The evening of Toilday 2 Lamashan Sheriff Hemlock and his two town guards returned from Magnimar. They were weary from the long trip. In their haste they had changed horses at the half way point and pushed through the afternoon and evening to make Sandpoint after dark. Fifty hard miles of riding in one day. No small feat. They dismounted at Goblin Squash Stables where Daviren Hosk took care of the small squad of horses for the town’s guard. Walking up to the town garrison they dropped their saddle bags and riding coats. The blue uniforms of the guards shone bright after the drab riding coats. “You are dismissed.” Said Sheriff Hemlock to the two escorts. “Go get some sleep. We may need you in the coming days.” With quick nods they took their leave.
Belor Hemlock nearly fell into his office chair with exhaustion…and weariness, if he let himself be honest. He pulled out his notes from the saddle bag. He poured himself a few fingers of a stiff whiskey and breathed it in. Twelve hours in the saddle had left him little time to work his thoughts. They were pushing hard and finally made it. He scribbled out some of his notes on a piece of paper. It was time to make some decisions.
The next morning, 3 Lamashan, at 9am, just as the bell was ringing in the cathedral, the door to the second floor gathering room in town hall opened and four people walked in to join Mayor Deverin. Sheriff Hemlock let Ethram Valdemar, Titus Scarnetti, and Shalelu Andosana enter ahead of him. The five town heroes of the Order of the Red Band waited in the hall as the three remaining nobles discussed the town’s future with Sheriff Hemlock and the ranger with her honorary position in the town council. Even Titus had appeared as requested for this meeting instead of showing up late to exert his position as he so often did.
Discussions ranged high and low for over half an hour before the door opened back up and Belor waved them in. Mayor Deverin made introductions to the town nobles. “Gentlemen,” she says, “These are the Heroes of Sandpoint you have heard so much about. They have recently organized and I hear are calling themselves the Order of the Red Band. Our very own Yorastor Farden, Owner of Farden’s Emporium; Kohra Caran, a child of Sandpoint who has been out in the world a bit and recently returned; Dorin Jal of House Jal, the well known bounty hunter family out of Turtleback Ferry. He is no doubt here to claim some big bounty and perhaps rid us of the Sandpoint Devil. Pel Orthreis, recently arrived to Sandpoint; and Blackheart of clan Corril whose sadness the bards sing. And Heroes, this is Ethram Valdemar. He is a founding member of Sandpoint and operates most of the shipworks in Sandpoint. This,” she said turning, “is Titus Scarnetti. He is responsible for all of the lumber operations in town that provides wood for the shipbuilding industry. He also has his hands in a lot of different pockets.” She said finishing. Pausing for effect she looked around the room to see if everyone was satisfied.
“Well then, now that we are all introduced I first want to thank you for all you have done for this town in the last ten days. It has been a trying time for Sandpoint and you have helped ensure we are still here.”
“Now Kendra,” interrupted Titus. “We would have managed if these young men and woman hadn’t been here. We have a well equipped town guard, after all.”
“A guard that lost four members during the attack.” Interjected Sheriff Hemlock. “And who knows how many more would have…”
“Yes, yes, Thank you for all you have done.” Titus nearly sneered. “Let’s get to the point. Our plans to preempt any future attack on Sandpoint.”
“Yes, thank you Titus.” Mayor Deverin looked red in the face from the obvious rudeness against the Heroes of Sandpoint. “We have made some difficult decisions. Shalelu has intel that the goblins of the other clans are aggitated and look to be preparing for some kind of attack. Not in their normal skirmish ways but in a concentrated effort. Yorastor’s intelligence about the forces on Thistletop leads us to hope that the keep is only the center of command and control and Tsuto’s journal and statements by Ameiko clearly detail, and not a base of amassed goblin might. If that is the case a preemptive attack on Thistletop might allow a small force to get in and kill the leadership, notably Bruthamus the bugbear leader and Nualia who has somehow gained control of the goblins. With those two out of the way, Shalelu tells me, the plan will fall apart.” Deverin pauses to look around the room for questions and comments.
Titus jumped in to fill the brief silence. “We cannot leave the town without its forces, you see. We need you to take on the task of riding Thistletop of its current leadership…Just think of the spoils of a goblin hoard you will find there. Perhaps enough so you won’t have to live in a hotel forever.”
“And of course there will be some payment involved.” Added Mayor Deverin. “Miss Zenovia Wren has been applying for building permits on your behalf down at the Mercantile League. These fine gentlemen have assured me that your permits will go through with only the utmost efficiency and that upon completion the league will contribute 25 goods and 25 labor toward the building of your hall. That should get you started on a real place to live, as Titus pointed out.”
Old Ethram Valdemar chimed in, “I have a boat you may make use of if you choose to go by water. I will send a team to sail you out there. It isn’t far, but it is difficult to get to. Treacherous even by sea.”
Yorastor was already running the numbers in his head: With that kind of goods and labor it would save nearly 1,000 gold pieces and they would easily be able to finish the lodging, kitchen, lavatory, and common room. Zenovia might even have the bridge finished by the time they returned from the keep. Pilings had already gone into the ground near the old light. It wouldn’t take long. He ticked things off mentally.
The party of reluctant Heroes looked around at each other and nodded. It was agreed. Dorin was the first to put the thoughts into words. “We will gladly take on this quest for the town.”
Shalelu who had remained silent in the corner, as was her comfort zone, chimed in. Her voice sounded strong yet quiet like the ocean. “I would like to question the goblin brought back from Thistletop if that is ok? I think he may have some important information. Yorastor, would you accompany me to question him?…That is all.”
With that the meeting was dismissed to work on preparations. Ethram said he would put a boat and a few men on notice to be ready to depart on Order of the Red Band. Sheriff Hemlock also sent word to Harsk at Goblin Squash Stables to prepare the horses for the heroes in case they were needed. Shalelu and Yorastor (and whoever else) went across the street to the basement of the garrison to question the goblin. Buzz around town spread that the Banders were getting ready for something big. Shop keepers grabbed a few wares of adventuring quality and sought out Zenovia Wren the reputed account manager for the band. Perhaps they would need new items before such a quest.