Runelords Hensehold

24 Rova 4707 (3/28/2014) – The Ruins of Ancient Thassilon
from "The Journal of Siȝecraft Ælfsiȝe Ælfwine"

Tōketsu, Draethor, Ro and I escort Tsuto to the Sandpoint Garrison. He provides no resistance. We meet Ralph, the town guard acting on behalf of Sherriff Hemlock. We explain what occurred at the Glassworks and Tsuto is incarcerated in one of the three empty cells. Ralph shows less respect for us than Sherriff Hemlock has and is evasive in his answers. I get the impression he’s playing at being more ignorant than he really is. I cannot determine the strength of Sandpoint’s defenses from him.

I ask Ralph if Gint is still alive and if we can see him. Ralph’s response is very confusing, indicating we need to wait and ask Sherriff Hemlock. It becomes clear Gint has died from an accident while locked in his cell – Ralph’s knuckles are bloodied over scabs. I don’t blame him for his actions but I regret not being able to determine if Gint could have identified Tsuto.

Inquiring into the services of a young man about town to accompany us as a messager, Ralph volunteers the services of Mort, another town guard. Mort doesn’t appear eager but he does appear capable. With Mort following, we bid our farewells to Ralph and commit to informing Mayor Kendra Deverin next.

A town clerk opens the door at the Sandpoint Town Hall. We request to see Mayor Kendra Deverin but are informed she has left for the day. We advise the clerk we’ll seek her at her mansion.

Before visiting the Manor we stop by the Sandpoint Cathedral. We relate the tale of the Glassworks to Father Abstalar Zantus. The good Father begins to heal Draethor and Ro as we relate the tale of the Glassworks. Father Zantus commits to retrieve the body of Lonjiku and perform the proper reverence.

We’re greeted by a butler as we knock at Deverin Manor. He inquires who he should say is calling. Boldly I state “The Heroes of Sandpoint”. He looks at me slyly but invites us in. Draethor demands something to drink which the butler dutifully brings. Mayor Kendra Deverin appears momentarily and we relate the tale of the Glassworks again. Kendra suggests asking Hannah Velerin about the smuggler’s tunnels. Hannah Velerin operates Hannah’s, serving the community of Sandpoint the local apothecary. This shop can be found at the end of Hook Street, near the docks on the southern end of the town.

Kendra takes the news of the goblins within her town very seriously and commits to ask Ralph to send a rider on a fast horse to intercept Sherriff Hemlock and speed his request for additional armed men. I ask Mort to perform this task right now and to meet us at the Glassworks afterwards.

I give Kendra my advice on how to strengthen the town’s defenses. For the most part it appears she’s listening politely, but she does indicate water and sand/earth are being prepared to fight fires and she will call up the town’s reserve militia and other able bodied men. We explain we’re going to explore the smuggler’s tunnel and ensure it poses no immediate threat and I commit to reporting to her on the morrow.

Returning to the Glassworks we find Father Abstalar Zantus and his acolytes already at work chiseling out Lonjiku’s body from the solidified glass that is securing him to the floor. I ask my questions about Nualia and gain much information.

Nualia – ½ Demon / ½ Celestial Mastermind?
Nualia was found as a babe in the woods near town by hunters and taken to the Sandpoint Cathedral. A search was made around Sandpoint for the parents but no trace was ever uncovered. Father Tobin adopted the baby to raise as his own. Nualia is possessed of white hair, even as a child, and was “ethereally” beautiful. She was said to be “touched by Desna”, and her touch could cure minor ailments. These traits, combined with a deep shyness, earned her taunts from the other children of Sandpoint.
As she matured into a woman, Nualia entered into a relationship with a local Varisian youth named Deskeita (sp?). Nualia became pregnant with this man’s baby before the fire of 4702 AR. Nualia was presumed to have perished in the fire since her body was never found. Father Zantus admits Nualia could have survived the fire but she has never been seen again.

Father Tobin was kind and loving with Nualia but he didn’t really know how to handle being an adopted father. He was disapproving of the relationship and pregnancy but still loving of Nualia.

The origin of the fire was never determined. It happened in the middle of the night and was too far in progress before being noticed. It may have started in the kitchens – or, rather, that has been the popular theory since the kitchens were the only part of the cathedral with a fire burning regularly. Father Zantus admits the fire could have started anywhere and by any cause.

Father Zantus agrees that Nualia likely has celestial blood; one of her parents may have even been a full blooded celestial. Father Zantus does not believe Father Tobin could have been the father. He did not find Nualia – she was abandoned in the woods. And, Father Tobin was “not a man of the flesh” (including men and women).

Leaving the good Father and his men to their grisly work we descend into the basement and then the smuggler’s tunnels. Tōketsu takes the lead, being the stealthiest among us. He’s followed at 100’ by Sanliss and Kodlak. Sanliss casts Message on Tōketsu and me, and I follow Sanliss and Kodlak by 100’. I cast Message on Draethor and he leads the rest 100’ behind me.

The worked stone passage exiting the Glassworks continues almost in a straight line for 1,700’ northeast to a secret door that opens into smuggler’s cave overlooking a narrow beach on the Varisian Gulf. The cave contained bedding for 30 goblins and evidence of recent passage. The cave opens onto a narrow beach that curves around to a wider beach where it could not be seen. The cave could be seen from the sea.

From the point of the secret door, a natural stone passage runs 200’ to the south where there is an east-west split. The east tunnel runs 400’ and ends in a rock fall. The rock fall is at least a year old although none of us can really tell how long it have been here. The west tunnel continues for 50’ before encountering a broken down brick wall similar to the ones in the basement of the Glassworks. The wall has been destroyed from this side. The natural tunnel continues another 50’ before turning north for 100’. There, in addition to more natural tunnels, we encounter worked stone and Sinspawn.

Tōketsu identifies the presence of the Sinspawn before they detect him and whispers the information to Sanliss (who relays to me, and I relay to Draethor). Tōketsu advises we attack, which I question. Draethor assures me that Dion is up to the challenge of supporting us and we make ready by closing the distance. Before we can reach Tōketsu the Sinspawn notice his presence and attack. Whispers are relayed and I run down the tunnel with my Dancing Lights. I pass Sanliss and Kodlak and take a position on Tōketsu’s left flank. The Sinspawn close and attack. I clumsily miss my aggressor with the longspear as he closes, the other two attacking Tōketsu.

The bite of the Sinspawn on my shoulder immediately caused my mind to be filled with burning thoughts of sinful rage. In addition to the physical pain I was also immediately sickened. The raging thoughts lasted for several minutes even after the foul creatures were dispatched.

Tōketsu tossed one of his alchemical fire bombs into their mist, flames wrapping around to the right and left of me but not touching. Kodlak struck the one who had attacked me with an arrow and I followed up with an acidic Burning Hands to all three (felling the middle aberration). I could hear Darius’ singing and the sounds of the others closing the distance as my assailant bit me again. With my mind already raging I became staggered and stumbled back.

The rest of the fight is blurry. Draethor arrived, Kodlak continued his steady fire and Tōketsu threw another bomb (his last prepared of the day). They dispatched the last two Sinspawn without my help.

Sanliss searched the Sinspawn for magic but revealed none. The natural side cave they were residing in contained the gnawed upon bones of rats but nothing else. Sanliss healed me with witchcraft and Dion bestows the blessings of Cayden Cailean upon me (I was the only combatant wounded) but the sinful thoughts do not subside for several more minutes.

We discussed whether to continue on today or after a good night’s sleep. Tōketsu had no more bombs and my spells were almost completely depleted. Sanliss’ witchcraft affects the mind – he told us it was ineffective against the Sinspawn. Dion had almost exhausted the blessings of Cayden Cailean today. But, brave Darrius (who was quick to run away in the graveyard) adamantly expresses his desire to continue on since he feels he can sing some more. Tōketsu suggested we could continue under stealth but retreat if further resistance is encountered. We decided to continue exploring.

We soon found a worked stone tunnel of indeterminate age or origin. It branched into two tunnels. Pursuing the first tunnel we found a jagged black marble altar set upon a raised dais. Argentines immediately approached the altar. Sanliss cast a Detect Magic and determined the brackish water in the concave of the top of the altar and the altar itself are magical but fails to discern their properties. Tōketsu Identified the water as Waters of Lamashtu. They are unholy water of the Mother of Monsters. Drinking, or being anointed by, the water attacks the target’s constitution (Fort save -4). They will drive the target ill, sick and mad and may also cause monstrous transformations. We wonder if the waters transformed goblins into the Sinspawn we encountered.

The altar room contains a door on the opposite wall from whence we entered. Sanliss cast Detect Magic and determines it has an Alarm spell. He made ready to attempt to disable the trap before Tōketsu and I point out there’s more open tunnels to explore that aren’t trapped. We backtrack to the turn in the worked stone tunnel.

The tunnel branches again. We follow one branch into a rubble filled room that contains another door. After searching the room we backtracked again.

The tunnel branches again with one branch leading to descending stairs. The other branch opens into a room with a magnificent red marble statue. In her left hand she’s holding a large book with a seven pointed star. In her right hand she’s holding an actual ranseur. The ranseur is made of metal and ivory and encrusted with jewels. I realize this is a status to the Runelord Alaznist.

Alaznist, last Runelord of Wrath
Alaznist (pronounced a-LAZ-nist) was the last Thassilonian Runelord of Wrath, who ruled for many years over her realm of Bakrakhan. She is believed to have retreated from view along with the other runelords during Earthfall, and it is unknown whether she survived that cataclysm. She ruled from her capitol of Xin-Bakrakhan.

Thassilon was founded more than 11,000 years ago by First King Xin who had been exiled from his homeland of Azlant for promoting heretical beliefs. As the empire grew beyond the bounds of Xin’s ability to control, both militarily and administratively, he appointed powerful arcanists as governors to oversee his lands. The mightiest of these were the runelords, seven of the most skilled (and power-hungry) wizards in Thassilon, if not all of Golarion. Working secretly to secure power for themselves, the opportunity to fully escape servitude under First King Xin appeared when he, in his old age and after having ruled Thassilon for more than a century, destroyed himself and much of his palace in a mysterious magical event. The runelords seized the opportunity and subjugated those loyal to Xin – including his own son, who became a puppet emperor – while each plotted within his or her own lands to become ruler of all Thassilon.

The runelords forged alliances with dragons and enslaved giants by using secrets of rune and glyph magic stolen from the aboleths in their efforts to increase their own power. With their enslaved giant armies, the wizards of Thassilon built massive tombs, enormous magical constructs, and staggering monuments that survive today, mute testimonies of a mysterious age long past.

As all evil empires must, Thassilon fell. The reason for this fall remains a mystery, but as the end drew near, the seven runelords retreated into the depths of their greatest monuments, entombing themselves with orders for their minions to release them later to reclaim their empire. Alas, Thassilon’s minions were enslaved or slaughtered. No one was left to waken them, and so the wizard kings of Thassilon have slumbered for countless ages.

Earthfall is the name given to the cataclysmic event in which of a swarm of meteors – including the Starstone – impacted Golarion in -5293 AR. It resulted in the destruction of the human empires of Thassilon and Azlant, which were consumed by earthquakes and massive tidal waves, and the creation of the Inner Sea. The cloud of dust thrown up by the Starstone’s impact settled in Golarion’s upper atmosphere and blotted out the sun for a thousand years, creating the Age of Darkness.

The worked stone room containing Alaznist’s statue led to another set of locked doors but was also breeched by the primary natural fault / erosion tunnel. We followed the natural tunnel a few yards to find that it ends by opening up into the roof of a 10’x10’ cell. Bars cover the far wall with a barred door inset into the wall. A large pit or well takes up most of the cell. After a brief discussion Argentus drops into the cell. Immediately he sees more Sinspawn outside the cell (and also notes stairs outside the cell leading presumably to the statue room). Someone fires an arrow at the Sinspawn. I urge retreat before we are flanked from behind. Argentus is raised up from the cell, causing the Sinspawn to retreat from the room. I offer Dion to come with me, preparing to exit. I begin to exit but Draethor insists on approaching the double doors in the statue room to lay an arrow against the door. A savage pounding from the other side knocks the arrow down. As the others pause to consider what to do, I urge Dion again to follow me as I make way to the intersection with my Dancing Lights. More savage pounding finally decides the matter for the others and we make our exit to the Glassworks.

The Glassworks are empty when we arrive – no sign of Mort.

We agree to report into Ralph. On the way to the Sandpoint Garrison we notice the busy signs of local militia making fortification and on patrol. On arrival at the garrison we find Ralph and discover Mort lounging. I attempt to chastise Mort for not meeting me at the Glassworks as was agreed but he shrugs it off. “You weren’t there and I got bored waiting.” Better to find out early he can’t be trusted – I still need to hire a messenger boy. Ralph will place four guards on rotation (two in the basement, two on the ground level) at the Glassworks. They will be armed with fireworks in order to sound an alarm if the tunnels are breeched. We commit to report to Mayor Kendra in the morning and leave for The Rusty Dragon.

Kendra is not in the common room, likely in shock and mourning privately. I ask Bethana Corwin if it would be possible to see Ameiko. She replies she’ll inquire and leaves. Ameiko enters the common room a few minutes later.

