Jerm's Runelords

Stand By Me
...when teen PCs encounter a dead body...

Gwendolyn, Marla Howard, Morvius Pindleloric, and Paldma Battlesinger each went their separate ways after class at the Turandarok Academy, where the focus of that day’s lessons was geography. They roamed the streets of Sandpoint where they visited Alma Avertin at the Sandpoint Savories and browsed for books at the Curious Goblin.

They met up later and encountered Shayliss Vinder, a flouncy, bouncy redheaded girl. After Morvius rebuffed her very inept passes, she told them that there seemed to be some good stuff being dumped onto Junk Beach by Gorvi and his boys. As her sister Katrine Vinder came to take her home, she begged the PCs to get her something good.

The PCs went down to Junk beach and began shifting through the detrius when they encountered four juvenile goblins. Morvius and his animal companion killed two, and two ran off further down the beach. As the PCs stopped to catch their breath, a body fell seemingly from the sky. The body was missing its eyes, tongue, hands and feet. A quick look up revealed only the flash of a cloak whirling as whomever tossed the body over the cliff fled the scene. The PCs head up to the top of the cliff, but find no other clues and head for home.

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Final-ly

The PCs endured many long lectures at the Turandarok Academy by day, while a serial killer stalked the people of Sandpoint at night. Known as The Chopper, the killer would chop off the hands and feet of his victims, stack them near the body, while the eyes and tongue would not be found.

The PCs met the people in their neighborhood, including a stranger woodcarver named Jervis Stoot who was known for his eccentricity and carvings of birds, the Sheriff and his Deputy, the sage Brodert Quint, and many others whose names the PCs have forgotten. The PCs did some investigating on their own, and Madame Nishka’s Harrow reading gave some insights into the mind of the killer.

The PCs also briefly met Nualia, the etherically beautiful ward of Sandpoint’s High Priest, Ezekial Tobyn as she was accosted and abused in a brief walk into the town. The party later eavesdropped on a conversation between Nualia and her beau, a Varisian youth named Delek Viskanta. But in doing so spooked the boy and mortified Nualia.

A sighting of the Sandpoint Devil that night presaged yet another murder.

The night before final exams, the party attended a memorial service for Atsuii Kaijitsu, formerly the wife of town noble, Lonjiku Kaijitsu. Most believe Atsuii was a victim of The Chopper, although her body was not mutilated as the others — perhaps The Chopper was interrupted and flung her body over the cliff where it was found.

Tsuto Lonjiku—a half elf—makes an appearance at his mother’s service. He gets into an altercation with his father Lonjiku. Tsuto’s sister, Ameiko, tries to intervene, but Tsuto curses his father and leaves Sandpoint.

Nearly a month after encountering the first of the Chopper’s victims, the party has reached the end of their adventures at the Academy — it is Finals Day. Paldma walks away with class Honors.

That night, the PCs attend a graduation party. A glance out the window to the street below reveals someone wielding a butcher’s knife attacking someone in an ally. A shout to Sheriff Avertin who is passing below leads to a pursuit. Although Sheriff Avertin is killed, he wounds the Chopper and Deputy Belor Hemlock and the town militia follow the blood trail to Stoot’s Rock — an island just off of the coast where Jervis Stoot — now revealed as the Chopper — lived.

Later rumors indicate that a strange shrine was found where the eyes and tongues of the victims were stacked. Belor slew Jervis Stoot after fierce battle, and the militia burn down Stoot’s house and the long stairway that led up to it, ending this horrible chapter of Sandpoint’s history.

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The Roof is on Fire

The PCs take on a job from Brodert Quint to check out a newly discovered and possibly untouched Varisian ruin north of Riddleport, He arranges transportation, and the party lcoates the ruin. They trigger a holographic image that spoke to them telepathically, demanding supplication to Xanderghul, the Runelord of Pride. They earn a mysterious seven-pointed star pendant. Continuing on into the ruins, they are ambushed by goblins. After an extended battle that lays several PCs low, the party is ultimately victorious. The trip home was uneventful, and they are rewarded after handing over a Varisian idol that they had discovered.

The PCs decide to take a post-graduation trip out to the Tickwood forest a couple of weeks later. After an uneventful camping and hunting trip, they return to Sandpoint, only to see a column of smoke on the horizon as they approach the north gate. They rush to town, only to find the chapel leveled in a conflagration, and the townsfolk trying to fight the spreading fire. Morvius sprints over to the triage area where citizens overcome by smoke or hurt in the fire lay needing help. Paldma and Marla organize the haphazard bucket brigade attempting to fight the fire, while Gwyndolyn runs into a burning building, accompanied by Morvius’ wolf companion, to find and save a boy trapped inside.

