Chapter #9: Return to Sandpoint.   Posted by The Raconteur.Group: 0
Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2206 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 36/36
Fri 22 May 2015
at 22:17
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
"Oh...my."  Liseth hadn't expected the goblins to attack while they were all away at Thistletop.  That must have been Big Gugmut that lead them, before Nualia was even ready.  That could have gone very bad...but for Liuetenant Barret.

From the way that the guards told that story, Alergast Barret was a hero.  The girl understood now how Kellan learned to fight so well; with such a mentor.  Each one of them, in the same day, had defeated a legendary villain in single combat.  It all showed that they did have the gods on their side.

"It's amazing that nobody was killed.  Is Mr Barret okay?"  Okay or not, she imagined that there was little which would keep Alergast Barret from being at their debriefing with the mayor.  So much had happened.

"Yes."  Liseth responded to Pisca.  "Ms Kaijutsu needs to get her brother's letter; she's been so sad since what happened at the Glassworks.  Whatever he wrote her has to make her feel better."

"But we have to see the Mayor first...and the Cathedral is close.  We could ask someone to tell Father Zantus that we're back."  I hope we don't see Elsbet outside the Cathedral, the acolyte distressingly found herself thinking.  It seemed Liseth dreaded a repeat of the response that she received from the other girls yesterday.

Maybe avoidance was a good course of action...at least for now.
Kerr Mollin
 NPC, 139 posts
 Acolyte of Desna
 Chosen of Iomedae
Wed 27 May 2015
at 05:05
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint



“Wow.”  Was all Kerr could say for a moment after the two guardsmen had stopped their story.  How horrible would it have been to have completed their mission only to return to a Sandpoint sacked and burned by goblins?  He hugged Liseth close.  The new cathedral, ruined.  Father Zantus, dead.

It didn’t bear thinking about.

Lieutenant Barett had saved the day, it sounded like.  Kerr wondered how much of Big Gugmut’s challenge had been inspired by Ripnugget.  They’d probably never know.

Kerr nodded as Liseth talked.  “We definitely need to see Mayor Deverin,” he agreed.  “She needs to know the situation as quickly as possible.”

Everyone seemed agreeable to that notion, so they bid goodbye to Quint and Santo and made their way down Church Street and across Northchurch Square to Tower Street, which would take them to the Town Hall.  As they passed the square in front of the cathedral they ran into Merrith Tinderly, the church’s cook, burdened with fresh produce for the day’s remaining meals.  The middle-aged woman was overjoyed to see the two acolytes and assured them that she would indeed tell Father Zantus of their arrival in town and their uninjured status.  She continued on her way to the temple with a smile on her face and a spring in her step.

It seemed there weren’t a lot of other folk out on the streets right now, although the ones that were offered only amiable greetings to the five tired Sandpoint Saviors—the people of Sandpoint had no idea of the dangerous mission the group had just completed.  They arrived at Town Hall without any undue delay, entering the sumptuous lobby area that seemed even more exquisite when compared with their beaten and bedraggled appearances.

The group trudged up the stairs to the Mayor’s office.  Kellan opened the door, startling the mayor’s secretary Rose Kritchett, who had been laboring over some papers on her desk.

“Hey Rose,” said Kerr with a tired smile.  He had helped to deliver both of her children.  “Is the Mayor available?”

“She’s in the meeting room,” Rose replied, recovering from her surprise.  “I’m so glad you all are back safe!  Alergast and Dav are in there as well, along with another man I’m not familiar with.”  Her neutral tone of voice indicated that she was reserving judgment on this new individual.  “I’m sure they’ll want to see you.  Go on in!”

The space of a few seconds found the group in the Mayor’s meeting room.  Dav was there, looking his normal self, along with the Mayor, as always very put-together even despite the rough few days she’d just experienced.  Another, dark-skinned man no one had seen before was present, wearing full plate armor and a huge greatsword strapped to his back.  He stepped back respectfully as the group entered, his bald head dipping in a silent greeting.

Alergast, on the other hand, was looking much worse for wear.  The Lieutenant had several visible red gashes, including a nasty-looking one on his forehead, and his guardsman’s mail looked beaten and rent, as if someone had attempted to physically chop it off his body while he was still in it.  His left arm was in a makeshift sling—he was using his right to point to the map on the table when the group entered.  He looked up and immediately burst into a huge smile.

“Kellan!”  He exclaimed, almost running around the table to embrace the younger guardsman in a one-armed hug.  “You’re back!”  He stepped away and evaluated his protégé’s appearance with a critical eye.  “Looks like you’ve seen some combat.  I'm guessing the other guy looks worse.”  He clapped the slightly-smaller guardsman on the shoulder.  “I was afraid . . . well, let’s just say Amele cried all last night.  And not for me!”  He chuckled.

Mayor Deverin broke up the reunion.  “It is indeed good to see you all back safe.  How did things go at Thistletop?  Dare I think that your return means that you successfully defeated Nualia and her minions?”