Ameiko is holding up well considering the circumstances. I apologize for disturbing her during her time of mourning but ask if I can pose some questions. She agrees:

• Why did you fight with your brother years ago? Tsuto was angry with Lonjiku
• Why did you leave town? to travel and adventure
• Why did you come back? for mother’s funeral
• What was the fight with your father about two nights ago? Lonjiku did not like Ameiko entering into commerce. He likely created the tunnels for the smuggler’s and may have had connections with the Sczarni. During Ameiko’s life he was not kind to his wife (Atsuii).
• Who was Tsuto’s real father? [Ask Tōketsu as well.] no idea

Ameiko suggests if I’d like more answers I might seek out Veznutt Parooh, the gnome proprietor of The Way North. He has a large and varied collection of maps and nautical charts. Also, Brodert Quink is the resident sage, one of the most intelligent and educated residents of Sandpoint. I thank Ameiko for her time and say good evening.

It is around five bells after noon and the town’s shops will be closing soon. After making arrangements with Draethor to partake of the Pixie’s Kitten later tonight, Tōketsu and I make to visit Brodert Quink. Sanliss decides to meet with Veznutt Parooh on his own instead of going with us to see Mr. Quink.

Brodert Quink – Male Human Sage and Scholar of Ancient Thassilon
Brodert Quink’s house is adjacent to the Old Light. An ancient human answers our knocking and introduces himself as Brodert Quink. The house is filled with books, scrolls, charts and what I guess are Thassilonian artifacts. I feel a thrill of excitement as I introduce Tōketsu and myself. Quickly, almost with the glee of an apprentice reporting a new discovery to his master, I relate our tale of what was found under the Glassworks – specifically the Thassilonian ruins. I can see the excitement fill Brodert’s eyes with each detail. His eyes become wide as I explain the encounter with the Sinspawn. “Please, describe what they looked like.” I do with as much detail as I can recall.

“Oh yes, Sinspawn. They are aberrations created by a Rune Well, an ancient artifact of the Runelords. Each Rune Well is inscribed with the specific rune of the Runelord. The souls of creatures who die in proximity to the Rune Well with an affinity to Runelord’s domain (e.g., Wrath in the case of Alaznist) would be transformed into a corresponding Sinspawn.”

I inquire if the pit we found in the jail cell could be a Rune Well – Brodert immediately dismisses it as not possible. Likewise, he dismisses the possibility of the altar of Lamashtu (especially with no rune).

When I ask Brodert if the goblins, Lamashtu and Runelords could be interrelated he explains that the Runelords were wizards. Lamashtu is a demon raised to godhood. It is quite possible a Runelord worshipped Lamashtu and would build an altar to her. Brodert adds it’s quite possible the Runelords made the natural tunnels – they were adept at working earth magic and making earthquakes.

Brodert expresses an interest in seeing the ruins and I invite him along. He chuckles and explains he’s an old man not capable of adventuring. When the area has been secured from all threats he would be happy to visit but for now he would love to hear the tales. I commit to coming back to tell him what we discover and also ask if I may be permitted to visit his library. Brodert seems happy that someone would share his interest in Thassilonian lore.

Veznutt Parooh – male gnome proprietor of The Way North
Sanliss, speaking to Veznutt, uncovers the names of the last runelords:

Alaznist Runelord of Wrath
Belimarius Runelord of Envy
Karzoug Runelord of Greed
Krune Runelord of Sloth
Sorshen Runelord of Lust
Xanderghul Runelord of Pride
Zutha Runelord of Gluttony

Veznutt has maps – I must visit him soon.

24 Rova 4707 (3/14/2014) – The Glassworks (Part II)
from "The Journal of Siȝecraft Ælfsiȝe Ælfwine"

Dion heals me (perhaps a channeling of energy from Cayden Cailean?). Argentus has engaged the goblin druid while Tōketsu has been delivering his alchemical bombs against all of the goblins in the room (while simultaneously avoiding Argentus and me). In short order the druid and his guards are felled. Dion heals me further as Argentus and Tōketsu continue down the main hallway to gain entry into the main work room. I hesitate long enough to determine each archer has five magic arrows, the druid a magical set of leather armor, then hurry to catch up.

Argentus opens the door and he and Tōketsu enter the main work room. Dion and I follow. I immediately cast an Acid Splash at shadowy figure, now identified as Tsuto Kaijitsu, and miss. Tsuto drops his bow, steps forward and stuns Argentus with his bare hand, forcing the elf to drop his weapon. Draethor and Ro finish with the goblins and rush up to flank Tsuto. Tsuto, moving as fluid as water, tumbles away. I try to strike him as he tumbles by but cannot follow his movements. Instead I give chase as Tōketsu yells “Take him alive!” Switching to Color Spray, I strike Tsuto full on but his mental control prevails.

Argentus and Tōketsu continue the chase while I follow, recalling Acidic Shocking Grasp en route. Desna smiled on us; as the elusive Tsuto is delayed in opening a shut door Argentus strikes him mightily and renders him unconscious.

Tsuto is tied up and stored in a toilet room after being stripped naked. I stand guard over him holding my Acidic Shocking Grasp charge. Sanliss Detects Magic on Tsuto’s belongings and finds:

• 10 Pouches gold dust (50 gp each / 500 gp total)
• 10 pouches silver dust (5 gp each / 50 gp total)
• Masterwork Flute
• Masterwork Thief’s Tools (50 gp)
• Silver earrings
• +1 Ring of Protection (1,000 gp)
• 20 Platinum pieces
• Keys to the Glassworks
• Composite Longbow (Str +2) (150 gp)

I alert Sanliss to the magical items on the goblins and he inspects them as well.

• +1 Arrows of Animal Bane x 10 (800 gp)
• +1 Leather Armor (1,005 gp)
• 60 gp

While searching the rest of the ground level we discover in the main work room:

• Body of Lonjiku Kaijitsu, covered in glass
• Magic Holy Symbol of Cayden Cailean (extra channel or recall spell 1/day) – inlaid with glass
• Masterwork Horse Choppers x 3 (465 gp)

The only other thing of interest found on the first floor were stairs leading down to a subbasement. Ensuring Tsuto was secured, we descend. There’s evidence of an old brick wall being recently demolished and we learn it conceals an ancient smuggler’s tunnel (though we do not explore and do not know where it leads). Ameiko is found, unconscious, locked in a room. Sanliss picks the lock faster than the keys found on Tsuto can be produced. Once healed Ameiko explained her encounter the previous night with her brother. Tsuto revealed that he and several other mercenaries were led by Nualia (the adopted daughter of the deceased Father Ezakien Tobyn?) and hinted that she’s got big plans for Sandpoint’s future. Tsuto warned Ameiko that she didn’t want to be in town when those plans came through and offered her a chance to join his group at Thistletop. Ameiko recoiled at the suggestion and slapped her brother in shock that he’d sunk to such a low. He responded by unleashing his goblins on her. At that point she had no further recollection.

Ameiko accompanies us as we search the rest of the basement. An adjacent room is discovered to be where Tsuto has been sleeping. His journal is found. The last three entries are disturbing:

Tsuto’s journal:

Page 1 – My love seems bent on going through with it—nothing I can say convinces her of her beauty. She remains obsessed with removing what she calls her “celestial taint” and replacing it with her Mother’s grace.

Burning her father’s remains at the Thistletop shrine seems to have started the transformation, but I can’t say her new hand is pleasing to me. Hopefully when she offers Sandpoint to Lamashtu’s fires, her new body won’t be as hideous. Maybe I’ll luck out. Succubi are demons too, aren’t they?

Page 2 – Ripnugget seems to favor the overwhelming land approach, but I don’t think it’s the best plan. We should get the quasit’s aid. Send her freaks up from below via the smuggling tunnel in my father’s Glassworks, and then invade from the river and from the Glassworks in smaller but more focused strikes. The rest except Bruthazmus agree, and I’m pretty sure the bugbear’s just being contrary to annoy me.

My love’s too distracted with the lower chambers to make a decision. Says that once Malfeshnekor’s released and under her command, we won’t need to worry about being subtle. I hope she’s right.

Page 3 – The raid went about as planned. Few Thistletop goblins perished, and we were able to secure Tobyn’s casket with ease while the rubes were distracted by the rest. I can’t wait until the real raid. This town deserves a burning, that’s for sure.

Nualia – ½ Demon / ½ Celestial Mastermind?
Leads several mercenaries including:

• Tsuto
• Ripnuggut (chief of the Thistletop goblin tribe)
• “The Quasit”
• Bruthazmus (bugbear ranger, archenemy to Shalelu)

from a base at Thistletop. Has “big plans for Sandpoint’s future” that “you don’t want to be in town when those plans came through”.

Could be the adopted daughter of the deceased Father Ezakien Tobyn, thought to have perished in the fire of 4702.

Could be the lover of Tsuto. If so:
• Obsessed with removing her “celestial taint” and replacing with her Mother’s grace.
o Bent on going through with “it”; not convinced of her beauty
 Will offer Sandpoint to Lamashtu’s fires to get a new body
o Burning father’s remains (Father Ezakien Tobyn?) at the Thistletop shrine to start the transformation and has a new hand as a result
• Too distracted with “the lower chambers” to make a decision; Malfeshnekor could be imprisoned there.

“The Quasit” – Demon (Quasit) ???
Mentioned by Tsuto in his journal. “Send her freaks up from below”.

Malfeshnekor – Demon ???
Tsuto’s “lover” is trying to release Malfeshnekor and put under her command. Likely imprisoned in “the lower chambers” of a shrine in Thistletop.

Lamashtu – Demon Lord
Lamashtu is a goddess/demon lord.

Tōketsu explains to Ameiko that her father is dead, a realization that upsets but hardly seems to surprise her. She tells us to deal with Tsuto as we see fit and makes to depart for The Rusty Dragon. Tōketsu and I escort her. When we return the group has finished a though sweep of the Glassworks, including looking for magic. Nothing else is found.

We take Tsuto from the toilet room into the main work room and bind him to a table. He’s revived with Dion’s healing powers and I make ready to interrogate him. Before I can start, Draethor takes a molten glob of glass and drops it onto Tsuto’s chest, knocking him unconscious again. I speak briefly to Draethor explaining physical torture is counterproductive while Dion heals Tsuto again. As Tsuto regains consciousness I begin.

“Tell us what you were doing here.”

“Kill me or shut up.”

“Which is it? Shut up but don’t kill you or keep on talking to you after I kill you?”

“Either shut up or kill me.”

Tōketsu interjects, speaking calmly and softly. Tsuto responds “Kill me, my place is already assured.” I sense Tsuto’s motives and completely believe him. He wants to die now – perhaps it was part of his plan from the beginning. I’m now determined to make him live for as long as possible.

We put a loin cloth over Tsuto’s shame (against my recommendation) and march him to the Sandpoint Garrison. Tōketsu wants us to relocate from The Rusty Dragon to the Glassworks as a bulwark against another goblin invasion. We leave the point undecided.

I have many outstanding questions:

• Hire a townsperson (boy) to accompany me around town. Perhaps 1 cp/day + 1 cp for each message I have him deliver?
• Inform Mayor Kendra Deverin that Sandpoint is in danger.
o Clear the trees from the north wall (at least 50’)
o Be prepared to burn the Sandpoint and Tanner’s bridges
o Consider destroying the Boggy Creek bridge now (or barricade); transfer the Kaijitsu, Valdemar, Scarnetti and Deverin households into town now (and make them responsible for themselves if they refuse)
o Gather standing water (to fight fires)
• Tsuto:
o Is Tsuto possessed? How would we find out?
o Is Gint still alive? If so, can he identify Tsuto as the “longshanks”?
o Tsuto killed his adopted father. Nualia stole the body of her adopted father and destroyed it in a demonic ritual. Tsuto believes he’ll come back from the dead. Are these related?
• Ameiko:
o Why did you fight with your brother years ago?
o Why did you leave town?
o Why did you come back?
o What was the fight with your father about two nights ago?
o Who was Tsuto’s real father? [Ask Tōketsu as well.]
• Glassworks:
o Secure the body of Tsuto’s father – it cannot be taken to the Thistletop Shrine and used in the demonic ritual.
o Were the bricks in the Glassworks basement removed from this side (i.e., the side of the stairs) or the side of the smuggler’s tunnel?
o Where does the smuggler’s tunnel lead?
• Nualia:
o Find someone who knew Nualia and get a physical description.
o Find out how she was adopted.
o Why was it presumed she died in the fire?
• Father Abstalar Zantus:
o Malfeshnekor?
o Lamashtu?

