Rise of the Runelords 3.75

Fortress of the Stone Giants
This may hurt a little...

After liberating the Seven Swords of Sin, the gallant heroes rushed to Magnimar to do some much needed shopping and then rushed northward towards Sandpoint hoping to fend off the impending attack. When the party arrived, they alerted the citizenry and immediately began making preparations. Soon, hasty fortifications sprung up around the town and a steady stream of non-combatants began flowing southward towards the relative safety of Magnimar.

At dawn the following day, the harsh thunderclap of stone breaking on stone alerted the town to trouble at the north gate. As the adventurers rushed to aid the soldiers stationed there it became all too clear that the invasion of Sandpoint by a stone giant army had just begun!

Only a handful of giants were assaulting the north gate and the party was dealing with them quite readily, when another, much more menacing, threat soared into view – a red dragon! The draconic menace landed briefly on the cathedral roof (a bit too close to Caable’s perch for comfort) and then began bathing the town in its fiery breath!

Caable strategically withdrew from this perch and concocted a cunning plan, while his companions rushed past to deal with another band of stone giants and their pet dire bears fording the river near the lumber mill. Soon more stone giants began crossing the river further south and it seemed that the plan was to cause mayhem, destroy property and kidnap the good citizens of Sandpoint!

At that moment, one of the river raiders began a mad dash into the heart of Sandpoint, apparently headed for the Old Light. The heroes were hot on his trail, with fiery combat in the skies above, determined not to let him reach his objective.

The combat seemed a bit grim when Verredus and Caable finally wore the red dragon down and slew him as he attempted to retreat. With only a portion of the northern buildings in flames, a few bucket brigades seemed likely to take care of the problem in short order. When right at that moment, a ruckus arose near the Two Knight Brewery. Rushing to investigate, the party handily defeated a pair of stone giants intent on taking one of the most precious treasures of Sandpoint: the last few barrels of Winter Ale!

Just when it seemed that victory was theirs, a plume of smoke arose from the mansions to the south. Some of the group stayed in the main part of town, helping citizens and finishing off the few remaining threats, while the rest travelled south and quickly slew the giants there, who seemed intent on helping themselves to the possessions of Sandpoint’s wealthiest citizens!

At last the battle was won and the townsfolk saved leaving the troupe to ponder why the giants would attack this peaceful settlement in the first place. Each of the defeated giants bore a tattoo of the Sihedron Rune, but none were alive to reveal their secrets.

Some savvy investigation (and a map found on one of the dead raiders) pointed the way towards a mysterious location known as ‘Jorgenfist’, a stone giant stronghold of some sort. Caable hit upon a brilliant plan to teleport the party there to catch them by surprise, before the giants could learn of the defeat at Sandpoint. Undaunted by his lack of knowledge of Jorgenfist’s precise location, or his complete lack of detail surrounding its leader, Mokmurian, Caable attempted to scry on this evil mastermind and gain the information he needed to transport the party safely.

This scrying did not go precisely as planned, but after a slight detour to an unknown island with a massive stone monument of a seated king, the party eventually arrived, in one piece, at the river cliffs (and caves) south of Jorgenfist.

The heroes bravely ventured into those caves, seeking a subterranean entrance to the fortress above…

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After Hook Mountain
Far, far away from the banjo music

With the defeat of the covey of hags hiding within Hook Mountain, the weather has become a bit milder, although the deepest part of winter now grips the region. The ogre raids around Turtleback Ferry have ceased altogether and much of Varisia has settled in to their homes to wait for the first hopeful signs of spring.

Far from Sandpoint, in the Storval Deep region, giant activity has increased and farmers report missing livestock, damaged property and telltale giant footprints in the snow. It would seem that a storm of a different kind is brewing and the peaceful dark of winter may soon be shattered by a much larger threat…

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The Secrets of Kaer Maga
Curiouser and curiouser...

After settling in to the fort and beginning the long, arduous process of cleaning and repairing the damage done by the previous inhabitants, another ogre raid forced our heroes to travel far afield to Hook Mountain, to bring an end to the source of these attacks.

After retracing the raiding party’s steps, the ragtag band of adventurers encountered an ancient stone giant stronghold – massive caverns running deep into Hook Mountain itself. Within, they discovered (and slew!) the covey of annis hags responsible for the unseasonal weather and their undead ‘pet’, along with the stone giant general who had directed the original raid on Fort Rannick.