This message was last edited by the player at 08:32, Wed 27 May 2015.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2400 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Wed 27 May 2015
at 14:07
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
"Nualia is dead," declared the gnome.  "And her minions are too.  That, or scattered across the land of Varisia to become vagabonds, famous chefs, or action movie stars, whatever."  As Pisca paraded about the arena that was the Mayor's office, she scattered imaginary minions to the four winds with a casual flip of her wrist.

"You don't look so good," she said to the guard lieutenant.  "You should have Lysa take a look at those wounds.  She does wonderful work.  I've died several times and she's brought me back.  Look ... "  And the gnome pulled up the lower edge of her leather jerkin to show the smooth white expanse of her side.  "See?  No scarring."

"At any rate, as I was saying ... "  And Pisca began the story, starting from their departure with Shalelu Andosana from the North Gate of Sandpoint.  In story, the intrepid Sandpoint Saviors crept their way through goblin lines, braving fields of the living dead, to arrive at the fiendish goblin Nettle Maze.  They left their elven guide there and stole into the incredible goblin fortress of Thistletop.

The Sandpoint Saviors of Pisca's story fought the Goblin King to a standstill.  They slew the infamous bugbear Bruthazmus.  They turned Nualia's fearsome body guard from the path of evil.  They defeated a dark emissary from the Mysterious Seven. (Here Pisca held up the card.)  And they rescued a priest of Abadar.

Braving the true depths of evil, Pisca's Sandpoint Saviors continued further into the bowls of Thistletop where they found a horribly disfigured Tsuto Kaijitsu and his secret lover.  The Saviors convinced the young scion of house Kaijitsu to give up his revenge against Sandpoint for love of his sister.  Then, creeping down further down into the dank stone halls of ancient Thistletop, the Saviors caught Nualia in the midst of some light reading.  They fought her magic, and they fought her demon dogs.  But, inevitably, they slew the Left Hand of Lamashtu, and then the Sandpoint Saviors went home.

"Anyway," Pisca said, tacking on a little bit at the end of her story, "there's still this Malfeshnekor lurking somewhere in Thistletop.  We suspect that it may be trapped in there somehow, so I don't think it will be too much of a problem.  Something to think about, though."
Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2210 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 36/36
Wed 27 May 2015
at 20:42
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
Nobody knows where we just were...Liseth thought while on the way through town.  They might even be angry that we weren't here when the goblins attacked.  They were the Sandpoint Saviors, after all.  Everyone must be wondering where they were when Lieutenant Barret saved the day.

In the greater scheme of things, that didn't matter though.  Not when it could be said that the goblins had been defeated, with so few casualties.

In the mayor's office, the exhausted acolyte spared a few moments to wonder at the new man.  Who had a sword much larger than she was.  But it was Alergast Barret who spoke first, and she was taken aback by his injuries.  Surely Father Zantus must already done what he could for him?  And she was so weary; the girl nodded when Pisca suggested that Liseth could heal the wounded man, even as she was unsure that she could draw on her divine resources yet.

While Pisca shared the tale of Thistletop, Liseth held Kerrs arm and kept glancing at the mysterious armored man.  He looked like a knight, was he the paladin of Iomedae Father Zantus had mentioned sending for all those days ago?  That would mean he was here about Kerr...

"Um..." Liseth interjected during Pisca's story, "Tsuto gave us a letter to bring to his sister.  We helped him to realize that revenge against Sandpoint wouldn't help anything and he left Thistletop with the scholar...Lyrie.  We don't know where they went."

"Oh, has a man, a mercenary, arrived in town ahead of us?  He was Nualia's bodyguard; Orik of Riddleport.  He said that he would come to Sandpoint...we should find him."  The girl thought a moment, "We convinced him that working for Nualia was working for Lamashtu, and even a mercenary couldn't help the queen of monsters for gold.  He might know something that could help Lieutenant Barret," she nodded at the militia leader, "with the goblins in the region.  Since Orik spent so much time inside Thistletop."
Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 1087 posts
 Miniboss
Thu 28 May 2015
at 15:03
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
Kellan could practically feel the eyes of the early rising townsfolk upon their litle band as they snaked their way through the streets towards the Mayors office. He was well used to being something of a spectacle, but the once clean tabbard of the Sandpoint guard had seen better days and the spatters of blood and other things best not thought about was a different sort of curiosity.

"Alergast!" Kellan replied with a laugh that helped expel a lot of the nervous energy the boy had been carrying around. He embraced the man in return but was careful to avoid the arm.

"By Erastil...leave you alone for a few days..." he shook his head with a smile and took a step back to look over his mentor.

Once they settled into giving their accounts and reports Kellan mostly nodded along with the others, adding a few details here or there when it seemed appropriate.

"While Father Gabreil did seem a bit...well, eccentric, it did seem that Ripnugget was heeding some of his advice, for whatever reason. It might be a start to something bigger...but I guess we'll have to see"
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1030 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Thu 28 May 2015
at 17:36
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
Cato listened to the reports of the guardsmen with a sort of stunned silence.  Everything they had accomplished, and the goblins still attacked the town?  Or at least tried to attack at any rate.  Cato's face betrayed a quick, furtive smile.  Sandpoint is lucky to have people like Alergast.  I can just hope that the lack of Ripnugget's planning and presence saved the town...and that the rest of the goblins truly are dispersed.

