The goblins are vanquished just as Parlay catches up to the party. He is carrying two bloody and hairy things, the hair of each being slightly different. These he tosses into a fire saying something in Shoanti. Meanwhile, Agrent kneels over the fallen and prays “May your journeys be swift and your packs light to the land of the unseen and unheard, where your burdens are set aside and the Great Spirit welcomes you, where you can finally be at peace.” He admonishes “Do not celebrate the deaths of these unfortunate creatures. Celebrate that you lived and the Great Spirit preserved you. They were trying to defend their homes and clan just as we were. It is done!”
Agrent then pulls his obsidian knife “Shame to waste all this meat. Anyone ever eat Goblin?” To which Bron replied “I likes ‘ta’ kill me some goblins, but can’t see eatin’ em. He then moves off to do a security check and get some real food.
The Sheriff comes running up from the far side of town with a few armed militia trailing behind him looking like he just came from his own fight. He nods to Bron and looks the other two Shoanti in the eye. People begin to relax as it appears the goblin menace has ended. Some carry the wounded and dead into the new cathedral where Father Zantus has begun to set up a hasty triage. This is also where they bring Falathar. As they do so they look at the conscious members of the party with varying degrees of gratitude on their faces and worry for the fallen.
Agrent stares at the sheriff for a moment and then begins cleaning and dressing Parlay’s wounds in the manner of the Shoanti. He then turns in silence to allow Parlay to dress his own wounds. Neither shows any signs of pain unbefitting a true warrior. They then take each other by the forearm “Ahk dharanok ekbit roark…Ahit on’niklit, Nalharesti.”
Having finished with the battle wounds, Agrent returns his attention to the sheriff. He wants to track the goblins path to/from the town. “Surely these Shamek did not grow up from the ground. Do you have any notion from which direction they came?” The sheriff tells him that they will wait for Shalelu to return from the hinterlands. “She is our expert on goblins.” Agrent argues it is foolish to wait, but the sheriff is unwavering on this! Agrent then proceeds to the temple to assist in the triage of the wounded.
Erlig returns to the Rusty Dragon’s food booth, where he finds Ameiko and her partner Bethana. Asking if there is any food left, Ameiko points him toward the kitchen “Assuming the nasty little runts haven’t found the kitchen in the Rusty Dragon!”
Meanwhile Rain goes in search of the first place the goblins were spotted. Muttering to herself “That just don’t make sense. Gobs don’t behave like this.” She is bent on ferreting out what happened, and not to mention the same with the goblins.
Strabo finished his conversation with the noble, Aldern Foxglove of Magnimar, who had been unhorsed by the dog riding goblin. He inquired of Strabo “incidentally, who stuck that goblin dog rider with a single arrow? I didn’t see who, but that was an amazing shot. I’d really like to meet that person!” Strabo invited him to join the group at dinner, where he would “make the proper introductions.” With a lecherous smile Strabo then left to attend the wounded at the temple.
At the temple he searched out and found Falathar unconscious form. He cast a cure light (very much on the light side) on Falathar, which brought him back to consciousness. Grinning rather sheepishly, Falathar thanked Strabo, while inside loathing that he was now in Strabo’s debt! Upon rising, Falathar cast two cure lights on unconscious victims in an effort to revive them.
About this time Bron noticed Rain heading off. He approached and asked if he could join her. Before they had gotten very far Agrent arrived to assist in the search. They find that there were five groups of goblins. Three groups evidently came into town hidden in wagons under tarps. In fact, the group had seen one such wagon parked in an alley just prior to the attack. The man who drove the wagon left on foot and disappeared between two buildings. One group of goblins came in through the town gate, but there was no sign of a fight at the gate. This information highly incensed Bron “how the hell..!” The fifth and final group came in over a low wall at the cemetery. There they were joined by a human. A grave was dug up and the coffin empty. It belonged to the former priest Father Ezekiel Tobyn, killed in the fire of the former temple some years before. His ashes are gone. The grave next to his (his daughter) was left untouched. The human accompanied the goblins as they made their escape.
A fuming Bron left Rain and Agrent as they continued tracking outside the town with a parting “I’m goin’a get “ta” the bottom of this!” He found out from the next morning that Wyrick, town militia had been assigned to the gate by which the goblins had breached the city. He found Wyrick heading to the Hagfish. Whereupon, Bron hailed him. As Bron questioned him, Wyrick’s answers got more and more suspicious, when he suddenly bolted down the street. Immediately Bron sprinted after him, but alas a dwaven sprint is no match for a quick young man. Bron shouting for him to stop or someone to stop him, took a shot with his crossbow. I do not wish to impugn his prowess with the bow, but several people no where near the culprit were forced to scramble away from the errant shot.