Their victory came at a heavy price though, with brave Erredus slain at the stone giant’s hand, reduced to a mere grease spot on the floor with one mighty blow. The loss is even more tragic, in light of the fact that Erredus’ long lost twin brother, Verredus, was on his way to reunite with his brother and aid him in his struggles.

Also of note within Hook Mountain, the group discovered dozens of ogres enslaved and forced to craft large-sized weapons for several months. There were shipment manifests that indicated the weapons were being sent to supply an army, location unknown, somewhere on the Storval Plateau. Even more disturbing, they encountered a reference to the presence of several very powerful swords being ‘attuned’ by another lamia matriarch within the ancient city of Kaer Maga.

They departed at once and encountered an unusual dungeon winding its way within and beneath the very walls of the city. A variety of disturbing creatures made their home within, all somehow bound by the lamia matriarch at its heart and empowered by the arcane essences that seemed to seep from the very walls.

Upon reaching the heart of the dungeon, they found its mistress in the process of completing a ritual with 7 mystical swords. She was guarded by an armored woman of exceptional skill, whose cheek was branded with the Rune of Greed. With the ritual completed, the armored woman took the freshly awakened sword (of Greed, they would later discern) and teleported away, leaving the matriarch alone to be quickly cut down by the heroes.

Through careful arcane research, the group was able to determine that these swords were, in fact, the legendary Seven Swords of Sin, somehow gathered up from the four corners of the earth. The lamia had only managed to awaken two of the swords, however. Greed, which was taken by the armored woman, and Lust, which is now in the party’s possession. The ritual to unlock the other swords in unclear, but the sorcerer studies diligently, hoping to learn more.

Hidden behind the ritual chamber, the party found a war room, indicating that the swords from Hook Mountain, and the awakened Swords of Sin, were going to be sent to a location known as ‘Jorgenfist’, somewhere in the vicinity of the Storval Deep. Of much more immediate concern, however, was the scrying device that was attuned to watch over Sandpoint, along with battle plans that indicated that a raid of the small town was imminent!

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Winter Comes to TurtleBack Ferry

Winter has come early to southern Varisia this year and icy storms lash the coast with unseasonal fury. The little town of Sandpoint is quiet, with many residents preferring to remain indoors to avoid the weather and memories of recent disturbing events.

To the south, in Magnimar, the heroes now known as The Sandpoint Five are enjoying the comforts of the city and seeking to soothe the pain of their recent losses. Unaware of the thread of fate that has begun unraveling in their hands, they raise a glass in memory of those who have fallen and gaze quietly into the hearth-fire at the inn, seeking warmth and solace.

To the northeast, the little frontier town of TurtleBack Ferry has problems of its own. Earlier this month, the town’s only real tourist attraction, the gambling river barge known as the Paradise, burned and sank mid-river drowning dozens in a freak accident. Both residents and visitors alike have gone missing in the past month and wild animal attacks from the Sanos Forest have grown more frequent.

To make matters worse, no one in town has heard from their unofficial protectors, the Order of the Black Arrows, in the past few weeks. The Order is stationed in Fort Rannick, which overlooks Ember Lake, but recent messages sent to the fort have gone unanswered and a small foot expedition sent to investigate has not been heard from since.

Freezing rain hammers the region, swelling its lakes and rivers and making many roads and footpaths impassable. With the wind and rain, almost no one can hear the twang of ominous banjo music from deep within the forest…

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Honor the fallen
Gone too soon...

Father Zantus shook his head sadly as he completed his prayer for the souls of the departed. The Heroes of Sandpoint – the original ones anyways – were all gone now. The brave adventurers who had so valiantly defended his beloved seaside town of Sandpoint had met the typical end that awaited most adventurers.

He lit two candles today and as each small flame flared to life he thought about the soul it represented. Although he hadn’t been present at their passing, he had heard the tales through gossip, eyewitness accounts and even an amateur bard song.

First, brave Aable had valiantly (if a bit foolishly) leapt, blade first, at the scrag known as Wet Papa Grazuul. The aquatic troll had been harassing the party from a pool of water within the Thassilonian Skull Dam. Frustrated by their inability to strike at the troll effectively, Aable grabbed his trusty blade, Alonian, and threw himself headlong at Grazuul. His blade struck true, but in response, the scrag sunk his claws into Aable’s tender flesh and ripped him in half. Alas, so much potential, such a noble heart, lost forever.

