Order of the Red Band

Yorastor, Catacombs Part II - Preparation
Stuff in Town I

Yorastor is not injured physically, so he’d likely just thank Zenobia for her time and thoughts and then head to see Brodert the Sage. He’d explain their findings so far, in detail, including all of his thoughts on the arcana undergirding of the portal. He’d stress to Brodert that he has little time right now to engage in chatter or speculation and head home to rest. He’d ask Brodert to exercise his own research and offer up his (Yorastor’s) personal library for any additional materials Brodert thought he might need to help research closing of the portal. After resting till late afternoon, Yorastor would first check on progress from Brodert, then visit Ven and purchase a new robe and ink as well as chat a bit about some upcoming plans for building expansion. Next, he’d go by the Merchantile League to say hello Sir Jasper and then duck into the Cathedral to visit Father Zantus and discuss methods for closing the portal permanently. He’d head to the Rusty Dragon after that to say hello to the Band, visit Ameiko and have dinner. Then home to rest, scribe a scroll and sleep. Presuming the group heads back to the tunnels for clearing them out, he’d meet them at the designated spot.

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Dorin's Journal, II
Glassworks Aftermath

Dorin seeks healing at the cathedral and returns to his room at the Inn to retire for the evening. In the morning he shines his breastplate and oils his falchion, then heads back to the Glassworks to meet up with the rest of the party.

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Kohra's not so sexy test time post
In the middle of tests, I shouldn't be posting........

Kohra seeks healing from Wren, then pays Madame Mvashti a visit. She discusses Madame Mvashti’s health and well being after the goblin attacks and her thoughts on recent discoveries under the glass works. Once complete with her visit to Madame Mvashti, she pays a visit to Amieko to pay her respects and comfort her. If necessary, she will attempt to help Bethana run the Dragon for the evening.

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While the Sheriff's Away

Sheriff Hemlock mounted his horse the morning of Oathday 27 Rova 4107. He took three city guardsmen with him from the small garrison of Sandpoint. They were riding out armed with intel of organized goblin attacks on the farmlands and the one on Sandpoint itself. Sheriff Hemlock was hoping to petition the Lord Mayor of Magnimar to send additional forces to fortify Sandpoint and send out patrols to secure the farmlands. Sandpoint was a strategic interest of Magnimar’s trading guilds. Sandpoint’s four founding families all came from Magnimar’s wealthy elite. Hopefully that would be enough to sway the Lord Mayor Haldmeer Grobaras and the Council of Ushers for support. Haldmeer was a terribly obease man who cared only for what profited him. Hemlock knew he needed to sell the man.

What he didn’t know what the new intel that Yorastor and the newcomers to town had recently discovered about Tsuto’s underground infiltration operations and the supposed dead Nualia leading some sort of assault on Sandpoint. It was her plan to steal the bones of her father that had necessitated the attack on the Swallowtail Festival. Nor did he know about some long forgotten temple to a demonic god right beneath the streets of his town. If he had his pleas for help might have gone differently in Magnimar.

The Sandpoint Garrison was left in the less than capable hands of Norman Rovanky. He grew up in Sandpoint and joined the town guard due to a lack of other options. However he has risen through the ranks and is very capable with his warhammer. Norman managed the remaining 10 men in town and had not changed the guard rotations of a 3-4 guards patrolling alone. Things were quite in control while the Sheriff is away.

Vachedi, the jailor, welcomed two new guests to his domain shortly after 8am the morning after Sheriff Hemlock left town. The trio of heroes who dropped off the bastard son of Lonjiku Kaijitsu, disgraced town elder, and a goblin told him to keep a sharp eye out on them. He always did. Vachedi was a heavily scarred Shoanti tribesman and he took his business seriously. Sheriff Hemlock was a great man from his own tribe, the first Shoanti sheriff of Sandpoint, and had hired him. Vachedi owed Belor a lot for giving him this job. Sandpoint was openly friendly to the Shoanti but tensions ran deep and it was hard to find honest work amongst the mostly Chelish descended immigrants to Sandpoint. Vachedi dropped the unconscious Tsuto in a stone cell beneath the Garrison and the goblin in a cell next to him. Both had strong iron banded doors. Nothing to worry about. Vachedi took his seat at the small table near the bottom of the stairs looking down the stone hallway to the five cells.

