Rise of the Runelords

Assault on Thistletop #2

Can Sandpoint be saved in time?

Kadira, the sole survivor of the attempt to storm Thistletop, has put out a call for bold heroes to aid her in the defense of the poor defenseless town of Sandpoint from an army of goblins. Just a handful responded to her call, and while she was orchestrating the setting of stakes outside the crude northern wall and setting up defensive strategies for the imminent goblin attack. Scouting reports, mainly by a dwarven ranger that has come to help and Shalelu Andosana, the unofficial scout of Sandpoint, the town’s leadership was able to narrow down the window of attack to just a few short weeks from when the previous heroes fell to goblin depredations. So with plans put in place, and preparations nearing completion for Sandpoints defense, Kadira, the dwarven ranger, and a strange gnome knight on a boar set off on a daring plan.

They secured passage by fishing vessel to sail to Thistletop, planning a marine attack on the little island fortress. When they were just in sight of the island, a dark shape struck out for their ship and attacked. The young black dragon by the name of Black Fang had been promised the island as a lair once the current occupants were done with it and he set out to destroy any interlopers. The battle on the deck of the ship was ferocious. Lines of acid streaked across the ship melting flesh and bone, wood and steel. The brave adventurers were barely able to withstand the onslaught, but drove the dragon back to the island by landing some very good blows. Once they were safe from the dragon, a new problem presented itself: the ship was sinking. So with the crew in one dingy, and the heroes in another, they parted ways as the heroes made their way to a small beach on the northern side of the island. As they approached they were rewarded with a strange image, almost as if the entire island were the head of some massive ancient statue tilted on its side.

Upon securing the beach, the heroes found cover and Anthrogate, the dwarven ranger scouted out the island, finding several goblins playing a mean-spirited game of “killgull” with their goblin dogs lounging nearby “guarding” the rope bridge from the mainland. With some clever work (and help from his potion), he sprung the trapped rope bridge unseen and set it crashing to the surf below, skirting away in the goblin’s confusion. Now that the “guards” had been dealt with, it was time to climb the walls of the stockade, made easier by its construction from a haphazard collection of old ship timbers and masts. Avoiding detection by goblin sentries, they found a point of ingress into a open yard within the grounds, but they also found trouble their waiting for them.

The small shed attached to the grounds was clearly the lair of Black Fang (due to the door being melted and such), and it was clear that he was licking his wounds within (due to the acidic vapors rising from said melted opening). There was a reason that Kadira brought the gnome with them, brave or foolhardy, he was always up for a challenge. And challenge he did, the dragon that is, and received a line of acid for his troubles. But what happened next is what these stories are made of. With a valiant battlecry, the gnome, atop his boar, charged into the dragons lair, riding full tilt and landing a prodigious blow upon the foul creature. So put out by this attack, the dragon took wing, knocked the gnome aside in his haste to escape, and suffered parting shots from Anthrogate and Kadira as he fled Thistletop all together.

The threat of the dragon removed, the team of heroes went on to systematically clear out the stockade of goblins, until they found Warchief Ripnugget holding court in his throne room. The battle was intense with Ripnugget riding his giant gecko, making charges across the room. From the ceiling to the walls the goblin fought alongside his loyal retinue of guards and warchanters singing their terrible songs of biting and chewing. The heroes were valiantly successful and raided the goblin’s riches, including a large key that didn’t seem to fit any locks they could find. Perhaps there was some secret treasure room that they still hadn’t located. With the first level cleared, there remained just two ways down, further into the island.

Bravely the heroes descended into rock of the island where surely strange and wonderful sights awaited. They came across a set of little cages filled with dirty straw used for rearing goblin children, a strange otherworldly creature called a tentamort that attacked the group when it was interrupted while it was trying to catch birds with its tentacles, and the bugbear Bruthazmus who had clearly been taking his leisure with a host of goblin wives. The elf Shalelu will surely welcome the news of the demise of her long time nemesis Bruthazmus. Further on they found an empty prison and torture chamber, absent of torturer, as if the creature had recently died in a raid, and finally a set of rooms belonging to some of the goblin’s longshanks allies, including one occupied by a Orik Vancaskerkin, and Tsuto’s no longer needed sleeping chamber, for he sleeps elsewhere forevermore. Further exploration brought the heroes to a dark and mysterious shrine to the Mother of Monsters, Lamashtu. Inside they battled two dark hounds, who’s frightful howls must have alerted the entire place.

We left our heroes in the war room of these goblin nasties, with maps and battleplans drawn up as the battle for Sandpoint is clearly soon at hand, and a barricaded door with a female voice behind denouncing the intruders from the other side. Should our heroes persist, they must find a way past this obstacle to reach the whoever or whatever is pulling the goblins’ stings. Can they stop the invasion of Sandpoint in time?

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