Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition

Aviel's Journal

Part 2

After our initial encounter with the goblins, Contoa set about interrogating the one that we took captive. Although his technique was crude, it had the desired effect and the goblin indicated that the attack was orchestrated by a “longshanks”, a goblin term for most non-goblines that were taller than themselves. Further questioning revealed that the attack was a cover for something that was going on at the graveyard.

This was very disconcerting, who could have organized disparate goblin tribes to such an extent that they would attack a city in order to cover up some other crime? I must admit, it was an impressive feat. I have to admire the cunning that went into such an accomplishment, however the fact remained that there was more here than met the eye.

We informed the guard in charge of the prisoners to make sure that the sheriff was informed of what we had learned and then headed to the church to investigate the graveyard. At the church we met with father Xantis. He was fretting about the current events and seemed clueless as to what to do. Needless to say, I was exceptionally disappointed in his behaviour. A man in his position needs to be strong in the face of such adversity. As the spiritual leader of the community it is unseemly to be so openly confused and indecisive. I gave him some stern words hoping that he would pull himself together. If not for the presence of my companions I may have indulged the need to strike the man to knock some sense into him.

We asked to see the graveyard, but he was evasive. It was obvious that he was hiding something. He insisted in waiting for the sheriff to arrive before we were allowed to begin our investigation.

Once the sheriff arrived, we entered the cemetery to find that a large group of individuals had been through there recently. There were numerous tracks, most of which were human like in nature. One of the tombs in particular was disturbed, its door left open. It was identified as the tomb the Tobias family, the previous priest and his adopted daughter, both of which perished in the fire that burned down the original temple.

Upon peering inside, we were beset by skeletal undead. Contoa Charged ahead before I could react. Although I thought it foolish at the time, he was vindicated when the channeled might of Gorum smote the undead to ashed. I am once again impressed by the prowess of my companions. Up to this point we have had no formal discussion of our individual abilities. Though I left a poor impression at our first meeting, I hope that we can have a more amicable discussion at our next so that we can learn the extent of each others abilities in an effort to improve our effectiveness as a team.

A subsequent investigation of the tomb revealed that the priest’s corpse had been removed. A soiled robe was also found inside. Zakiv seemed to take an interest in it. It was indicated that the item was magical, though its exact properties remain a mystery. Zakiv took possession of it though I have to admit that its tattered and old appearance would not do him justice if he should decide to wear it.

A more in depth investigation was cut short by Xantis. He seemed exceptionally keen on sending us on our way as quickly as possible. He is definitely hiding something, but with the authority of the sheriff on his side, we had little choice but to leave.

The next day we lacked any further direction with regard to the goblin attack so we set about surveying the damage of the night before. During our inspection a woman and small boy approached us appealing for our help. Apparently a goblin had somehow become trapped in their home. The son had discovered the creature’s presence and when the father came to investigate the family’s dog became involved. My understanding is that the dog rushed into the room with the goblin and then it’s barking ceased.

Although the family had safely left the building the father went back in after the dog and was not seen since. I cannot adequately express my contempt for this man, it took considerable effort for me to keep my words in check as my companions consoled the woman. This man’s duty was to his family, and with them safe he decides to foolishly put himself in mortal danger over a dog instead of staying with them and contacting the proper authorities. Now his misplaced act of bravery has likely cost him his life and condemned his family to hardship, all for a pet.

I was a little concerned that the wife would approach a group of strangers before the town guard about the matter, but given the previous night’s display of the guard’s capabilities she likely made the correct decision.

We entered their abode and found the offending goblin. It was quickly dispatched and as I suspected, the corpse of the father was found. The goblin had cut a hole in the floor to the crawlspace under the house and had attempted to drag the man’s body down the hole. The goblin had also begun to consume the corpse, the man’s face and upper body had been eaten away by the creature. I had no sympathy for the fool. My companions broke the bad news to the wife and we did what we could to console her. What a needless waste.

Later on that same day we were invited to a meeting with the man we had saved the previous night, Lord Foxglove. He thanked us for saving him and rewarded us with some coin. Quinn was given the task of looking after the group’s gains until such a time as they could be divided.

Foxglove mentioned that he was here from Magnimar to experience a boar hunt and invited us to join him. Although some concern was raised about the wisdom of leaving the city in light of the goblin attacks, we were assured that the area we would be hunting in was free from goblins. Some of my companions lacked much enthusiasm for the event, but everyone eventually agreed to go.