About an hour later Vachedi heard some scuffling in the cell and smiled as he visualized the waking Tsuto, beaten and bested, standing from the stone floor with nothing but his torn clothing. All his equipment had been taken by the group who brought him in. Heroes of Sandpoint he scoffed. They were just in the right place at the right time. Anyone would have done the same thing. Vachedi went back to working on a wood totem he was planning to give a woman he loved.

An hour later he made rounds. The goblin was crying in his cell. He had been so for most of the hour. Vachedi thought about talking to it but worried it would begin rattling on about something or another and never stop. So he didn’t. Looking in the next window he didn’t see the prisoner. With a sigh he pulled out his key and opened the door. Readying for an attack he entered the cell and was surprised to find Tsuto laying on the floor to the left of the door. He went in and kicked the prisoner with his boot to wake him. He didn’t move. “Sure, a fine trick” he said aloud. “I won’t fall for it.” He kicked him harder in the ribs. No movement. Bending forward to place an arm around the prisoner he felt a limp, dead, body. Vachedi had felt a few before. This one was just like it. Not a bit of muscle twitch in him. Totally relaxed and would weigh a time and a half his real weight. Dead weight they called it. Rolling Tsuto over he saw a purple bruise at his throat. “Had the man crushed his own windpipe?” Retreating to the hall he locked the door and went up to call for a healer who could determine what had happened. Vachedi had never lost a prisoner under his guard. This was not a good day.

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Business Matters

Wren was waiting across the street as the heroes exited the Glassworks. There was a growing crowd of townsfolk who had noticed the lack of normal business and had seen Sandpoint’s Heroes prowling around the building. News had spread when they emerged with Tsuto, Ameiko, and a goblin in tow. Hearing the news she immediately ran to location and waited for new news. As the wearisome adventurers leave the Glassworks she rushes over having to correct her path when she got close enough to see them. “Come with me back to my house. We should talk before you rest.”

Leading them back to her house at a quick pace they entered her small shopfront and house to the smell of a rich stew cooking. “You can place your gear over there and relax a little. Let me get you some lunch.” Zenovia grabs some bowls and ladles soup into each bowl placing one in front of you. “Have you heard the people talking in the street? They are calling you the Sandpoint Heroes. You are gaining more renown around here. We will have to do something about that name though.”

She pauses and looks at the items set out for her to look at after Kohra asked her if she can liquidate the items for some coin. “These will be easy to sell here in Sandpoint. I have an in with the Jeweler. But these will be harder,” she said passing her hand over a few items. “I’ll have to send them off to Magnimar with an agent to sell.” Her eyes glazed over as she studied the tiny dagger in her hand. “This one will be very hard to get a decent price for. It is quite enchanted but its size makes it very hard to market. It might take a little longer to find someone willing to buy this piece for a collection instead of for use. I will make some inquiries.”

As you all eat, Zenovia turned back to the group and addressed everyone. Your fates are entwined in this quest. You have found a deep power beneath the very center of our city. Even I do not know the extent of the power and ruins below. I have seen a power that threatens to overrun the world as we know it. You must work together to change that path. You will be victorious but it will be difficult. You will travel far from here in the pursuit of your goal and I want to help as best I can."

Yorastor, you have purchased the island north of town and it will be the seat of a new power that will look over Varisia in the generations to come. The stars have given me a vision of the future and I will be your agent here in town. You can drop any items you scavenge from your adventures and I will act on your behalf to sell and reequip you as you will need. I will look after your interests while you are out of town. I see a new base of operations on the old island known as Chopper’s Isle. It will soon have a new name.

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Yorastor Internal Dialogue, VI
So you want to fight a demon do you?

Yorastor was tired. He sagged for a moment over the corpse of the presumed quasit. If it had not been so dangerous, terrifying and long to reach this point he would have laughed. His sleeves were torn to shreds from her claws, teeth and spiky protrusions, his arms were scratched, and bleeding from the minor wounds her scrambling inflicted. His hands, dagger and robes were splattered with fine-quality waterproof ink from his backpack and ichor from the demon’s wounds. Finally, his right arm felt like he had cranked a sausage grinder all day, his hand ached from gripping his dagger so hard and the point of the once sharp blade was dull from repeated slams into the flagstones. It was a truly comical situation.

