Agreeing to cover ground quickly, the group split up to ask four of Sandpoint’s most knowledgable. Fittingly, Andri chose to speak with Madam Mvashti, a harrower like himself and a denizen of Sandpoint since its founding. Theo chose to seek the Sage Brodert Quink, under the assumption that common ground would arise in the academics of ancient structures. Selith and Gale chose to seek their knowledge from the temple-library to Irori, hoping that Sabyl Sorn would be willing to answer their questions.
Sabyl Sorn was disinterested in providing much information, imparting at best the knowledge that the fire spread to the white deer inn.
Madam Mvashti provided her knowledge with equal parts mystery. She provided many details of Nualia’s divine heritage, the late unpleasantness, and the impression something dark had the spirits on edge. Before parting, Madamn Mvashit gifted one of her harrow to Andri, in hopes he would find the spirits helpful to him. Andri left the house noting how gracious and kind his host had been.
Brodert Quink was an unusual man, but answered many of Theo’s questions beyond what he anticipated. He dove into detail on Nualia’s heritage and childhood, noting that much was expected of the poor child. He also glanced on Chopper’s murder spree, which troubled the town in the month leading up to the cathedral fire. With so much knowledge around, Theo couldn’t help but ask what brought the sage to Sandpoint. The answer could not have been less dry.
With a lead to dig further into Nualia, Theo ran into Selith and Gale at the Turandarok academy. Meanwhile, Andri communed with his new deck.
Within the walls of Turandarok, Theo extrapolated that perhaps Nualia’s introversion was as much her will as it was Father Tobyn desperately seeking to protect her. From what, no one could speculate. Eventually, everyone regrouped in the Rusty Dragon Inn, where notes and stories were shared and corroborated. With parallels drawn, Andri couldn’t help but think the murders were equally in part diversion to whatever burned the cathedral as the goblin attack had been to raid the tombs.
Theo brought forth his final piece of fascinating information: Old Light was a Thasilonian weapon. Immediately, and perhaps as the sage suspected he would have been, Theo’s information was ridiculed as wildly inaccurate. Frustrated, he kept the rest of his interest in the tower to himself.
About that point in the afternoon, Aldren stopped by to see Selith, subtly ignoring the rest of the group. Annoyed at the disrespect, Theo respectully parted ways for the evening, seeking to run a few more errands before the market closed. Andri doted on Selith for a bit before inviting him on a boar hunt. When Selith hesitated, Aldren explained the invitation to the whole group. Quickly the others agreed.
Later, Theo had returned with a few more curative potions in his bag, and finished his meal alone as others retired for the evening. A woman named Sheliss entered the tavern seeking anyone from the group to help her. Theo was hesitant to assist, since the need to exterminate rats was not the way he wanted to spend his evening. After neither could agree on the price, Sheliss leaves and Theo retires to the Pixie’s Kitten for the night.
The next morning, bright and early, Aldren meets Selith, Gale, Andri and Theo near the gates to Sandpoint, ready to hunt boar. Eager to try his skill at tracking, Theo struggles to find boar or his way in the woods. After others take the lead and with most of the day spent, the group set to return with no boar found.
To their horror, Gale was attacked by a giant mantis on their way home. Quickly Theo moved to flank the creature, and Aldren held his own better than the heroes of Sandpoint could claim. With some grit and luck, and a bit of tenacity by Andri pulling Gale out of harm’s reach, the mantis was felled. Theo took a moment to take the mantis claws, and followed the group upon their return.
At dinner, Aldren offered little in support or interest in the group, and his doting on Selith made Theo actively disinterested in the conversation. Not long after dinner, a shrieking woman rushed in with a wounded child.
Amelie Barett explained her situation, how her son had fretted about a monster in his closet, how she and her husband shrugged off his fears, and how it all changed the moment her son was attacked.
Eager to investigate, the group gathered their gear to head out. Aldren chose to part from the group for the evening. While Selith was quite cordial in bidding his farewells, Theo took the opposite extreme and acknowledged the departure dismissively.
At Amelie’s home, the group cautiously investigated for any sign of monsters. The likely hiding spot was still the son’s closet, as now a pair of legs stuck out from the furniture, unmoving. After the skeletons surprised him in the crypts the day before, Theo was prepared for anything around each corner. To his chagrin, the goblin still surprised him.
The close quarters in the room offered a fair degree of difficulty for most of the group, as many rely on space and clear targets to defend themselves effectively. Theo swung with his sword, struggling to find purchase against in the tight space. As the closet was nearly annihilated, Theo finally dealt the killing hit; his greatsword sinking into the gonlin’s skull. Suddenly a loud crash had exploded the closet from below, and quickly Andri called out to Selith that the goblin was dead.
