Chapter #7d: A Desperate Plan.   Posted by The Raconteur.Group: 0
The Raconteur
 GM, 1027 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 06:11
Chapter #7d:  A Desperate Plan

No sooner had Kellan spoken than in walked the Mayor, who got straight down to business.  "Kellan, Alergast, Shalelu," she said by way of greeting.  "Let's move into the large room, shall we?  I believe the others are on their way."

Her words seemed prophetic; as they moved into the larger room the office door opened again, first to admit Liseth and Kerr, then Cato and Pisca.  Greetings, smiles, and hugs were exchanged all around, and not a few comments were exchanged regarding the spiffy attire worn by one person or another.

It was not long before Dav Hosk and then, finally, a worn-looking Father Zantus entered the room, at which time Mayor Deverin called the meeting to order.

"Thank you all for attending.  I realize it has been a long day for each of us, and that there is still more for many of us to do, especially for Father Zantus and his acolytes."  She inclined her head respectfully in the chief cleric's direction.  "Yet, there are things that need to be shared amongst our group, and decisions that need to be made even before we mourn our dead."

The mayor let out a breath.  The goblin threat seemed to have aged her.  "I think we should first hear from the group that explored the tunnels underneath the Glassworks.  What is the status there?  Were the tunnels successfully closed?  What did you find in the tunnels?  Did you uncover any clues as to why the goblins might be targeting Sandpoint?"  She swept her arm towards the group of Kellan, Pisca, Cato, Liseth, and Kerr, as if inviting them to speak.  "Please, give us your report," she asked, before taking a seat and looking at them expectantly.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 1027 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 13:24
Re: Chapter #7d:  A Desperate Plan
"Ooo.  Butterflies."  It was a fortunate embrace.  It brought the gnome face to face with a robe covered in ...

"Butterflies," said the gnome again, backing away from Kerr Mollin to get a better view of his robe and the shimmery flutter-bugs thereon.  She grinned up at the Boyfriend, pointing to his robe, her face wreathed in simple delight.  "Butterflies," she said to Liseth, as though the blond acolyte might not have already noticed.  Or, perhaps, must maybe, because they were worth noticing a second time.

"Very stylish," Pisca winked at Kerr Mollin and gave him a thumbs up.

"Oh, Father Zantus," she added, veering her conversation at a typically tortured angle.  "You forgot your head.  But we brought it with us.  Ameiko is keeping it for us now.  Don't worry, it's in a safe place.  No chance of it getting up to any mischief."

It was at this time that things began to get underway, and the gnome gave the High Cleric of Sandpoint a nod indicating that they would continue this later.  She gave her full attention to Mayor Deverin.

"Where to begin?" asked the gnome in a rhetorical vein as she rose to answer the call for a report.  She wandered up next to Mayor Deverin as she gave her own question some thought.  "Well, to begin, we've placed a trap in the cliff entrance to the tunnel that leads to the Glassworks.  And we collapsed the tunnel further in, just in case some clever gobbie manages to bypass the trap.  I think we also killed every last dangerous thing that we could find down the Tunnel of the Freaks.  So, I think we're pretty safe from any attack from out of the Glassworks."

"There's still some unexplained magic down there, but I don't think it will be the cause of any problems.  There was a pool that birthed Rune Dogs," the gnome said, and she took out the claw that Stomper had cut for her and placed it on the corner of a nearby table.  "That's a claw.  But I think we managed to run the pool out.  It won't be birthing anymore of those things.  Not for a while at least.  There's a room with a dead floating raven in it.  But we think that's mostly harmless.  And there are no other exits to the surface.  Well, there is.  Or, there was, but looks like it's been blocked for a long time."

"I think that's mostly all the good news," Pisca said, in something of a winding-upish sort of way.  "The bad news is that the connection between the things we found down there and the goblins looks to be Lamashtu.  There's a temple to Lamashtu down there.  And we found this prayer book of Lamashtu worship there as well."  The gnome took out the book next and placed it beside the claw.

And though there was decidedly much more to be said about things, Pisca left the book and the claw and took her seat once again without another word.  The rest, or so her gesture seemed to say, was up to one of the others to tell.

"Oh, by the way, Stomper," Pisca leaned out of her chair to whisper at the young guardsman in a voice that everyone in the room could not help but hear anyway, "Aldern's sent you a mysterious box.  It's at the Rusty Dragon in the possession of one Rogors Craesby, and this gnome can't wait to find out what's in it."