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He lifted his hooded head to the eyes of his companions, ringed around him and watching. They could do little throughout the fight. Erylium had quickly turned invisible and only be the grace of her tiny size and his firm grip could he keep a hold of her. The might of his melee companions was negated by her formidable defenses. By pure chance, he had pulled his cold-iron dagger when he grappled her and it was able to penetrate her resistances. He needed to study his demons more – he should have led with this or allowed another member to take over the dagger.

Yorastor stood up and cleaned the daggers blade on his tattered robes. He would need new ones and a new vial of ink. Something to do this afternoon after some rest. He needed rest badly. His magicks had been exhausted; only those spells that took no portion of his might remained to him and they were of little use. He’d been awake for over 24 hours now too and was flagging physically. If he was honest, he was emotionally drained too. It was one thing to chase a boar in the woods while others shot at it or cast a spell to stun and kill a goblin. Or even strike down these foul wrath-abominations they’d seen so often in the tunnels. It was another all together to pin a wretched creature beneath you, hear its screams, pleas and fears as it clawed for life and you slammed your dagger down on it repeatedly. The demon’s healing was supernatural and only served to prolong the inevitable. It was exhausting. Yorastor had no idea how or why Pel and Dorin would want to fight in this manner. It seemed the height of madness. Yorastor chuckled as it struck him – just a few days ago he thought the same thing about being a hero and he’d already changed his mind about that status. Perhaps this melee thing wasn’t as bad as he made it out to be.

On deeper inspection, yes it was. He hoped he could keep his daggers sheathed from now on and just fight with spells, safely distanced from the carnage. He sighed, nodded, and said aloud, “Well it’s done. She has expired. I think we still need to do something about this pool however. I’m not sure what sort of magic this is but my probing so far show it be near-deity strength. Blackheart, can you identify anything further about it? I cannot find a specific deity’s signature however.” Yorastor hoped the destruction of the portal would be simple, safe and easy but he didn’t believe that for a moment. The Thassalonian runes glowed from the walls with ominous pulses. If he could unlock the power of this portal and runes, he might gain some sort of eldritch insight into Thassalon and its magic. He needed to see Brodert first thing on reaching the surface.

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Kohra sends a message
To Praefector Iudex Desine

Praefector,

The Texiri maintains a tenuous hold. Many threads are frayed. A few are broken. Several threads have been forced out of the pattern. I’ve not yet identified any who have done so willingly. I’m getting closer to Gotram with each passing day.

Bellator Caran

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Yorastor Internal Dialogue, II
Who wants to be a hero?

Yorastor found it hard to work the morning after the attack. While all the neighbors had been checked on that day, as he headed to the Rusty Dragon, many seemingly felt compelled to drop by, interrupt his work, thank him and “chat”. It became a problem by the time Alma Avertin arrived with a fresh, hot, crusty loaf of bread.

“You can’t hardly keep working while so skinny Mr. Farden! You need some meat on those bones if you are to keep at it like this – and we need you to, too!”

Yorastor sighed mentally. He had no intentions of “keeping at it”. He was simply concerned for his shop and home, and if he admitted it, a bit for the residents of the town. Nonetheless, he wasn’t about to go charging into the woods “chasing those demons to their lair” as some were suggesting.

Smiling kindly he said, “Thank you much Mrs. Avertin. Please give my best to Mr. Avertin. You know there is no need for this really – just trying to do what anyone else would do when they attack your home. Thank you for this though. I confess little enough will likely go on my bones though. If I don’t offer our neighbors something soon they’ll take to eating the books – and I can’t have that! As soon as the smell of your fantastic bread hits their noses they’ll come looking for this treasure.”

He was trying to really lay on the charm. It was a skill Yorastor never practiced. It seemed utterly senseless – people should see reality and not smoke and mirrors. He knew his innate charisma was powerful though – as demonstrated by the gaggle of Sandpointers standing in the library, ignoring the expensive tomes on all manner of arcana and instead discussing biceps, swinging hips and spraying goblin blood.

Mrs. Avertin beamed at the compliment, blushed slightly, and replied, “Well just see that you get the biggest piece then. I’d love to stay and chat but must get back to the store. If you care to drop in tomorrow we should have some meat rolls coming off around breakfast time. You can take your pick!”

Yorastor chuckled, “Again too kind! Schedule permitting, I’ll see you in the morning Alma.” He took her arm and escorted her out kindly.

