The party confront the Greater Barghest. Despite their exhaustion and the creatures powerful magics they are able to slay the beast. With their enemies finally defeated or having fled the group explores the ruins, uncovering a fair bit of treasure for their trouble. They discover a treasure room with a mural depicting a city of spires in a mountain range. Their backpacks heavy with booty and Ripnugget’s crown atop Lems head, they return to the goblin stockade where they are greeted by the surviving members of the Thistletop clan. Dozens of them. Even Yoda and that swearing one.
Luckily the goblins are fronted by a goblin druid called Gogmurt alongside his firepelt cougar, Tangletooth. Gogmurt brokers a reluctant truce between Thistletop and Sandpoint. Lem crowns the new King of Thistletop before they take their leave.
After what seems like months but was really just one very long night the party returns to Sandpoint by sea, where they are greeted by a jubilant citizenry: the goblin operation has been a success. The major players in town again gather for debriefing while Rye takes a quick side quest with Shayliss. Brodert shares that the seven-pointed star relates to to the seven Tholassion runelords; it also signifies the seven sins and the schools of magic associated with them. The city of spires, he explains, is a fabled lost city in the Kodar mountains thought by most to be a legend.
And finally, Sandpoint is once again at peace. Good job, heroes.
A few weeks pass. During this time Ameiko, now living in the family estate and running the family business, vanishes in the night, taking her adventuring gear with her. She leaves behind a note promising to return and gifts the Rusty Dragon to Bethany. Rye spends more and more time with Shayliss, much to the chagrin of her father who does not approve. Abuse of pesh rises in town despite Jubrayl’s assurance that the drug was being sold elsewhere but it’s a minor problem for now. Lem feels the call of the forest and heads to the wilderness to seek out an animal companion, which turns out to be a badger, Detective Inspector Archie LeBrock. He is joined by Shalelu. Both have a wonderful time being with someone so like themselves. Cage assists in rebuilding the town and helps Father Zantus healing and caring for the faithful; of all of the group he is most welcomed by Sandpoint and is quickly seen as one of their own. Ilsoari discovers a new spring in his step and a taste for adventure, even though he can’t quite recall just what happened after that yeth hound scared him. He and Cage become buds and are often found at the monastery with Sabyl, Brodert and the others. And once again they all try the hagfish challenge and they all fail. Life is good.
It doesn’t last. One morning as the group spends breakfast considering permanent addresses they are interrupted by a grim faced Sheriff Hemlock. He tells them quietly that there has been a grisly murder. He once again asks for their assistance but tells them this time it’s a bit more personal: a bloody envelope containing a cryptic note from the killer was found at the crime scene.. And it’s addressed to Lem.
DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUN!