1. Arrival at Sandpoint
Sandpoint – 1240 people, mostly humans wtih a small number of halflings, elves, dwarves, gnomes, half-elves, half-orcs. Mayor Kendra Deverin, Sheriff Belor Hemlock, Town Priest Abstalar Zantus
How has your character arrived at Sandpoint? Visitor? Native?
2. The Swallowtail Festival
Held on the Autumnal Equinox, the 22nd or 23rd of Rova. It is morning…
For five years, the faithful of Sandpoint have attended church in temporary structures erected after fire destroyed the previous temple, and while their new religious leader was helpful, kind, and wise, church wasn’t the same. Now, the new cathedral is finally done. All that remains is for the Swallowtail Festival to renew the site’s blessings from the gods and it will be as if the Sandpoint Fire had never occurred.
The Swallowtail Festival begins promptly, as scheduled, on the Autumnal Equinox. The square before the church quickly becomes crowded as locals and travelers arrive, and several merchant tents featuring food, clothes, local crafts, and souvenirs are there to meet them.
WELCOMING SPEECHES: The turnout for the opening speeches is quite respectable, and the four keynote speakers each deliver short but well-received welcomes to the festival. Mayor Deverin’s friendly attitude and excitement prove contagious as she welcomes visitors to town and jokes about how even Larz Rovanky, the local tanner (and notorious workaholic) managed to tear himself away from the tannery to attend, much to everyone’s amusement (except Larz’s).
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.
“Greetings all and welcome to Sandpoint’s Swallowtail Festival! Today we celebrate the re-opening of the town’s cathedral. Why, this must be a special ocassion if even Larz Rovanky can find a moment to stop working at the tannery to attend today! (Laughter) And to our visitors, welcome to Sandpoint! I hope you will enjoy our hospitality!” (Cheers!)
Sheriff Belor Hemlock brings the crowd down a bit with his dour mood, his reminder to be safe around the evening’s bonfire, and his request for a moment of silence to remember those who lost their lives in the fire that claimed the town’s previous church several years ago.
“Good morning. I am Sheriff Hemlock. Welcome to the festival. I hope everyone will remember to be careful around this evening’s bonfire. (Silence). Now, I would ask that we all bow our heads to remember those who lost their lives in the fire that destroyed the previous church five years ago.” (Silence)
Mayor Deverin: “Our next speaker was supposed to be nobleman Lonjiku Kaijitsu, but he has taken ill and won’t be able to join us.” (PCs hear several people mutter: “I’m surprised they thought he’d speak today. He hates parties anyway!”)
“Next up is Sandpoint’s own showman Cyrdak Drokkus!”
“Well, now the party can finally begin!! Let’s face it, the last five years have been opening act we’ve ever seen, but come on! Let’s open the show!! (applause and cheers). And I don’t think Hemlock has smiled once in all those years! (laughter).
Drokkus is more than up to the challenge of bringing the crowd’s mood back up with his rousing anecdotes. He delivers a not-completely-irreverent recap of the long process the town went through to finance and construct the new cathedral. He throws in a bit of self promotion at the end, as is his wont, inviting everyone to stop by the Sandpoint Theater the following evening to check out his new production of “The Harpy’s Curse,” revealing that the lead role of Avisera the harpy queen will be played by none other than the famous Magnimarian diva Allishanda!
Finally, Father Zantus steps up to give a short speech thanking everyone for coming before declaring the Swallowtail Festival underway.
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. His role as high-priest keeps him very busy and he is having a hard time keeping up with all the current happenings in town.
“Today is a momentous and holy occasion that we all should celebrate! At sunset, we will recite the Prayer of First Dreaming to consecrate the temple, but for now, let us enjoy the Swallowtail Festival!
FESTIVAL FUN AND GAMES:
Numerous games and contests take place during the day, including sack races, games of hide-and-seek, weight-lifting challenges, balance beam contests, tug-of-war events, and the like. The PCs can take part in as many or as few of these games as they wish—you can use these games as a method to introduce the PCs to each other or to key NPCs in the town. Resolve games with opposed ability score or skill checks. Winners of these games generally win nothing more than bragging rights for the rest of the day, but for many of Sandpoint’s residents, this is a fine prize indeed!
SWALLOWTAIL RELEASE , LUNCH, and CONSECRATION: Finally, Father Zantus takes the central podium…He uses a Thunderstone to get everyone’s attention, but it also has served as a signal for a secret attack on the town!