Bron saw Erlig knocking down the Rusty Dragon’s booth and shouted for him to grab the traitor. Erlig not quite sure what was going on was hesitant to start, but then took up the chase keeping Wyrick in sight. Erlig yelled back at Bron to hurry up and he kept on Wyrick across the bridge and down to the noble’s houses. He did an admirable job of following the traitor right up until he lost sight of Erlig by a noble’s house. By the time Bron came huffing up out of breath, there was no hope of finding Wyrick. Bron’s attempt to chastise Erlig for letting him get away were so punctuated by his breathless gasping, it was comical!
Rain and Argent followed track back up the trail the goblins at taken on their way into town. The trail leads them back to their very own camp, which the goblins had despoiled on their way into town as an added bonus. To add injury to insult, the goblins had urinated on and around all of their (Rain, Agrent, and Parlay) belongings. This is where the five groups of goblins had met up before attacking the town. They had moved towards the ocean and the road on their way into town. They had formed two parties – one consisting of two tribes and the other formed by three tribes.
Agrent suddenly went on the alert at the sound of careful footstep coming towards them. He motioned silently to Rain to take cover, and then from behind a bush notched and arrow. A figure emerged from the East, which turned out to be a female Elf. A quick word of greeting from her to Rain in Elvin. Rain motioned for Agrent to lower his weapon. They switched to common at Agrent’s request, but words between Rain and the Elf were clearly strained. Agrent later learns that they are half-sisters, and the Elf’s name is Shalelu.
Shalelu has been tracking goblins for several days. They have attacked a farm and a wagon train between Nettlepoint and Mosswood. A stallion was stolen from the merchants. While this alone is unusual, even more so is that the goblins are cooperating between tribes. Even tribes that are mortal enemies are working towards common targets. Shalelu is worried about where they will strike next, to which, Agrent and Rain inform her of the attack on Sandpoint. Agrent is all for tracking them back, but is informed that a bugbear is protecting and working with the goblins. Still, Agrent would have gone after, but was finally convinced that more would be needed to defeat the bugbear on his own ground! With that concluded, their turned back into town to report.
That afternoon a town hall meeting has been called. The mayor calls the meeting to order. It is clear that someone brought the goblins into town! She introduces Shalelu an unofficial member of the town guard. The mayor hails the outsiders (us) as the newest town heroes! The mayor reports that Sandpoint is not the only attack by goblins in the area. She relays the information about the attacks between Nettlepoint and Mosswood. We learn that the stallion stolen was being delivered to Ethram Valdemar, one of the four town founders.
Next Shalelu steps up to speak. “I hear there is a crack shot around here!” She goes on about the “Fecund and Salacious little runts, Gobos.” As to the goblins, she notes that the Mosswood and Longshanks Clans were already beat up from their traditional interclan fighting. Still, they joined three other tribes in the raids between Nettlepoint and Mosswood as well as here in Sandpoint. The goblins appear to be working with Big Bosses and a Bugbear. Two goblins were captured alive and will be interrogated after this meeting.
Next sheriff Belor calls upon Bron for a report. Bron notes that five groups of goblins attacked the town. Three groups snuck in under cover in wagons to various parts of town. A fourth group came in over a low wall into the cemetery, where they were met by a human. This group dug up Father Ezekiel Tobyn’s grave and stole his ashes. Whoever led them to the grave, left with the goblins. The fifth and final group came in through the main-gate. The sheriff “sent me ‘ta’ talk with Wyrick the gate’s guard.” Bron relays how Wyrick’s answers got fisher and fisher. Then suddenly, he “run off like a thief.” Bron thanked young Erlig for his help in chasing Wyrick, but they lost him down by the noble’s houses. At this point Voldemar and Scarnetti have looks of horror etched on their faces!
After the meeting concluded, Agrent joins Bron and returns to the place Erlig saw Wyrick disappear. Agrent follows the trail into the house, which belongs to the Kaijitsu family. No one is home, but there is a rear entrance opening out on to a narrow path down the cliff to the sea. Bron remarks that he will have to check out the Hagfish that Wyrick had been about to enter that morning.
