7 Lamashan, 4707 AR
The Fighting Foxes stumbled through the brambles back to their original camp. Upon arriving, they discovered that their horses, as well as the merchant’s horse, were gone. Unfortunately, they were not able to find or follow any tracks to follow the horses, so they walked back to town.
After a couple hours of uneventful walking, Avel, Bety, and Eight arrived back in Sandpoint. Once in town, the group split up. Eight went to the garrison to make sure Rufeinig had safely arrived with the captured Ripnuggut, Bety headed off to the temple, and Avel made for Sage to talk to Brodert Quink.
Bety first stopped by Savah’s Armory. Stepping inside, the halfling could tell there had been a commotion. Savah informed him that the armory had been broken into the previous night and they were trying to determine what had been stolen. Bety purchased a second sabre and headed to the temple. As he was walking out, he got a whiff of an odd smell in the shop, but couldn’t place it.
At Sage, Avel was welcomed inside by Brodert. Avel inquired about the research that the historian had been performing about the odd symbol. He handed the eladrin an envelope with notes and a small book, The Rider and the Orphan. The book was written in Thassilonian, but seemed to be written in some sort of code. Brodert informed him that the temple east of town may be related to the symbol on Avel’s rapier. Evidence indicated there may be an overlap in the druidic traditions and ancient Thassilon, which may be older than originally thought. Also, the statue of the women in the catacombs below the Glassworks, was probably a Runelord, one of the seven wizard leaders of ancient Thassilon. Avel also gave Brodert some information about the temple from Nualia’s journal, as well as, the rubbing from the sarcophagus. Avel paid him for his service and went on his way.
Eight asked around at the garrison and discovered that Ripnuggut had been delivered to the garrison and was being stored in the cells. The goblin was currently “resting” in his cell. Rufeinig had been attacked on his way back by a large goblin and was out with a couple of other guards searching for the creature. Talking to the guards, Eight could tell that they were stressed about something and seemed distracted.
After Savah’s Armory, Bety reached the Sandpoint Temple and approached Father Zantus. Bety told the priest some of what they had discovered at Thistletop. Finally, he showed Zantus the pages of Nualia’s journal and confirmed that the aasimar was still alive and plotting revenge against Sandpoint. Father Zantus asked for discretion with this information. He also confirmed that everyone in town had been a little on edge lately, although nothing major had happened. Bety swore that they would set things right and then left.
The Fighting Foxes regrouped outside the garrison and then Bety led them to Madam Mvashti’s. When they arrived, her assistant informed them that she was not feeling well and couldn’t see them today. They could come back to see her tomorrow.
Next, the group visited the town hall to speak with the mayor and the sheriff. Bety immediately began telling the two what the group had learned at Thistletop. They were shocked by the discoveries, but Avel assured them that Malfeshnikor was trapped and could not escaped, but specifically did not mention the key.
Bety also mentioned that they had lost their horses. Belor spoke up and told them that a man had come into town earlier with four horses and tried to sell them. The horses were recognized and the man was arrested. He was being held in the garrison and the horses were in the stable.
After they were done talking to the mayor and sheriff, the Fighting Foxes visited the stables to check on their horses. They then headed next door to the Rusty Dragon. Eight went up to his room, while Avel and Bety had a meal and some drinks at the bar. During the meal, the merchants came down to the common room, so Bety waved the over and told them the horse had been recovered. Bety showed them where the horse was being kept and collected his payment.
After dinner, Bety went upstairs and spent some time talking with Eight. They discussed some of Eight’s history. The construct couldn’t remember anything prior to awakening about one year ago. Avel spent the rest of his night examining the notes that he had received from Brodert.
8 Lamashan, 4707 AR [The group reaches level 4.]
Early the next morning, Eight dropped off a letter to be delivered to Shalelu. When the other two Foxes came down to the common room, they found letters addressed to them. Bety received a letter from Cyrdak Drokkus with the design for the Fighting Foxes logo. The second letter was addressed to the group, informing them that their rented house was ready. The group then made arrangements to furnish their new home.