3. Goblin Assault!
Just then, goblins began to pour out of crates and holes around the town square, burning wagons and attacking anything that moved. Over the chaos, several began chanting a bizarre song in a shrill, scratchy voice:
“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!”
Luckily for the town of Sandpoint, several young adventurers have filtered into town over the past day and they lept into the fray, killing goblins and saving the townspeople. This included a young nobleman named Aldern Foxglove, who thanks the PCs and invites them to join him for dinner at the Rusty Dragon tomorrow. They also meet the owner of the Rusty Dragon, a beautiful and exotic Tian woman named Ameiko Kaijitsu, who rewards the PCs with a free week of lodging for defeating the goblins.
In the days that follow, the PCs are known by everyone in the town and treated like heroes. They are also of interest to Sheriff Hemlock, who asks the PCs for some help.
Father Zantus contacts Sheriff Hemlock about the tomb of Father Tobyn being opened. With the recent battle, Hemlock can’t spare any guards to investigate and asks the PCs to do it. He offers to pay them each 10 GP if they accompany him. On the way to the Boneyard, Sheriff Hemlock thanks them again and asks each of them a question about their background. They meet Zantus and Hemlock asks him to wait as the group investigates the tomb. Once they enter, they are attacked by skeletons. They discover the remnants of a Robe of Bones and that the body of Father Tobyn has been removed!
Later, the PCs are invited by Aldern Foxglove to join him in the Tickwood Forest for a boar hunt. They agree and easily bring back a wild boar to be cooked at the Rusty Dragon. There, they witness a domestic dispute between Ameiko and her father, Lonjiku Kaijitsu. Lonjiku orders Ameiko to leave the tavern forever and come with him to Magnimar. She refuses and the PCs try to help. Lonjiku tells Ameko: “You’re as dead to me as your mother.”
The next day, the party is once again asked to help with an investigation into a family whose child has been bitten by a goblin. They discover the father dead and a goblin standing over him. They fight and kill the goblin. They also are asked by the Sheriff to join him in the Mayor’s office, where they meet a local elf ranger named Shalelu Andosana. She explains the local goblin tribes and their leaders, as well as the bugbear ranger Bruthazmus who lives in the area. Any of them could be connected to the attack on Sandpoint. Someone is organizing the goblin tribes…
On their way back to the inn, a timid elderly halfling named Bethana, who works at the Rusty Dragon, approaches the party. She says that her employer has gone missing. She found a note written in Tian written by Ameiko’s brother, Tsuto, asking her to meet him at the family glassworks factory. The sheriff and many of his mean are in Magnimar, getting more troops. Only the PCs can investigate.
At the Kaijitsu Glassworks, the PCs discover a horrific scene. A group of goblins have entered the factory and are tearing up the place. As they fight the goblins, the PCs are also attacked by Ameiko’s half-elf brother Tsuto. The PCs finally defeat them all, only to find Lonjiku Kaijitsu, dead and encased in molten glass. They also rescue Ameiko in the lower level of the glassworks, along with a secret tunnel leading into a dungeon area. Tsuto’s journal indicates that Tsuto’s girlfriend, Nualia, is behind everything and is some kind of demonic woman. The Thistletop goblins were behind the raid and their leader Ripnugget is in league with the bugbear Bruthazmus. There is also something called Malfeshnekor in the lower chambers. They also plan on doing something with Tobyn’s body at the Thistletop shrine. Nualia’s transformation includes some kind of strange “hand” and is being done to the demon Lamashtu.
After a rest, the PCs need to decide whether to investigate the tunnel below the Glassworks to seek out this Nualia before she unleashes another attack on Sandpoint…
Under the Glassworks, the party investigates a tunnel entrance in the basement. This was clearly a smuggler’s tunnel at one point as part of it leads down to the shore. But they also find an older brick wall that had been recently torn down, leading to an even older set of tunnels. Here, the party discovers a forgotten “runewell”, an ancient portal of power used by the Runelords long ago. It’s energy has twisted several creatures down here, including a quasit who helped introduce Nualia to the demon queen Lamashtu. After dispatching a sinspawn creature, a deformed goblin Koruvus, and the quasit herself, the party studies the runewell and figures out how to destroy it. There is clearly more to this dungeon but the stairs going down are blocked by rubble. Written above the staircase in Abyssal are the words “Evil below. We will kill all humans.” Perhaps another day…
For now, the party has unearthed enough evidence that the Thistletop Goblins are not only working for Nualia, they are planning an even bigger assault on Sandpoint. It is time to go to Thistletop!