Theo carefully delivered the grave news to Amelie, and the group escorted her back to the Rusty Dragon where Ameiko comped Amelie her room for the night; her own gesture of condolences for Amelie’s tragic loss.
The next morning, Lonjiku, Ameiko’s father, stormed into the tavern of the Rusty Dragon, demanding she come with him and abandon the town of Sandpoint. Should she agree, he bargained it might be enough for the old man to begin accepting her apology for the atrocious behavior she’s displayed toward him. Upon her refusal, the old man declared Ameiko was out of the will and “as dead to [him] as her mother.”
Lonjiku’s intensity was enough to shake Theo for merely challenging the old man’s tone. As he recovered, Selith turned to comfort Ameiko, effectively, and Andri sought to chase down Lonjiku to ask him why. When Lonjiku realized Andri was not a Sandpoint native, he immediately dismissed Andri like a bug on his shoe. Insulted, Andri returned to sulk with the others and finish breakfast.
Aldren appeared, again, and offered to take the group out one more time for a boar hunt. Selith immediately said yes, starting the trend for others to agree. At the stables where Aldren kept his horse and gear, the group met the stable master, Daverin Hoske. Daverin recognized the group instantly, and offered them a reward for every pair of goblin ears they should find in their excursions. With the gear in hand, the group set out to hunt boar once again.
After struggling with the tracking once again, now frustrated at the entire ordeal, Theo gave up trying to assist in the hunt, hanging back to heckle the doting couple ahead. Selith remained close to Aldren, asking many questions about the progress and gaining plenty of answers. Andri had begun to see the same double standard and joined Theo in the quiet heckling, even with Gale as their only audience.
As the second day of hunting drew to a close, it appeared that even with Aldren leading they would not find any boar. Unlike yesterday, however, Aldren seemed cheerfully dismissive of the failure, since it can happen so easily. To everyone’s surprise, they came across a small family of boar, and promptly engaged.
Aldren prepared to flank, but appeared annoyed when Theo couldn’t easily maneuver to do so effectively. While Theo could handle the boar spear, his discomfort with such a weapon showed and he struggled to connect with the first boar. Before he had another chance, Aldren impaled the beast expertly.
Annoyed, Theo turned his direction to the other adult as it charged at Selith. Gale moved to assist Selith, but instead earned a tusk into her stomach as she reeled from the pain. Andri rushed over and began working up his curative magics, desperate to help his friends. A solid hit upon the boar earned Theo mere snark from Aldren. Furious, Theo turned to glare at Aldren, but Aldren had already returned to ignoring Theo and doting on Selith for helping him defeat the other boar.
Aldren’s adrenaline was high, and rallied the party to chase down the piglets. Growing frustrated, Theo charged behind Aldren, but the weapon balance got the better of him and his attack on the piglet missed. Gale arrived at the new melee, and proceeded to stab one of the piglets. Sleigh was next to join, shooting a thunderous bullet and missing wildly. Just as Andri arrived, Gale took another tusk into her stomach and passed out from the injury. In a dire turn of events, Theo took an aggressive hit from the other piglet and also fell unconscious.
As the group panicked to save the friends, Aldren and Selith worked to end one of the piglets, leaving Aldren himself to take the brunt of the final boar’s attack. Andri, concerned for his best friend, focused his curative energy to revive Theo. With Theo awake, Aldren finishes the final boar, giving Theo the chance to pass Selith a curative potion. Andri directed his curative magic upon Gale, pulling her from the brink. Aldren took note that no such healing was offered to him, but everyone was too oblivious to realize the error had even been made.
With the boars dressed and bound on Aldren’s horse, the successful hunting party returned to Sandpoint. The group enjoyed another hearty meal in the Rusty Dragon. Not before long, Sheliss appeared again. Upon seeing the full group, she excitedly approached, still asking for help clearing the rats from her basement. Still unswayed, Theo jested that his price still stood. Andri perceived that the rats weren’t exactly rats, and upon pressing the matter, everyone quickly discovered she was attempting to seduce them. Aldren took that exact moment to sneak away with Selith; his expertise so trained no one noticed until they were gone. Andri curtly rebuked Sheliss, but Theo made sure she knew not to try again. Now furious, Sheliss stormed out of the Rusty Dragon, leaving Gale, Andri, and Theo to finish dinner.
After dinner, Gale attempted to clean Theo’s wounds, but some of his injuries were bad enough that she advised they see Father Zantus. Father Zantus, still grateful for the group’s heroics for Amelie Barett, provided Theo with the curatives he needed for no charge. Grateful, Theo donated to the church before he and Gale returned to the Rusty Dragon. Bidding farewell to Gale for the night, Theo returned to the Pixie’s Kitten for a bath and a private conversation with Andri before he, too, went to sleep.