Toilday, 25 Rova, 4707 A.R.
Rising early, the heroes prepared for their morning hunt with Lord Foxglove. They met him in the mounting yard outside the Rusty Dragon—along with Steel’s mighty warhorse, Foxglove had procured horses for the other members of the party, along with a pony for Valjun, but the gnome was absent. They waited for him to arrive, but his brother Huvic came running up in his place, saying that Valjun had been taken ill and would not be coming. Aldern was disappointed, but set out nonetheless.
The party—including a dozen or so retainers and hunters that Lord Foxglove brought along—took the northern route to the Tickwood; with reported sightings of the Sandpoint Devil above Devil’s Platter nobody wanted to take any chances. The journey was only a couple of miles, but at their leisurely pace it gave the heroes and Lord Foxglove time to get to know each other. He asked about their background, and they about his; he explained that while he was indeed born into the nobility, he considered it little more than an accident of birth, and that he was no different to the common man—not entitled to anything purely by the fact of his social position, and able to provide employment for many who were less well off. He said he took his obligations to the people seriously.
Moonday, 24 Rova, 4707 A.R.
The next morning, the group assembled in the taproom at the Rusty Dragon for some breakfast and to discuss yesterday’s events, but their food had barely arrived before a member of the Watch—one of few who hadn’t been badly injured in last night’s raid—came to their table and asked them politely to head to the Town Hall where Mayor Deverin would like to see them. The four companions hastily scoffed what they could and made their way there, with Steel offering Ameiko his apologies that he may have to delay their sparring session until tomorrow. Ameiko just laughed and said he was going to need the time to practice.
In the mayor’s anteroom, the group was surprised to find the other three people who had defended the new Cathedral from the goblin attack—a human woman in half-plate armour, a pallid elf in a black pleated robe carrying an elven longsword, and a Tian human man with a head shaved bare save for a single long braid at the rear, which he had wrapped around his neck like a necklace. The woman introduced herself as Maia, and her companions as Ffynn and Wei.
It transpired that the three adventurers had been making their way down the coast from the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, and had been in Sandpoint thanks to pure happenstance. The two groups shared ideas about what might have caused the goblins to band together and mount such an audacious attack, with the newcomers agreeing that something or someone powerful had to be motivating the goblins to work together. Galfin asked Wei about the weapon he was carrying—little more than a short wooden stick with an attached leather thong, that he looped around his thumb. Wei explained it was used in grappling techniques and joint locks. Galfin asked for a demonstration, and was gasping on the floor with a very sore left elbow in short order. He got up just as an aide opened the door to the mayor’s office and ushered all seven of them in. (more…)
Sunday, 23 Rova, 4707 A.R.
Having witnessed the death of his master—the exiled Knight of Lastwall Cayden Ryder—on the border with Belkzen, the mercenary known as Steel arrived in Sandpoint seeking Cayden’s brother Erik, intending to inform him of Cayden’s passing.
In Sandpoint itself, the Swallowtail Festival was in full swing. The rogue Galfin picked a few pockets as he idly waited for the Sandpoint Games to begin, until he was eventually caught trying to filch Steel’s purse. After a brief exchange, with Galfin providing the much bigger man with directions to the Rusty Dragon, the men parted with little more than heated words. Galfin went to place a bet on the horse race to be held later in the day, betting on an outside chance—a stallion named Shadowmist—rather than the favourite after checking over all the horses as they waited in the stables.
Elsewhere, Valjun, the gnome printer, watched as the nobles of Sandpoint paraded down Main Street on their horses, on their way to attend the Festival’s opening speeches. The crowd’s rapturous applause, in combination with vapid possessiveness on the face of Titus Scarnetti in particular, drove Valjun from irritation to outright anger. The gnome quietly intoned a few syllables and flexed his fingers imperceptibly. The horse reared and dumped Scarnetti unceremoniously on the muddy road—to the uproarious laughter of the common folk. Scarnetti, however, did not see the amusing side of the situation, and demanded that the person responsible for spooking his horse be found immediately, but Valjun slipped away before he could be spotted.
At his lodgings at the Rusty Dragon, Reza stared critically at his reflection in the mirror, as he did every morning. After several minutes of examination, he could find nothing out of place, and began to make his way downstairs, intending to join in the fun and frivolity of the Festival. He ran into Steel on the stairs, and the two exchanged a nod before going their separate ways.