A miracle occurs, unseen to most, and possibly unrecognized as such by all.

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Party Like Its 4707!

It is five years later. Morvius has a new companion – a baby elephant. Paldma searched out lore on her parentage and of Thassilon. Gwyndolyn helped her family out at the brewery. Marla’s whereabouts remain unknown.

It is the Swallowtail Festival – a holy event for the adherents of Desna, and the occasion of the consecration of the new Sandpoint Cathedral, and an opportunity for reunion for the PCs. There are speeches and games, and the players good-naturedly participate. Also, free food! And a cart full of butterflies freed, only to be chased by Sandpoint urchins throughout the day.

The town gathers before the Cathedral. As Father Zantus begins to speak, a scream. Goblins are overrunning Sandpoint! The crowds break up, but the PCs wade into the fray, taking out at least as many goblins as the goblins themselves did. Sounds of battle elsewhere in the town reveal that the fight in front of the Cathedral was only part of a much larger raid on Sandpoint. A pause, then shouts for help at the north gate. A visiting nobleman from Magnimar, Aldern Foxglove, was cornered by a band of goblins. His dog dead, he was sure to be a goner when the PCs quickly dispatched the goblins.

The tide of the battle has turned, and those goblins that survive begin to flee by the quickest route — some run pas the PCs and stream out of the north gate, some run for the south gate, others leap over the cliff to Junker’s Beach below. A couple of goblins have been captured and are questioned by the Sheriff and the town guard.

The Cathedral is consecrated in a small, quiet ceremony as citizens stay home and begin the recovery.

A miracle occurred this day, witnessed by few and unrecognized by all (at the time).

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Hometown Heroes

(GM Note:this was sent out via email. Still awaiting some responses, but will update as received.)

Although there were some goblins who apparently infiltrated the town from the south, or climbed up from Junker’s Beach, the main thrust of the goblin raid was in front of the new cathedral, and it was the three of you (Gwyndolyn, Paldma, and Morvius) who contributed most to saving Sandpoint. In the aftermath of the goblin attack, the people of Sandpoint are not overly interested in finishing up the Swallowtail Festival. As citizens leave for home to recover, many come up to you and thank you for helping to save them. Father Zantus holds a quiet ceremony to complete the consecration of the new cathedral.

Ameiko Kaijitsu approaches you that evening. She is impressed with your valiant actions, and as a way of saying thanks offers you a week’s worth of room and board for free at the Rusty Dragon (this is the same inn that Aldern Foxglove, the visiting nobleman whom you saved, is staying).

The next day, you walk around town. Alma Avertin (mother of the former sheriff, Casp Avertin, who was the last victim of the Chopper), greets you, saying how proud Casp would be of all of you, and that Gwendolyn was looking a little skinny and must be starving and pushes a fresh-baked loaf of bread into Gwendolyn’s arms.

You wander by the Hagfish, and you do not pay for a single drink. You are challenged once again to take a drink from Norah’s tank. (GM aside: let me know if you want to try again).

A stop at Savah’s Armory is greeted with an instantaneous offer of 20% off anything in stock. (GM aside: let me know if you want to buy anything – including any masterwork weapons—and I’ll let you know what’s available).

Cyrdak Drokkus asks Paldma if she would stay a moment. " I am working on a new production, but I have a part I believe you would be perfect for. It is still in the early stages, I have to finish the script, score the music, but I think this will be the next big theatrical hit in Magnimar! Well speak again once we are ready to begin casting and rehearsals! (GM aside: Let me know how you respond)

Morvius walks down the street by himself when he is tapped on the shoulder. He turns, and finds Shayliss Vinder. You recall a sort of bouncy flouncy redheaded girl who told you about the cool stuff just tossed onto Junker’s Beach. She has grown up in these last five years (GM aside: see attachment for Shayliss Vinder today).

Her father is the owner of the General Store. She smiles at you and says:“I need a hero. Maybe you might could help me?” There are rats in the store’s basement. Why just yesterday, I am sure I saw one the size of a goblin hiding behind a barrel." She begins to twirl a finger in her hair, and continues, “Daddy doesn’t believe me. He only cares about Katrine shacking up with one of the lumbermill workers anyways. Now, there are only just a couple of rats, but I do so sorely need a hero to come to my rescue. Would you like to come back with me to the basement? You’ll be handsomely rewarded.” (GM aside: how do you respond? Do you go with her?)