24 Rova 4707 () – What Now?

Date Year Event
4405 AR Varisia invaded by expansionist Cheliax. Chelish soldiers drive the warlike Shoanti into the rugged regions to the northeast, while Colonists adopt a tenuous peace with the native Varisians under the pretense of bringing “culture and civilization” into their lives.
Winter Solstice 4587 AR Ritual of Stardust – Siȝecraft “Alf” Ælfsiȝe Ælfwine born
~4670 AR Sandpoint (Varisia) founded by Kaijitsu, Valdemar and Scarnetti families
4688 AR Tsuto Kaijitsu born
4689 AR Ameiko Kaijitsu born
4697 AR Tsuto (age 10) and Ameiko (age 9) begin visiting each other.
4701 AR Alf begins apprenticeship with the Admixture Master in Iadara (Kyonin)
4702 AR • Kendra Deverin becomes Sandpoint’s mayor
• Sherriff Casp Avertin killed by serial killer Chopper; Belor Hemlock promoted to Sherriff
• Sandpoint chapel burnt to the ground killing Father Ezakien Tobyn and his adopted daughter Nualia; Acolyte Abstalar Zantus promoted to Father
4705 AR Tsuto (age 18) and Ameiko (age 17) argue; Tsuto strikes Ameiko and Ameiko leaves Sandpoint for one year (whereabouts unknown).
4706 AR Death of Atsuii Kaijitsu; Ameiko (age 18) returns to Sandpoint for funeral and stays. Tsuto leaves Sandpoint.
15 Rova 4707 AR Kodlak Deadeye arrives in Sandpoint.
22 Rova 4707 AR Alf arrival in Sandpoint, Swallowtail Festival, Goblin Attack and theft of Ezakien Tobyn’s body.
23 Rova 4707 AR Slaying of the Tickwood Beast.
24 Rova 4707 AR Alf becomes a wizard! Sherriff Hemlock departs for three days. Ameiko Kaijitsu kidnapped by Tsuto Kaijitsu. Glass covered body of Lonjiku Kaijitsu discovered at the Glassworks.

24 Rova 4707 (2/28/2014) – The Glassworks (Part I)
from "The Journal of Siȝecraft Ælfsiȝe Ælfwine"

Desna smiles! Master was wise to send me on a journey of discovery. I wonder if it was meeting the Forlorn Sanliss and Argentus, the excitement of battling goblins and the restless dead, Erastil’s touch during the hunt of the Tickwood Beast, receiving the blessings of Calistria from a human vessel, or simply the grace of the Resplendent Goddess of Fortune herself. Whatever the catalyst, I awoke this morning as a wizard!

Upon my awakening I knew something was different. At first I thought the sweet touch of my hostess last night was still lingering but that was not it. Excited, I retrieved the Spellbook of the Crossblooded and – to my amazement and utter joy – I could read the spells I had inscribed within without aid from my Master.

The Master’s legacy will live on in me; I have become an Evoker specialized in the Admixture sub-school. Instinctively I feel the distaste for Enchantment and Divination now, as I suspected I would. These inferior schools are the antithesis to Evocation, at least for me. I can feel the power of the Admixture’s Intense Spells power and instinctively I now understand how easy it is to perform Versatile Evocation as I invoke an evocation. Someday, as Master promised, I know I will also command Elemental Manipulation . As Master predicted, I do not sense how to scribe scrolls of my spells but instead feel a focus on all of my evocation spells.

The conflicting urges created by the divergent nature of my crossblooded dual heritage has always forced me to constantly take some mental effort just to remain focused on my current situation and needs. This morning, however, some of that veil has been lifted and I feel more skilled as well. The hours I spent studying history, geography, local traditions and nobility in the Master’s library all make sense now, somehow becoming structured and orderly in my mind. I have a better understanding of how to appraise the value of items and my crafting of spells has increased. I have even learned the Minkain language I’ve heard Lonjiku, Ameiko and Tōketsu Kaijitsu speaking. Praise The Tender of Dreams!

After spending an hour studying the Spellbook of the Crossblooded I am ready to depart with my comrades in arms. We arrive for the meeting with Sherriff Belor Hemlock at the Sandpoint Garrison promptly at 9:00. Shalelu Andosana is already there. We briefly recount what we have learned but it is obvious that Sherriff Hemlock has already briefed Shalelu.

Shalelu recounts what she knows of goblins in general and the local goblin tribes in specific. She introduces a fifth tribe – the Seven Tooth – we have not encountered yet. “A Goblin is a short, emaciated-seeming humanoid, roughly the size of a halfling, and tend to be around three feet tall, with large, flat heads and long ears. Their skin tends to be leathery and green, often wrinkled and covered in tiny scars, warts, and scabs. Goblins grow little if any hair, relying on their thick skin and huddling together in groups to keep warm. They have small, beady red eyes set close together over a little pug nose, above a hideously wide mouth lined with sharp little teeth. Goblins often dress in rags and scraps cast off by other humanoids and bear coarsely cobbled together equipment. Their favorite weapons are the Dogslicer and Horsechopper.”

Tribe Birdcrunchers Mosswood Licktoad Thistletop Seven Tooth
Habitat Devil’s Platter (caves along the western edge) Mosswood Brinestump Marsh Nettlewood coast (small island that resembles a head) East Shank’s Wood
Attire wear feathers partially webbed feet & hands
Characteristics Cowards; run from strength Called “pyros”; use fire Employ goblin dogs; good swimmers Chanters (bards) ???
Swallowtail Festival
Attack hidden in the wagons (smuggled into town)
Known Members

Gint (captive from the Swallowtail Festival) Big Gugmut (chief), descendant of a hobgoblin and a wild boar Vorka, cannibal, a “hero” to goblins other than the Licktoad tribe. Ripnuggut (chief),
Koruvus (champion) – short temper and magic longsword (M). Vanished months ago after discovering “secret hideout” cave along cliffs. Tribe convinced he’s still out there, a ghost (worse), waiting to murder any who discover his hideout.
Bruthazmus, infamous bugbear ranger, lives in northern Nettlewood and often visits the five tribes to trade things he’s stolen from caravans for alcohol, news, or magic arrows. Hatred of elves; Shalelu and Bruthazmus have fought on several occasions. Neither has managed to get the upper hand on the other but Shalelu bitterly vows that she won’t be the first to fall in their private war.
Goblin Dog -

Sherriff Hemlock explains he will go south to Magnimar with two of the city militia to seek additional protection. He expects to be gone for three days. The Sherriff asks us to stay close to town while he is gone. This is not an official request – we will have no authority – but he feels our presence will bolster the city’s morale.

After the meeting with Sherriff Hemlock and Shalelu items are sold and profits distributed to the group. We each receive another 200 gp; added to the initial 40 gp, this has become a profitable research sabbatical.

• 200 gp for the hide of the Beast
• 12 gp for four boar hides
• 950 gp for the magic spear (+1d6 poison), broken

Many among our group – I included – set out about Sandpoint to purchase items. I trade in the gifts the townspeople heaped upon me after the Swallowtail Festival in exchange for a scroll of Protection from Evil. With the rest of my new found wealth and the town’s generous 10% discount I acquire:

• Blue Book (4.5 gp)
• Book of Letters (45 gp)
• Heritage Book (45 gp)
• Smoked Goggles (9 gp)
• Haramaki armor (2.7 gp)
• Masterwork Crossbow bolts x20 (109.8 gp)
• Whetstone (2 cp)

My total cost is 216.02 gp leaving 33.98 gp from the 240 gp treasure split. I set about using my new whetstone on my longspear, bolts, dagger and longsword (in that order).

After our morning shopping, Ro, Tōketsu, Sanliss and I go to talk to Father Zantus. The good Father cannot add much to the information we already have regarding the temple fire five years ago or why the body of Father Ezakien Tobyn would have been taken. Father Zantus does relate that Nualia, the adopted daughter of Father Tobyn, also perished in the fire – although no body was found.

I stay in the temple to pray to Desna as the rest go to the Boneyard to look for clues. I praise the Song of Spheres for my newfound wizard abilities and leave a donation of 10 gp for the poor. When I rejoin the others they relate what they’ve found. Trees overhang the Boneyard exterior fence within the locked area containing the tomb of Father Tobyn. Evidence of a rope – used to climb up or down – is found on one of the overhanging branches, along with bent and broken branches. Ingress or egress was made here to retrieve the body of Father Ezakien Tobyn. But why use the gate as well? Why leave behind the undead?

As we bid good day to Father Zantus and exit the temple we’re approached by a distraught female halfling. Tōketsu recognizes her as Bethana Corwin, a barmaid at The Rusty Dragon and friend to Ameiko. Bethana dispenses with formalities and quickly relates that Ameiko is missing. She has not been seen this morning and her bed has not been slept in. Bethana then produces a crumpled note – which I recognize is written in Minkain – and explains it is a note from Ameiko’s older half-brother Tsuto Kaijitsu found beside Ameiko’s bed.

Tsuto’s note translated:

Hello, sis!

I hope this letter finds you well, and with some free time on your hands, because we’ve got something of a problem. It’s to do with father. Seems that he might have had something to do with Sandpoint’s recent troubles with the goblins, and I didn’t want to bring the matter to the authorities because we both know he’d just weasel his way out of it. You’ve got some pull here in town, though. If you can meet me at the Glassworks at midnight tonight, maybe we can figure out how to make sure he faces the punishment he deserves.

Knock twice and then three times more and then once more at the delivery entrance, and I’ll let you in.

In any case, I don’t have to impress upon you the delicate nature of this request. If news got out, you know these local rubes would assume that you and I were in on the whole thing too, don’t you? They’ve got no honor at all around these parts. I still don’t understand how you can stand to stay here.

Anyway, don’t tell anyone about this. There are other complications as well, ones I’d rather talk to you in person about tonight. Don’t be late.


Tsuto Kaijitsu – Brother of Ameiko Kaijitsu (and evil monk)
Tsuto was born in 4688 and is a year older than Ameiko (putting Ameiko at 19 years old). Tsuto is half-even and was born to Ameiko’s human mother, Atsuii Kaijitsu. Lonjiku Kaijitsu is human – it was clear to him and the entire town that Tsuto was a bastard born of infidelity to an elven father. Lonjiku’s rage at the discovery of his wife’s indiscretion was the talk of the town for months. Atsuii never revealed who the father was; it was a testament to Lonjiku’s stubbornness that they remained married. Tsuto was handed over to the Turandarok Academy to be raised outside of the Kaijitsu family, ignored by his father and forbidden visits from his mother. When Tsuto was 10 years old (4697 AR) Ameiko began visiting him in secret a few times a month to keep him company, bring him food and promise him that someday things would get all sorted out. That all changed two years ago (4705 AR) when the siblings had a terrible argument in which Tsuto struck Ameiko. Bethana didn’t know what the argument was about, but whatever it was sent Ameiko away from Sandpoint for a year, during which time she made a living as an adventurer. Ameiko returned to Sandpoint one year ago to attend her mother’s funeral. Tsuto was quite public in his opinions that his father had pushed Atsuii off the cliff to her death and during the funeral there was a confrontation. Lonjiku nearly broke Tsuto’s jaw with his cane after which Tsuto cursed him and left Sandpoint. Ameiko has tried to reestablish contact with him but had not been able to track him down.

Bethana was worried Tsuto was up to no good. With Sheriff Hemlock out of town, she has no one to turn to but Ameiko’s uncle and his compatriots. Bethana begs us to head to the Glassworks and find out what happened to Ameiko as soon as possible.

It is high noon. Tōketsu leads Ro, Sanliss and I to the Glassworks while sending Bethana back to The Rusty Dragon to alert whoever else is present. We approach with caution, trying a side door first but finding it latched (with no lock) from the inside. Tōketsu leads us around back where Sanliss picks the lock. We enter and immediately hear goblin voices in the main work room. Sanliss and I cast Message to keep in contact. I follow as Tōketsu circles around the main work room. Tōketsu cracks open the main work room door and confirms goblins are inside. He then continues through a parallel hallway.

I find out later Draethor, Kodlak, Dion, Argentus and Darrius arrive as Tōketsu opens the door to the dining room. Tōketsu is attacked by a goblin and a spider swarm is summoned on him as well. He retreats and I destroy the swarm with an Acidic Burning Hands – my first Admixture spell! As Tōketsu readies to charge back into the room I can an Acidic Shocking Grasp and charge the goblin in the doorway. As I arrive I’m surprised to find no goblin standing where I expected. Instead I receive two arrows in the chest from archers waiting 20’ from the door. I note an apparent spellcaster readying to cast another spell. I continue my charge, now aimed at the spellcaster, and deliver the Acidic Shocking Grasp. I vaguely note Tōketsu and Argentus enter the room behind me as another arrow knocks me unconscious.

Darrius calmly waits outside, apparently unaware of a confrontation. Meanwhile, Draethor, Kodlak, Sanliss and Ro begin assaulting the main work room. Tortured worker bodies are strewn throughout the room interspersed with mounds of broken glass creating hazards to movement. The goblins open fire with archery. Draethor and Ro gain ground forcing the nearest goblins to switch to horsechoppers. Kodlak begins firing his bow and Sanliss works his curses. At some point Darrius realizes there’s a battle and joins the fray, adding his song in support. The goblins further away start lobbing molten globs of glass, mostly striking Draethor and Ro, causing an intense burning. A shadowy humanoid figure is seen at the far end of the room using a bow.

Tsuto's Journal




23 Rova 4707 (2/21/2014) – Hunting the Tickwood Beast
from "The Journal of Siȝecraft Ælfsiȝe Ælfwine"

Aldren Foxglove is ready for the hunt a few hours after sunrise. True to his word, he outfits each of us with a light horse, saddle and tack at his own expense. I estimate the total expense to Foxglove to be 91 gp.

