Rise of the Runelords

Haps on the Beach

So shit went sideways last night with a mess of goblins interrupting the dedication ceremony. Tom Joad saved at least two of us, whilst shaming the offenders, Merridan alternated between taking a dirt nap and totally not slinging spells around. Xaniebar and Roderick managed to collect a number of unwilling goblin heads without spilling their beers, but caught ROUSSEAU crabs: CROUS? While they slept it off, managing somehow to pick up a “date” with one [Aldern Foxglove], Tom and Merri went to see if the goblins would be of any help. Between Tom’s scowl and Merri’s totally non-magical persuasive skills, the goblins gave up the following information of dubious value: 1) a longshanks (big person) looking at least somewhat like Tom (possibly an elf or half elf) riled them up at the Boneyard.

After a rest and totally splitting all gold from the relieved townsfolk, the party met up with a Sheriff Hemlock, who was most impressed with Xaniebar and Roderick’s battle prowess and solicited our help to investigate a mausoleum in the graveyard behind the cathedral. After much stamping around and absolutely no red herrings or blind alleys, we totally elucidated that a man came there and stole the body of the former priest: Tobyn Ezekian, leaving behind a few skeletons and a spent magic robe to piss off any dogooders.

Sheriff [Hemlock] then went to set up a meeting with the mayor, regarding repairing and bolstering defenses of the town with help from the city down the road, while we went and questioned [Zantus], the new high priest. He let us in on some dirt:
About 5 years ago, the town was plagued by a serial killer (presumably). Over the course of a month, about 25 bodies were found mutilated with hands and feet cut off and stacked next to the body, and the eyes and tongue removed entirely. [Casp Avertin], the sheriff at the time, responded to this largely by sinking into depression and boozing it up. Apparently, caps stumbled upon the “chopper” at his work and wounded the killer, but, being drunk, was himself mortally injured. [Belor], a uni at the time, found the scene and tracked (? With a posse or alone?) the chopper to the aptly named choppers isle, where he found one [Jervis Stoot], a local pop artisan (think a medieval dr. Bob with a murder fetish). [Stoot] was found in a shrine beneath his shed surrounded by the remains of the previous victims with his own eyes and tongue removed.

[Hemlock] burned the shrine and the town removed as much evidence of [Stoot] as it could. [Hemlock] became the new sheriff. About a month after this the cathedral was “accidentally” set afire, killing the priest [Ezekian], and his family, notably a daughter. The fire spread throughout the town, but mostly consumed the rich district around the cathedral. [Zantus] then became the head priest. After hearing that tale, we decided a drink was in order and returned to the rusty dragon, where [Ameiko], the patron, provided gratis beverage and lodging.

Other notables:
1) we learned that goblins are a normal part of the ecology picking through junk on the beeches and occasionally making homemade dog sausage in the streets. They are rarely a threat and aren’t seen in numbers.
2) [Gorvi] the half Orc runs a business collecting garbage and picking through it before tossing it on the beach for the gobbos to take. He probably has some historical context.
3) [Daverin Hosk] at the goblin squash stables pays bounty on goblin heads.
4) [Vorvashali Voon] collects magical items and may sell something of use.
5) [Zantus] will probably hook us up with healing

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Local Heroes
A bullet list of plot points
  • Naja was introduced to the group
  • Naja successfully made a saving throw versus hookups for Tom
  • Tried again to converse with the goblin captives. Found out they like candy
  • Roderick and Aldern went on a hunting date. The group accidentally conspired to let Aldern take all the hunting glory and he sure feels proud of himself
  • Meeting with Hemlock, Mayor Deverin, and Shelalu, who finally started moving the plot along. Hemlock takes about half of the remaining guards to Magnimar to formally request aid. Deverin asks the group to just hang out in town so people freak out less.
  • Ameiko got a message from Tsuto, her half-brother, asking her to meet with him at their family’s business, the Glassworks, at midnight. He said he could prove that their father was behind the goblin attack. The note was translated from Minkaian by Bethana, a halfling maid at the Rusty Dragon. She’s worried because Tsuto is “troubled” and it’s been several hours since midnight.
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Glass and Wrath
A bullet list of plot points
  • Farther down through the Smuggler’s Tunnels below the Glassworks, an ancient Thassilonian ruin appeared!
  • The ruin was guarded by some kind of Horrible Monster
  • The party found a statue of a stern looking, likely historically significant woman. They stole her ransuer.
  • One of the first rooms explored was a cathedral, where a tiny demon/devil was minding it’s own business. When interrupted, it cut it’s own hand to bleed into a strange pit of bubbling ice-lava, out of which climbed another Horrible Monster. Combat began!
    • Combat did not go well, leading to the deaths of both Merridan and Zanbar.
    • Merridan’s body was hurled into the pit of ice-lava, which dissolved his body and the pit subsequently exploded. All that was left in the pit was a strangely warped Horrible Monster-Merridan hybrid.

