the ancient empire of Thassilon, founded by the emperor Xin and then ruled after his death by the seven Runelords. The rune on the statue is said to be the Sihedron Rune, symbol of the empire.

The party rests for the remainder of the day, readying itself for the trials ahead.

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That was a bit easier than we expected!
Do they know what's under the town?

28 Rova 4707

The PCs awaken and prepare themselves for the journey back down into the smuggler’s tunnels. They soon reach the entrance to the ruins under the town. However the two guards left there the previous night are missing and a trail of blood leads into the ruins.

Tig heads in to scout on ahead with the rest of the party following. Her keen senses detect shuffling noises ahead and low moans. She communicates this to the group and they move cautiously ahead.

Tig finds two zombies playing with a body. As she moves to encounter them, more emerge and then more and she spies a strange figure ahead – Goblin-like but larger and misshapen. The others join her and soon there is a mass of zombies.

Rena and Rose hold the front line while Tig strikes from range. Kaz and Samoth fire spells from range, and as the zombies threaten to overwhelm them Samoth drops a grease spell under a group. This acts as a barrier and slows the zombies down. The misshapen goblin gets closer and it’s apparent that this is something quite unnatural. The goblin is much larger than usual, has a large distorted head and has three arms. It’s wielding a burning sword, a mithril handaxe and a silver dagger.

The grease spell allows the group to pick off the zombies, and luckily the goblin seems unable to get past the grease as well and is quickly despatched.

The group is looking fairly beat up though, and has used a lot of their spells. Despite this they decide to explore a bit further. They jam shut several of the doors and head for a set of stone double doors.

Rena concentrates at the doors and detects a low level of evil behind them across a wide area and a focussed evil as well. The group prepare themselves and enter.

They find a temple dedicated to evil, with two pools, one of water and another filled with a bubbling golden liquid. Hovering over the bubbling pool is a tiny demon – it’s the quasit mentioned in Tsuto’s note.

The party enters the room, and the quasit flies into a rage. She cuts herself and drips blood into the pool, which flashes. Some of the golden liquid coalesces and forms into a creature similar to the one the PCs fought when they were in the ruins the previous day. As the creature emerge, the level of the pool lowers.

Rose enlarges herself, Rena moves to attack the creature and Samoth and Kaz fire spells. The quasit flies to the centre of the room and vanishes.

Rose and Rena attack the creature from the pool. Then the quasit attempts to cast Hold Person on Tig, not noticing that she is not a humanoid. This proves to be its downfall. Samoth uses a Colour Spray, which stuns it. It falls to the ground and the party quickly surround it. Rose unleashes a mighty blow and the quasit is dead.

The group resolve to return to the surface to report their findings and get some healing. What is this ruin, Who is the statue of, What is going on with Nualia and the demon quasit?

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A Brief Respite Part 1
cleaning up and moving on

29 Rova 4707

After a restful night, the group head back down into the ruins to finish exploring them. They are now peacefully deserted.

They find evidence of old research rooms, some torture implements and a strange spherical room with floating objects. Black writing courses around the room like electrical discharges.

After collecting some minor treasure, they return to the surface.

Sheriff Hemlock returns and is brought up to date on events. after some discussion, it is agreed that the best course of action is for the party to proceed to Thistletop to deal with the goblins and Nualia.

They spend the rest of the day restocking and trading and rest in preparation for the assault on Thistletop.

30 Rova 4707

Borrowing a boat, they travel along the coast until they have to row the rest of the way. As they approach, they realise that scaling the outcropping will be very difficult. They spy a cave and row into it. They spy a hole in ceiling which appears to be a shaft up to the top of the cliff. As they sit there, a dark shape moves underwater and strikes the boat. It rocks sharply, but everyone stays on board. They attempt to hit it as comes round for another hit, Tig braces her spear for it but it strikes and knocks most of the group out of the boat. They realise it is a bunyip, a ferocious seal. After a prolonged skirmish, they despatch it and then go on to scale the shaft to the top of the cliff.

They emerge into a heavily overgrown thicket. Moving carefully, they encounter some Goblin Dogs, which are quickly destroyed. However they alert a cougar which runs off down another path. Samoth gives chase and sees the cougar apparently talking with a goblin in robes. He attacks with spells from a distance, and the goblin disappears into the undergrowth, moving through it as if it wasn’t there. A prolonged game of hide and seek commences, with minor damage being traded, until the goblin emerges in the form of an eagle, flies out and over the goblin compound landing behind it.

They wait on one side of the bridge deciding what to do.

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