This message was last edited by the player at 17:24, Thu 26 June 2014.

Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 594 posts
 Former Red Shirt
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 15:53
Re: Chapter #7d:  A Desperate Plan
Kellan seemed a little suprised at Piscas news, his eyes going a little wider. "A package? Huh...wonder what it is."

He looked next to those assembled and cleared his throat.

"Like Pisca said...just below us run hundreds of feet of stone corridors, chambers and ruins, and from what we could tell they are thousands of years old. How much of this Lord Kaijitsu knew, I really cant say, but those other tunnels did tie into them at one point."

He shifted his weight and continued "Those Rune Dog things Pisca is talking about are about man sized, fast and vicious, there were other things...dead things that walked and that demon girl...a little one that seemed to lead them." He glanced momentairly back to Cato "A Quasi...that was it. We killed everything we found...but the area itself could still be dangerous...and its filled with a lot of strange things"

He looked to Cato and Liseth as if to say that they could do a Bette job explaining it.
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 549 posts
 Now 100% Monster Free
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 17:42
Re: Chapter #7d:  A Desperate Plan
Cato nodded to confirm Kellan and Pisca's accounts.  "I think the threat posed by that underground dungeon is now gone, since we killed the Quasit, all of her followers, trapped and blocked the passageways, and removed the ability to create more monsters.  I wouldn't want anyone wandering around down there until we've inspected it again, perhaps.  After our initial excursion, we were all exhausted and..." Cato paused "concerned about other things to make absolutely sure that everything was 100% safe.  But I'm confident that the major threat there, the Quasit and her army of 'freaks' has been taken care of."

Cato looked up.  "Of course, as Pisca says, there appeared to be more to that complex, or at least there were additional stairways that were blocked.  It's quite possible that things could change.  A determined person could, perhaps, remove the rubble and unlock deeper levels.  It would probably be best to limit access even if we've determined there are no more immediate threats."
Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 976 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 24/24
Fri 27 Jun 2014
at 00:52
Re: Chapter #7d:  A Desperate Plan
Liseth was a little surprised to find that she and Kerr were not in fact the last two to arrive at the meeting with the mayor.  She was also surprised to see Shalelu Andosana there waiting for them as well.  And, just like she was the last time Liseth met the famous elf, she appeared to have come straight from a battlefield but had seemingly no actual injuries upon her.

Well, Liseth imagined that she could say the same thing about herself.

"Everybody loves butterflies."  The acolyte managed a smile for Pisca before the meeting began.  She was actually relieved that nobody seemed to notice she had been crying; her cold water face wash must have done the trick.  Not that Liseth was trying to avoid that sort of attention anyway.  But there were more important things to attend to at the moment.

With a respectful nod to the mayor followed by a concerned glance at the worn-looking Father Zantus, Liseth took a seat and politely listened for the others to give their reports on what transpired beneath the Glassworks.  The diminutive blonde nodded at places and frowned at others as all-too recent events were relived in her mind.

"It was a lot bigger down there than I thought it would be."  Liseth began to add on to the testimonies of the others, "And there was so many monsters."  She frowned, "I suppose a lot of monsters should be expected in an ancient evil wizard's temple dedicated to Lamashtu..."

"I think that the Quasit Demon was a priestess for Lamashtu.  She was right there in the innermost part of the evil Lamashtu temple.  And I also found tracks from people who had gone down there before we ever got there.  Too big to be goblins, maybe it was Tsuto and Nualia?"

"And there was an evil torture room, and a big dungeon...and a mutant goblin with three arms and...zombies."  Liseth was still frowning, and her stomach turned as she remembered the zombies and the sounds of everyone slaughtering them.  "So many zombies.  Probably just as old as the temple and everything else down there."

"And the mutant goblin used three weapons at once too, when it attacked Kerr and Pisca."  Liseth had an idea and nudged the gnome, "Pisca, do you still have those weapons that the goblin used?  We should show them to everyone."