The next day, Sheriff Hemlock contacts you. He thanks you for your assistance during the goblin assault, and asks you to meet with him and Father Zantus at the Cathedral as there is something he’d like your assistance with.

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These were the people in your neighborhood

The Sheriff and the good Father request the party to investigate the tomb where Father Tobyn and his ward Nualia are buried. It appeared that the tomb had been open and desecrated. The party and the Sheriff go to the tomb to investigate, leaving Father Zantus in the Cathedral. The stone door was ajar. Several goblin footprints and a set of footprints belonging to a larger humanoid were found outside. The Sheriff returns back to the Cathedral to bring Father Zantus in case there are undead waiting inside the tomb. While he is gone, the party enters the tomb — where indeed there are two skeletons. The party handily defeat the creatures and find a robe. The robe was later identified as a Robe of Bones and the skeletons were magical constructs — not the remains of Father Tobyn and Nualia as someone had meant for them to believe. Indeed, the raid may have been intended as a diversion as the real culprits stole the bodies which had lain here. The question remains: who would take their bodies, and for what purpose?

The party attempt to follow the tracks, but the tracks appear to split off and eventually disappear, and so the party returns home.

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So Very Boaring

The party meets up again with Aldern Foxglove—the visiting noble from Magnimar whose life they saved—at the Rusty Dragon. He rewards the party with 50 gp each and insists they join him for dinner. He is gregarious, and asks the PCs many questions about themselves—Where are they from? How long been fighting goblins? Any harrowing tales of adventure? But he seems particularly interested in Paldma. He further insists that the party join him on a boar hunt the next day. He gifts each party member with a horse or pony, and a boar spear (the rules of the hunt allow personal bow or boar spear only).

It is a mile and a half to the Tickwood -home to wild boars, deer, firepelt cougars, rare giant ticks. Aldern once again is a charming conversationalist, well read with endless stories of high life in Magnimar. He asks Paldma about her leadership and role in the party, taking every opportunity to praise and compliment her.

A boar is spotted. A chase ensues. Battle, followed by Victory!

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100 Sandpointers were Surveyed: Name an item you won't find on the menu
And the survey says...

A surly visitor bashes open the door and barks a command in a strange language. He is a middle-aged Tian man who looks more anceint than he is. It is Lonjiku Kaijitsu. Patrons grow quiet and interested in their meals as he stalks further into the tavern, looking for someone . He notices the PCs and accuses them of endangering townsfolk with ill-advised antics against goblins and should have left defense to town guard and trained mercenaries. “Just what we need – filthy band of vigilante vagrants to attract even more trouble.”

Ameiko rushes in, her ladle dripping soup. She and her father argue in Minkaian. Enraged, Lonjiku tries to grab Ameiko’s hair, but she dodges his attempt, swings around and brains him with her ladle. Fish stock and potatoes splatter all over Lonjiku’s hair and clothes. He sputters and says: “You are as dead to me as your mother.” He storms out.

Ameiko is almost brought to tears. She picks up ladle, picks a hair out of it, says to Bethana: “I’ll need a well-cleaned ladle now, since jackass stew is not on the menu.” The inn erupts in cheers and applause.

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The boy who cried goblin

The PCs are implored to go to the house of Alergast and Amele Barett. Their son Aeren was much affected by the goblin raid, and has night terrors and claims there is a “closet goblin” which tries to come out at night to eat him. His cries would send their dog Petal into a barking frenzy, waking the whole family.

After checking the closet and finding nothing, Alergast threatened to make the boy sleep in the woodshed if he couldn’t be a big man, and go through one night without crying and telling stories. One night, they heard Petal cry out in pain, and Aeren’s cries turn even shriller. Alergast burst into Aeren’s room to find the dog dead and a goblin crouched on Aeren’s chest—his arms covered in goblin bites. He chased the goblin back into the closet. Amele fled, taking the children, seeking out the Heroes of Sandpoint.

The PCs investigate. They encounter a crazed goblin who had apparently gotten trapped within the Barett house via a hole in the closet. Crazed with hunger, he apparently had been kept at bay by the dog, but eventually hunger won out, and he killed the dog and attempted to eat Aeren. The party quickly dispatch the fiend. However, Alergast had been partially … consumed.

Distraught as much at the news as by Morvius’ manner of informing her, she glares at the PCs. She eventually moves to Magnimar with her children, joining a sister there.

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