• Light horse (75 gp)
• Riding Saddle (10 gp)
• Bit and Bridle (2 gp)
• Saddlebags (4 gp)

Foxglove offers to provide a boar spear to any who require one. I check and make sure my longspear will be sufficient (not that I plan to get close enough to a wild beast to use it).

Foxglove announces we’re hunting the Tickwood Beast, a giant boar of local legend. He recounts the short tale as we’re making ready. The Tickwood Beast sightings began recently, just in the last year. No one knows how such a large beast (larger than a typical boar) could have went unheard of for so long. Foxglove intends to begin the hunt just past the Ravenroost Mountain Pass, close to the Devil’s Platter, about two miles west of the Tickwood Forrest.

A practiced man-at-arms accompanies Foxglove. I did not catch his name but he seems capable of taking care of himself. The veteran, with Foxglove’s leave, makes ready to depart a few hours after dawn. Foxglove takes the point, leading us through the North Gate to access the Lost Coast Road. Soon we cross the Turandarok River using a well maintained bridge and shortly thereafter reaching our destination. The entire journey is short – we’re approximately two miles from Sandpoint.

The man-at-arms orders to tie off the horses just inside of the wooded area. He gives the assembled brief instructions on the rudimentary fundamentals of how to hunt the beast and how to handle a boar spear before setting out on foot.

Almost immediately after beginning to search for spoor and tracks a body is found. From the injuries it’s sustained the determination of what the creature might have been is difficult. A decision is made it must be a goblin mauled by a large feral predator although I can’t see the resemblance to a goblin any longer. The tracks imply the goblin was from the Mosswood.

Not far from the gruesome discovery a gigantic brute accompanied by four normal sized boars is sighted. The leader is most certainly the Tickwood Beast. I cast Dancing Lights on the opposite side of the sounder, hoping to distract them, and whisper “The Beast, pass it on.” Draethor sets his spear to get ready for the charge. Someone passes along the message to Foxglove who exclaims loudly “Boar! Good!” and rushes into the clearing. The element of surprise is lost…

As the Beast turns towards us I peer into his red eyes and note frothing at the mouth and a covering of lather. I mistake the signs for disease, perhaps rabies, but I’m told later this the look of a boar enraged.

The Beast charges the group followed by its diminutive cousins. Draethor, soon joined by Ro, receives the Beast’s charge amiably and continues to harass the monstrosity throughout the fight. Foxglove cries out “Don’t damage the head – I plan to mount it!” I attack with Burning Hands multiple times, carefully avoiding the Beast’s head. Dion repeatedly calls forth the blessings of Cayden Cailean during the confrontation but does not partake in the hunt. Sanliss crackles crazily, but to some effect. It’s easy to see why the people of Sandpoint think him mad. Kodlak uses his bow from relative safety behind the line. Tōketsu becomes separated from the group and is brought down by a boar’s charge but is quickly healed by the power of Cayden Cailean. Foxglove is disarmed and bloodied by the Beast. He briefly retreats but immediately returns to the fray armed with his sword.

The beast and the rest of the sounding are soon put down. Upon examination, a broken spear is found wedged into the Beast’s shoulder. The spearhead excretes poison continuously (+1d6 per strike). Based on the circumstances we conjecture this was what originally enraged the Beast and began its rampage. May the mighty boar now lie in peace.

Foxglove has his man-at-arms remove the Beast’s head and place it in a box that was brought for such a purpose. The Beast is skinned by Draethor and the hide taken with us, along with a goodly portion of the choicest cuts to be cooked tonight in The Rusty Dragon. The other boars are skinned as well but Sanliss appraises they will not fetch nearly the price the Beast’s pelt will command.

When the skinning was completed we began the journey back to Sandpoint, Foxglove promising a feast of boar meat at The Rusty Dragon at his expense. As we approach the Turandarok River Bridge we hear goblins arguing loudly. It is too far away to make out what they are arguing about. Four are Licktoad tribe mounted on goblin dogs, two are Birdcrunchers on foot with another Birdcruncher dead on the ground. It appears they are preparing an ambush – it is unclear if the ambush is intended for us or simply to control the means of egress over the bridge.

Quickly we dismount and lead the horses away. After a hasty consultation we plan a counter ambush. Tōketsu, Kodlak, Draethor and Ro hide in the trees on either side of the road leading to the bridge. When they are in place I run towards the bridge yelling “Help!” in Taldane. As I round the corner in the road the goblins take full notice. The two Birdcrunchers run in the opposite direction. At first, I thought they went to warn a larger force but afterwards I realized the Birdcrunchers are a cowardly lot.

The Licktoad close the distance and shoot arrows – two find purchase in my back. I continue running past our ambush point. Sanliss yells for me to run by him and he casts a healing spell as I make my way to Dion in the rear. The Licktoad mounts continue to close the distance and Tōketsu and Kodlak spring the trap simultaneously with bomb and arrow. Draethor and Ro spring from hiding, attacking the riders first as the Licktoad are quite skilled with their mounts. The battle does not last long and our injuries are light.

That evening we celebrate at The Rusty Dragon and feast on roast boar. Foxglove makes a fine host and regales the patrons with the tale of the Tickwood Beast and its slaying. I make a point to give him credit in my retellings – nobility are vain and it will do his ego good. 
Shalelu Andosana – female elven huntress

Shalelu Andosana is present when we arrive in The Rusty Dragon, quietly taking her meal at a far table in solitude. Although Shalelu is something of a mystery, she’s certainly one of the town’s most admired defenders. She doesn’t live in Sandpoint but sometimes spends the night at The Rusty Dragon to visit her friend Ameiko.

Shalelu is a loner and prefers to spend her time wandering and exploring the wilderness around Sandpoint. She periodically vanishes for weeks or months but she never fails to return. No one understands why she goes or why she keeps coming back.

Her reports of goblin activity have often helped save the townsfolk from ambushes or warned the militia of possible attacks.

I approach Shalelu with a few others and we introduce ourselves. She accepts our introductions with grace and explains she’s already heard of our deeds during the Swallowtail Festival. I state we were told there would be formal introductions on the morrow with Sherriff Hemlock and ask Shalelu if she would like to hear details from us tonight or in the morning. Shalelu smiles and kindly requests we wait until the rendezvous with Sherriff Hemlock.

Later in the festivities Draethor approaches Ameiko. Draethor attempts to engage in some kind of primitive mating ritual – he challenges Ameiko to a martial challenge. The wager is if Draethor wins he gets the right to wed Ameiko; if Ameiko wins he has to sing a human folk song “I’m a Little Teapot”. I approach Draethor and attempt to dissuade him but he gently brushes me aside.

The rules are agreed to be unarmed combat. Draethor towers over the petit Ameiko – it doesn’t appear to be a fair fight. Ameiko is, however, possessed of the grace of a cat and begins the contest with a supreme confidence. Ameiko delivers the first blow; Draethor attempts to block but the strike is too quick. I’m not sure but I determine Draethor isn’t trying to strike Ameiko. If not, his skill was no match and he is not successful in landing even a finger upon her. It was over in a matter of seconds – Ameiko didn’t have a hair out of place or a bead of sweat. I noted, though, that Ameiko never requested Draethor sing the song. Was she demonstrating pity, a sense of honor, or something else?

When the others are going to sleep I leave for The Pixie’s Kitten, the local brothel. I inquire and learn that prices depend on duration but for a standard session they run from 1 to 5 gp. I opt for the 5 gp service and am not disappointed. My hostess honors the discount the citizens have offered “the heroes of Sandpoint” and I save 5 sp.

Afterwards, while I’m dressing and my hostess is freshening up, I begin to engage her in conversation. She explains she was surprised to have a customer this night. I inquire if it’s due to the goblin attack during the Swallowtail Festival. She shares that her concern is more about the Sczarni Gangs. They have been trying to outlaw the brothels for some time, apparently as some part of a protection racket. As yet Sherriff Hemlock has kept them at bay, but her voice betrays her worry over how things may develop.

In further conversation I learn that Sherriff Hemlock visited the Madam, a woman named Kaye Tesarani, almost immediately after the goblin attack. This piques my interest, which I fail to conceal. My hostess explains that it’s a poorly hidden secret that the Sherriff and Madam have a serious relationship. Sherriff Hemlock came to check on the security of Madam Tesarani and her ladies, and also to determine if they had heard any rumors regarding the attack.

I tell my hostess that I’m interested in any additional information that she or her colleagues may hear regarding the attack or goblins in general. I explain I’m staying at The Rusty Dragon and may be contacted there, and will reward handsomely for any additional information. I leave the 5 sp I saved as a tip and wonder if it’s enough to cultivate additional information. I bid adieu and return to my lodgings.

22 Rova 4707 (2/7/2014) – Into the Boneyard
from "The Journal of Siȝecraft Ælfsiȝe Ælfwine"

Gint assists me in finishing my inspection of the goblin bodes about the same time as Sheriff Belor Hemlock arrives back in the town square with deputies and two goblin prisoners in tow. I approach him and relate the information I’ve garnered in my interrogation. “You speak goblin?” he asks and I affirm that I do. “That could be useful – I don’t speak it.”

I inquire if the Mayor is unharmed and am told she’s fine. The casualties were few, mostly limited to dogs and horses. Sheriff Hemlock confirms there are goblin caves to the west. He indicates it’s very unusual for goblins to attack Sandpoint, especially in the manner they did. Apparently they arrived hidden in wagons this morning (and he’s off to investigate that further). The Sheriff also recommends I might look up Shalelu Andosana, an elven huntress, if I’m looking for more information about the local goblin tribes. Shalelu is an expert on goblins.

I turn Gint over to his custody and suggest informing Mayor Kendra Deverin as soon as possible the information Gint related. The Sheriff commits to do so.

The group that fought the goblins to the northeast (and rescued Aldren Foxglove) arrive in the town square. They relate their tale to me, mostly told above. At the end of the battle, Foxglove introduces himself and takes a special fancy to the human bard, whom I find out is named Darrius. “Congratulations old chap on your singing.” Foxglove mentions he’s staying at The Rusty Dragon and would be happy to buy everyone drinks later tonight. He also mentions he’s hunting boar on the morrow and invites everyone, even offering to buy a horse for anyone that needs one. Draethor recovers two masterwork horse slicers (short swords) worth 155 gp each.

I give the empty vial to Tōketsu, in case he can use it. He asks to see the other vial and identifies it as a potion of Cure Light Wounds (1d8+1). Tōketsu tells me the goblins that attacked Foxglove (the ones with goblin dogs) were from the Thistletop tribe of the Nettlewood Coast. He then inspects the chanters and identifies them as Licktoad Goblins of the Brinestump Marsh. They can be identified by a slight webbing between their toes. So far that makes:

  • Birdcrunchers – live in caves to the West; wear feathers; hidden in the wagons (smuggled into town)
  • Mosswood – called “pyros”; use fire
  • Thistletop – from the Nettlewood Coast; chanters (bards)
  • Licktoad – from the Brinestump Marsh; have goblin dogs

Townspeople start coming back to the town square. Their gratitude is open and they start praising me and my newfound companions as “heroes” and “saviors”, pouring gifts upon us. The gifts are humble in nature – a homemade loaf of bread, other baked goods, fresh produce, a bottle of local wine – but the sentiment humbles me. It’s made clear anything we want to purchase from any townsperson will be sold at a discount (10%), at least while the memory of today’s heroics are still fresh on the townspeople’s minds. We are then approached by Ameiko Kaijitsu – proprietor of The Rusty Dragon. “To honor you for your bravery I would like to offer you rooms at The Rusty Dragon for a week as my special guests.” Ameiko and the party set off for The Rusty Dragon.

When we arrive, I gather the party into our suite of rooms and relate the intelligence I learned from Gint, suggesting we should go and tell the Mayor ourselves as no one else can truly be trusted. The reactions are varied:

Argentus – “Why should I care?”
Tōketsu – “Sheriff Balor is a good man – he can be trusted.”
Draethor – “I recovered two masterwork horse slicers. I suggest selling them and splitting the proceeds.”
Ro – “I want to go to the Boneyard now.” (Draethor assents to this plan of action.)
Darrius – silence
Sanliss – silence
Dion – silence
Kodlak – Excuses himself to go sell the horse slicers.

I wait until Kodlak is gone before speaking. “Perhaps someone should follow him. It’s suspicious I’ve just explained there’s a plot against the town of Sandpoint and Kodlak felt the need to excuse himself so quickly.”

“Why should I care?” Argentus repeats.

Before we can discuss further we’re distracted by a confrontation in the bar area. Going to investigate we discover an older gentleman we learn is Lonjiku Kaijitsu, father of Ameiko and brother of Tōketsu. Lonjiku is yelling at Ameiko in a language I’ve never heard before, but Tōketsu seems to comprehend. Tōketsu interrupts in that language. Gesturing at the party, Lonjiku switches to Taldane. “You should all leave – you’re not wanted here. Ameiko, throw them out or you are no longer my daughter.”

Draethor closes the distance in two heartbeats and pushes the old man. “Leave her alone.”