She wanted to ask Father Zantus about how things had gone with Mr Voon and the demon's body.  But right now it was their turn to tell their story; she was sure that the prelate would be giving his own momentarily.  She did, however, mention one thing to the elderly priest; after tucking her hand into Kerr's, "You should have seen him Father Zantus.  Kerr is a real hero; even that evil demon Lamashtu priestess was afraid of him!"
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 1032 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Fri 27 Jun 2014
at 12:51
Re: Chapter #7d:  A Desperate Plan
The gnome fished in her things upon Liseth's prompting and waved the redly glowing sword of Ultimate Evil in the air above.  The blade cut crimson tracers in the air.  Oddly, the blade did not stop waving.  Instead, the wave of scarlet evil took on oscillations of expectation, as though the gnome holding it at the hilt end, in some way, expected more.  More evil weapons?  More to be said?  More fish and chips?

Finally, said gnome at the control end of the evil sword stood from her seat again.  She walked to the same place from which she'd made her earlier report and turned back to her audience for a second time.

"But wait, there's more," she said, and tossed the red sword of Ultimate Evil onto the table along with the claw and the book.  "You weren't here when we drove the gobbies out of the Glassworks, Shalelu," Pisca said by way of introduction.  "I'm sure you've heard of it, but what you may not know is that, unlike the gobbies who attacked on the day of the festival, all of the monkey-biters involved this time were Thistletop."

"We also found Tsuto Kaijitsu's journal," she said, and she continued speaking as she took out the other weapons taken from the three-armed goblin and tossed them on the table too with the clank of steel.  "Inside were drawings of a woman who we think is Nualia," Pisca added, saying the woman's name correctly for what might have been the first time.  "She was Father Tobayn's daughter, or so we think.  And thought dead during the Recent Unpleasantness too.  The coming attack is described in the journal too, which you might know.  But what you might not know is that Tsuto mentions Ripnugget as a major planner in this attack.  Tsuto even mentions Thistletop by name.  He mentions the quasit that we killed which, even more than the footprint we found, places the two groups in league with each other."

"This gnome thinks that the head of this dragon is at Thistletop.  Oh ... and Shalelu ... " Pisca added very pointedly, "From what Tsuto said in his journal it sounds like ... Bruthazmus is there as well."

This message was last edited by the player at 20:37, Fri 27 June 2014.

Kendra Deverin
 NPC, 8 posts
 Mayor of Sandpoint
Sat 28 Jun 2014
at 00:08
Re: Chapter #7d:  A Desperate Plan

A brief moment of silence reigned after Pisca finished her monologue.  Mayor Deverin sat thoughtfully, tapping one finger on the table as she looked at each person in the room in turn.  Shalelu, for her part, nodded along as Pisca spoke, seeming none too surprised that her bugbear nemesis could be found consorting with Ripnugget’s goblins.

“What it sounds like,” said Mayor Deverin, breaking the silence, “is that we have almost certainly eradicated the threat from the Glassworks tunnels.  The only problem we might face would arise from some creature that somehow hid from today’s,” here she nodded at Kellan, “sweep.  Lieutenant Barett, we have men guarding the passageway?”

“Two at all times, Mayor.”  Alergast responded crisply.

“Excellent.”  Sandpoint’s chief executive nodded in satisfaction.  “Then there is no need to divert any more resources in that direction.  Which is a very good thing,” she glanced at Shalelu, “because we are going to need all the resources we can spare.  Shalelu, would you like to tell them what you discovered?”

Shalelu Andosana
 NPC, 6 posts
 Elven Ranger
Sat 28 Jun 2014
at 00:11
Re: Chapter #7d:  A Desperate Plan

“Certainly, Mayor,” said the elf, standing and walking over to a nearby table on which laid a folded sheet of parchment.  The elf brought it back to where they were sitting, unfolding it to reveal a well-marked map of Sandpoint and the lands surrounding it.

“I have,” she began.  “Some disturbing news.  But also an opportunity.”  She pointed at a small, island-like landmass to the north of Sandpoint.  “This is Thistletop.  From what I have learned, and as Pisca just confirmed, this is the nerve center of the assault on Sandpoint.  All of the leaders I have been able to identify are there:  Ripnugget; a male half-elf we now know to be Tsuto Kaijitsu; a large, unidentified human male; a human female; and another, rumored female who may or may not be this Nualia.  And yes,” she nodded at Pisca, “from everything I have been able to determine, Bruthazmus is there as well.  Which does not surprise me.  That bastard goes wherever he can cause the most pain to the most people.”