Cato followed Kerr to the Mayor's office, lost in wonder for his adopted town, until he was caught up by the Mayor's conference.  He eyed the big fighter with a wary eye, feeling no small matter of distrust for newcomers since his priorities had once again started to veer towards avoiding the Hellknight's notice, since Sandpoint seemed, for the moment, safer.

Cato finally nodded and added: "I think that Malfeshnekor might need to be dealt with eventually.  It might be what draws evil things to Thistletop.  Long-term, it probably represents a grave threat to the region, but it needs time to organize and work its villainy."
The Raconteur
 GM, 2105 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Thu 28 May 2015
at 19:03
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint



“Outstanding.”  Kendra Deverin acknowledged as one mayoral knuckle approvingly rapped the tabletop.  “I think it’s safe to say that you were far more successful than any of us had a right to expect.”  She dipped her head slightly.  “Please let me be the first to extend Sandpoint’s gratitude for each of your willingness to help this town in its hour of need.  I am not overstating the matter when I say that the gods have truly blessed us with your presence.  With Nualia dead, Dav assures me that the goblins will almost assuredly fall back into infighting and pose no real threat to us.”  She fixed her gaze on the room’s sole elf.  “Is that your opinion as well, Shalelu?”

“It is.”  The ranger’s simple response made its content somehow even more reassuring.

“Then I think Sandpoint can rest easier.  Your news regarding this priest of Abadar is unexpected, but not unwelcome.  Surely such a man can only be a good influence on the goblins?  Perhaps we can enlist Father Zantus’ help in working with this Father Gabriel to make the goblin tribes less of a threat to the region.”  She looked at Kerr and Liseth.  “Acolytes, could you brief Abstalar on the issue when we’re done here?”

“But dealing with Thistletop is a project for the future.”  Mayor Deverin turned her attention back to the matters at hand.  “I’m glad to hear that, when it came right down to it, Tsuto repudiated his alliance with Nualia.  I think that’s a point in his favor should he ever return.  Although I very much doubt that will happen, sister or no.”  A shadow passed over the mayor’s face.  “That poor boy’s childhood was . . . troubled.”

She raised one eyebrow.  “But that mercenary you mentioned did show up at the town gates yesterday evening, asking for Father Zantus, of all people.  That’s a dangerous-looking man you sent to us.”  Her gaze withheld judgment on the party’s decision to send such a man to a town whose resources were already stretched past the breaking point.  “But Abstalar vouched for him, if you can believe it.  Both of them have been holed up in the cathedral ever since.  I’m sure there’s a story there.”

The mayor sat back in her chair, steepling her fingers in front of her.  “But while our immediate danger seems to be over, the information you’ve uncovered indicates Sandpoint might face other enemies.  This Malfeshnekor.  Do I have that right?”  She looked at Cato  “A malevolent spirit at the heart of goblin society seems dangerous.  Scholar Crispin, do you have an assessment regarding how much of a threat it poses, and the timeline of that threat?”

“And,” she pointed at the card Pisca still held, “this mysterious Seven group.  Why were they in Thistletop?  How were they related to Nualia?  Were they co-conspirators in her plan, simply suppliers, or did Nualia have a deeper strategy that ran beyond the destruction of Sandpoint?  And if she did, was this a plan of her own initiative, or one inspired by her worship of Lamashtu?”

Kendra Deverin blew out a frustrated breath.  “So many questions.  We may have unseen enemies plotting against us even now.  Which makes the next order of business even more important.”  She looked over at Alergast with a smile.  “Lieutenant Barett, I believe you have an announcement?”

Alergast straightened.  “Yes, ma’am, I do.  And none of you should be concerned about my condition—I’m fine.  It’s been a busy few hours and I haven’t had time to bother Zantus for healing.  I’ll head up to the cathedral when we’re done here.”

The guardsman cleared his throat and turned to Kellan.  “Guardsman Storval, in light of the many threats Sandpoint continues to face, Mayor Deverin has requested a liaison from the Sandpoint Guard to her office to coordinate and lead any special projects, investigations, or actions that might arise.  Given your exemplary service to Sandpoint, your solid connections,” he gestured to the others present with his good arm, “with capable people, and your demonstrated willingness to go above and beyond in your service to Sandpoint, I suggested you for the position.  Mayor Deverin enthusiastically agreed, and pending Sherriff Hemlock’s approval—which I have no doubt he will freely give—you will take the position.  And since we can’t just have a guardsman in such an important post, I can make the following pronouncement.”

The lieutenant retrieved a box from his pouch.  “Guardsman Storval, you are hereby promoted to Sergeant of the Sandpoint Guard.”  He winked at Kellan as he removed a sergeant’s insignia from the box.  “The youngest sergeant in history, I believe.”  He fastened the insignia onto Kellan’s armor.  “Congratulations, Sergeant Storval.”  He gave Kellan a broad smile as he clasped the young man’s hand.  “You deserve it.”




This message was last edited by the GM at 19:06, Thu 28 May 2015.

Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 1088 posts
 Miniboss
Thu 28 May 2015
at 23:08
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
Kellan looked like Liseth could knock him over with a feather. He stood there for a few moments as if the words had not quite sunk in yet, and when they did he stared at the insignia in disbelief.

