Through the window we crashed, and we found ourselves in the glassworks showroom. There was little of interest here, so we moved on to the living area of the apprentices. Not that I know where anything is located – that’s just where we found ourselves next.
A scene of disaster lay before us. Goblin mischief for certain, and the blood in the sleeping quarters did not bode well for our fair town’s preeminent glassblowers. A few wrong turns later led us to the main furnance of the glassworks, where we found our missing workers. What was left of them. The nasty goblins had chopped those poor folks into bits and poured molten glass all over them, an activity they had still not tired of when we charged in.
Silvr laid some well-placed grease, taking out a few of the less agile curs, mostly because a deadly carpet of glass shards coated the floor. Seoni’s archery was top-notch as usual, and I managed to get some good solid hits on the pair closest to me. Eight dead goblins later, and we tread carefully across the floor to inspect the poor soul tied to a chair in the center of the room. Longiku, the patriarch of the Kaijitsu family, was coated in sheets of glass, and from the nail marks in the chair, he was still living when this treatment began. Without a doubt, Tsuto was our traitor, and he was still at large. Nor was there any sign of my dear Ameiko.
We finally came upon a set of stairs leading down. I might wear a dwarf’s body, but I know that no good lies in the depths of a basement. We climbed over the remnants of a recently demolished brick wall, and through it we found another hall. Tsuto was lurking behind one of the doors.
He showed his true colors then, responding to my demand to tell us what he’d done to fair Ameiko by attacking us. That’s what comes of associating with goblins. I don’t know where he learned to fight, but with the damage I’d taken against the goblins, he beat me into unconsciousness with his bare fists. I awoke to Ziqo’s friendly face floating above me, and he kindly pointed me towards the nearby room where Ameiko lay bound and unconscious.
I tended to my own wounds as I limped over and restored Ameiko to blushing health. Thankfully, Pile and Seoni had been able to stop the vicious Tsuto before he could escape. On his person was a most incriminating journal, one admitting his involvement in the goblin raid against Sandpoint and revealing the true nature of our presumed dead Nualia. Ameiko told us much the same tale, adding that her brother had been working with mercenaries that had allied with the goblins. Ziqo and Silvr took Ameiko to safety while Pile, Seoni, and I continued down the tunnel to see where Tsuto had been headed.
Imagine our surprise when we found ourselves overlooking the sea. This cave represented a serious breach in the town’s defenses. There was another branch in the tunnel leading deeper into rock under Sandpoint. Not at full strength myself, I advised we wait until our companions were with us before exploring this path further.
Back in town, we went to speak with Sheriff Belor. Both Ziqo and I were suspicious of the sheriff – 1. he is a barbarian and 2. he was not present during the goblin raid – but Ziqo went a bit beyond himself interrogating the poor sheriff. We all looked pretty bad when Ziqo finally got around to admitting that there was a tunnel leading into the city from within the glassworks, after laying down some pretty accusatory questions. I guess it’s a good thing we’ll be leaving town soon, because Sheriff Belor is none too happy about that.
He rounded up the local stone masons to seal the entrance beneath the glassworks, and I came along with Jen Soren and Fr. Zantus to sort out the bodies of the deceased and bless the remains before sealing them in caskets. The families don’t deserve to see their loved ones so mutilated.
On my way over, I passed the Goblin Squash Stables, and a bit of a memory drifted to the surface. Sheriff Belor was willing to speak civilly with me after my assistance with the glassworkers’ remains, and I suggested he assess which of the townsfolk can ride a horse proficiently, assembling a cavalry of sorts to run down and trample goblins if they attempt this frontal attack on the city. Goblins hate horses and horses always seem eager to trample goblins. It sure is better than relying on hope and prayers. A good fire brigade plan might not be out of place, either.
Of course, the Licktoad goblins, being proficient little swimmers, will probably sneak in by way of the sea. Given their love of garbage, I’m surprised the entire tribe isn’t living at Junker’s Edge.