“Bah! I disown you!”, and Lonjiku leaves The Rusty Dragon. I catch up to him before he leaves and, still fearing goblins hidden in the town, offer to escort him home. “You? Get away from me.” Lonjiku crackles as he leaves the bar.

Draethor asks Ameiko why her husband allowed that man to speak to her that way. “I am not married, and that man is my father” Ameiko replies. “Well, then why were you allowed to speak to him at all if you’re not married?” Ameiko does not appear pleased at the remark.

Foxglove shows up sometime after the confrontation. He directly heads for Darrius and greets him very affectionately. Foxglove hands Darrius a pouch with coin “For you to share with your friends that helped me today.” Foxglove then extends his offer for drinks and for participation on the morrow in the fox hunt (with horses to be provided).

Draethor becomes noticeably drunk. I nurse another elven absinthe and ask Tōketsu if he’d introduce me to his niece, which he kindly assents to. I get to spend a little bit of time with this attractive human and get to know her a little better. She is a very pleasant and charming person.

Ro, seeming very bored, insists on going to the Boneyard. It is after dark and too late to make a visit to the Mayor. I readily agree, and soon the others do as well. Draethor insists on taking a full stout of beer with him.

We enter the Boneyard with enough starlight that even the humans do not need torches to see by. Everything seems as it should until we approach a gated area. The night watchman we’ve been told should be present is nowhere to be seen, but the lock and chain securing the gate have been cut. Tōketsu enters stealthily, making way towards the mausoleum on the right. Argentus is stealthily making his way up the middle. The others – not so stealthily – enter and group on the other side of the gate. I take a position just inside the gate and send my Dancing Lights towards the far mausoleum.

The noises of the undead betray their presence before I can see them. There are three zombies in each of the nearer mausoleums (six total). Argentus – seemingly with a death wish – charges into the mausoleum on the right and is surrounded. He falls almost as soon as he steps in. Tōketsu goes and drags his limp body from the tomb. The others advance further into the graveyard, and I take up a position behind Darrius.

Then, my Dancing Lights reveal a group of eight skeletons emerging from the far crypt. Immediately Kodlak runs away, followed by Sanliss and then Darrius (leaving me unprotected). I make a flanking maneuver around Ro, Draethor and Dion to end on their right flank. I release a Burning Hands to good effect on the line of three zombies in front of them. Ro and Draethor attack, but we all fail to drop a zombie. The skeletons charge the line but were generally to far away to make good on the charge. The undead are clustered so thick I will have a full utilization of my next Burning Hands.

Meanwhile, Tōketsu manages to get Argentus behind our line and Dion withdraws to join them. The frontline now consists of Ro, Draethor and myself. A third of our party has retreated while another third is dealing with the rashness of Argentus. Mental note: Only Draethor, Ro and Tōketsu can be trusted in battle.

The zombie Dion left for me deals a mighty slamming blow and I lose consciousness. I’m told later that Tōketsu throws a bomb and drops a skeleton and two of the zombies I hit with Burning Hands, damaging even more. Ro and Draethor take out the third zombie.

Argentus stands up – apparently he wasn’t felled by the zombies but decided to play dead instead. Dion chooses to cast a healing spell on him instead of channeling energy (which would have benefited me as well). I could well have met my faith then and there if not for Draethor breaking ranks and grabbing my body.

Before Ro can join in the fighting withdrawal, Sheriff Hemlock, Father Zantus and two town’s guardsmen arrive with Kodlak, Sanliss and Darrius. It seems that in their retreat Kodlak, Sanliss and Darrius discover the townspeople searching for us. They had went to The Rusty Dragon to discuss going to the Boneyard with us on the morrow. When they heard we had already left for the Boneyard they made due haste in catching up with us. Praise Desna they did!

With the help of the townsmen, the remaining undead are put to their final rest.

Searching the right mausoleum we find a cloak with a faint (lingering) necromantic aura. The large mausoleum on the far end contains another cloak which Tōketsu Identifies as a Robe of Bones with two skeletal horse patches left. We conjecture the first robe was the same, and the robes were used to create the zombies and skeletons (no graves were disturbed). The Robe of Bones has a bronze clasp with faint magic. The clasp appears to be a key that opens something, but to what is a mystery.

The far mausoleum was the resting place of Ezakien Tobyn, the town’s priest that was killed in 4702 AR when the Sandpoint chapel burnt to the ground. His body is missing.

I shake Draethor’s hand and thank him for saving my life. He accepts my gesture graciously.

We return to The Rusty Dragon for a good night’s sleep.

22 Rova 4707 (1/17/2014) – The Swallowtail Festival
from "The Journal of Siȝecraft Ælfsiȝe Ælfwine"

Everyone in the city adjourns to the town square for the opening festivities of the Festival at 10:00 AM. I walk with Tōketsu Kaijitsu and engage him in conversation when possible. He explains what is going on and who the people are as they appear.

Mayor Kendra Deverin opens the fete with a speech indicating this year’s autumnal equinox has special significance as it also involves the rededication of the Sandpoint Cathedral (the Temple of Desna) which burned down years before.

Kendra Deverin – female human Mayor of Sandpoint (citizen of Sandpoint)

Kendra Deverin has served as Sandpoint’s mayor since 4702 AR. Lawmaker, judge, and general peacemaker, she has proven to be both an adept diplomat and stern hand when need be, both skills honed during her youth in Magnimar. With a personal – some say sisterly – style of governing, most of Sandpoint’s citizens hold deep respect for their fiery-haired mayor.

There are many speeches by more locals (Sheriff Belor Hemlock; Father Zantus; Cydrak Drokkuss, a prominent local). Lonjiku Kaijitsu, another prominent local, was also called to speak but was not present due to some sort of personal matter (that many in the crowd seem to recognize and offer sounds of sympathy).

Sheriff Belor Hemlock

Belor Hemlock is the sheriff of the Varisian town of Sandpoint. He replaced the previous sheriff, Casp Avertin, who was killed by serial killer Chopper in 4702 AR. Originally a member of the Shriikirri-Quah tribe of the Shoanti, Belor abandoned his heritage when he took on the role of sheriff, changing his last name from its native Viskalai to the Chelish translation of Hemlock.

Father Abstalar Zantus – male human Cleric of Desna (citizen of Sandpoint)

When the Sandpoint chapel burnt to the ground in 4702 AR, killing the town’s priest, Ezakien Tobyn, his position in the town was filled by his top acolyte, Abstalar Zantus. Though Father Zantus is himself a cleric of Desna, his role as high-priest requires him to be open to other faiths, and he is more than willing and open to assist followers of other gods with spiritual matters.

Tōketsu points out other prominent members of Sandpoint as he sees them.

Cydrak Drokkuss – male human Bard and owner of the Sandpoint Theater (citizen of Sandpoint)

This flamboyant bard is the owner and sole financier of the Sandpoint Theater. Having had to flee Magnimar for reasons unknown, he takes great pride in competing directly with their playhouses on a regular basis.

The Swallowtail Butterflies were released from a cart in the middle of the square and children spent the next several hours trying to chase them down. The Swallowtail Release is a holiday in honor of the goddess Desna, and is held annually on the first day of autumn. It serves to commemorate a legend in which an avatar of Desna fell to Golarion after a fierce battle with the goddess Lamashtu. She was discovered and nursed back to health by a blind child. To express her thanks, Desna transformed the child into a beautiful, immortal swallowtail butterfly so that he could explore the wonders of the whole world for all eternity.

To celebrate this event, priests of Desna release a wagon full of swallowtail butterflies in front of a crowd of believers. It is considered a good omen for a worshiper, if a butterfly rests on him or her for a short time. The day is spent in celebration and can include activities such as feasting, storytelling, and singing. In preparation for this event, larger temples of Desna often have enclosed gardens in which they raise swallowtail butterflies year round. In colder climes, where the raising of butterflies is impossible, faithful will sometimes substitute colored leaves or painted corn husks for the actual insects.

In other causal conversation I learned that the two inns/taverns in Sandpoint are the White Deer in the north of town and The Rusty Dragon (that I’m already acquainted with). There’s several other taverns including Cracktooth’s Tavern (next to the town square), Fatman’s Feedbag and The Hagfish (offering prizes to anyone that can drink Hag Water, whatever that is). I added annotations to my map based on this information.

Lunch was announced and carts and tents were opened to serve the attendees gratis. I invited Tōketsu (To-ket-su) Kaijitsu to dine with me, and we invited Dion (reminding him I owned him a drink) as well. The food at The Rusty Dragon tent was reputed to be the best, so we stood in line there. While waiting to be served I asked Tōketsu about Ameiko Kaijitsu.

Ameiko Kaijitsu – proprietor of The Rusty Dragon (citizen of Sandpoint)

Ameiko Kaijitsu is best known in the town of Sandpoint as the proprietor of The Rusty Dragon, the most popular tavern in town. A member of the town’s small aristocracy, she is the eldest daughter of Lonjiku Kaijitsu. Tōketsu Kaijitsu is her uncle.

We adjourned to a grove of trees on the south side of the square. Ro joined us (after being intrigued by jugglers for what seemed like hours), as did another unusual acquaintance that I learned was named Kodlak Deadeye. I had time to learn more about these interesting individuals.

Tōketsu Kaijitsu – Male Alchemist (Grenadier)

Tōketsu is a lithe blue-skinned giant (6’-10" and 286 lbs.) with red eyes that smolder faintly like coals, long arms that end in four-fingered claws, a mouth full of wickedly sharp teeth and a pair of tusks jutting upward from his lower jaw. His silvery-white hair is pulled back into a topknot and two long horns protrude from his brow. A sinuous blue tail sways back and forth in time with his mood; languidly moving side to side when he’s calm and twitching nervously when he’s on edge. I noticed during the battle with the goblins Tōketsu used his tail to retrieve his bow – amazing!

It is difficult to judge his exact parentage or age but overlooking his more monstrous features, he appears more human than not and there is a certain youthful air to his demeanor. His malevolent appearance is belied by eloquent manners, a strong sense of humor and a boyish enthusiasm when talking to others about his latest alchemical breakthrough or listening raptly to stories from afar. I asked further about Tōketsu’s heritage and learned that his mother was human. He has never met his father who is likely a spirit creature called a yokai, more specifically an oni. Kami and oni are both yokai, creatures from the spirit world that have manifested in our world, but while kami are agents of balance and mostly benevolent in nature, oni are destructive or greedy beings that disrupt nature and trouble the world of men. Unfortunately, it is likely that Tōketsu’s birth father was one of the latter. Tōketsu has inherited from his parentage the ability to shapeshift – fascinating – but he’s hesitant to tell others as their fear and prejudice of his natural form generally puts them at disease to know he could appear as human.

He is dressed plainly in the style of an ascetic monk from the East and wears an overly large straw hat which conceals the upper half to two-thirds of his face. The only decoration he displays is a large string of wooden beads which he wears about his neck. I inquire what the beads are for. “They’re prayer beads used to help purify the mind and clear away distractions. I use them when I pray to Yamatsumi, the Mountain Lord.”

When traveling in the wild, he is lightly armored and carries a great bow that he handles with the ease of one accustomed to using it. He also carries a variety of odd-looking glass and ceramic vials in a pair of bandoliers that crisscross his broad chest. I learned during the battle with the goblins that Tōketsu uses the vials as grenades that explode for fire damage. He was very effective during the battle.

Finally, he carries a great kanabō, a massive wooden club sheathed in iron with iron spikes on one end that is nearly as tall as he is. Its hilt bears strange runes or foreign-looking characters of some kind. I learn from Tōketsu that the runes are Senzar, an ancient language spoken predominantly by kami (benevolent nature spirits). The kanabō was a farewell gift from the yamabushi that Tōketsu studied with back in the East several years ago. The characters are a prayer to Yamatsumi for strength, protection and renewal. It was a sign of the monks respect but also a bit of humor on their part as there is an old saying in Tian Xia, “like giving a kanabō (iron club) to an oni.” Which means giving an advantage to someone that already has the advantage or making the strong stronger.

Tōketsu has lived in Sandpoint for as long as anyone can remember. He isn’t quite hated by the locals but many are distrustful of him and maintain their distance unless they have need of his wares. He is related to one of the town’s founding families (the Kaijitsu) and while he is not exactly a favored son, the connection appears to be enough to prevent any of the townsfolk from doing anything too rash no matter how they might actually feel about his presence here.

Understanding that the Kaijitsu clan is one of the founding families of Sandpoint, I ask Tōketsu to tell me all he can. He doesn’t volunteer much more than I’ve already heard. Tōketsu was adopted by Lonjiku’s father, Rokuro, many years ago. Tōketsu and Lonjiku aren’t close but he and Ameiko get along quite well. He politely suggests that if I have any more questions about the Kaijitsu clan it would be appropriate to direct them to Lonjiku as he is the current head of the family. I sense I may have offended Tōketsu. “If I have offended you I offer my apologies. I have only arrived in Sandpoint this morning and I am unaccustomed to talking with humans. I’m curious about everything but I mean no disrespect.” Risking yet another social error I attempt to bow slightly to Tōketsu, just as I saw him bow earlier today. Although I’m sure I did not do the ritual correctly I hope he takes it as a sign of respect and attrition and forgives any transgression I have done.