"Sergeant?" He eventually exclaimed before looking up to Alergast and over to the Mayor "Are you certain? I mean...It's pretty clear that you are...just...wow" he was almost blushing now as he again looked down to see the insignia glinting on his tabbard.

The newly promoted sergeant took a deep breath and seemed to clear his thoughts "Thank you, really. I'll make certain that you won't regret this." he dipped his head a little and glanced over to the others with an expression that conveyed equal parts excitement and gravity.

Truth be told it was difficult sometimes just to handle normal guardsman duties at his age, given that most of the towns folk were older, and often times more experienced with things that he had no history with like marital issues, or child rearing. This would mean you would be expected to command men significantly older than himself, many of which had been around longer. Kellan would still defer to them on certain matters of course, and would strive to balance humility with confidence, but it was going to be interesting.

He could not wait to tell his family, his friends and the Vinders of course...but as he thought about it most of the important people in his life were already in the room, and he was happy that his new found friends and comrades were around for it.

He turned to the others with a grin, looking slightly absurd with the new insignia over his soiled tabbard. "Guess this means dinners on me"
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2403 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Fri 29 May 2015
at 00:10
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
"Yes, Sir!"  The gnome snapped to attention and issued a smart salute.  "That's right, Sir.  Dinner is on you, Sir," she grinned.

"I guess that means heading to the Rusty Dragon next, huh?  Why don't you go ahead.  I've got to speak to Mayor Deverin first," Pisca said.  And then she changed her mind.  "Um, no.  No.  This will probably take some time.  Can I see you tomorrow, Madame Mayor?" Pisca asked with great politeness.  "Hopefully it won't take too long."

This message was last edited by the player at 00:11, Fri 29 May 2015.

Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1031 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Fri 29 May 2015
at 17:21
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
Cato frowned at the Mayor's question.  He shook his head, then looked back to her.  "I don't think we know enough to answer all those questions.  We saw some things in Thistletop that put a few of the pieces together, along with things we've gathered from the caverns we found below the town.  As for a timeline or anything more substantive..."  Cato trailed off and shook his head again.  "I don't think that's anything we could predict.  Somehow, Malfeshnekor got trapped inside Thistletop long ago.  He was active during the time of the Runelords, and given that traces of him since then have been virtually non-existent, I would think he'd have been trapped since then.  How, or why, or how difficult it would be to free him is beyond my ability to even guess.  I would guess it's some sort of powerful magic, but honestly, that's becoming my fallback answer for anything relating to the Runelords."  Cato gave a small chuckle.  "And I think what this depends on is finding some willing ally, such as Nualia.  Malfeshnekor was tutoring her, trying to teach her enough to unlock greater power and, probably eventually free him.  I think he was trying to influence the goblins, and had convinced them that great power lay trapped below Thistletop, and they would unlock if they explored enough.  Fortunately for us, goblins aren't that capable, and never managed it.  I'd hazard a guess that with Thistletop in control of a relatively 'civilized' goblin, along with a priest of Abadar, the threat might be diminished for the immediate future.  But given enough time..."  Cato shrugged.  "A priest can be turned, or there might be a regime change, perhaps even assisted by whispers from Malfeshnekor."

Cato smiled, and clapped his palm on Kellan's back.  "Congratulations, Kellan!  You deserve it.  And I believe Ms. Freemish is right.  Dinner is most certainly on you.  I'll chip in and buy the first round of drinks, though."  He winked at Alergast and Kellan.  "That swill you all drink is pretty cheap compared to decent wine."  A sudden pang of longing hit Cato, and he suddenly remembered his own elevation in the Hellknights from Armiger to Signifier.  Despite everything that had happened after that, Cato sometimes longed for those more simple times, when he could celebrate with his comrades over their joint accomplishments.  Now, he had finally found something with which to replace that camaraderie, but the pangs of loss still bit deep.  And he dared not reminisce more.  The fact that he hadn't seen his own family in even longer was even worse.  Cato struggled to maintain a happy face, and pushed the thoughts to the back of his mind.
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2404 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Fri 29 May 2015
at 18:23
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
"As to this," said the gnome as she tucked the black card with its golden number seven on it back into her pouch, "It came along with this."

"Um ... it was here somewhere ... "  Pisca fished about in her pack until she found the One-Eyed Mask.  "This!"

Tsuto didn't seem to know much about the man.  Nualia told him that he was from a Varisian cult, and that she felt they would be of use to her because they shared similar goals."  The recollection drew a frown to the gnome's face.  "Similar goals.  I wonder how long this had been going on?  And where they met?  Answering those questions might give us an idea of whether these Mysterious Seven cultists have been active in this area for a while now, and whether or not they might still be somewhere lurking about."

"In fact, Tsuto also said that Orik was there at some of the first meetings between Nualia and these Mysterious Seven."  Pisca's lips pursed, and she nodded with new clarity of purpose.  "I think we need to speak to Riddleport again.  Where did you say he was staying?  At the cathedral with Father Zantus?  Yes.  Orik might be the key to this whole thing."
Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2211 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 36/36
Fri 29 May 2015
at 18:53
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
"Yes, Mayor Deverin."  Liseth nodded, "We need to see Father Zantus as soon as possible.  Especially since Mr Orik is with him."  Nualia's former bodyguard had very likely told Sandpoint's prelate some of the story from Thistletop.  But he still needed to be filled in on so many of the events which followed Orik's departure.