“Now, for the disturbing news.  For some reason the leadership has accelerated its timetable for the attack on Sandpoint.  From what I learned it was originally scheduled for next week, or even the week after that.  Now?  They are pushing for the attack to be ready in a few days.  I estimate that we have four days at the most, but probably three; we can truly count on only two.”  She surveyed the assembled group grimly.  “Hundreds of goblins from all five tribes are staging into positions to attack Sandpoint.  If they do attack, I can only describe the town's chances as ‘slim,’ even with all its preparations.”

“But,” she said, tapping Thistletop, “the hastening of the attack also provides us with an opportunity.  From what I understand most of the goblins who normally live at Thistletop have left or will be leaving by tomorrow in order to participate in the assault, but the leadership,” she tapped the island again, “will not yet be going with them.  Apparently the ultimate leader, who may be Nualia, requires additional time to prepare.  She may be casting some sort of spell or performing some sort of ritual,” Shalelu glanced at Pisca, “perhaps to Lamashtu.”

“Whatever the reason, we have an opening.  An opening for a small team of highly-skilled individuals to make their way through the goblin lines and assault the goblins’ leadership while it is relatively undefended.  Make no mistake about it, though, this is not a mission of negotiation.  It is one of assassination.  If we kill Ripnugget, Tsuto, Nualia, Bruthazmus, and these two anonymous humans, the goblins will have no one to lead them.  Their chieftains will fall to bickering and the gathered forces of the various tribes may well attack each other.”

“And I must be clear about the following.  The chances for whoever goes on this mission to survive are not good  It is likely that everyone involved in this attempt will be killed, and possibly not in the kindest way imaginable.  Yet, this is Sandpoint’s best hope.  So I give it to you.  Those who have already done so much for Sandpoint.  Are any of you willing to undertake this journey with me, as fraught with peril as it is?"

Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 597 posts
 Former Red Shirt
Sat 28 Jun 2014
at 04:45
Re: Chapter #7d:  A Desperate Plan
Kellan idled up to the table as Shalelu unfurled her map. He had always liked maps, they were things that he associated with Alergast of course, but to a boy who had never really left his home region, they represented a vast, fascinating world filled with all manner or strange and wondrous things.

He was leaning slightly on his pole axe as he examined the parchment, his blue eyes dancing over the familier names and places, and the not so well known regions on the periphery of his experience. Thistletop...who had named it that he wondered, and why? Was it a mountainous region? Known for its thistles? Shalelu would know...

As the Ranger laid out her proposal, Kellans stomach began to clench up in a knot. Assault the goblins on their home ground? With all of their leadership present? He had to admit that it made a certain amount of tactical sense...but it was risky.

He could reference several of Alergasts books citing just why this was a terrible plan, and with the map present he could almost envision the little markers representing goblin tribes hemming them in on all sides...but what was worse was the thought of them surrounding Sandpoint.

The boy was exhausted from the days fighting, mentally and physically. He could probably sleep for days, yet they had such little time. Two days? They would need to leave...when? In the morning? The thought made him weary already.

And what of the combat itself? They had barely been able to fight off Tsutos ambush, and they were hoping to kill all of their leadership cadre? And the local goblins to boot? It really was a forlorn hope. But as he pondered it, it was the only one they had.

The Sheriff? Away. Alergast? Would be needed with the militia should they fail, which seemed like a distinct possibility...maybe even a likelihood. At the least they would have Shalelu, and her willingness to take part in her own plan made her suggestions all the more convincing.

As tired as he was. It really came down to a simple question. Was he willing to die for Sandpoint? He knew the answer even as he asked himself The question.

"I'll go" he cleared his throat and nodded as if to himself "I'll volunteer"
His tone was somber, determined.

"Like you's probably our best, if not our only chance at keeping the fighting away from Sandpoint...and even if we are only able to get a few...even if it's just Nualia. We can do a lot more good there than we could on the line would be worth it." he exhaled deeply, the burden of duty heavy on the young mans shoulders.

He wondered about his companions, and glanced around at them now. They had already done so much, and this? Well, he could not blame them for declining. They had not grown up here. They could return to their respective homes. To their families...

"What I would really like is some kind of idea of what we would be walking into...I dont suppose you've had any luck with that Goblin prisoner we brought back Dav?" He looked to the man with a hopeful tone.

This message was last edited by the player at 15:47, Tue 01 July 2014.