At this point, the party fled the cathedral to recover and regroup.

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Glass and Wrath 2
  • Zanbar was delivered to the cathedral for burial
  • Nobody seemed to have a lot of details regarding the true purpose of the area below sandpoint. Some Theories were floated regarding Lamashtu, the goddess of monsters and disfigurement
  • Tsuto proved to be comfortable speaking with the party, but only warned them that it was too late to do anything about the fiery purge that was in store for Sandpoint, and that he was committed to Nualia above all else.
  • Father Zantus supplied the group with several protective items, as well as a young and particularly enthusiastic cleric, introduced as Thimble.
  • The group returned to the underground ruins to finish clearing out the area of danger. The tiny demon leader barely managed to escape again, but remained elusive for the remainder of the day and well into the next.
  • Naja brought down Quink to see what he could determine about the ruin now that it was safe. His assessment:
    • This area was definitely associated with an ancient practitioner of Thassilonian magic, and could even be someone as powerful as a Runelord, called so because runes were very important to their style of magic.
    • Thassilonian magic was fueled by emotion, both positive and negative, rather than the traditional schools we know of today. This particular person and location was fueled by anger, rage, and wrath.
    • The pit which Merridan became familiar with was identified as a Runewell, something which stores raw emotional energy and converts it into a magically usable form. Fortunately or unfortunately, it was destroyed by the actions of the party.
  • Several exits from the underground smugglers’ tunnels lead to areas in and around Sandpoint, the party sought to close them all off as soon as possible. One exit outside of town showed obvious signs of having been a goblin camp.
  • Ameiko sent a signal to Shalelu, who will hopefully return to Sandpoint ASAP and advise the party on what she thinks the best course of action will be.

The current (mostly binary) decision is bunker down and defend against whatever threat Nualia is bringing, or travel to Thistletop and strike them before they attack (again).

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Into the Nettlewood
  • The group decided to scout out Thistletop after learning it was just a few hours away.
  • The Nettlewoods turned out to be a dangerous place choked full of biting weeds and stinging thorns.
  • At the edge of a cliff, the goblins had crafted a huge dome made of thistle hedges.
  • Merridan attempted to disguise himself and sneak into the goblin warren; he was foiled by having no knowledge of the goblin language.
  • The goblins there tried to beat him up, which foiled the illusory disguise!
  • A huge battle broke out, leaving a dozen or so goblins dead. They appeared to not even be goblins from the Nettlewood, but actually Birdcrunchers.
  • From a door leading out over the cliff face, a ruined fortress occupied by the goblins could be seen beyond a 60-foot rope bridge over an 80-foot drop into crashing and dangerous waves below. Not to mention the shadowy thing which devoured one of the goblins defeated by Merridan.
  • Farther along a powerful spellcaster goblin ambushed the party along with a firepelt cougar. He had the power to wield flames from his hands as well as move through the thistle hedges supernaturally. Unfortunately for him, the battle was cut short as Naja managed to overwhelm his mind with her superior casting.
  • The goblin shaman was kicked into the pit leading to the shadow creature. At the bottom of the pit, the shaman used his magic to whisper a message to a small bat which flew from his finger towards the fortress. Merridan sent his familiar to chase it down, a tiny battle ensues!
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