Although Liseth was still glad to see that Orik had actually come to Sandpoint, like he said he would.  With Father Zantus' help, the former mercenary would be able to find the redemption he wanted for his past.  If only Tsuto could manage the same...

The girl's stomach whined at Pisca's mention of the Rusty Dragon.  And also served to remind her about the very important letter she was carrying for the owner of that particular inn.  Surely Father Zantus wouldn't mind finding them there if she and Kerr happened to not arrive at the Cathedral directly.

"Conratulations, Kellan!"  Kellan's sudden promotion to sergeant was excitingly unexpected.  Liseth had to imagine that if anyone deserved it though, it had to be him; she couldn't imagine anyone in the town objecting after learning about how he handled himself at Thistletop.  The small acolyte was quite willing to admit that their success had hinged largely on his martial skill and level-heaedness.  "But I'm sure Ms Kaijitsu won't hear anything about you paying for dinner tonight."  She tittered.
The Raconteur
 GM, 2107 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Fri 29 May 2015
at 19:44
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint



“Yes, I’m certain, Sergeant,” Alergast laughed as he slapped his friend on the shoulder.  “And the Mayor specifically suggested you for the post, so I’d thank her too.  Not that I had too many objections.”  He paused.  “Not TOO many.”  He sighed.  “Although it does pose some problems.  How are we going to fit your head through the front door?”

Mayor Deverin chuckled as she waved her hand through the air, dismissing Alergast’s phantom reservations.  “Don’t let Alergast fool you, Sergeant Storval—he was an enthusiastic supporter of the idea.”  She looked down at the room’s lone gnome.  “And yes, Pisca, of course I would be happy to meet with you.  Just talk to Rose and tell her I asked that you be added to my schedule.  She’ll let you know when I’m available.”

The Mayor took in Cato’s analysis, thought for a moment, then nodded.  “That’s about what I expected.  A possible problem, but not an immediate one.  We’ll deal with it later, along with this priest of Abadar and Thistletop’s possible new entry into the realm of civilization.”  She sighed.  “Thistletop’s been a thorn in our side for generations, but just a thorn.  I’m far more concerned with this cult you’ve discovered.”  She pointed to the mask Pisca had placed on the table.  “And if it’s a cult that wears masks, that means it’s concerned with secrecy.  Anyone could be a member.”  Her face darkened.  “Even citizens of Sandpoint.”

“So I agree with you, Pisca.  You should talk to Orik as soon as possible to try and figure out as much as you can about this organization.”  She tapped her fingers thoughtfully on the table.  “We don’t know what its interest is in Sandpoint, or if Sandpoint was even one of the commonalities that brought it and Nualia together.  Hopefully Orik knows more.”  She looked around the room.  “Find out if he does.”

The mayor’s visage cleared, and she smiled.  “But I don’t think the issue is so pressing that you need to go directly to the cathedral posthaste.  This group has been operating for a while, and even if it has nefarious plans for Sandpoint your heroism, and Alergast’s, have put those plans in disarray.  They’re going to have to regroup, and that gives us time as well.  So why don’t you go clean up and relax down at the Rusty Dragon?  I’m sure Ameiko will be glad to see you back, and even gladder to hear your tidings about the safety of her brother.”  She looked around the room.  “Unless there’s anything else?”

When no one spoke up, the mayor adjourned the meeting and everyone filed for the door save Shalelu, Alergast, Dav, and the anonymous armored man, who apparently had other issues to discuss.  Pisca quickly talked to Rose and found that the Mayor had an opening the fourth bell after noon the following day, and scheduled a meeting for that time.  After that, the group headed off to their various homes to bathe and change into attire a little more suitable for celebrating.  It was the sixth bell after noon, signaling the beginning of the evening, when they all reconvened in The Rusty Dragon’s public room.

“Liseth!”  Exclaimed a familiar voice.  Ameiko Kaijitsu appeared from out of the kitchen, a broad smile on her face.  “Cato!  Pisca!  Kellan!  Kerr!  Welcome!”  She nearly ran over and hugged each of them in turn.  “I am so glad to see you back in one piece!  You must have thrilling tales of heroism to share!”  She paused.  “Oh!  And how were my packed lunches?  Sustaining?”




Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 1089 posts
 Miniboss
Sat 30 May 2015
at 02:52
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
Kellan had chosen to change at the barracks as he felt himself so filthy that he hated to abuse Ameiko's stately rooms with such necessities. Several buckets of water and a quarter of a bar of soap later he emerged exhausted but feeling like a new man from his scrubbing. He had chosen simple garments, a linen shirt, breeches and the freshly polished boots Lord Foxglove had gifted to him.

By the time he reached the Rusty Dragon Kellan could practically feel his mouth watering and stepped in with a tired smile and a half wave to the proprietor followed by a stooped hug. He yawned and took his seat, practically collapsing into it and sat somewhat askew with one arm over the back rest.

