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Old 06-13-2018, 08:28 PM
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Of Monsters and Men

The Next Morning...Kendra Deverin has served as Sandpointís mayor for the past eight years. Lawmaker, judge, and general keeper of the peace, Deverin has proven to be both an adept diplomat and stern hand when need be - skills likely honed during her youth in Magnimar and serving as an officer in the Magnimar City Guard. With a personal - some say sisterly - style of governing, Kendra has held the abiding respect of most of Sandpointís people, charming them with her fiery temper and tenacity for justice. Today, her smile is absent and her usual cheer has fled as she broods near the scorched stage's edge with her back to the crowd, gazing off into nothing. Her auburn hair is mussed, her waistcoat is wrinkled, and her eyes are red-rimmed from a long, long night which offered no rest...

Just two days ago, Mayor Kendra Deverin stood upon this same stage, beaming as she commenced the festivities of the Swallowtail Festival. It was supposed to be a day of happiness and celebration. Construction of the Sandpoint Cathedral had finished and it was to be consecrated at sunset. Brightly colored tents ringed the square, offering delicacies and souvenirs. Games and friendly contests promised prizes and bragging rights to anyone canny enough to take them. The square was packed with travelers, merchants, and farmers who had come from all corners of Varisia to take part in the festivities and share in the town's triumph. Then the goblins attacked... in broad daylight.

Goblins have ever been a nuisance in Western Varisia, but never more than that. This was something entirely different. Typically nocturnal and cowardly, these goblins were twisted by some sort of evil magic or ritual into bold, fearless, bloodthirsty monsters. They sprang from their hiding places within a number of wagons staged all over town and interrupted the town's celebration, wreaking havoc upon the good people that had come from far and wide to enjoy a day of laughter and merriment in the usually-pleasant coastal town of Sandpoint. And worse yet, whatever power influenced the goblins to attack also commanded Bruthazmus, Scourge of the Khaspakari, and the young dragon known as Black Fang. If not for the actions of a few brave souls, Sandpoint might still be burning right now and the Sandpoint Cathedral might once more lay in ashes!

Soon after the attack, Sheriff Hemlock would depart for Magnimar to entreat the city for aid against future attacks. No one knew how the goblins were getting into or out of Sandpoint. Not even the legendary huntress, Shalelu Andosana, could find hide nor hair of their passage. It is a mystery that was left unsolved... until last night. This is why the town is now gathered once more before the stage, awaiting the mayor's grim news.

After a time, she turns and faces the crowd, her lips pressed into a thin line as she takes a long moment to look into the faces of the five-hundred people gathered in the square. While there is compassion in her eyes, there is also a smoldering flame.

"It saddens me to say that we lost many good people last night," she begins. The crowd, once rumbling with whispers and murmurs of conspiracies, curses, demonic forces, and wild speculation falls completely silent, eager to hear the truth of what woke them from their sleep in the wee hours of the night. "A full investigation is under way, but it seems that goblins had infiltrated the Sandpoint Glassworks through a series of tunnels..." her voice seems to catch in her throat and she lifts a hand to cover her mouth.

"Fourteen people are dead, including Councilman Lonjiku Kaijitsu," she begins again once she has regained her bearing. There is a collective gasp as the people react to this horrible news. Lonjiku was never easy to work with, but he was one of the founders of the Sandpoint Mercantile League, an alliance of The Kaijitsu (jewelers and glassmakers), Scarnettis (loggers and millers), Valdemars (shipbuilders and carpenters), and Deverins (farmers and brewers)four wealthy noble families from Magnimar credited with settling Sandpoint.

"What was the explosion?" someone calls from within the crowd.

"According to reports, the goblins had fed all of the Glasswork's alchemically treated coal into the furnace. I'm told the materials are not usually volatile, but given the quantity and the intensity of the heat, it resulted in a runaway chain-reaction which culminated in the explosion you heard..."

"What about Ameiko? Is she okay?" someone interrupts when the mayor pauses.

"Ameiko is in the care of Father Zantus at the Sandpoint Cathedral. I am told she is okay, but needs time to rec..."

"Who would do something like this?!" someone else interrupts, causing a rumble of conversation as people shout for justice, swift and violent.

"Lonjiku! Who else!?"

"That insufferable old cuss!"

"I swore I saw the bastard, Tsuto!"

"It was those thieving Varisian thugs, the Sczarni! Mark my words!"

"It was your mother, you worthless pile of..."
they trade, rapidly getting out of hand.

"We will not know until a proper investigation has been carried out!!" she shouts above the noise of the crowd. The guardsmen and militia positioned at either side of the stage exchange nervous glances, wondering if they are ready or equipped to deal with an angry mob. From the looks on their faces, one would gather that this is entirely uncharacteristic behavior. Just glancing around, concerned looks and sad frowns have been replaced with angry glares as their faces are contorted with outrage at what has happened in recent days.