“No offense was taken Alf-san. It is I who would be guilty of poor manners if I were to speak out-of-turn about the family when it is properly the right of Lonjiku-dono to speak of such matters.” Tōketsu returns my bow – just a bit deeper. Is this a sign of respect or something else? Oh, if only I had studied cultures more!

He lives in an unused mill about two and a half miles southeast of town on the edge of Boggy Creek, a comfortable distance outside of town which suits both Tōketsu and the townsfolk just fine.

He makes his living as an apothecary and chemist, selling a variety of herbs, pesticides, alchemical remedies (e.g., alchemist’s kindness or soothe syrup), alchemical tools (e.g., alchemist’s cement or candlerods), and fireworks for festivals or other special occasions.

I ask Tōketsu if he is familiar with the Old Light, the ancient ruined light house on the northwest of Sandpoint. “Yes, I am familiar with it.” I ask if he’s ever visited it. “No. In fact, no one has. There’s a door but no one can open it.” This intrigues me very much. Perhaps there are remnants of Thassilonian lore waiting to be discovered? I ask if someday we could visit the Old Light together to see if we could gain entry. “Perhaps.”

Dion Stout – male human Oracle of Cayden Cailean

I note when talking with Dion that he has cloudy eyes. He seems to see all around him well, but has difficulty seeing farther away. He tells me his story – as a young man he felt the spirit of Cayden push him to wander the world, bringing the joy of Cayden to others and helping good people wherever he can. He has taken a particular interest in the healing arts.

Ro (Male Human Fighter)

Ro explains his proper name is Roland but he generally prefers Ro. Ro doesn’t indicate much more about himself.

Kodlak Deadeye (Male Vanara Ranger)

I’ve seen this man around the festival for a while, mostly in the more crowded areas talking with people or doing dexterity tricks for the kids.

Kodlak, from a distance, seems mostly human but up close I see that he has a short layer of fur covering his body and his feet look more like hands than feet. He seems like an amiable fellow, not having a problem with anyone and never making a scene. Though since he is equipped with a well-worn longbow and halberd I doubt that anyone would go out of their way to mess with him. He has a full pack on his back that seems ready for travel at a moment’s notice; he wears a shirt of chain with weathered traveling clothes.

In further conversation I find out that he is a Vanara, a type of intelligent, monkeylike humanoid that generally lives in deep, warm forests and lush jungles. A vanara’s body is covered in a thin coat of soft fur that can grow lengthy hair on their head just as humans can. Vanaras have long, prehensile tails and hand like feet capable of well-articulated movements. Typically, a Vanara stands slightly shorter and weighs slightly less than a typical human.

Kodlak was found at the edge of the Ashwood, also known as the Dark Forest. The Ashwood is a large Varisian forest bounded to the west by the Skull River, to the north by the sheer face of the Storval Rise, and to the south by Lake Syrantula. It also forms the western border of the domain claimed by the city-state of Korvosa. It has one of the darkest reputations of any woodland in Varisia, and is said to be haunted by ghosts and werewolves. Because of this, the Church of Erastil patrols the borders of the forest regularly to make sure that none of these terrors can escape to torment the neighboring towns and hamlets.

Kodlak has only been in Sandpoint for a week. When I inquired what he does he responded he is a monster hunter. I immediately asked if elves where considered monsters by him and he responded “No”. He’s hired to find monsters and deal with them. I stated that there were no monsters in Sandpoint. Tōketsu responded “There’s the Sandpoint Devil”.

“The Sandpoint Devil? What’s that?” I replied.

“A local legend. The Sandpoint Devil prays on people on the roads.” Before Tōketsu could respond further Father Zantus takes the stage. There is a loud “boom”. I turn to see the Father with a look of satisfaction on his face. A stray dog, asleep under a wagon, starts from the thunderstone noise and bolts across the town square. Immediately there are screams from around, but outside of, the town square. Then, a cackling and we can hear a song being chanted:

Goblins chew and goblins bite.
Goblins cut and goblins fight.
Stab the dog and cut the horse,
Goblins eat and take by force!

Goblins race and goblins jump.
Goblins slash and goblins bump.
Burn the skin and mash the head,
Goblins here and you be dead!

Chase the baby, catch the pup.
Bonk the head to shut it up.
Bones be cracked, flesh be stewed,
We be goblins! You be food!

- The Goblin Song, Pathfinder Adventure Path #1 (Burnt Offerings)

Goblins emerge from their hidden caches within carts, wagons and tents and throughout the town square. They immediately start to attack, taking the town by surprise. The startled stray dog is caught and collapses, a goblin slitting it throat mid-stride. As everyone in the town square looks on in horror the goblins emerge and advance, attacking the townspeople with no compassion. Luckily, under the shaded grove of trees I and my newfound compatriots had dined for lunch, was on the opposite side of the main attack.

Kodlak (much to my surprise) responded before me, drawing his bow and placing himself in a position to begin raining fire upon the goblins. I was second to act, closing the distance between me and two hapless goblins threatening the crazy harmless wizard named Sanliss. I fell one with Burning Hands, only damaging the other. First blood (not counting the dog) and the first time I have used magik in combat! I may not be a good sorcerer, but my Burning Hands are still somewhat effective. Sanliss murmurs “Thanks”.

Tōketsu acts next, throwing a vial from his bandolier that transforms into a grenade of fire when it impacts. He kills two goblins – very effective. Ro and Draethor, across the plaza eating and talking together, were interrupted and attacked by a handful of goblins. The townspeople run away from the goblins. Dion Stout maneuvers into position and throughout the battle chants and channels energy to heal the wounded – me amongst them – many times.

I notice Sanliss yell “Don’t touch me!” at the goblin I wounded but did not fell. The goblin – who was moving towards Sanliss with fell intent – turns around and retreats. Draethor yells a primordial scream and charges towards the nearest goblins. Argentus moves towards another group of goblins. There’s a human – apparently not a townsperson – that begins moving from the south side of the square towards the north. It’s unclear what he’s trying to do but I get the impression he’s listening to the goblin’s song.

The battle rages. The goblins seem inspired by the Goblin Song demonstrating courage against superior odds that I could not have imagined. They press their “advantage”. Kodlak attacks another with his bow, I attack two more with Burning Hands. Tōketsu continues to throw his grenades to great advantage, usually felling at least one goblin and damaging others in the explosive splash. Draethor and Ro combine forces to flank a group of goblins to the west. Sanliss often yells “Don’t touch me!” and his words are taken as declarative commands to the goblins he yells at. Argentus engages the goblins in physical combat and at some point grows to twice his size (Sanliss may have touched him first – I can’t be sure.) The human I do not recognize begins to sing and I feel inspired – he may be a bard.

A second wave of goblins arrives from the north. These goblins bear torches and begin to burn buildings in their wake. Two do not bear torches. Rather, these two hang to the back and are singing the song I describe above. The song seems to give the other goblins inspiration and courage, so much so they do not realize they face a determined resistance and refuse to flee. I note Father Zantus is attacked by goblins but the damage seems superficial. I believe he’s signaled the goblin strike with his thunderstone and is a traitor to Sandpoint. The rank and file of the goblin attack likely do not realize this and attack him in earnest. This will help his cover story and betrayal.

Tōketsu, Kodlak, Ro, Sanliss, Dion Stout, Draethor, Argentus (enlarged) and the unknown human continue to press the attack. Argentus is downed, rises up, only to be downed again by the goblin assault. Father Zantus flees the attack. One of the chanter goblins drinks a potion – likely a type of healing – after his partner is downed. With only two goblins left I yell in goblin, “Drop your weapons, surrender and we’ll spare you.” Sanliss immediately counters in goblin “We will not show mercy to you”. Does Sanliss want these goblins dead so they cannot speak? Is he involved with this treachery?

The goblins continue to fight until there is only one left. He wisely drops his dog slicer (as I learn it is called) and I take custody of him.

Draethor and Argentus run to the northeast along Church Street, towards the Northgate area, pursuing goblins that had pursued townspeople from the square. Kodlak begins climbing a building (perhaps to get a better view). Tōketsu runs to the south. Ro grabs the goblin in a bear hug. After a few moments we hear a scream from Draethor “Ro, to me!” Dion Stout immediately runs towards the cry, followed shortly by Ro, Sanliss, Tōketsu, Kodlak and the unknown human. I find out later they defeated eight goblins, including two riding goblin dogs, and rescued a townsperson named Aldren Foxglove (but were too late to save his dog).

Aldren Foxglove – Magnimar noble

Aldren Foxglove is a noble from the city of Magnimar. He is originally from the Sandpoint area and returns there fairly often to hunt boar in the area.

While the others were saving Aldren Foxglove, I begin interrogation of the captive goblin – explaining anything he does to help will make his punishment lighter – while having him search the bodies and put them into a pile for later disposal or a pyre. I learn the following:

  • He is Gint of the mighty Birdcruncher tribe (the group that was lying in ambush).
  • The second group is the Mosswater tribe (the group that contained the goblin pyros).
  • The Birdcrunchers wear feathers; the Mosswater do not.
  • It is unclear what tribe the chanters were from.
  • The Birdcruncher tribe lives in caves to the west.
  • Gint is very careful with the bodies of the goblins from the first wave (the Birdcrunchers) but he throws around and kicks the bodies of the Pyros (the Mosswater).
  • A “longshanks” is a medium humanoid. “Longshanks” is a specific humanoid that instigated the goblins to attack.
  • There are “many many” goblins involved in the assault.
  • “Longshanks” has united goblin tribes that detest each other for the assault.
  • “Longshanks like you leads us. Don’t know name, but he say we can’t lose.”
  • Does he mean an elf? Sanliss is an elf…
  • “He (Longshanks) have secret mission to where longshanks waste bodies and bury them.”
  • This is likely the Boneyard behind the Cathedral.
  • What is the secret mission? I need to keep an eye on Father Zantus to make sure he doesn’t try to slip away.
  • “Don’t know why we fight with Mosswood scum like these (and Gint kicks a pyro), but Longshanks says we have to.”
  • “Longshanks says we should attack Sandpoint and we cannot lose. We burn and eat you longshanks!”
  • I ask how Father Zantus was involved “Who?” I point out the Father and Gint says “Slow Food but he have hard skin.”
  • I ask who was responsible for burning down the Desna temple years ago. Gint’s only reply “Whaaa?”

I instruct Gint to loot the bodies before piling them up. Most of the items from the goblins are poorly made and not worth anything. I do find the following:

  • 40 gp
  • Two (2) pots of Sticky Gel
  • Potion vial (full)
  • Potion vial (empty)

The thunderstone from Father Zantus was the signal for the goblins to begin the attack. Either the Father has been enchanted or he is involved with the goblins.

Others in Sandpoint could be involved in the treachery. Who can be trusted? Could the recent influx of visitors be involved?

  • Sanliss commanded many goblins “Don’t touch me!” always in Taldane (not Goblin), and they obeyed his orders. Sanliss speaks Goblin – how did he know they would understand Taldane? The only goblin that retreated was from Sanliss. Sanliss urged the two remaining goblins to fight to the death instead of being taken alive and answering questions. He’s a local but an outcast – and he’s an elf (a “longshanks” like me). He was the last to leave The Rusty Dragon on purpose.
  • Argentus is also an elf (a “longshanks” like me). When Tōketsu approached in The Rusty Dragon I noticed Argentus’ brow furrow and a scowl appear but then disappear in the blink of an eye. When Tōketsu greeted him he did not respond in any way and prepared to leave immediately. When we left The Rusty Dragon Argentus politely says that he forgot about another obligation and excuses himself saying he’ll catch up with Dion at the festival and hurries out, walking surprisingly quickly in his armor. Did he recognize Tōketsu? Does he have a vendetta against the Kaijitsu clan? Could he be behind the goblin attack and view the Kaijitsu clan, as city founders, an obstacle?
  • Draethor has looked like he expected to be attacked at any moment. Did he know an attack was coming? When Tōketsu approached at The Rusty Dragon Draethor’s right hand went behind his back to grip the hilt of his strange, long-bent knife and he stopped drinking as well. He was sure to let Tōketsu go first when we left The Rusty Dragon.

The Chopper and the Temple of Desna burning both occurred five years ago. This is the same timeframe Kendra Deverin became mayor, Belor Hemlock replaced Casp Avertin as Sheriff (due to the former’s murder at the hands of the Chopper), and Father Abstalar Zantus replaced Ezakien Tobyn (who died in the burning of the temple).

Desna’s followers delight in exploring the world and experiencing new wonders. While her alignment is Chaotic Good her followers are Neutral Good, Chaotic Good and Chaotic Neutral. Her portfolios are: Dreams, Stars, Travelers and Luck. Here domains are: Chaos, Good, Liberation, Luck and Travel. Is it possible Father Zantus is Chaotic Neutral focused on the Chaos domain?

Where is the Mosswood?

What about caves to the west?