"Mine was delicious, plenty of food and then some...as far as stories...well, I don't know if you're going to believe them" he laughed softly "Still not sure I do myself. Pisca does a good job, with the retelling and all that"
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2405 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Sat 30 May 2015
at 14:05
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
"Pisca does a good job, with the retelling and all that!" the gnome parroted, though with considerably more enthusiasm.  She'd come back down from her room, pink and well scrubbed.  Her strawberry blonde locks were down, and she wore the dress she'd worn to the dinner that they'd all attended oh so long ago with Aldren Foxglove.  "And the lunch was eat-a-licious, as one could only expect," Pisca added.

"Story, story story story."  Gliding across the floor to a suitably clear performance space, the gnome stopped and turned with an abruptness that caused her skirts to swirl about her and then settle back into place.

"And, if you've read this before you can skip to the part about Tsuto," she said, as though to no one in particular.  And then Pisca began the story, starting from their departure with Shalelu Andosana from the North Gate of Sandpoint.  In story, the intrepid Sandpoint Saviors crept their way through goblin lines, braving fields of the living dead, to arrive at the fiendish goblin Nettle Maze.  They left their elven guide there and stole into the incredible goblin fortress of Thistletop.

The Sandpoint Saviors of Pisca's story fought the Goblin King to a standstill.  They slew the infamous bugbear Bruthazmus.  They turned Nualia's fearsome body guard from the path of evil.  They defeated a dark emissary from the Mysterious Seven. (Here Pisca held up the card.)  And they rescued a priest of Abadar.

Braving the true depths of evil, Pisca's Sandpoint Saviors continued further into the bowls of Thistletop where they found Tsuto Kaijitsu in a deep emotional quandary.  Only recently had he begun to suspect that he'd been used by Nualia who's love was only for Lamashtu, and he was in the midst of wrestling with the idea of casting off his great love.  Enter the Saviors.  They convinced the young scion of house Kaijitsu to give up his revenge against Sandpoint for the sake of his beloved sister.  But not before it was revealed that a scholar, and another minion of Nualia's had long held a secret love for him.  With their new love to look forward to, the pair left the Sandpoint Saviors in peace, running off to ... probably Kaer Maga, the city suggested by the gnome.

Then, creeping down further down into the dank stone halls of ancient Thistletop, the Saviors caught Nualia in the midst of some light reading.  They fought her magic, and they fought her demon dogs.  But, inevitably, they slew the Left Hand of Lamashtu, and then the Sandpoint Saviors went home.

"And that's the story," Pisca ended.  "All true and none of it embellished or made up," she added.  "Really."
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1032 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Mon 1 Jun 2015
at 14:44
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
Cato greeted Ameiko with warmth.  "Of course!  Nothing better to sustain traveling adventurers!"  Cato took a seat as Pisca narrated their tales.  When she was finished, Cato applauded, and then stood again.  "But we have something more to acknowledge here: Kellan has been promoted to Sergeant in the guard!  I think a celebration is definitely in order.  Perhaps one of the beers that Kellan enjoys so much?  First round is on me."
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2407 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Mon 1 Jun 2015
at 15:00
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
"I'll have some Korvosan wine, please."  The gnome grinned at the expensive treat.  Then she fished into a small decorative pouch at the waist of the dress in search of something quite particular.

"Here.  Try this, Lys," she said.  And, as was her wont, the gnome gave no further explanation as she handed her human friend a soft and downy duck feather.
Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2213 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 36/36
Mon 1 Jun 2015
at 18:48
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
"Ms Kaijitsu!"  Liseth greeted back.  Everything seemed to be happening fast now that they were back home with the goblins defeated.  After leaving the mayor, Liseth and Kerr had gone to the Cathedral in order to change and freshen up.  The short acolyte had carefully avoided the other girls in the Cathedral when she bathed; yesterday felt like so long ago, but the commotion she had caused with Elsbet was still fresh in her mind.

She was wearing her light, comfortabe white dress.  Liseth hoped she was done wearing that stuffy padded dress for at least a long while.  Her normal white dress hardly felt like it was there at all, and her soft walking shoes were a welcome change to the sturdier riding shoes she had been wearing.

Now at the Rusty Dragon, Liseth was happy to accept a welcome back hug from Ms Kaijitsu.  She appeared so happy to see them that it made the good news Liseth was about to deliver feel all the sweeter; so the girl allowed Pisca to tell the tale of Thistletop once more.  She nodded profusely when the gnome reached the portion of the story pertaining to Tsuto Kaijitsu, and could not keep herself from elaborating.

"He was really torn up about Nualia.  We're lucky that the scholar Lyrie, who had been hired to help Nualia's research, was there.  She had fallen in love with Tsuto and had been trying to convince him against Nualia the whole time; when we showed up it was the edge we needed."  She grasped her symbol of Sarenrae and nodded, "I've never tried so hard in my life to reach somebody, but Tsuto finally listened."