The second flame flickered weakly for a brief moment before catching hold and burning bright. Ah, Durgrim, we hardly knew ye. The taciturn dwarf had seemed a bit of enigma to the aging priest. His actions had been heroic, at least in a larger sense, but his attitude had been, well…Father Zantalus shook his head again, it was wrong to think ill of the dead. The dwarf, however unusual, had helped to save Sandpoint more than once and he would certainly be missed.

Being slain by a party member, even one suffering from the effects of a Confusion spell was certainly a disappointing end for a hero of any stature. He wondered if poor Baable (Aable’s less cultured sibling) was weighed down with guilt after that incident. Perhaps he should make a point of offering him counseling when (and if) the group came to town again. Even better, perhaps he should consider making the trip to Ft. Rannick when the weather cleared. Yes, a journey and the chance to offer guidance might be just the way to honor the first thaw of spring in a few months.

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In Memoriam: Alonian Tyrinx
Defeat of the Skinsaw Cult

To The Sandpoint Five it seemed like the loss of their beloved companion Tellorn was far too fresh to be committing another companion to the fire, and yet here they stood in the marble hall of the Magnimar temple of Calistria, watching as the priestess called the magical fire that would consume the mortal remains of Alonian Tyrinx. As the chants continued around them, each of the Five had only their own thoughts for company as they waited for the ritual to end.

Karrnath’s mind was deeply troubled as he recalled the events of the previous day. Their plan had been tactically sound, but they had underestimated their foe’s strength and resources and, in the end, it was only Karrnath who remained conscious to deliver the deathblow to the lamia matriarch known as Xanesha. At the time, he had been wracked with indecision, wondering whether to flee a seemingly hopeless situation or to try and fight this powerful foe. Although it was his hand that sent the old clock bell careening downward, knocking Xanesha from the air even as it crushed the life from her, he had to wonder if he had done enough. If things had gone differently, could he have saved Alonian?

Dorn barely noticed the activity in the hall as his mind worked over their encounter with the Skinsaw Cult. Certainly, this group of murderers and assassins had been working the service of several evils, but he could not make out their connection to recent events. He contemplated their interrogation of the cult’s leader, Justice Ironbriar, replaying the conversation mentally as he searched for answers hidden in the evil elf’s words. Was there something else there that they had missed, that could have better prepared them for the fight at the Shadow Clock?

Aable marveled at the sinuous movements of the priests and priestesses as they danced and chanted in Alonian’s honor. Although he normally found it difficult to distinguish between the genders when looking at fully-clothed elves, he noted that in their scant ritual garb, the difference was clear enough for anyone to see. Even their funeral dirge had a sort of erotic quality to it that Aable found disturbingly arousing. This agitation led his thoughts once again to poor Alonian, who had barely stood a chance as that horrible snake-lady had pursued him through the air, stabbing again and again with her wicked spear. Although enveloped in silence at the time, Aable had imagined that he could hear Alonian’s final scream as the spear pierced his heart. Even though he had been the only party member who was unable to fly during their encounter with Xanesha, Aable wondered with a broken heart, was there something else that he could have done to save his lovely friend?

Durgim wondered if Sprinkles was alright penned up in the inn’s exotic animal stable and hoped that all this wussy-dancing and singing was going to be over soon. Would Sprinkles be upset at being penned for so long?

Kedrith stood slightly back from the rest of the group, not wanting to intrude on their mourning. He had never met this Alonian fellow and he was mainly here out of respect for his new adventuring party – they had even made him a provisional member of The Sandpoint Five! He guessed that their fight at The Shadow Clock with this flying snake bitch had been a tough one, since one of them had been killed, but so far his time with the group had been great. After he had been recruited, they went back to the clocktower and killed a gross-looking flesh golem in about 20 seconds – excellent! Kedrith tried hard to keep his excitment in check and project only respectful silence while he composed an appropriate toast to the fallen for after the funeral. There would be drinks after the service, right?

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Something Wicked This Way Comes
It was a dark and stormy night...

While still in shock from the loss of their respected monk companion, Tellorn, the Heroes of Sandpoint were approached by Sheriff Hemlock with disturbing news. He required their assistance with a recent grisly double murder at the sawmill.