The Fighting Foxes gathered their horses from the stables and headed back towards Thistletop. Their mission was to explore the first basement level that they had skipped the previous day. More information may be available and they wanted to make sure no other enemies remained in the keep.
The group carefully crossed the bridge one-by-one, Eight, then Bety, then Avel, with no incident. The keep appeared empty, so they descended the stairs. This the adventurers passed by the hidden door and started to explore. They soon came to a large ornate door decorated with the symbol of Lamashtu. They decided to leave that room for last and come back later.
As they continued on, the worked stone hallway began to change into a more natural cavern. Opening one door, they found an opening in the side of the island covered by moss on the outside. As they approached, they were attacked by a monster with tentacles and a stinger, clinging to the roof. A brief fight ensued before the monster was killed by a flaming stab from Avel (1).
Examining the opening, they saw a ladder that led down to the water’s edge. No boat appeared to be docked at the bottom. In a small room off of the hallway, they found the monster’s nest, filled with the remains of birds and goblins that fell victim to it. Bety found an antique buckler to mount in the Fighting Foxes’ new house.
They continued through the many doors and small hallways of the complex. As they circled back, the natural cave turned back into worked stone. In one room were several cages lining the walls. One cage contained a small, dead goblin. The whole room was filled with the stench of death and rot, similar to what Bety had smelled at Savah’s Armory.
The group continued working their way through the keep. Most of the rooms did not contain anything of interest. In one area, they found several bedrooms. They contained human-sized beds, some masculine clothing, books, one contained a recent meal. One bedroom looked like it might belong to Bruthazmus. The final bedroom contained a partial note which read, “To the Brothers, things have not gone as planned. I…”
Continuing on, they soon came upon a dungeon with several cells. All were empty and the room looked like it hadn’t been used in some time. Shortly beyond the dungeon room, they found a door that appeared to lead to the same room as the large double doors they had seen earlier.
They opened the doors to a large chapel room. Once they opened the door, they heard someone shout, “They’re here!“ as Tsuto shot a flaming arrow, igniting the floor in a large explosion. As the Fighting Foxes charged into the room, they saw a large, armored warrior and a female mage assisting Tsuto.
Despite their furious charge, Bety was quickly knocked out by the warrior. With no way to heal their companion, Eight scooped up the halfling and retreated with Avel covering their retreat. Running back through the keep, Avel was able to staunch Bety’s wounds. They didn’t stop until they were past the bridge to the island. There, they stopped, but didn’t see any signs of pursuit. Avel singed the ropes of the bridge with a spell, letting it smolder, hoping that it would collapse when their enemies tried to cross.
Avel and Eight carried the unconscious Bety back to horses. They quickly gathered the horses and began riding back to Sandpoint. Bety regained consciousness as the group was reaching the town. Avel and Bety rested at their house, while Eight went to buy a few potions.
Once they had regrouped and recovered, they decided to go back to Thistletop that evening. They hoped to be able to catch Tsuto and his allies before they escaped. They decided to take a boat and reenter the keep using the ladder they had found earlier.
Bety was able to find a contact and rent a boat to take them to Thistletop by sea. They set out and had an uneventful journey, reaching the island as it was getting dark. The group attempted to climb the ladder, but discovered that the top section of the ladder had been removed. Eight attempted to climb the rock wall, but was unable. Instead, Avel was able to levitate Eight to the entrance and then the barbarian dropped a rope down to the others.
Once back inside Thistletop, Bety turned himself invisible and began scouting out the interior while Avel and Eight stayed near the rope ladder. The bard searched the whole level, but found no one still around. After he completed his circuit, Bety went back to the group and told them what he had seen. They then went back to the chapel to examine it more closely.
In the chapel was a large jade marble throne on a dais. Two statues, similar to the ones they had encountered below, flanked the throne. As they approached, a spectral figure rose from the throne and began speaking as though to an audience. After it had finished, the scene repeated itself, obviously some sort of magical illusion. Other than that, not much of interest was in the room.