The blonde teen reached into the pouch at her side (her knapsack having been left at the Cathedral) and retrieved the letter they had receieved from Tsuto.  "He finally gave up on Nualia and her evil quest.  I don't know whether or not he has forgiven Sandpoint, but he has at least chosen to quit seeking misguided vengeance against it."  Liseth presented her letter to Ms Kaijitsu, "He left this letter for you, before he left.  We don't know where Tsuto has gone to, but he left with Lyrie.  I think they'll be happy together."

The call for a round of beer left Liseth with something of a grimace.  She wasn't really very fond of alcohol, beer especially, but this was a very special occasion.  In many ways.  Still...she was sure that her friends would understand if she asked for something else.  "Um...could I just have a mulled cider?"

"Oh, thank you Pisca?"  Liseth peered at the feather in her hands after accepting the gift from her gnome friend.  "This is a duck's feather...um...what am I supposed to try with it?"  An impulse caused the slight girl to glance in Kellan's direction, but she couldn't be sure why.
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2408 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Mon 1 Jun 2015
at 19:49
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
Pisca, in response to the very natural question posed by her human friend, answered with one of those unsure looks that said that the she herself was not entirely sure what she had had in mind when she had given Liseth the feather.

"Poke him?" she ventured.  And then added, "with the soft cushion?"  But then the gnome shook her head because that made no sense what so ever - forgetting, of course, that this had never held her back before.

Pisca simply shrugged her shoulders.  "Korvosan wine, please, she said with the grin returning to her face.  She climbed up into a nearby chair and announced, "I would like to propose a toast."
The Raconteur
 GM, 2110 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Thu 4 Jun 2015
at 00:16
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint



Ameiko Kaijitsu’s mouth hung open slightly as Pisca retold the story of the Sandpoint Saviors’ journey to Thistletop.  Various emotions flitted openly across her face, especially when the flamboyant gnome reached the part about Tsuto.  She nodded with silent approval as she heard that he had found someone who seemed to care about him.

“Well,” she said, sighing and collapsing into a chair, “it’s not what I’d hoped, but it’s certainly better than I feared.  I hope things work out with this woman of his—he can be pretty difficult at times,” she chuckled, “the little sh . . . .”

She stopped as Liseth pulled out Tsuto’s letter and proffered it to her.  She gingerly stood and stared at the missive as if it were a dangerous animal that might bite her.  Then she slowly, tentatively reached out to take it from the young acolyte.  The innkeeper looked down at the parchment as if she might through some secret power divine whether the contents would be for good or for ill.  Then, after what seemed like an eternity, she opened it and began to read.

Ameiko experienced the full gamut of feelings as she read, plain as day for anyone to see.  Sadness, joy, fear, and hope all found a place on her delicate Tianese features until finally she reached the end, looking up, tears flowing freely.

“Thank you.”  She suddenly swept Liseth up in a hug.  “Thank you, Liseth, for believing in him.”  She looked around to the rest of the group.  “Thank you all.  From the very bottom of my heart.  I cannot possibly repay what you have done for Tsuto, and for me.  But I will certainly try my best!”

She wiped her eyes.  “And enough about me and my family problems.”  She gave the guard’s newest non-commissioned officer a brilliant smile.  “Kellan!  Promoted to Sergeant!  I can’t think of a worthier person for the honor.  That is certainly cause for celebration!”

“And nonsense,” she sniffed at Cato.  “The first round is on me!  Dannin!”  She called over to the bald-headed bartender, who looked up from the beverage he was pouring.  “We need drinks over here!  Mulled cider!”  She pointed at Liseth and Kerr.  “Korvosan wine!”  Now at Pisca.  “Three mugs of that Andoran Barley Stout!”  She pointed to Cato and Kellan before hooking a thumb at herself.  “And,” she said, winking at Kellan, “a shot of Taldan Fire-Brandy for the guard’s newest sergeant!”  At this, she spoke to the whole taproom.  “Everyone congratulate our own Kellan Storval, the guard’s newest sergeant!”

A rousing cheer went up from the inn’s patrons, and several of the less-inebriated ones got up to congratulate Kellan personally.  Before too long the drinks arrived, Miery the barmaid distributing them efficiently amongst the intended recipients.  “Now,” said the Rusty Dragon’s proprietor, raising her mug as she turned to the room’s sole gnome, “I believe you had a toast?”




This message was last edited by the GM at 00:31, Thu 04 June 2015.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 2411 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Thu 4 Jun 2015
at 14:51
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
"Wait!"  Pisca hopped off her chair and ran to the proprietress of the Rusty Dragon, raising her arms for her own hug after Liseth was through.  She moved then to Liseth wrapped the human girl in a hug as well.  The boyfriend, Kerr Mollin was next, followed by Cato, and then Stomper Storval - hugs all around.  Fueled then by the magic warmth of hugs, the gnome regained her chair and took up the goblet of wine that waited her there.

"We've just lived through some trying times."  The gnome clasped her goblet before herself in solemn hands.  "Some very trying times.  Everyone's happy everyday lives were shattered.  Broken, and the pieces scattered every which way.  It was terrible.  Even horrible for some.  Some lost their lives.  Some lost their loved ones - which, it can be argued, is worse.  Some gnomes even lost their lives several times," she added.  "We shouldn't forget the tragedy.  Even in the triumph."