The Sheriff was able to relate several clues to launch the heroes’ investigation, but the most disturbing detail was a note, written in fresh blood and pinned to the coat of one of the murder victims that addressed the dwarf, Durgrim, by name. Also of great concern, was the fact that these two murders appeared to be the second set by the same hand within the past week. Sheriff Hemlock seemed worried that another serial killer may be at work within Sandpoint and he feared that the townsfolk would panic should the details become public. The party set off at once to uncover the truth, stop the murderer and, hopefully, protect the dwarf from whatever dark fate the note had hinted at.

The scene at the mill was bloody indeed with the body of Katrine Vinder, the daughter of a local merchant, split cruelly by a saw blade and the body of the mill’s general manager, a greedy and ill-liked man by the name of Banny Harker, mutilated and pinned to the wall in a ritualistic manner. To the party’s dismay, on Harker’s chest was carved the seven-pointed star design that had been found on several of Nualia’s effects. A stench of rotten meat too intense for the freshly murdered corpses lingered about key areas at the crime scene.

After some consideration, investigation and clever deductions, our investigators turned their attention to Foxglove Manor, the ancestral home of a former benefactor, Aldern Foxglove. Upon arriving at the ruined mansion, a sense of unease and foreboding loomed over the area. The house itself seemed to be perched at the very edge of the sea, ready to leap to its death in a fit of despair. Cold, damp air drove a thick fog over the entire property and evil-looking carrion birds hunched like harbingers of death peering down from barren trees.

Inside, the manor house was equally unnerving, with thick, foul-looking mold covering most of the surfaces. Warped floorboards creaked and sighed with even the slightest motion and the structure seemed to moan pitifully as the ocean wind howled through the rotting walls. But the sense of unease that the group had noticed as they approached soon developed into full blown dread as it became apparent that the memories of past atrocities haunted almost every room promising doom and ruin with each new discovery.

After investigating most of the mold-encrusted rooms and experiencing first-hand the horrors that they had contained, the party came to realize that Aldern had murdered his wife by strangulation and had become something far worse than a mere murderer. Many deaths haunted these halls and a lingering evil from the Foxglove family past tied them all together in a macabre storyline.

Almost ready to quit this dark mansion altogether, our heroes stumbled upon the revenant of Iesha Foxglove, Aldern’s murdered wife, weeping at her reflection in an old mirror in the attic. Durgrim smashed the mirror and Iesha’s eyes flared with anger as she began to move swiftly and inexorably, towards her murderer. The hapless heroes did their best to follow, enduring some of the lingering horrors of this place as they passed, to eventually find Aldern, now a disturbing dread ghoul, in a hidden chamber deep below the mansion’s basement.

A mighty battled was joined between the revenant, Aldern and the adventurers, but soon the party was victorious as Aldern was slain and the revenant faded away. Amongst the ghoul’s effects, Durgrim discovered several of his items that had gone missing in recent weeks and a small miniature portrait of himself that Aldern had apparently commissioned and then worn in a small locket. Also amongst these items, they uncovered a note, signed by ‘Your Mistress, Wanton of Nature’s Pagan Forms’ that indicated that the next step on the trail would take the heroes to Foxglove’s townhouse in the city of Magnimar.

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The Skinsaw Murders
Evil Abides

s the muted tones of autumn blanket the land, icy winds from the sea foretell a harsh winter ahead in Varisia. Along the coast, the seaside town of Sandpoint recovers from a recent goblin raid and the echoes of even darker times in the not-too-distant past.

From within her modest walls, a group of would-be heroes has emerged, not only to defend Sandpoint in her hour of need, but to seek out future threats and end them before they can truly begin. Even now these heroes sit content, basking in their newfound glory, unaware that the threat is much greater than they can even comprehend.

The early cold frosts the breath of Sheriff Hemlock and his men as they investigate a grisly scene. Nature prepares to blanket the land with winter, even as the sheriff draws a blanket to hide a corpse horribly gashed, soaked with blood and pinned with an ominous note.

It seems that the region’s troubles are not yet over. In fact, as evil slowly awakens, they may have only just begun…

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In Memoriam: Tellorn
A Fallen Warrior

The Heroes of Sandpoint watched with heavy hearts as Father Zantus finished the incantations and lit the pyre beneath the body of their fallen companion. It was a relatively clear day, a departure from the usual heavy fog and icy rains of the past few weeks, and so the wood caught quickly, sending a pillar of smoke wafting up and inland on the brisk ocean breeze.