"I know you're angry and perhaps a little afraid!" she calls out, motioning for the crowd to return to order. "I know there is uncertainty about these attacks, but we will persevere! As many of you know, Sheriff Hemlock is in Magnimar as we speak, petitioning them for armed soldiers to..."

"They don't care about us!" someone interrupts yet again, sending ripples of agreement through the crowd. The rocky relationship between the frontier town and the city of Magnimar is well documented. Even the settlement of Sandpoint itself is fraught with controversy and wrong-doings involving Chelish/Tian settlers and Varisian squatters.

"I assure you they do," Mayor Deverin says, growing agitated with the constant interruptions, though she does not sound convinced of it, herself. "He will return with the help we need. In the meantime, we will be sending out parties to track down and eliminate this threat!" She does not seem very enthusiastic about this at all, but the angry crowd immediately falls silent, eager to hear what she proposes. It seems they know what she is about to propose before the words have even left her lips.

"I have met with Councilman Valdemar and Councilman Scarnetti..." she pauses before continuing with an air of defeat, "... and we have decided to reinstate the goblin bounty." She speaks of a bounty enacted nearly ten years ago, before the Late Unpleasantness, which was passed after a particularly brutish chief united several goblin tribes south of Sandpoint, ambushing travelers, merchant caravans, and mounting a number of unsuccessful raids against the town. It was during this time that Mr. Hosk, owner and proprietor of the Goblin Squash Stables, made a name for himself as the region's most talented slayer of goblins. To date, no one in Varisia, living or dead, is believed to have more kills than he. And from the toothy grin he gives as he leans against a well near the back of the crowd, he's quite proud of it.

The bounty was popular with the townsfolk, but it was overturned after three years when a number of Sandpoint's youth went missing in Brinestump Marsh searching for the gruesome goods which would so famously be exchanged for ten shiny gold coins: goblin ears.

A resounding, window-rattling cheer goes up in the crowd, but Mayor Kendra Deverin does not look pleased. If anything, she appears even more troubled than before! It quickly becomes apparent that the mayor will not be able to quiet the crowd as they howl for revenge and for goblin blood.

"Gods help us all," she mouths as she looks upon them all in shock at what they have become...
GMHere's to another THE FINALE!chapter of great gaming!
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:25 AM
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NoriaNoria walked with the guards to the Garrison under the pretext of wanting her rope back, but in reality she wanted to ensure that nobody--from within town or without--prevented Tsuto's incarceration. When she had confirmed him safely under lock and key, she re-coiled her rope and returned it to her pack, watching the prisoner out of the corner of her eye as she did so. It was a hunter's instinct; she was trying to
Dice Sense Motive:
1d20+5 (13)+5 Total = 18
read him and guess what, if anything, he might do in this predicament. "Good night, Tsuto. I don't know you, but Talai and Laurel think well or you--or did before tonight. That carries some weight with me. So does your background. While I cannot claim I was unwanted, I do know what it is to grow up under harsh and vile authority figures. Get some rest and we'll talk in the morning and perhaps you can help us. We'll see if Talai and Laurel are onto something about you, or if you're just a nasty little product of the man you grew up with." She shouldered her pack and left.

One ale was all Noria allowed herself in the Rusty Dragon common room before she wearily turned in. Unlike the previous night, the ranger remembered going to bed and washed up before she did so. While the next morning was not nearly as bad inside her head as the previous morning she was, if anything, more stiff and sore, as is often the case the second day after great exertions like fighting dragons. She rose, washed again, and dressed. Ameiko was nowhere to be seen, but there were one or two patrons and through them, Noria heard the time and place of Deverin's address to the town. She snatched up one piece of toast and waited for any of her companions who sought to join her before departing.

"Now there's gonna be booze at this thing, right?" Ingea inquired earnestly. "Because they never did finish the Swallowtail proper..."

Noria smiled and shook her head. "In this town? It wouldn't surprise me too much."

The ranger took up a position near the stage and listened stoically as the crowd ranted and raged. She shook her head, wondering why Deverin didn't dispel the mistaken impression that it was truly Sandpointers--current Sandpointers at least--to blame for what happened. She smacked her forehead in disgust when the goblin bounty was reinstated. Smile on them, Desna. They'll have you working overtime today. Deciding she should say something, she bellowed at the top of her voice: "And how much for the dragon that lurks in the wilderness beyond these walls? I only ask because we killed most of the goblins the day before last and the rest will have fled and hid. The dragon, however, looked hungry and should be easy to find!" She paused and took in whatever effect her words might have had on the crowd. "Also, though it is bound to be much more dull work--though safe as well--do you offer any gold for workers to seal the tunnel below the remains of the glassworks?"

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Last edited by ruffdove; 06-14-2018 at 11:28 AM.
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