"But, as bad as things got, I think we got better.  Everyone.  Not just the heroes of the day.  Not just Lieutenant Barett, but Dav Hosk too, and Mayor Deverin, and Chask Haladan, and Nisk Tanner, and Brodert Quink, and Vorvashali Voon - although I still have yet to speak with the man.  Midst the everydayness of our everyday lives we sometimes forget how special and extraordinary the people who we live with really are.  That person next to you at the table every day.  And maybe the real tragedy is that it takes terrible times to show this to us.  But that's life.  And it does.  And they did."

"So I'd like to make a toast to all of these thoughts sort of mashed together and bundled into one."  She raised her goblet, turning in a sweep that took in the entire common room.  "To more of us," said Pisca Neep Freemish, and raised the Korvosan wine to her lips.

This message was last edited by the player at 23:47, Thu 04 June 2015.

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 2219 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 36/36
Thu 4 Jun 2015
at 23:03
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
"Of course, Ms Kaijitsu."  Listen said softly while wrapped up in a hug from the freely crying proprietress of the Rusty Dragon.  "Of course I believed in him.  He's your brother."

"Hum?"  Mildly confused, the blonde stepped back when Pisca called wait.  Then smiled and returned the gnome's hug while everyone waited for the drinks to arrive.  And all those people came to congratulate Kellan.

"To more of us."  The acolyte parroted the toast solemnly.  It was all very true, after all.  She sipped her deliciously warm mulled cider.

"And I want to say a toast too."  Liseth spoke up after Pisca's toast.  "It's easy to forget the small things which all of the big things are built out of.  When the goblins first attacked, it was fate, aided by the hands of the gods, which brought us all together.  Because they knew that we could be the ones who defeated Lamashtu's plans if we worked together.  And that's just what we did."

"So I want to say a toast to the gods, because without them we might have never met, and we might have never achieved this victory over so much evil."  The small acolyte raised her mulled cider once more, "To the gods."
Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 1090 posts
 Miniboss
Fri 5 Jun 2015
at 03:38
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
Kellan smiled at the congratulations and the toasts, felt the hands on his back, raised his glass and repeated the words as they came. But the boy looked tired, older perhaps, with a hint of thoughtfulness.

He was happy of course, they had all lived, the town was as safe as it had ever been and his promotion would open up new doors and new opportunities. However he could not help but feel that a part of him had died in the past few weeks, not in an especially dramatic way, but perhaps in a life changing one.

He felt like he had irrevocably crossed some sort of threshold. That his younger, more carefree self had been extinguished in blood, and fear, and death. In the feeling of a blade carving flesh translated through the haft of his weapon, in the flecks of blood still stubbornly clinging beneath his fingernails, in the way he suddenly felt naked, nervous, anxious without being cradled by his armor, and without a blade at hand.

He wondered if it would pass, but he doubted it, and overall he had to admit that this is what he had wanted. To be like the Sheriff, like Alergast, to prove himself. It was not like he expected, but it really was for the best he thought. He could do far more to keep his little community safe, his new friends safe than the Kellan of even a month ago could, and that had to be worth it. It just had to be.

He tried to focus on the positive, felt the smooth burn of the brandy in his throat and did his best to ignore his desire to move to a chair in the corner, or to retreat somewhere with just his friends. He shook hands and made a few jokes, but it was there, and likely always would be.
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 1033 posts
 Quarterstaff Expert
Sun 7 Jun 2015
at 02:12
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint
Cato smiled as he shared a drink with his friends, feeling a part of something he had not felt in too long.  He reveled in the feeling, pushing away the fears and regrets that sometimes came to plague his thoughts when he dwelled too long on what might be.  Hellknights, his family, Lucius Winter's mocking smile...all that faded to the back as he sat in the Rusty Dragon and enjoyed his night.  After a few moments, Cato rose, and cleared his throat.  "Finally, to Sandpoint!  I know it's stepping on Pisca's toes, but this town is truly what deserves our praise tonight.  Everyone here who helps to make it a welcoming home, from those born here," Cato gestured to Kellan, "to those who've chosen it as their home," gesturing to Ameiko, "and those recently arrived."
Kerr Mollin
 NPC, 140 posts
 Acolyte of Desna
 Chosen of Iomedae
Mon 8 Jun 2015
at 17:26
Re: Chapter #9:  Return to Sandpoint



As the toasts were made, both to themselves and to the gods, the Sandpoint Saviors enjoyed the small pleasures of life that just a day ago they were not sure they would ever experience again.  Friends, food, and fellowship around a table turned out to be an excellent salve, if not a remedy, for all the dark things they’d so recently endured.

Kerr sat back in his seat next to Liseth and looked around the table at his companions.  There was Kellan, laughing heartily at something Pisca had just said.  There was Cato, doubtfully sipping his ale and saying something to Ameiko that was undoubtedly effortlessly erudite.  And there was Liseth, eyes shining, enjoying the feeling of comradeship that bound people who had jointly experienced a hardship.

Kerr put an arm around his girlfriend and hugged her close as he grinned and raised a glass of cider at Kellan, who was clearly having a very good time.  Against all odds, they’d won.  Now they got to live happily ever after.

Didn’t they?

INTERMISSION