Western Alliance Runelords Campaign

Assault on Thistletop (part 1)


The party finds that Thistletop lives up to its namesake – it is completely surrounded by a thistle forest that has created a maze of prickly walls. Within these walls, the goblins have created the outer defenses of their home. In traversing this maze, the party encounters some goblin warriors, refugees, and goblin dogs. They also fight an advisor to Warchief Ripnugget, a goblin druid named Gogmurt, who fights with a cougar names Tangletooth. Although Gogmurt traverses the nettles without harm, he is not match for the heroes. During the battle, Gogmurt does speak to the party and tells them that Chief Ripnugget is no longer in control of Thistletop – he has become enthralled with a very angry woman with white hair and weird eyes and a torn up belly. “Worse than a harpy, that one!” Gogmurt spits. Then he quickly clarifies his accusation: “The woman. Not Chief Ripnugget. Don’t tell him I called her a harpy!”

After dealing with Gogmurt, the party creeps through the thistles to the cliff and a long rope bridge that spans the gulf over the water and to the island of Thistletop…

If you are keeping track of XP, the individual total for this night’s adventure was 1416 XP each.

About Goblins

The ranger Shalelu Andosana spends time with you, explaining what she knows about the local goblin tribes.

GOBLIN TRIBES: As she mentioned earlier, there are five major goblin tribes in the region.

The closest to Sandpoint are the Birdcruncher goblins, who live in caves along the western edge of the Devil’s Platter, although traditionally these goblins are the least aggressive of the five.

To the south are the Licktoad goblins of the Brinestump Marsh, pests who are excellent swimmers.

East are the Seven Tooth goblins of Shank’s Wood, goblins who’ve secured a place for themselves by raiding Sandpoint’s junkyard and rebuilding the stolen refuse into armor and weapons.

Farther east are the Mosswood goblins, likely the largest tribe but one traditionally held back by feuding families within their own ranks.

And finally, there are the Thistletop goblins, who live on the Nettlewood coast atop a small island that some say holds a passing resemblance to a decapitated head.

GOBLIN HEROES: Shalelu notes that goblins generally live short, violent lives. It’s unusual for a single goblin to achieve any real measure of notoriety, but when one does, it’s well earned. Currently, six goblins in the region enjoy the status of “hero.”

Big Gugmut is an unusually muscular and tall goblin from Mosswood who, it is said, had a hobgoblin for a mother and a wild boar for a father.

Koruvus was a champion of the Seven Tooth tribe, as well known for his short temper as he was for his prized possession—a magic longsword sized for a human that the goblin stubbornly kept as his own (despite the fact that it was too large for him to properly wield). Koruvus vanished several months ago after he supposedly discovered a “secret hideout” in a cave along the cliffs, but the Seven Tooth goblins remain convinced he’s out there still, a ghost or worse, waiting to murder any goblin who tries to discover his hideout.

Vorka is a notorious goblin cannibal who lives in the Brinestump marsh, a “hero” mostly to goblins other than the Licktoad tribe.

Rendwattle Gutwad is the obese chieftain of the Brinestump goblins, a corpulent monster who, it is said, never leaves his throne.

Ripnugget is the leader of the Thistletop goblins and controls what the five tribes agree is the best lair.

And then there’s Bruthazmus, an infamous bugbear ranger who lives in northern Nettlewood and often visits the five tribes to trade things he’s stolen from caravans for alcohol, news, or magic arrows. Shalelu notes that Bruthazmus has a particular hatred of elves, and that they have fought on several occasions. To date, neither of them 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.

Burnt Offerings Part One

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:
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!)
Belor hemlock
Belor Hemlock
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!”
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.
Father Zantus:
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!

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!
Burnt offferings banner
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.

Local Heroes
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…
Tsuto handout2

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!

Welcome to Sandpoint!

You are in Sandpoint for an auspicious occasion! It is the 23rd of Rova and the Autumnal Equinox. 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.

This is a chance to enjoy this idyllic coastal town, an oasis along the Lost Coast. What has brought you to Sandpoint?

Our Party
Mishka – Elf Ranger
Klemh – Human Alchemist
Sir Gregor – Human Cavalier
Milan – Human Fighter
Zhandre – Half-orc ?
Blunt – Drow Cleric

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.


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