22 Rova 4707 AR - The Rusty Dragon
from "The Journal of Siȝecraft Ælfsiȝe Ælfwine"

I’ve arrived in the city of Sandpoint, auspiciously on the first day of the Swallowtail festival – a holy day to Desna. Upon my arrival by coach a few hours after sunrise I inquire where the nearest tavern is and am directed to the Rusty Dragon. I break my fast with hard bread and salted pork, not having sufficient time to eat as the coach left before sunrise to make it here well before the start of the festival. As I’m eating I take note of one individual that seems given to hanging about in the tavern and telling stories. He is a large human, very gregarious, wearing chain armor and a morningstar slung on his belt. He also wears proudly a necklace with a stout silver mug dangling from it (a holy symbol of Cayden Cailean, I think).

The gregarious gentleman is sitting with a very scruffy but hard looking man in chainmail with furs tied to his belt. They are loudly talking, with others gathered around, with frequent bursts of laughter echoing through the room. Although the scruffy looking teenager drinks heartily and laughs loudly, his eyes are constantly darting back and forth, scanning his surroundings, as if he expects to be attacked at any moment. That alerts me – perhaps there are dangers in Sandpoint I do not realize?

I begin to look about the room as well. I notice a scrawny (6’2" 130 lbs) unkempt elf with brown hair and skin sitting in the Rusty Dragon, in a corner by himself, watching everything going on. I’m intrigued enough to inquire of the barkeep if he knows the gentleman.

Sanliss – male elf crazy harmless wizard (Witch (Rogue))

The barkeep chuckles. “Oh that is Sanliss. He is a crazy harmless wizard that has been at Sandpoint for a while. He doesn’t harm anyone, but he does scavenge stuff around the town. If you really need to find him go to Junk Beach as he goes there often.”

On follow up it is found that Sanliss will take stuff that is “lost” (dropping counts), but has never been caught stealing anything. The “crazy wizard” part is in relation to the fact that he has been seen throwing spells (like light) and talks to a scorpion. Mental note: Talking to a scorpion may brand me as crazy or a wizard in Sandpoint…

Argentus – male elf

The barkeep continues his duties and I resume scanning the taproom. Suddenly, I notice the outline of someone filling the doorway of the Rusty Dragon. This individual stands there for a few moments looking around the tavern. Once he steps out of the doorway I realize he’s a very tall (6’8”) and well built (280lbs) elf with strawberry blonde hair with a very handsome (in a heterosexual kind of way) rugged look. He’s unusually large and well-built for an elf but I still recognize him as such (definitely has the telltale pointy ears). I can see the hilt of a very long curved sword sticking up over each shoulder and hear the sound of metal armor from underneath his worn traveling cloak as he walks towards the bar. Is this the man the scruffy looking man has been waiting for? Should I flee before any trouble starts?

The elf sits down a few stools away from where I’m seated. He signals for the barkeep, sitting patiently and casually looking around the room. The barkeep comes over and takes his order and returns shortly with a bottle of wine and a glass. He pays the barkeep, and then gets up and approaches the gregarious and scruffy looking men on the far wall. As I’m about to make a decision to stay or flee I hear the elf introduce himself as “Argentus” and offer the gregarious man a drink. He sits down and they continue the conversation but I cannot make out anything further.

The gregarious man notices me noticing him. He stands up and approaches my place at the bar, followed by the scruffy looking man. Have I already violated some unwritten rule of human etiquette?


Dion Stout – male human Oracle of Cayden Cailean

“Friend, I am Dion Stout, an Oracle of Cayden Cailean. This is my friend Draethor."

Draethor – male human (Barbarian)


Draethor does not speak but does raise his tankard in a sort of friendly acknowledgement. He is still in his teens based on the fullness, or lack thereof, of his mustache. Six-feet tall and athletically built, lean, but well-muscled, and with no soft body fat. His hair is dark brown, almost black, and braided into a pony-tail in back. His eyes too are dark and narrow, as if he spent his life squinting into a setting sun. His skin too is dark, well-tanned from a merciless sun. But what is most striking about his features, are the three very prominent scars on his left cheek, as if made by a large animal, perhaps a wolf or some stranger creature. The three 4-inch parallel scars start near the lower nose, mouth and chin, and rise slightly up towards the left ear, and look as if they have not yet fully healed. His chain shirt appears to be of the local style but his helmet is of a strange design; white fur-rimmed with a pointy spike on top. He wears a greatsword on his back and a strange, long-bent knife on the back of his belt.

“Come, let us have a drink together!” Dion says in a voice louder and deeper than I would have judged him for. Apparently my visage changes as I ponder drinking so early in the day. I suspect Dion drinks a good bit, but just to maintain the convivial atmosphere and not to excess or to the point he is impaired. I, however, seldom drink and find that I can easily become impaired. Whether Dion correctly sensed my concern or not he counters with an offer. “I’ll buy the first drink. Who could refuse hospitality?”

Not wanting to insult what could lead to my first friend and ally in my endeavor I feel compelled not to refuse. “Absinthe” I ask of the barkeep. At this, Dion Stout’s visage changes. Trying to sense the meaning I realize I likely chose the most expensive item in the tavern and my host may have not been prepared for his offer of hospitality to be so greatly engaged. Quickly I react to remedy the situation. “Oh, forgive me, I did not mean to take advantage of your offer. I will pay…”

“What?” Dion interjects. “It’s good to see a man – er, elf – drink hardily this early in the morning. My hospitality still stands. Drink up my little friend.”

I become aware Dion, Argentus and Draethor have been followed to the bar by the others. Whether they be stalwart comrades or fresh acquaintances like myself I can’t be sure. I sense they could be likeminded individuals, also seeking knowledge in Sandpoint.

“So, friend, what is your story?”

Siȝecraft “Alf” Ælfsiȝe Ælfwine – male elven Tattooed Crossblooded Black Draconic/Wildblooded Primal Earth Elemental Sorcerer


Awkwardly, I proffer my introduction. I imagine they take in my appearance as I begin – a 6’2” young adult (around 130 years) elven male with blond hair, blue eyes, approximately 130# and holding a longspear (with a long sword slung across my back). “Hello – my name is Siȝecraft Ælfsiȝe Ælfwine. Humans call me Alf. I’m an apprentice wizard.”

Someone among the crowd remarks “Apprentice?”

With a visage of shame, I explain. “Well, actually, I’m a classically trained Tattooed Crossblooded Black Draconic/Wildblooded Primal Earth Elemental Sorcerer. But, I’m not really good at it. A disgrace, in fact, to my birthright and my family. I’ve been in training for the last several years to become a wizard, of which I’m certain I’ll be much better qualified. You see, magic is a complex system, of which two primary fields of study exist. Someone – a user of magic – able to command the source of magic is either…”

“So, what’s a Tattooed Sorcerer?” someone asks.

“I’m glad you asked. I have become an initiate of the Varisian school and received two tattoos. The first (raising my right sleeve, revealing a stylized tattoo of a Greensting Scorpion) is my familiar, Sting. The second (raising my left sleeve, revealing a mystic rune) is of the Varisian symbol for evocation. Also known as a Mage’s Tattoo, the symbol increases the power of my evocation spells while also allowing me to cast Dancing Lights a few times each day. The Varisian magical tradition is influenced, somewhat, by ancient Thassilon. The Thassilonian people were quite advanced in their understanding of magic – really a shame their empire was extinguished. I often think about how it would have been to be a Thassilonian wizard, able to command…”

Another of the assembled interrupts “What’s crossblooded mean?”

“I’m glad you asked. Normally, a sorcerer is of a specific bloodline. For example, Fey. This bloodline influences the nature of a sorcerer, allowing him to command magic by shear willpower. Unlike a wizard, who must learn and recite formula in order to command mystic forces, a sorcerer can but…”

“But what does crossblooded mean?” asks another, apparently annoyed, of the group.

“Oh, yes, glad you asked. A crossblooded sorcerer possesses two bloodlines, whereas a typical sorcerer has only one. In my case, I possesses the Black Draconic bloodline from my father’s linage, and the Wildblooded Primal Earth Elemental bloodline from my mother’s side. Both are interesting stories. You see, back in the ancient times, there was a dragon…”

“But, you’re an apprentice wizard?!?”

“I’m glad you asked. Yes, well, as fate would have it, I’m not very good at sorcery. It’s my shame. With my crossblooded heritage I was to be the greatest sorcerer’s my village had ever seen. In fact, my brother and sister are very capable sorcerers. Alas, I’m not. I’ve taken up the study of wizardry as, to one such as myself, it seems easier. As I was explaining, there are two primary means to the use of magic. The first, often considered the most pure, is sorcery. Sorcery has a long history which is often…”

“NEXT!” yells Draethor. I’m taken aback – could he possibly already understand the difference between true magik and the Pure Art? No, it’s more likely he’s still worried about whoever he was looking for earlier.


Ro – male human peasant

A big, burly human male – apparently afflicted with “dumb-face” – stands apart from the main group, shuffling around impatiently while taking in the surroundings. He looks like a peasant, with very strong arms and chest. His hands are dirty. He seems startled when he hears “NEXT!” yelled and speaks up.

“Yo. My name is Ro.”

There is a pause as the group expects him to say something further. Ro returns to shuffling around impatiently and begins looking off into the distance. After several awkward moments it appears Ro has said everything he has to say.

Tōketsu Kaijitsu – male apothecary and chemist (Alchemist (Grenadier)) and longtime resident of Sandpoint


Upon further observation, it appears Ro has noticed a strange-looking weather-beaten man, sitting deep in the shadows of the darkest corner of the Rusty Dragon’s taproom, listening intently to the conversation. He is smoking a long-stemmed pipe and sipping some kind of liquor from a small wooden box which he occasionally refills from a ceramic jug which sits on the table in front of him. He is wearing a large straw hat of peculiar design which is pulled down low to conceal his features yet I can see the red gleam of his eyes each time he draws on his pipe.

He quietly watches us watching him for a minute before rising gracefully to his feet and crossing the room to greet the assembled. Up close I can see that he’s a giant of a man (6’10"), though lithe (286 lbs.), but more surprising is his pale blue skin, long arms that end in four-fingered claws, and a mouth full of wickedly sharp teeth with a pair of tusks jutting upward from his lower jaw. His silvery-white hair is pulled back into a topknot and two long horns protrude from his brow.

As the blue creature approaches the group, I notice Argentus’ brow furrow and a scowl appears and then disappears in the blink of an eye. After that, his face returns to a friendly smile but his eyes never leave his subject. I also notice Draethor’s right hand goes behind his back and grips the hilt of his strange, long-bent knife. He slightly pivots his stance so as to better hide his actions from the blue creature. He stops drinking as well. Goddess of travelers! I begin frantically looking around with my eyes to see if I can catch a glimpse of a swallowtail butterfly. I’ve made up my mind if I see one it is a sign to leave immediately.

The blue creature bows deeply and says;

“Greetings Stout-sama, it is good to see you again. How is your health?”

Dion nods casually in return and replies, “It is good, thank you for asking Tōketsu.”

An awkward silence follows as the group sizes up the new arrival.

Breaking the silence, the newcomer says;

“Hello. My name is Tōketsu Kaijitsu.”

“I am pleased to meet you Argentus-san.” Argentus doesn’t respond in any way to the greeting. He appears to be ready to depart immediately after, leaving his bottle of wine unfinished on the table.

“How do you do Draethor-san?”

“It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance Alf-san.”

“It is nice to meet you Ro-san.”

He punctuates each greeting by bowing slightly to the individual in question as he addresses them.

“I am an apothecary and chemist and a longtime resident of Sandpoint. If it is not too presumptuous to inquire, are you visitors here to enjoy our most excellent Swallowtail Festival, or are you citizens of Sandpoint as well? If the latter, please forgive my ignorance if I do not recognize your faces. I have not spent much time in the town itself in recent years.”

Before responses can be given to Tōketsu, Dion stands straighter, adjusting the weight of his morningstar and belt. “Friends, it’s time we adjourned to the central market square. The festival is nigh. Little elf, you can buy me a drink after the festival’s opening ceremony.”

Argentus politely says that he forgot about another obligation and excuses himself, saying that he’ll catch up with Dion and the others at the festival and hurries out of the Rusty Dragon, walking surprisingly quickly in his armor.

And, with that, the assembled make their way to the central market square. Draethor is sure to let Tōketsu go first. I don’t know if anyone else sensed what I did but if so they are not showing it. I notice Sanliss also leaves for the festival but is discretely following a bit back from the crowd.

from "The Journal of Siȝecraft Ælfsiȝe Ælfwine"

First, I will start with my name. The closest Taldane translation is \sije-ˈkraft\ \alf-ˈsije\ \alf-wahyn\, but that does not truly do justice to the eloquence of the spoken Elvish. My name means “powerful sorcery” “elf-victory” “elf-friend”. I have found it easier with the human folk to tell them my name is “Alf”.


As you may have been able to conclude from my story so far, I am an Elf. Elves are a special race – the best race, blessed with gifts from the gods. We are nimble, both in body and mind, but stereotypically our form is frail. We are immune to magical sleep effects and more resistant than the other races to enchantment spells and effects. We all are well versed in Elven Magic – overcoming spell resistance and identifying the properties of magic items are easier for us than for others. All members of our race have Low-Light Vision. While all elves are naturally lithe and agile, some also are naturally speedy and have a strong desire to rush into situations rather than worrying about looking ahead. Most of my cousins have Keen Senses and Weapons Familiarity with Elvish weapons. I do not have these gifts, instead being considered Fleet Footed, making me a faster runner and quicker to take action when action is required.

