Rise of the Runelords

What Lies Beneath

Burnt Offerings, Part 3

Downtime

After selling weapons in the market square, Marcus meets with Shayliss at the Rusty Dragon for their date. The shopkeeper’s daughter is more concerned with completing their tryst than with making small talk, which suits Marcus just fine.

Amelia finally connects with Cyrdak, the director of the Sandpoint Theater. He is very excited to get her on stage to do a performance honoring the party’s role in repelling the goblin raiders. Cyrdak apologetically explains that he’d put off her audition so as not to offend the Magnimarian diva Avishandra, who didn’t want to be upstaged by a local hero’s 15 minutes of fame.

Although Lea has been doing her best to keep Ameiko’s spirits up after her kidnapping and the loss of her father, the young paladin finds herself feeling glum as 6 Lamashan rolls around. In Korvosa and Lastwall, Ascendance Day is commemorated with public plays, tests of body and mind, and other grand spectacles. In Sandpoint, however, the celebration amounts to little more than a quick toast to the goddess.

Zavian, having finished officiating a long string of funerals, gathers the adventurers together to question Tsuto Kaijitsu. Marcus begs off, insisting that he has work to do, though the others suspect his evening with Shayliss—who has yet to be seen leaving his room—might also be a factor.

Pleas and Bargains

At the Sandpoint Garrison, Constable Wallas explains that the Watch has not been able to get Tsuto to talk. He says they have sent word to Magnimar and expect a ship any day now to take the half-elf down to the city to stand trial before the Justice Court.

Wallas takes the party down into the garrison’s jail, which is overseen by a Shoanti man named Vachedi. He leaves them with Tsuto, who is seated cross-legged on his jail cot. The half-elf ignores their initial attempts to get his attention.

Lea and Zavian get a good cop, bad cop routine going in their efforts to get him to cooperate in exchange for a plea deal. Tsuto doubts their ability to hold up their bargain, and points out that even if he dies, Nualia will bring him back after she razes the town.

The adventurers find that his concern for Nualia is the best button to push. Drawing on the information in Tsuto’s journal, they convince him that if her plan to purge herself of her “celestial taint” is successful, it will mean the end of the woman he loves. Tsuto admits his fears about Nualia’s worship of Lamashtu and his belief that she may not be in full possession of her faculties.

He offers to provide information in exchange for their solemn oath, in writing, that no permanent harm come to Nualia. He also wants her to avoid prison time and suggests sending her to a sanitarium outside of town. Lea speculates that Nualia could be a victim of magical influence, like the former Queen Ileosa.

With the deal struck, Tsuto provides information on recent events and Nualia’s future plans:

  • He blackmailed his father into leaving the north gate open before the raid. Lonjiku had been renting the Glassworks’ furnaces to the Sczarni so they could dispose of bodies, which Tsuto threatened to expose.
  • The goblins in the Glassworks entered through an old smugglers’ tunnel that runs from a sea cave up into the building.
  • The tunnel also connects with some ruins underground overseen by a quasit demon. Tsuto says the quasit inducted Nualia into Lamashtu’s priesthood and blames the demon for sending Nualia down this path. The quasit has the ability to create hideous monsters, several of which dwell below with it.
  • Nualia is camped out at Thistletop, a small goblin infested island north of town, along with three other mercenaries: the bugbear Bruthazmus, a merc from Riddleport named Orik Vancaskerkin, and a wizard named Lyrie Akenja who knows about the island’s ruins.
  • Thistletop sits just off the coast from the Nettlewood. The goblins have a nest in the nettles on shore, and have built a fort on the island, which is accessible via a trapped bridge. There are ruins beneath the fort, which is where Nualia is camped out, trying to find a way to release a creature called Malfeshnekor.

Mercenary Business

As the party concludes their interrogation, a flustered Wallas lets a stern, muscular woman with raven-black hair and gilded armor into the dungeon. She introduces herself as Viorian Dekanti, Captain of the Black Talon mercenary company. She has been sent by Justice Ironbriar to escort Tsuto down to Magnimar to face trial.

The adventurers are surprised to see a mercenary carrying out this work, but Viorian claims to have done it before. Zavian provides her with the plea bargain he arranged with the half-elf, while Lea asks that he be treated well on the journey. Viorian makes it clear that good treatment isn’t free and the paladin grudgingly pays her to cover the “expense.” As he is hauled off, Tsuto insists that they stick by their agreement and not harm Nualia.

Secrets in the Dark

The party explores the tunnel beneath the Glassworks, which winds for over a thousand feet before reaching a sea cave. There are two other tunnels accessible from the cave, one of which appears to have been bricked over and then smashed open recently. The adventurers decide to investigate that tunnel first.

Not too far down, they spy something lurking in the darkness on a side tunnel. Zavian takes point and is attacked by a strange creature armed with a ranseur. Amelia uses ghost sound to throw it off balance.The creature manages to bite Zavian, but the cleric is able maneuver it into being flanked by him and Lea. The party pummels the creature until it goes down.

Searching the room, they find evidence that the monster was not alone.

Beyond the cave where the thing was lurking, they find walls of finished stone, apparently ancient ruins beneath the earth. They press deeper into the compound, finding a room with smashed grain jars. They enter a chamber with a red marble statue of a beautiful but furious-looking woman holding a gilded ranseur. Lea smashes the weapon loose so that Marcus can claim it. Zavian senses the way up and then they press deeper, coming upon a altar of Lamashtu.

The paladin and the cleric smash it, their blows ringing out down the tunnels. Marcus reduces his size to try to hide. The noise attracts the attention of an man-sized mutated goblin, who spouts threats and insults at them, taking so long that the party is able to ready for battle.

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