How had it come to this? The question lingered on their minds (well, maybe not the dwarf’s) as they stood in respectful silence, each reflecting on yesterday’s events. The plan had seemed simple enough – with Nualia and her minions defeated, they expected to make short work of the goblin tribes at Thistletop, eliminate whatever threat this ‘Malfeshnekor’ posed and be ready to lift an ale in the Rusty Dragon before last call. Actually, the halfling Aable’s plan also involved an elaborate and overly-filling celebration feast and he had made careful preparations prior to their departure, but when they did sit in the Dragon’s common room once again their number was one fewer and no one felt much like celebrating.

The goblins had proved easy enough to defeat for this experienced band of adventurers. Already in disarray from the heroes’ earlier raid on Thistletop, many of the goblins simply fled or surrendered. Warchief Ripnugget put up a respectable fight, astride his gecko mount, Stickfoot, but he had too little support from his tribe and he, too, fell before the onslaught.

With the goblins routed and their meager treasure rescued from a foul latrine and properly cleaned, sorted and inventoried, the Heroes of Sandpoint once again descended into the complex beneath the goblin stronghold to find and be rid of Malfeshnekor. After some puzzling, they managed to find a way into the most hidden part of the ancient structure. There, they encountered an ‘illusion remnant’ of some sort, depicting the man from the book and glaive statues issuing some sorts of final orders in Ancient Thassilonian, a disturbing skeleton of what had once been a horribly deformed humanoid and, finally, a set of stone doors that could only be opened with a very particular key (which had handily been collected from the room with the bones).

Beyond those doors, the party found that Malfeshnekor was, in fact, a barghest. A demon-relative of the goblins that had evidently been trapped here when the complex was abandoned thousands of years ago. Both the party and the barghest preferred to forgo the tiresome rituals of parley and instead the battle was joined imemdiately!

The barghest, although a minor sort of demon, proved to be a fearsome foe for the group and the healing prowess of their elven cleric proved to be invaluable. The battle raged on, with several of the brave heroes brushing near death, only to be saved at the last moment by one of their fellows. Malfeshnekor had command of several powerful magics, including invisibility, and a strong resistance to non-magical damage and, for a time, some in the party feared that this fight might prove to be too much for them.

However, the tide began to turn, in no small part due to the efforts of their monk, Tellorn, who was able to summon deep inner strength and wisdom to turn his hands and feet into powerful magical instruments of destruction. As he rained down blow upon blow on the demon, Malfeshnekor howled with rage at his impending defeat and lashed out at the monk with all of his might and laid him low. The elven cleric, exhausted from tending to the injuries of the raging battle, was unable to reach Tellorn in time and the meditative hero shuffled off this mortal coil, even as his companions dealt the final decisive blow to the barghest and banished him from this plane of existence once again.

So here they stood in silence, watching a funeral pyre burn at the edge of the sea and considering the fragile bonds of this life. The monk, Tellorn, left behind no known kin and no legacy to pass to future generations, save in the memories of The Heroes of Sandpoint and the hearts of the townsfolk that he had helped defend.

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Thistletop
All in a day's work

After strengthening their resolve, the Heroes of Sandpoint rode north to assault the goblin lair at Thistletop and stop Nualia and her gang before their dark plans could come to fruition. They were joined by a half-orc named Karrnath – a surprisingly charismatic fellow who shone with the ‘touch of destiny’. Karrnath had previously been a traveling companion of Durgrim and Tellorn, as they made their way west from Korvosa.

The party switfly traveled the Lost Coast Road until reaching the Thistle River, which cuts through the overgrown Nettlewood. They cleverly employed a magical Swan Boat, procured by the always-prepared Aable, to follow the river to the sea, thereby avoiding the stinging underbush of the wood.

Imagine their dismay upon realizing that the island that is home to Thistletop is, in fact, a curious and obviously unnatural formation rising almost 80 feet above sea level and completely unscalable! Undaunted by this unexpected challenge, the noble adventurers sought a passage upwards through a sea cave in the cliff face, but only managed to disturb an unusual sea predator in its lair. They had only barely enough time to watch it feed on a hapless goblin, dropped down a chute by its tribe-mates, as they fled to safer ground at a small beach nearby.

From there, these hearty souls managed to scale the sea cliffs unharmed and then sought a pathway through the nettles to the rope bridge beyond. Within the nettle-warrens, they encountered goblins, goblin dogs and the tribe’s spiritual leader, Gogmurt. He was handily defeated, despite his druid mastery of the terrain and his life was graciously spared in exchange for his (somewhat unwilling) assistance.