My kinsman are from Kyonin, the kingdom of the elves. My families have lived in Century Root since our return from Sovyrian during the Age of Enthronement. Century Root is a small elven community set-back into the Fierani Forest just a few miles from the Kyonin River.



I am physically weak but mentally strong. I’ve always been dexterous, and relatively healthy. My parents tell me I will become wiser with age, but that I am still just a child – which is very true. I am a likable enough person, but not nearly as likable as my sister, brother, mother or father. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

My story starts before my birth, with the marriage of my parents. Mother and Father had an arranged marriage, but they were already deeply in love before my grandparents had begun to negotiate the marriage contract. Having grown up together, and only a few years apart in age, Mother and Father were childhood friends and kindred spirits. They were eager for the contract to be signed and their life together begun.

Mother’s family – the Ælfsiȝe House – traces their linage back to the earth itself. “More elemental (earth) than elemental (earth)” is a rough Taldane translation of the family motto (although it sounds more eloquent in the original Elvish). The House bloodline is Wildblooded Primal Earth, but its origin does not have consensus among the elders. My maternal grandmother often repeated that a rather handsome Pasha (Noble Shaitan) impregnated a family matriarch ages ago. Regardless of the origin, the influence of earth extends to this day in the sorcerers of the House.

Father’s family – the Ælfwine House – was, millennia ago, the servant-slaves of an ancient black dragon. The family lore tells how multiple generations served the mighty beast, each generation learning more of the dragon’s magical secrets and passing them discreetly to the next. In the time of the seventh generation, the enslaved revolted against their master, besting him easily with the knowledge they had taken over the years. They granted the beast exile upon obtaining his word he would leave the region peaceably and never return. The House bloodline is Draconic (Black).

The joining of these two great Houses was foretold by the witch women of our village, and the day of the marriage contract was celebrated. The village anxiously awaited the birth of the firstborn child, my brother. He was born with the blood of the black dragon coursing through his veins and has become a mighty sorcerer. The birth of the second child, my sister, was also much anticipated. She was born wildblooded, with the blood of primal earth gently flowing through her body. She too has become a powerful sorceress and is greatly admired for her abilities. I, the third child, was heralded as the fulfillment of prophecy, and on the day of my birth (during the Ritual of Stardust 4587 AR) the witch women declared I was the one foretold. I am special, known as a Crossblooded sorcerer, having both the blood of the black dragon and the wildblood of primal earth in my veins. My siblings and I also inherited the Magical Lineage of our Father.

Prophecy can be cruel. As a youngster I began my training with the most talented sorcerers in my village, specifically my Mother and Father. Whereas it was easy for my siblings to bend magic to their liking through sheer force of personality, I was found not as capable. At first the witch women said this was normal for a crossblooded initiate. The power of two bloodlines in one body reduces the number of spells a sorcerer can know, and, the conflicting urges created by the divergent nature of the crossblooded sorcerer’s dual heritage forces him to constantly take some mental effort just to remain focused on his current situation and needs. This leaves him with less mental resolve to deal with external threats. The witch women reassured my parents that with time I would master my birthright.

One of my fondest memories growing up was practicing combat with my Mother. We were trained in all simple weapons. Mother is quite adept with the longspear and was determined her children would be able to protect themselves physically as well as by arcane means. She often referred to our training regime as the same that the great Elven heroes had used, telling me that someday I would be like a Warrior of Old. I put in long hours on combat drills, and though time has made this training a dim memory, I still have a knack for quickly responding to trouble.

Years passed and I was still the weakest pupil in Century Root. I had learned the Read Magic, Detect Magic and Detect Poison cantrips but nobody (including me) was impressed. I did learn how to use my Elemental Ray, a gift from my wildblood, but at my age my sister had twice as many as I can command. My brother had already gained the ability to manifest draconic claws at the same age. The witch women assured my parents my inability was another by-product of my crossblooded birth and that my claws would manifest with time (but they seemed less enthusiastic with me now).

The one area I outshined my older siblings (and my parents too) was languages. I’m native bi-lingual, never remembering a time when I could not speak both elven and Taldane (Common). I learned Draconic from my father, and Sylvan from my mother, mastering both before my 35th birthday. I next learned the languages of our racial enemies: Orc, Goblin and Gnoll. My curiosity turned to ancient Thassilon as I approached my 84th birthday.

Part of the training I received from my parents was instruction in various skills a young sorcerer may need. Naturally, I was instructed in basic knowledge of arcana, spellcraft and the use of magical devices. I received instruction on how to perceive the world around me, to identify threats before they occurred. And since I was a very small (and weak) child, I learned how to bluff and intimidate.

I began researching independently to identify remedies to my arcane development challenges. Without consulting my parents I sought out a human practitioner of the ancient tradition of Varisian spellcasting in the nearby village of Greengold. The Varisian tattooed sorcerers used magical tattoos, colorful and intricate, to enhance their magical powers. I received two tattoos. The first is known as a Familiar Tattoo – I choose the form of a greensting scorpion. The scorpion may leave my body and animate into its namesake, acting as a familiar spirit. The second tattoo is known as a Varisian Tattoo, also known as a Mage’s Tattoo. It makes a caster stronger in one school of magic. I choose evocation. As a side effect it grants the use of Dancing Lights three times per day. I realized after I received my tattoos that I’m no longer able to command my Elemental Ray. They say magic has a price – I guess in my case it was inexpensive. After my tutelage I thanked the Varisian master, bid farewell and made my way back home.

My capability of controlling magik was becoming stronger, although my ability was still lacking. Sting (my familiar) was good comfort, always making me feel more alert, but of little practical help in my meditations. I learned my first and only spell, Burning Hands (another limitation of the crossblooded). I am more adept at my spell than any other initiates of similar skill level, but I have still failed to realize my birthright. Acid is an energy type elusive to arcane practitioners until they are more mature.

More research has led me to conclude that I will never be an effective sorcerer. My personality is not strong enough to control arcane energies through innate means. The disappointment I see in the faces of my supporting family shames me. I was to be the fulfillment of prophecy, a crossblooded sorcerer, combining two great Houses. Instead I am a failure.

But my mind is strong. I was certain I could learn the formulas wizards use to command mystic power. It seems easy compared to attempting to control magic as a sorcerer. I found an Evoker specializing in the Admixture sub-school in Iadara, Kyonin’s capital city. Bidding my family a tearful goodbye, I left my home and made way for the capital. My journey was uneventful, and I easily found the residence of the Admixture Master.

Petitioning for an audience with the Master was difficult. He’s ancient, even by elven standards, and no longer takes apprentices. It was only through mention of my family houses, Ælfsiȝe and Ælfwine, that his servant took note of me. I received word the next day that the Master would grant me an audience.

When I met the Master I was enthralled. Weathered by time, he still conveys his mastery of the arcane in every move and gesture. We were seated, and I began to explain my tale and why his teaching was so important to me. He laughed. “Little boy, you have failed at sorcery and now wish to fail at wizardry as well?”

Without thinking, with tears in my eyes, I cast Burning Hands into the air above his head. “I have power over the elements and a keen mind. I will not fail!”

The Master sat straighter, with a gleam in his eye that I could not understand. I feared my rash act in his house may have cost me more than a chance at apprenticeship and immediately regretted my hasty action. The Master stared as if measuring an opponent, then burst into laughter again. “Long have I feared that the knowledge I have over evocation and the elements would be lost upon my passing. Swear to me you will be a studious apprentice, and will teach another the secrets I teach you before you die, and I will accept you as my apprentice.”

Quickly I swore his oath, but I was crying before the end. “Also swear you won’t cry anymore in my presence – I don’t like it.” We both laughed heartily at this, and my apprenticeship was begun.

As I understand it, my apprenticeship was much like any apprising wizard’s. I spent half of my day during chores for the Master, often using cantrips or minor magical items he would provide. The other half was spent in practice with the Master. Although I am quite proficient charming the source of magic for my Burning Hands, the Master insisted I learn the “true version” of the spell with him. We practiced admixing, usually with acid, where I could already see an improvement due to my sorcerous blood. I practiced many other true spells, but always with mixed success. The Master also insisted that I learn the metamagic feat of Intensified Spell. I have seen little use for it so far, but defer to the old man’s instincts – he insists it is necessary for an admixture specialist to know.

The theory of wizardry was easy to understand, but I still have difficulty with the application. The Master said I was a good student, and capable, but I still cannot reliably admix from one element to another, even with his help. After years of study, I was prepared to accept that I was a failure at wizardry as well – a failure at life. The Master detected my mood and gave me consul.

“The sorcerous training you’ve received interferes with the true arcane teachings I am giving you. But, Siȝecraft Ælfsiȝe Ælfwine, you will be a great wizard one day. You told me when we first met that you have a keen mind, and so it is. You also told me you’ve mastered the elements, which is not so. You have begun your journey to master evocation, the most powerful school of wizardry, but the road continues. Someday soon your mind will go “click” and you will be able to see magik as a wizard does. Until that day, you must practice and study. And, that day will not be while you apprentice for me. You use me as a crutch to help do the things your mind can not yet grasp. You haven’t even decided on your opposition schools yet! I’ve enjoyed your company, but to continue your mystical journey you must leave. It doesn’t have to be today, but you must decide what the next step is and take it.”

We sat in silence for a while, and I realized he was right. I could feel my mind wrapping around the structured use of magik, but I would then fall back to my sorcerous tutelage or my Master’s help. As the Master left the room, I determined to take the next step.

The Master had made me study the theory and art of magic every day. My thoughts began to turn to ancient Thassilon and their traditions of magik. Before Earthfall, what is now known as Varisia was the site of one of humanity’s most powerful civilizations: the empire of Thassilon. Founded by exiles from Azlant and ruled by wizards known as Runelords who reveled in the seven deadly sins, the nation of Thassilon enslaved giants to build vast monuments to its own ego. When Earthfall ushered in the Age of Darkness, Thassilon – already teetering from its own decadence and corruption – fell as well. The region remained wild for thousands of years, inhabited only by barbarian tribes of Shoanti and Varisian wanderers until the frontier finally came to the attention of expansionist Cheliax, whose armies marched on the region in 4405 AR. Chelish soldiers drove the warlike Shoanti into the rugged regions to the northeast, while Colonists adopted a tenuous peace with the native Varisians under the pretense of bringing “culture and civilization” into their lives. It was at this time that the ancient frontier came to be known as Varisia. Since then, the area has become the Inner Sea region’s fastest-growing realm – a place of new opportunity, while still heavy with ancient mystery and the promise of undiscovered riches.

Having decided upon Varisia as my destination, my next goal was to set up a base of operations. After study I came upon the sleepy town of Sandpoint.

“Resting in a natural cove along the cliff-lined Lost Coast region of Varisia, on the edge of the Varisian Gulf, Sandpoint is a medium-sized city that exemplifies the diverse people of the country. While only about thirty miles northeast of the city of Magnimar and technically under its rule, Sandpoint benefits from its isolated position in its ability to remain fairly independent. This coastal town has enjoyed great prosperity in its four or so decades of existence, and has recently grown large enough to become Varisia’s sixth-largest city.

Sandpoint’s most striking feature, which it is built around, is an ancient Thassilonian tower known today as the Old Light. This ruined beacon extends high above the cliffs of the coast, reflecting the ancient empire of Thassilon that existed here centuries before the present town was settled.

Despite recent growing pains (such as an increase in crime, including the depredation of the notorious murderer Jervas Stoot, known also as “Chopper”), Sandpoint’s mayor, Kendra Deverin, hopes to see her town’s prosperity grow even further in the years to come. The ruined edifice of the Old Light, combined with the town’s traditional problems with local goblin tribes, make it a hotbed of adventuring opportunity – fueling the growth Mayor Deverin desires (although not necessarily in the way she desires).”

It sounded perfect. The entry went on to indicate Sandpoint has a population of roughly 1,200, the vast majority of which are humans. There are non-humans but their numbers combined are less than 10% of the population. Sandpoint, according to the entry, has two taverns/inns – I’m sure one would make a good base of operations.

I will be what the locals call an Outlander, being originally not from Sandpoint. I come as a Lore Seeker; the secrets of the ancient fallen civilization of Thassilon intrigue me, particularly the magical traditions of its highly mystical culture. I’ve studied magic intensely and hope to increase my knowledge by adding Thassilonian lore. I come to Varisia to pursue that study, and I have chosen Sandpoint as my base because it was out of the way of the larger cities – meaning less competition to study the ancient monuments in the region (I hope!)

Before leaving the Master’s tower, he presented me with a spell component pouch and a spellbook. “Soon, you will be able to use these. Use them in good health. May the elements teach your enemies!” I bid my farewell, breaking my oath to never cry again in his presence. We both begin laughing (while I still cry), and I take my leave and begin my journey. It is six years since I began my apprenticeship, and I have learned much.


Being born on a day holy to Desna, I have purposely timed my arrival to correspond with the start of the Swallowtail festival, always on the autumnal equinox, the 22nd day of Rova 4707 AR. During my journey I have started this journal to record my studies as I embark on this new period of my life. I hope one day to publish my journal, far in the future when I have proved myself a Wizard.



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