On my way home, I stopped by Pillbug’s for a bit of tea for Ameiko. The poor dear has not only been beaten and trussed up by her brother, but also lost two close family members (even though Tsuto deserved his untimely demise).
Ameiko was pretty distraught by the horrible affair. The pot of tea settled her nerves, and my fair skill in neck rubs didn’t hurt, either. She was just drifting off to sleep when I slipped out.
I spent the rest of the night poring over Tsuto’s journal. My memory might be crap, but my intuition is still sharp as ever, thank Desna. I think we can reach some pretty clear conclusions based on the journal, and a few of my assumptions might not be misplaced, either.
1. Nualia was involved in the Late Unpleasantness in some role. Jervis Stoot might have been a dupe an accomplice, but certainly not the mastermind. Their plans were thwarted when the townsfolk found the final altar.
2. Nualia is half-infernal as well as half-celestial. She spoke to Tsuto of “her mother’s grace” that she is trying to restore through demonic ritual. She has gained some sort of deformity in success of this ritual, and Tsuto hopes she’ll resemble a succubus. Mommy was a demon, and poor Nualia is upset that she took after her celestial father.
3. Tsuto’s mother may have been involved in the Late Unpleasantness as well. The timing of her death is just too convenient. Did Longiku discover the truth of her involvement and push her off a cliff when he confronted her? Or was it in self defense?
4. Did Tsuto have something Nualia wanted and she sought him out? The tunnel beneath the Glassworks, perhaps? Had Tsuto’s mother revealed it to Nualia? Alternately, Tsuto might have been involved in the Late Unpleasantness, too.
5. Perhaps the “Lower Chamber” is that other tunnel we didn’t explore. Is Nualia down there right now, summoning Malfeshnekor?
5. The “Lower Chamber” is priority #1. We need to find it, and disrupt whatever Nualia is doing. It is either beneath the Glassworks, beneath Stoot’s house, or out at the Thistletop tribe’s lair. Nualia thinks she can control this Malfeshnekor and use it to attack the town. We didn’t see any sign of disturbance at Bird Island, and goblins weren’t involved in the Late Unpleasantness, so I’m inclined to believe the Lower Chamber is that other tunnel in the smuggler’s cave.
6. Nualia is the mastermind behind our current troubles. The goblin raid at the Swallowtail festival? Entirely to start her transformation by stealing poor Fr. Tobyn’s body and desecrating it in a ritual. Now, she’s going to sacrifice the entire town to finish the deal and become something worse. Because that’s just what Sandpoint needs.
7. Nualia already has some demonic traits, particularly her hand. She could very well kill us all if we aren’t careful. Maybe even if we are.
8. Nualia is probably a cleric of Lamashtu.
9. If there are any other followers of Lamashtu in the city, they might be actively working with her. Gorvi’s been acting weird lately – I bet a half-orc would be stupid enough to worship Lamashtu. The Fatman’s Feedbag isn’t a bad place to go snooping about for unsavory types willing to work with goblins, and Aliver Podiker over at the Pillbug has some odd rumors floating around about him.
Idle curiosity that is probably irrelevant to our current purpose:
-What happened to Nualia’s former boyfriend, Delek Viskanta
-How did Fr. Tobyn come into custody of Nualia.
-Who is Tsuto’s real father
-Does the Old Light have any significance to using Sandpoint for the center of all this nasty demonic activity? Brodert Quink might know.
-What is the involvement of this third party, the quasit, that Tsuto wanted to ally with?
-Was Stoot an innocent dupe or active participant in the Late Unpleasantness?
-Why did Nualia burn down the church at the end of the Late Unpleasantness? Perhaps Fr. Tobyn learned the truth, or Nualia wanted people to presume her dead? Maybe she was trying to resume the ritual in the bowels of the old cathedral?
-Did Nualia seek out Tsuto, or was he in on her plot from the very beginning?
-Was Nualia the leader in the ritual to summon the bird demon during the Late Unpleasantness, or was someone else in charge at that point?
-What was the purpose of summoning the bird demon?