The group meets at the Rusty Dragon to talk. It seems to all that Falathar is going out of his way to antagonize the dwarf Bron. Finally, Bron has had enough and takes Falathar outside promising the group that he will not lay finger on the bard owing to his already beat up condition! Outside Bron wants “ta know, just what is your Problem!” Falathar reminds Bron that he was the town guard that met the wagon train that he, Strabo, Sampson and Erlig had come in on. He saw that Bron did not stop or interrogate the thieves led by Jubrayl Vhiski. Bron demanded what proof Falathar had that they were thieves? “Strabo overhead Jubrayl and his men talking about the ambush on the trail was a dispute with them over territory. Fortunately, Jubrayl and his men didn’t realize what large ears Strabo has, nor his knowledge of languages!” Bron vehemently denied having anything to do with Jubrayl or the Szcarni in town. Falathar informs Bron that he believes him. “Why did ya have to go and get me dander up” instead of just asking Bron exclaimed! To which, Falathar replied with a sly grin, “It is far harder to lie when a man is so angry, he can’t think straight. I apologize for doing so to you, but let me make amends. The ale is on me!” With that Falathar reached down and claps Bron on the back and they strode back into the Inn . Everyone was surprised to see them return and Falathar no worse for the wear. Not only that, but they were smiling too!
The discussion at the Rusty Dragon reveals many things of interest concerning the goblins. Much of this was contributed by Shalelu. The five groups of gobos are Bird Crunchers from the Devil’s Platter, Licktoad (good swimmers) from the marsh, Seven Tooth (hero is Horoous), Mosswood (large tribe), and Thistletop from the Nettlewood Cove (they are in league with the bugbear). The Bird Crunchers and the Licktoads are sworn enemies, and yet they both joined in the raids. Although, they attacked different areas of Sandpoint. Shalelu goes on to give us some insight into Goblins and their beliefs:
- Horse Hate: Goblins excel at riding animals, but they don’t quite get horses. In fact their hatred of all things horse is matched only by their fear of horses, who, tend to step on goblins who get too close.
- Dog Hate: Although goblins raise horrible rat-like creatures to use as mounts (and ride wolves or worgs if they can get them – goblins are quick to explain that wolves are NOT dogs), their hatred of ordinary dogs nearly matches their hatred of horses. The feeling is mutual, so if your dog’s barking at the woodpile for no reason, chances are good he smells a frightened goblin hiding in there somewhere.
- Goblins Raid Junkyards: Garbage pits, gutters, sewers…anywhere there’s garbage, you can bet goblins are nearby. They’re weirdly adept at crafting weapons and armor from refuse, and are fond of killing people with what they throw away.
- Goblins Love To Sing: Unfortunately, as catchy as their lyrics can be, goblin songs tend to be a bit too creepy and disturbing to catch on in mainstream society.
- They’re Sneaky: An excited or angry goblin is a noisy, chattering, toothy menace, but even then, they can drop into an unsettling silence in a heartbeat. This, matched with their diminutive size, makes them unnervingly adept at hiding in places you’d never expect…stacks of firewood, rain barrels, under logs, under chicken coups, in ovens, etc.
- They’re A Little Crazy: The fact that goblins think of things like ovens as good hiding places reveals much about their inability to think plans through to the most likely outcome. That, and they tend to be easily distracted, particularly by shiny things and animals smaller than them that might make good eating.
- They’re Voracious: Given enough supplies, a goblin generally takes nearly a dozen meals a day. Most goblin tribes don’t have enough supplies to accommodate such ravenous appetites, which is why the little menaces are so prone to going on raids.
- They Like Fire: Burning things is one of the great goblin pastimes, although they’re generally pretty careful about lighting fires in their own lairs, especially since goblins tend to live in large tangled thistle patches and sleep in beds of dried leaves and grass. But give a goblin a torch and someone else’s home and you’ve got trouble.
- The Get Stuck Easily: Goblins have wiry frames but wide heads, and live in cramped warrens. Sometimes too cramped.
- Goblins Believe Paintings and Writing Steal Your Soul: The walls of goblins lairs and ruins of towns goblins have raided are littered with pictures of their enemies. They never draw pictures of goblins, though – That’s mean. Writing steals words out of you head. You can’t get them back.
We also learn the items that were “accidentally” thrown away in the junkyard and latter stolen by the goblins. These include lumber and tools. If goblins are good a piecing together junk, just what are they going to be building with good lumber and tools? Bron also informs us that no one claims the wagons used by the goblins. To Strabo “no they’re not the wagons you came in on.”