Alase in the Season of the Runelords:
Introduction | Adventure 1 | Adventure 2
Welcome to Sandpoint
Season of the Runelords: Adventure 1
What is it with Varisia and goblins? I swear, there are so many goblins around here, it’s a wonder the locals don’t hunt them for dinner. Well, I take that back. Most small game doesn’t fight back with sticks and knives.
Plus, there’s no real meat on them, and I bet they taste terrible. Tonbarse certainly hasn’t swallowed any of the bites he’s taken out of their hides. Although that might have to do with the mutation or disease this tribe seems to have. Maybe when we get to Sandpoint, we’ll ask around to see if it’s common for local goblins to mutate, or if this is something new. Always good to know what we’re up against.
Still, even though they’re just vermin, I think it was worthwhile engaging them, for our party has come out of it stronger. The first band of enormous goblins nearly scattered us. It showed that we came from such different backgrounds and were used to fighting alone. After that setback, we snuck away, and made camp to rest. We talked late into the night about battle strategy, and how we could better aid each other. Even Gaston had some good ideas; it turns out his knowledge of battle tactics is as impressive as he thinks his bedroom prowess is.
Tonbarse prowled around the perimeter keeping watch, but I know he heard everything through me, and I feel that he and I are also communicating more deeply as a result. I’ve always been able to see partial visions through his eyes, including fragments and possibilities that might come to pass. But now I’m seeing things more clearly, with more certainty. I will keep meditating with him on this; this sense of sight could be most helpful in retaking the clanhold.
In the meantime, the monstrous goblins have been put down, along with their chief, Gogmurt. He will not be troubling any more wayfarers. Surely that will be good news for the townsfolk of Sandpoint, and hopefully they will welcome us in.
Of course they have a dragon
Ungrateful peasants! We clear the woods of goblins, disarm traps left by the dragon, and drive the cowardly beast away, and this is the thanks we get?
Of course we would all prefer it if we had slain Black Fang. But they act like we’ve invited him to the town festival, when really we almost had the best of him. He flew off to lick his wounds, but we’ll put him down sooner or later.
Fortunately we were able to loot his horde when he escaped. I think the aura of new magic items around us is the only reason the foolish villagers haven’t formed a lynching party. Gaston has been brandishing his new weapons at everyone who’ll look.
They’ve given us until dusk to clear out of town. I’m tempted to stay and show them that sometimes it’s the wolf in your field you should be worried about, not the dragon in the sky… But Amli says it wouldn’t end well, and that she has a better idea. I’m writing this mainly so I can say I told her so later, and in case I need justification for letting Tonbarse eat the mayor.
I guess we’re professional goblin hunters now
Great, more goblins. I can’t believe that after last time, we’re headed out to look for more of them. We’re mainly doing it to humor Thelsikar, the councilman who’s sponsoring us now. We moved from the tavern to his mansion outside town, since apparently he’s the only one with the brains to recognize powerful adventurers and see their potential.
He thinks there’s some sort of cult behind the goblin activity and the mutations afflicting them. I’m not so sure… back in Gundrun it made sense to look for demonic activity under every barstool, but out here? More likely the goblins mixed the wrong potions together and drank the result because they liked the bubbles. But we’ll investigate for him. If we bring back the heads of a few goblin raiders and say we foiled a demonic invasion, maybe Mayor Deverin will relent, and we can do some proper adventuring around Sandpoint.
I’m going to kill him. No, first I’m going to let Tonbarse play with him for a bit. Then, I’m going to kill him.
I guess I knew something was up. The entire council wants to run us out of town, but Thelsikar offers us shelter and a quest? I should have been more suspicious. I can’t let myself be betrayed, like my ancestors were.
I just didn’t think Thelsikar would outright betray us to the goblins. Not sure what’s stupider, making a deal with goblins, or selling out an adventuring party. Guess he’ll learn a lesson the hard way, next time we see him…
First though, to get out of this mess. Not worried about the goblins. What a joke, after the fiends back home. But there’s something else in this fortress… can just smell it. Got a whiff of demon to it, but something else too. Tonbarse doesn’t recognize the smell either. Not sure if that’s good or bad.
At least we grabbed a few trinkets before they locked us up. ‘Rijka found some bracers, and Gaston found a horn he swears is magical. Found a quarterstaff, pretty good balance. Goblins probably would’ve used it as firewood. Bet I can figure out the enchantments on it before they take us to meet whoever’s in charge. That is, if Gaston would quit trying to play the horn, so we can hear ourselves think.
Next time, need to be more careful. More prepared. I shouldn’t underestimate any enemy. If I’m to restore the clanhold, I need to be ready for anything.
Our true foe
I’m writing this to try to clear my head. My thoughts are still haunted with the demonspawn’s manipulations. We came far too close to seeing those nightmares become reality.
Was right about the demon scent. Etainia, the mistress at the head of the cult, was trying to literally birth Lamashtu into the world. She might have even accomplished it, but in the end, it was reliance on the goblins that betrayed her too. After they dosed us with her black waters, Gaston couldn’t take it, and tried to to make himself retch by eating some rotten reptile eggs he found in the cell. The goblins came in to stop him, and we fell upon them.
We knew we had to break the cult before we could hope to escape. So Gaston and I went outside, dispatching their guards and cutting off escape routes. Amli and Imrijka tracked down Etainia. She was weak, as the demon was awakening, and they pursued her through the dungeons. They say she tried to escape through the goblin warrens, but met her fate there.
After that, I’m told that her spawn broke free, and took shelter in the cult’s shrine to Lamashtu. Between Amli’s understatement and Gaston’s bravado, I’m not sure if it was the size of a mouse or a dragon, but I do know ‘Rijka was out of both crossbow bolts and healing spells, so it must have been hard-fought.
I must rest now with Tonbarse. Meditating with him has always helped center me. I feel our bond deepening, even in this dark place.
One less dragon in the world
Well, now I feel better. There’s one less dragon in the world, we gave Lamashtu a bloody nose, and most importantly, a local councilman has learned the hard way that neither demons nor Widowknifes are to be trifled with. I even liberated a few spells from cultist spellbooks, where they were being put to no good use. Overall, a good ending to this sorry Sandpoint affair.
My only regret is Tonbarse not being the one to finish off the blighted beast Black Fang. After it escaped him in the cave, and harried us through the cultists’ dungeon and vaults, it would have been satisfying to see his wings ripped off. I think Tonbarse would appreciate the closure too. It’s hard to tell though; sometimes he’s so inscrutable.
But the main thing is the dragon is dead, and the cult scattered. Seems there’s hope for our little party yet. ‘Rijka seemed to take great pleasure in our success, though I suspect for more personal reasons than mere opposition of Lamashtu. I won’t complain, as long as her aim is true. Amli seems to show a simpler satisfaction… dwarves seem to approach any endeavor as an architecture project. Gaston is easiest to read. He would venture into the very Worldwound if we told him we needed a big strong man to protect us there.
We’re headed back to town now, as soon as Amli and I can get the beast’s acid off our armor. Gaston is telling us how he’ll woo all the ladies with the tale of how he personally bested the dragon in epic combat. I doubt we’ll stay the night though… we have few friends in Sandpoint. I think we’d all sleep sounder out under the stars. I know Tonbarse and I would.
Alase in the Season of the Runelords:
Introduction | Adventure 1 | Adventure 2