Sighing, he turned, smiled, held up the bread triumphantly to the gaggle in the library and said loudly, “Well, if you insist on staying there please stop nibbling on the rug Chask. I’ll get this cut up and bring out some cider too. And don’t think I wasn’t listening Maver. My recollection doesn’t include any fireballs – it was a simple glamer really. Just to keep them still till those heavy, out-of-towners could do the real work.”

A chorus of laughter erupted from the library along with kind backslapping on Maver Kesk. Yorastor headed into the tiny kitchen area of his home and sighed again. He could see it was going to be a long, unproductive day. Why would anyone WANT to be a hero?!?!

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Hostage Situation

The next morning Bethana Corwin, the elderly halfling woman who waited tables at the Rusty Dragon, woke the four heroes staying at the inn. Apologizing profusely she explained the situation in Kohra’s room. “I awoke earlier this morning to find that Ameiko had not already started breakfast. This is the first time she has never been up and working before me. The oven is cold and breakfast is not ready.”

Dorin Jal broke in upon realizing, “You mean there isn’t any bacon this morning???” he exclaimed rather perturbedly. He reiterated it several times over the next minute of explanation.

Bethana shook her head and admitted that she is not the cook Ameiko is and without her the business would suffer. “I knocked on Ameiko’s door this morning and got no answer. Against my better judgement I entered and found the bed undisturbed. Worse, there was a crumpled note written in a Minkaian. Do you read it?” She asked. Everyone shook their heads. “Ameiko has been teaching me and I have translated it as best I can.”
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The heroes seemed clueless on who Tsuto was so Bethana explained. “Tsuto is Ameiko’s half-brother. He was something of a scandal when he was born 23 years ago. Since he is half-elf (and neither Lonjiku nor Atsuii are…)” she trailed off. “Well, he was quickly sent off to the Turandarok Academy and Lonjiku had to bear the shame. A year later Ameiko was born. She didn’t even know Tsuto existed until she was ten years old. She began secretly visiting him at the academy and they developed a sort of relationship until they had a falling out six years ago. He slapped her and that was the incident that drove her to leave Sandpoint and take up adventuring. She only came back for her mother’s funeral. But at that Tsuto showed up and had a very public fight with Lonjiku. Tsuto was very adamant that Lonjiku had pushed his wife Atsuii off the cliff to her death. Lonjiku almost broke Tsuto’s jaw with his cane after which Tsuto cursed him and left town. Ameiko had tried to find him but I wasn’t aware that she had found him.”

“I’m afraid that he is up to no good and Ameiko is in trouble. Since Sheriff Hemlock is out of town you’re the only ones I can turn to. Please go check out the glassworks and see what has happened as soon as possible.”

Hearing the pleas of Bethana the party split up with two heading to the glassworks and two to get Yorastor and fill him in on the story.

Arriving at the Glassworks at 7am the party scouted the outside. Peering into the windows Kohra was able to spy several goblins on the Western side of the building. It was the room in which the forges ran and they were burning low. The goblins appeared to be smashing glass and melting as much as they could. The heroes formulated their plan and snuck into the building. However their best attempts were not good enough and the goblins had heard them coming. Splitting into two groups they put up a defense in the southern door and another group above the stairs to the basement. Killing most of the goblins in quick succession two escaped down into the basement as the heroes cleared the rest of the main level.

In the furnace room they found the encased remains of the late Lonjiku. He had been tortured, tied to his chair, and then had liquid glass poured over him until he was covered in many layers of different colored glass: blue, purple, green, brown. Then they returned to the stairs and descended.

In the basement they discovered the two goblins and a half-elf trying to flee down a tunnel. The passage should have been nothing more than a hall with two store rooms however an old wall had recently been demolished and there were several hidden rooms and another long passage within the hidden section. Yorastor postulated that these must be the smuggler’s tunnels that had been part of old Kaijitsu’s operations before Lonjiku put a stop to the smuggling. He had only heard rumors of the tunnels under the city.

Attempting to check Tsuto’s retreat Kohra tumbled past him and a goblin and blocked the entrance to the rough-hewn tunnel. They traded blows and Tsuto cried out as he took two more blows from Dorin and Pel, “You’re ruining everything!” As they battle Dorin and Kohra try to get him to calm down by saying that they come to talk. A lull in the fight gives everyone a moment to catch a breath. Tsuto lept forward with double fists directed at vital organs. He was quickly dropped below health and bound then healed. Resistant to interrogation, Tsuto spit in the face of threats and said that the plans for Sandpoint were already set. He said “I know what waits for me on the other side!” The heroes knocked him out so they could continue the search.

