Rise of the Runelords

Stories, Songs and Secrets

The Skinsaw Murders, Part 5

Toilday, 24 Lamashan, 4733

The party battles the hundreds of undead ravens that have gathered in the charred ruins outside Foxglove Manor. Amelia begins the battle by glitter-bombing the birds, blinding one entire flock, while Marcus follows up with a devastating lightning bolt. Zavian’s holy fury, Lea’s divinely charged earthbreaker, and Astrid’s whirling blades make short work of the rest, but not before Dace suffers a psychotic episode and attacks Amelia. The bard is forced to charm him into calming down.

That night, a will-o’-wisp nearly lures Astrid into a patch of quicksand, but she evades trap long enough for Amelia to find her in the fog and convince her to return to camp.

Wealday, 25 Lamashan, 4733

The next morning, Marcus is cheered by the return of his familiar, Ash, and the adventurers march back up the Lost Coast Road to Sandpoint, arriving as the sun is setting.

They deliver Iesha’s body to the cathedral and check up on the status of the ghoul fever victims, who Father Zantus is tending to with help from other local clerics. Zavian consults with Zantus about putting the dead to rest.

Marcus, meanwhile, checks up on Duli, paying her for her services. He asks if she is willing to continue as a retainer. From there, he goes to visit Shayliss, catching her as she is closing up the family’s general store. She is holding up well, but isn’t allowed to leave the shop without a chaperon.

Marcus then clumsily asks if she thinks of him as another fling, or if her feelings run deeper. Shayliss takes a moment mull this over, before ultimately giving a “what the hell” shrug and agreeing that this is more than a simple affair. Marcus then promises to chat with her father. She tells him he’s gone to see Das Korvut and warns Marcus that her father has a strong right, but is slow on his feet.

The young half-elf finds Das Korvut and Ven Vinder commiserating over a bottle of homemade grog. Ven is still grieving his daughter Katrine Vinder and Das is bemoaning the fate of his son Simon, who he claims to have glimpsed in his dreams. Marcus puts the old blacksmith to bed and then speaks with Ven, who was visiting to commission a set of bars for the doors and windows of the general store.

Marcus tells Ven that his daughter has been avenged, and then offers to be a chaperon for Shayliss so that she can get out more. Ven agrees, on the condition that he bring the girl back before sundown.

While Marcus sorts out his personal life, the rest of the party meets with Sheriff Belor and Mayor Kendra Deverin to bring them up to speed on events. Lea informs them that a paladin from Korvosa should be on her way to cleanse the Foxglove Manor, but that still leaves the problem of bringing in the harvest after so many farmers died. Zavian suggests hiring Gorvi and his dung sweepers to lend a hand.

After the meeting is over, Zavian takes up an offer to stay with House Valdemar as an honored guest at their manor. He has a late dinner with the family, who ask about his adventures as well as the finer points of Abadarian faith.

The remaining Rune Wardens retire to the Rusty Dragon Inn, where Ameiko greets Lea with a peck on the cheek. Astrid gets Dace set up in a room and convinces him to stay there and rest.

Oathday, 26 Lamashan, 4733

The following morning, the town is awoken by the blaring of trumpets as Lt. Belvar Korrinas and his soldiers return, accompanied by Shalelu Andosana. Belvar brags about raiding all of the outlying goblin settlements to send a message to the little monsters to never bother Sandpoint again.

Lea, irked at being awakened by this grandstanding, tells Belvar to visit some of the farms in the hinterlands and maybe get a clue. Belvar is flustered at having missed out on something important. Shalelu rolls her eyes and follows Lea back into the Rusty Dragon—after collecting her payment.

The elf catches up with the adventurers about recent events. Shalelu is impressed by their tangling with the Sandpoint Devil and warns of its dangerous fire breath which does not heal. She offers to ask around for information about the creature.

Lea confesses that the recent experience with the ghouls has left her feeling like a leaf caught in a windstorm. Ameiko says that sometimes all one can do is ride the storm out and then see where they land. The innkeeper says that she is still working on putting the Glassworks’ finances in order, and will be making a trip down to Magnimar to attend to matters there.

Since the party is planning to head that way as well, Lea offers to serve as an escort and Ameiko admits she could never turn down an offer from such a gallant knight and her skilled companions. Amelia acknowledges that it would be great to do a duet once in a while, “if only you could sing” she adds obliviously.

Ameiko sharply suggests that the half-elf bard take her talents to Cyrdak Drokkus at the sandpoint Theater. Lea arranges with Ameiko to arrange for a letter to be discreetly conveyed to Knight-Captain Laori Vaus in Korvosa.

Over at Das Korvut’s house, the blacksmith convinces Marcus to investigate Chopper’s Isle, though only on the condition that Das lay off the bottle. Before he settles into the smithy, Das also gives Marcus a letter that arrived for him. It’s from his mother, Clairian Arrowsong, letting him know that she and his father will be returning by Winter Week, after doing a job at Hollow Mountain.

Meanwhile, Zavian makes his way to the Sandpoint Garrison to speak with Nualia, who is still locked up in a straitjacket in the jail. Zavian explains that she has a great deal of importance to him as a fellow aasimar. He tries to persuade her that Lamashtu simply sought to use and control her. He insists that her true destiny lies beyond the jail cell.

Nualia perks up at that and asks how Zavian intends to get her out. He insists that she was not in her right mind when attacking the town and plans to ask the Mayor and Sheriff belor to place her under his care.

At this, Nualia rises and reveals that she has shorn herself free of the straitjacket. With her demonic left hand, she produces a key that was buried in her food, once which would unlock her cell door. She says it has all the traces of one of Tsuto’s half-cocked plans—she has a key, but no other means of escape and no information on where to escape to. She’d rather put her trust in Zavian’s ability to release her than in Tsuto’s schemes. She hands the key to Zavian.

After leaving the jail, Zavian officially requests that Nualia be placed under his stewardship. For now, though, she will remain in her cell.

Starday, 28 Lamashan, 4733

A few days after the conversation with Das Korvut, Marcus convinces the party to help him investigate Chopper’s Isle. Amelia scales the cliff face of the tidal island to affix a rope. The party ascends to the island and make their way to the burned out shell of the cabin once occupied by the Chopper. Astrid notice’s some week-old hoof prints seared into the ground—traces of the Sandpoint Devil.

Picking through the ash-strewn hut, the party finds a stone slab serving as a trapdoor to Thassilonian ruins below. In the dungeon, they find a wooden statue of the demon lord Pazuzu, who name must not be spoken. They also hear a faint whimpering from the shadows, but can find no one there.

Searching the ruins, they encounter a grim specter of the Chopper, which Lea sears away with holy light. They also find a grisly trophy room where they come across the Chopper’s journal, revealing that he had been having visions compelling him to act on his deep-rooted grudges. In the very bottom of the ruins, they find the bones of Simon Korvut.

Zavian uses speak with dead to interrogate the bones, learning that the Chopper had tried to make Simon his apprentice, but went to far in his lessons. The party returns the bones of Simon to Das Korvut and the boy is laid to rest.

Sunday, 29 Lamashan – Oathday, 9 Neth, 4733

In the intervening two weeks, Zavian successfully arranges the sale of loot from the party’s recent adventures. Amelia, meanwhile, gets in touch with Cyrdak Drokkus, who is eager to stage a performance of her three songs of Thistletop with visual accompaniment. He invites Zavian, Astrid, and Lea to reenact their battles on stage, but the adventurers demure.

Lea also avoids the performance in order to placate Ameiko, who has some sort of grudge against Cyrdak (“He knows what he did.”) Nonetheless, the performance is a grand success.

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