Rise of the Runelords: Arbiters of Change

The First and Second Encounters

As recorded by Thomas, the Dog of Sartor

The day began like any other. Or rather it didn’t. Actually it didn’t begin like any other day at all. In fact it was so unlike any other day that in the future, the participants in this story will be able to look back and go “Yep, that’s the day it all began.”

Three of our heroes awoke that morning to find strange gems embedded in their foreheads and evidence of having been attacked. They also found themselves in a strange inn in a town they did not know on a coast they couldn’t recognize. So far so good. It was more or less recognized that they were in a pretty pickle and so they decided to head downstairs to uncover more of what befallen them.

On the first floor of that inn, they met with the innkeeper who revealed they had a mysterious stranger to owe for their accommodations as well as a gift. Pressed for more information, the innkeeper could only give a vague description of the stranger as being very tall and lithe and hidden beneath a dark cloak. Our heroes thanked the innkeeper for his information and took the “gift”, a small bag, to a table to open over breakfast.

Meanwhile, a few tables over, our fourth hero was busy pretending to read a book while he strained to overhear the odd patrons’ conversation. What made them unusual, as far as he could tell, was that two of them sported gems, like his, in their foreheads. The other, odds were, did too as he had his face and head covered with a scarf. In fact his intuition was spot on as the one with his head covered motioned for the other two to cover theirs.

Our odd hero out scooted imperceptibly closer to the three to see what their mysterious benefactor left them: 3 black cloaks of incredible quality, 4 silver clasps, and 2 wands of an obvious magical nature. Unfortunately for our intrepid eavesdropper, as they were examining the artefacts, the three became acutely aware of the magical aura emanating from the fourth’s forehead and before long he was shanghaied into the group discussion regarding metamagical matters.

The conversation didn’t last for long as the (now) four’s benefactor, Mr. K, left a note suggesting in such a manner as to leave no room for alternative interpretation that they go and enjoy the Swallowtail Festival that was going on in town. Seeing as that was as good an idea, the four left the inn and ventured towards the newly rebuilt temple to partake of the festivities. Good food was had by all and after a few words spoken by the Mayor and other very important people, the real fun began.

Screams and cries of horror began first at the edge of town, but swiftly travelled towards where our heroes were seated listening to droning of the sheriff or some-other-person-who-didn’t-really-matter-at-this-point-because-hey-there-were-goblins! Yes, goblins burst into the crowd who screamed and acted in exactly the way you’re not supposed to in panic worthy situation by panicking. Our heroes, of course, did not and so they were able to quickly meet the first and second waves of goblins in combat.

There may or may not have been some friendly fire on the part of an unnamed alchemist, but it’s all good because a paladin was on scene. At any rate, the goblins stood no chance against our heroes’ combined might and together they toppled the goblins in the main square, just in time to hear a cry of help coming down a side street. they rushed forward eager to put down more of the goblin menace and arrived to find a man cornered by several goblins, one mounted atop an ugly excuse for a wolf. The man’s faithful companion, a dog, had already been slain and he would have been next if it hadn’t been for our heroes’ timely intervention.

After those goblins had been put down the man introduced himself as Aldern Foxglove, a local noble. Thankful for saving his life, Foxglove offered our heroes dinner at the Rusty Dragon and on their way there, suggested they join him for a boar hunt on the morrow. Our heroes readily agreed as the Rusty Dragon provided such good at the festival that there was no reason at all to turn down such an offer, plus a boar hunt is always fine entertainment.

On the way there, however, the sheriff of Sandpoint, Belor Hemlock approached the heroes to ask of them a favor. They were the heroes of Sandpoint and he could use their help to examine a tomb that had been desecrated amidst the chaos of the goblin invasion. Foxglove was reticent to let his new friends and meatshields leave him alone, that is until the fortunate arrival of Ameiko Kaijitsu, whom Foxglove managed to persuade into escorting him the rest of the way to her tavern. This left our heroes free to go with Hemlock to examine the grave of Ezekien Tobyn, the former priest.

Upon reaching the mausoleum where Tobyn had been buried, the heroes and Hemlock found the door cracked open. They paused to see if they could hear anything from inside, but after perceiving nothing, they opened the door only to reveal a gang of undead skeletons. They were dispatched quickly with some hefty cleaving and the group inspected the interior only to find that Tobyn’s body had been removed.

Outside the mausoleum, they found traces of goblins and a medium humanoid having climbed over the wall and our intrepid adventurers scaled the ten foot stone impediment to follow the trail off into the forest. Hemlock meanwhile left to report the news to Abstalar Zantus, the current and mild-mannered priest.

Our heroes followed the trail into the forest only to have it dead end as the sun was setting. A quick scouting of the surrounding countryside via the top of a tree revealed nothing so they headed back to the Rusty Dragon to compare notes and discuss the events of the day.

The food was good and they were given a gift of gold as thanks from Foxglove and they even managed to secure a week’s stay in the Rusty Dragon if they stayed and helped Hemlock look into the missing body. The heroes spent their first night sleeping soundly unsure of what the week may bring.

The group spent the next morning getting supplies based off what they had earned in rewards from the day prior and it was passed in anticipation of the Boar Hunt at noon. A hat was purchased, along with a map, and they even had a visit to the town guard’s amory. It was quite a shopping experience.

At any rate, at noon they met up with Foxglove and his men before heading to the stables where Foxglove generously purchased a horse for each of our Adventurers. It was obvious by now that if you kill things you get lots of free stuff so our heroes decided then and there that they would be doing a lot of killing.

Horses acquired the party of seven headed off into the woods in search of their wild boar. Or pig. I don’t actually know the difference, but whichever it was, it was shortly encountered and slain in no small part thanks to the tanks of the party. Dead boar acquired, they headed back to the Rusty Dragon where it was left in the care of Ameiko to be prepared for supper. This is where we now find our heroes at the beginning of the third Encounter.

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