The next room was apparently where Tsuto had been living for some time. It was in disarray but had a mattress and several pieces of furniture. The next room down the hall held Ameiko. She was unconscious and badly beaten. Waking her up she was able to shed more light on the plans than Tsuto had let on. She informed them that Tsuto had partnered with Nualia and had organized the goblins and were operating out of Thistletop Keep. She said that Tsuto had told her to get out of town before it fell beneath fire and blade. Nualia strikes a tone with Yorastor who believed that she was dead, burned in the fire that claimed Father Tobyn and the church five years ago. How could this be the same Nualia?

Searching the room where Tsuto had lived you find a journal.
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You recognize one of the drawings with a circle around it looks exactly like what happened on the festival. Goblins had infiltrated the city (probably through these tunnels) and from the North gate. They had hit the crypt and caused mayhem. The journal contained may battle plans and one stuck out as truly dangerous with nearly 200 goblins and lots of fire. Yorastor is able to correctly identify the numerous drawings in the journal as images of a woman who is Nualia. She is depicted in many states of demonic transformation. The image of fascination for Tsuto is of Nualia with one demonic arm.

The heroes discussed many courses of action and Kohra scouted down the dark tunnel but returned after several hundred yards saying that “it keeps going.” The party was badly wounded and needed to recover from their battles. Searching Tsuto they found the items listed on the loot page. The party carried Tsuto and an unconscious goblin out of the glassworks and turned them into the town guard.

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Local Heroes 4

Waking early on the fifth day in town the heroes went out on a hunt with Aldern. Fetching their horses from Goblin Squash Stables Daviren Hosk complemented them on the work they did with the goblins that attacked town. He motions to the leathery ears nailed to the rafters of the stable and boasts about his adventures earlier in life. Daviren offers the heroes 5 gold for each pair of ears they bring him to augment his collection.

Riding out half an hour to the hunting ground conversation ranged from flattering to questioning. Aldern talked about the players ambitions and how they got to where they are today. He discussed his house south of Sandpoint and returning to his home in Magnimar the following day. After an hour of beating the bushes the party spotted a boar and made the kill with bows. Aldern called in his porters to quarter the animal and load it onto the pack mules. The hunt took just over four hours. Returning to the Rusty Dragon Aldern turned the meat over to Ameiko who was thrilled to see the flanks and put it on the barbecue for the next eight hours.

That evening after a half day in town and the heroes keeping up a presence as requested by the Sheriff they gathered back in the Rusty Dragon to eat the spoils of their hunt. The food was amazing, seasoned with Ameiko’s secret blend of foreign spice. In the middle of festivities that free food brings to the Dragon, Ameiko’s father, Lonjiku Kaijitsu burst into the inn and shouted in a foreign language. He walked into the inn and spotted the heroes sitting at a table near the door. He immediately turned his ire on them and shouted about their bringing trouble to Sandpoint. He called them “a band of filthy vagrants”. Ameiko came out from the kitchen wielding a soup ladle and replied in the foreign tongue. They argued and he grabbed her arm to drag her out of the inn with him. Kohra had seen just about enough abuse from the old man. She stood up and hit him twice in the stomach. Ameiko hit him on the head with the ladle spattering fish stock and potatoes all over his hair and clothes. Lonjiku cried out to his daughter in the foreign language and then fled the building. Ameiko, almost in tears put on a brave face and turned to the room full of people and announced into the stunned silence, “I’ll need a well cleaned ladle now since Jackass Stew is not on the menu.” The room erupted into cheers as Ameiko went back into the kitchen. Kohra followed to ask about what happened and Ameiko confided that her father was going back to Magnimar and wanted her to go with him. She did not and he said the hurtful remark that she is as dead to him as her mother. Thanking Kohra for her kindness she turned back to the kitchen.

Kohra returned to the table and asked Yorastor to fill in the details about the Kaijitsu family history. Yorastor explained that Lonjiku was a founder of Sandpoint. One of the four families. His wife died five years earlier and it wrecked his family. Lonjiku had never been the same. Ameiko had tried her hand at adventuring and returned home to attend her mother’s funeral. She bought the Rusty Dragon with the money from her travels and hadn’t looked back. She is something of an embarrassment to Lonjiku and the nobility of the Kaijitsu family reputation. Yorastor reflects that he now finds himself childless and may be happier that way.

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