The group made their way safely across the trapped rope bridge and through the initial goblin guardians to the fort and then quickly found the stairwell and descended to the floor below. It was there that the heroes defeated each of Nualia’s henchmen and captured Tsuto alive, their nemesis from the Glassworks, to return to stand trial as Ameiko had requested.

Making their way even further into the dungeon, they uncovered a secret entrance that led to a much older lower level and, ultimately, to their encounter with Nualia. After narrowly avoiding a vicious blade trap, the party found itself battling the fierce would-be fiend in a bottlenecked situation. However, after several dangerous and frustrating moments, the monk, Tellorn, was able to improve the tactical situation and allow his comrades to aid more effectively.

With Nualia’s threat ended, the group explored further and survived a harrowing enounter with shadows in an ancient crypt before discovering an abandoned, partially sunken treasure room. Although much of what was once valuable was ruined by the years, they were able to recover a respectable sum, including a giant-sized bronze and gold helmet that had recently housed a giant hermit crab that they had to defeat for the right to claim the treasure.

With the Kaijitsu family honor served and the immediate menace to Sandpoint neutralized, the five returned as triumphant heroes ready to spend heard-earned gold and enjoy some well-deserved rest!

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Adventure at the Glassworks
Glass and Wrath

The town of Sandpoint seemed to be recovering quickly from the frightening goblin raid of the Swallowtail Festival. Sherriff Belor Hemlock felt that this was not just because of the Heroes’ swift actions on that day, but their continued presence and interaction with the population. Belor asked them to remain in town, and visible, for the next few days, while he traveled to Magnimar to request additional troops to help defend the town against further attack.

The newly formed group took to exploring the town, meeting, greeting (and occasionally, bedding) some of the population of Sandpoint. After a gruesome encounter with a goblin commando that had been trapped in a crawl space since the invasion, the heroes returned to The Rusty Dragon Inn, only to find that the proprietor, Ameiko Kaijitsu, had gone missing. The only clue to her whereabouts was a note, written in the language of her parent’s homeland – Minkai. The note was penned by her brother, Tsuto Kaijitsu, and invited Ameiko to meet him at the family business, the Kaijitsu Glassworks.

The intrepid adventurers headed to the Glassworks, only to find the business locked down tight with windows covered and boarded from the inside. After venturing inside, they came face to face with a pack of gleefully murderous goblins who had murdered the workers and ransacked the production floor. Even more horribly, Lonjiko Kaijitsu, the patriarch of the family had been murdered and his body posed grotesquely and encased in glass. Tsuto was here as well, apparently in league with the goblins, but he fled when his goblin minions were handily defeated.

In the basement of the facility, they stumbled upon the bound and gagged and barely concious Ameiko, who had rejected her brother’s offer to join him and his cohorts in further raids on Sandpoint. They were able to recover Tsuto’s personal notes and diary, that indeed hinted at dark days ahead for the town, led by the machinations of his disturbing, demon-obsessed girlfriend, Nualia.

They also uncovered an old smuggler’s tunnel that connected with an ancient underground complex. Within this ‘dungeon’, the party encountered several horrific monsters with unnaturally long arms ending in three-fingered talons and legs that bent like those of a dog. A writhing network of bulging veins formed dark blue patterns underneath the creatures’ pallid skin and their lower mandibles split in half at the chin creating a repulsive insect-like maw.

At the heart of this underground complex, the party encountered, and eventually defeated, a somewhat insane female quasit who apparently created the horrible creatures from a mysterious, bubbling magical pool.

After reviewing Tsuto’s notes, it became clear that Nualia and her unnamed companions were directing the activities of the goblins and were bent upon the destruction of Sandpoint. Nualia herself seems to be pursuing a demonic transformation, possibly with the aid of a mysterious being referred to as ‘Malfeshnekor’.

The only way the Heroes of Sandpoint can hope to stop her is to travel to the goblin stronghold at Thistletop and strike decisively at her forces, before they can mount another attack.

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The Heroes of Sandpoint
A plot against Sandpoint unfolds

As Father Zantus took the stage just before sundown, to begin the consecration ceremony, a woman’s shriek cut through the cool evening breeze. Moments later, Sandpoint was beset by rampaging goblins tearing through the crowd, with mayhem, destruction and fire not far behind.

A few brave souls rose to the occasion, however, and began to quell the goblin menace. Four young adventurers, still strangers, fought side-by-side in the town square to protect the population of Sandpoint.