The next day we set out on the hunt. Foxglove was a well mannered man and very inquisitive. I was more than happy to indulge his curiosity. I had thought at the time that making a contact in Magnimar would be an asset, but as the day wore on, I started to become somewhat skeptical about exactly how much influence the man actually had. I think that I may have overestimated his family’s fortunes.

The hunt itself proved fruitless. Although tracks were spotted, we were unable to follow them to a boar. Along the way my companions attempted to gain a higher vantage, but the climb proved too difficult. Foxglove subtly mocked them for their failure which annoyed me. They were attempting to aid him in his hunt and he was dismissive of their efforts. I may have high expectations of my companions, but I won’t scorn them for failing at a worthwhile task. My opinion of Foxglove waned over the day and eventually we headed back to town.

Upon returning to town we were summoned to a meeting with the sheriff and the mayor. When we arrived there was a third individual there, an elven woman named Shilelov. Shilelov was a woodswoman who kept an eye on the goblins and culled their numbers. She told us about the different goblin tribes and their leaders and about how the tribes had organized themselves and were conducting raids against settlements all about the area. There was definitely something larger going on though she was unable to tell us what.

Although the information was too late to prevent the attack on the city, it was very informative. She was going to return to the wilds to continue her reconnaissance while the sheriff indicated that he was going to head to Magnimar to request more troops to help deal with the problem. In the meantime he asked us to maintain a presence here as the local population had learned about our acts during the goblin raid and saw us as local heroes and it was his hopes that our presence would help keep things calm in his absence.

I have to admit, I am not sure how I feel about this turn of events. The sheriff didn’t actually give us any authority, he indicated that we should direct policing matters to his second in command. Why wouldn’t he send his second in command to request more troops? Or even just write a request and send a runner? This seemed like a very poor decision, with recent events it should be his duty to keep an eye on things. It was unseemly for him to vacate the city at a time like this, however it is they type of irresponsibility I had come to expect from what passed as the authorities in this city.

With a little trepidation I accepted the responsibility and my companions also agreed. I was still uncertain what our role actually was but at least a more competent team was now in place should something arise that needed skilled individuals to handle.

There was nothing of note that happened the rest of that day. Foxglove invited us for dinner at the Rusty dragon and we accepted out of courtesy.

During dinner that evening there was a brief disturbance when a finely dressed older gentleman burst into the Inn and began verbally accosting its proprietor, Ameiko Kaijitsu. There was a heated argument between the two in a foreign language. At some point the conversation switched to the common tongue and the nature of the disagreement was made clear. The older man demanded that Ameiko leave the town with him for Magnimar. When the man grabbed her arm, my companions felt compelled to intervene in what was clearly a domestic matter.

There were some harsh words traded and then the older man, who turned out to be her father, disowned her for refusing to leave. I had only a passing interest in the exchange until Foxglove mentioned that the older man was the owner of the glass factory. By the Nine Pacts, why did something as simple as a trade mission have to become so complicated!

So now I was faced with having to become involved in a family dispute to try and salvage what I could of my reason to be here. I had some reassuring words with Ameiko and offered to help her if I could. Looking back on it I think that I was planning on trying to mend the relationship between her and her father to make a good impression because in retrospect, Ameiko having just been disowned no longer had any influence with her father’s glass factory. I think the mead I had been drinking beforehand may have clouded my judgement on the matter.

We retired for the evening after that. The next morning, the barmaid Bethama approached us with some disturbing news. Ameiko had gone missing sometime the night before. She explained how after searching for her she found a note in Ameiko’s native language. The maid had been taught the strange tongue and had translated the note for us.

It appears that Ameiko had a half brother who was a source of shame for her father. The brother was sent away, but Ameiko secretly found him and remained in contact. Unfortunately there was some kind of falling out and they had not spoken for quite a long time. The note indicated that he was back in town and alluded to some kind of questionable activity that her father was involved in. It requested a meeting at the glass factory and indicated a meeting spot and secret signal.

And so, we are off to the glass factory. I have little hope that my brother’s plans of establishing a contract for glass wares will survive our involvement in this family mystery. I am curious though about the father’s insistence on abandoning their holdings here and heading to Magnimar. It seems suspicious. Even as I write this, I am suddenly struck by the oddity of the sheriff’s abandonment of the city in it’s time of need for Magnimar as well. The timing seems too convenient to be a coincidence. I almost expect Father Xantis to find some reason to leave the city next. Very peculiar.


Tom_H starfox_sfx

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