Bety then went up to the main floor, but didn’t find anyone up there either. Outside of the keep, the bridge to the main land had collapsed completely. He reported to Avel and Eight and then they decided to scout the second basement and Malfeshnikor’s cage.
Like above, no one was present. He first examined the unexplored room on this floor. The room contained a shrine to Lamashtu. It also contained an altar depicting Lamashtu as a pregnant, naked women with the head of a jackal, taloned feet, and bird wings, holding a kukri.
The pillar was still up to Malfeshnikor’s lair, so Bety proceeded through. Still invisible, he approached the barghest’s prison and called out to it. Conversing with the creature, Bety learned that it wanted to leave the Prime Material Plane and return home. He had been summoned by robed, greedy figures. After he had finished questioning the monster, Bety started antagonizing it, before leaving the creature alone.
Convinced that they were alone in Thistletop, the Fighting Foxes decided to stay the night inside rather than risking boating back to Sandpoint in the dark. They went back to the bedrooms and camped out in the furthest bedroom, with Avel setting up a magical alarm to warn them if anyone approached.
9 Lamashan, 4707 AR
After a restless night’s sleep, the Fighting Foxes awoke in Thistletop. They were disappointed that their enemies had escaped, but took some solace that they had disrupted Nualia’s plans. Next, the group wanted to ensure that no one would be able to free Malfeshnikor.
Going back down, they discovered the pillar had descended, again covering the hidden hallway to the barghest’s prison. They discussed ways to permanently seal the area to prevent anyone from reaching Malfeshnikor. They decided to break off dagger tips in the coin slots to block coins from being able to activate the mechanism to raise the pillar. With that done, the party went back to their boat and sailed back to Sandpoint.
Once back in town, they returned the boat and set about their business in town. The Fighting Foxes first decided to talk to the horse thief and Ripnuggut at the garrison. When they arrived, they learned that Ripnuggut had already been executed. Sheriff Belor had attempted to question him, but couldn’t get anything out of him. The horse thief didn’t seem to have any ulterior motives. It seemed that he had just found the seemingly abandoned horses and decided to take them with him.
Next the group decided to question Hannah about the birth of Nualia’s child. She had helped give birth to the child and may have more information. She was surprised they knew about the child, but agreed to answer their questions. She confirmed that the child was born disfigured and deformed. The baby boy died shortly after and was cremated. Hannah, Tobyn, Nualia, and a couple midwives were the only ones present and they swore secrecy about the birth. Bety also informed Hannah that Nualia was still alive and showed her the journal. After giving birth, Nualia mostly kept to herself and was seen infrequently.
After the somber, but illuminating, chat with Hannah, the Fighting Foxes visited Savah’s to see what they could learn of the break-in. Savah informed them that none of the store’s stock had been taken. But the ranseur that they had found in the catacombs and had left with Savah had been stolen. There were no signs of a break-in and the only alarm spell that was set off was the one for the ranseur’s box.
Avel, Bety, and Eight investigated the vault further. It didn’t appear to have been forced open or tampered with. Likely, the person had a key or had magically teleported into the vault. Since, the alarm had been set off, it was likely not an inside job.
With no other leads, Eight asked about any pets or stray animals around the building. Savah informed them that there were some stray cats in the alley behind the shop. Eight, using his ability to speak with animals, questioned the cats about the robbery. A covered figure, accompanied by a foul smell, came to shop. It used the door, but seemed to spend more time at the door before entering. The figure appeared humanoid. When asked about the foul smell, the cats indicated a fish carcass.
The Fighting Foxes then retired to the Rusty Dragon to discuss their next plan of action. They currently didn’t have any more leads on where to go investigate next. One thought was to check out one of the other goblin tribes. They could also track down Rufeinig, who had gone off north of town, towards the Shankswood.
Mark Eight – 0 (31) –
Avel’lyatria – 1 (28) – 1 tentacle monster
Bety – 0 (21) –
Rufeinig – 8 –
Elowen – 3 –
Varis – 6 –