One was a youthful dwarven scout named Durgrim Skullsplitter was a bit deep in his cups from the day’s festivities, but his eyes and blade were still keen. Another looked to be little more than a human lad, but the brave ‘boy’ turned out to be the youthful halfling Able and his quick rapier soon joined the fight. Their efforts were matched by those of a young half-elven man named Tellorn who rained down punishing blows with fists and feet and the handsome elvish lothario, Alonian, who offered aid to the injured.

Countless townsfolk were spared injury and death by their quick actions that day and, in particular, a nobleman by the name of Aldern Foxglove, benefitted from their intervention. Upon hearing his calls for help, the party turned down a small alley to see this unarmed aristocrat surrounded by a goblin commando astride a foul goblin dog and with several others from the raiding party. Luckily, they arrived in the nick of time and were able to save Aldern’s life.

This little band was quickly heralded as saviors by young and old alike for their efforts and they found themselves greeted with hearty handshakes, blushing maidens, drinks on the house and merchant discounts everywhere in town. The mayor of Sandpoint, Kendra Deverin, officially declared the day following the Swallowtail Festival to be a holiday honoring ‘The Heroes of Sandpoint’ and Sherriff Belor Hemlock then deputized the group into the town guard to help bolster the confidence of Sandpoint’s citizens.

But all was not well on the Lost Coast. It was soon revealed that the raid was merely a distraction for some graverobbers to steal the coffin and mortal remains of the former high priest of Sandpoint, Ezakien Tobyn. Father Tobyn was a figure beloved by the entire town, who perished in the fire that consumed the old chapel and many of the buildings on the northern end of town five years before. The elven ranger and expert goblin hunter, Shalelu Andosana, was able to provide some additional insight on the local goblin tribes and, although no one could explain why the goblins might want his body, it became clear that the goblins were being organized by some external force with dark plans for the town.

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Beginnings
Autumn's Herald

The longest, warmest days of summer have passed now and a slight crispness in the air, combined with the scent of hearth-smoke, hints at the coming of autumn. Throughout Varisia, and, indeed, much of the northern continent, preparations are joyfully made for each local version of the Swallowtail Festival which will herald the beginning of harvest season.

The Swallowtail Festival belongs to no particular deity and to all, but it is most closely associated with the goddess Desna, because the celebration honors of the migration of the swallowtail butterflies. This is a day of food and fun with a festival that takes on the peculiar characteristics and idiosyncracies of each township that recognizes this day.

In the quaint seaside town of Sandpoint, the atmosphere of this year’s festival is exceptionally jubilant, as if the local population had something special to celebrate, and indeed they do. The magnificent Sandpoint Cathedral will be consecrated at sundown. This structure is the culmination of 5 years of labor and angst and is one of the notable holy shrines in all of Golarion. Smiles amongst the Sandpoint celebrants will be easy and laughter quick on this day, as this ceremony will close the final chapter on some recent difficult times for the fledgling town.

The Swallowtail Festival in Sandpoint is marked by a seemingly endless stream of sumptuous dishes featuring local seafood and game. Children run giddily through the town square unfurling colorful ribbons and streamers with fingers sticky from too many sweets. When the adults of the town aren’t stuffing themselves full of epicurian masterpieces (or washing them down with the local brew), they manage to get in several rounds of Hook and Trap, a local lawn sport. By tradition, drinks and food are free for all on this day and guests to the town are ‘honored’ with multiple ribbon necklaces and many toasts/drinking challenges.

It is here that our soon-to-be-heroes find themselves on the first day of the month of Rova…

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Destiny's Call
Invitation to Adventure

n the wild frontier region known as Varisia, the outposts and fledgling cities of the civilized races struggle to flourish in this untamed land. Megalithic ruins, remnants of a long-forgotten epoch, dot the landscape and stand in silent testament to an ancient cataclysm.

Beyond the world of mortals, events have been set in motion. Even as civilization begins to establish a foothold here, shadows grow longer, winters grow colder and the very land itself begins to shudder. Somewhere, in darkness, evil awakens.

Unaware of what fate has in store, a small band of friends and traveling companions gather in the tiny coastal town of Sandpoint to celebrate the turning of the seasons and the dedication of a grand cathedral. As summer slips into autumn, these few may be all that stands to challenge the rising darkness.

The future is uncertain and the waking world needs heroes like never before. The time is right to answer destiny’s call…

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