After Chuffy‘s and Gulo’s arrival at Sandpoint, things settled down for a while. Chuffy successfully integrated himself in with the rest of the Sandpoint goblins, even being ingenious enough to invent an entirely new type of glass at the bequest of Grosilge in order to have the goblins home, the Sandpoint Galssworks, operational again. Miro sequestered himself in his laboratory for several weeks (surprisingly undisturbed by the noises of the makeshift brothel above) in an effort to craft several magical items for his friends. Synovia and Imahnee were becoming more and more infatuated with each other as the days passed, much to the delight of Ameiko, much to the disapproval of Hemlock. Vrinn spent his time trying to smooth things out between two of his lovers, Grosilge and Rhynshinn, while purchasing the old Jewelers in town after their entire family had been murdered and employing the half-Drow Wheel. The other immigrants from Magnimar‘s slums had graciously accepted Ukawada’s fortune and set up a farming operation in the hinterlands. Gulo asserted his authority over the goblin squad in Sandpoint and had taken the first steps into training them to be an effective military unit, helped greatly with the assistance of Lieutenant Grady.
However, the offer made by Mayor Grobaras of Magnimar to exchange the titles of the Seven’s Sawmill over to Vrinn’s name in exchange for the capture of Vrinn’s father was too tempting and all too quickly brought about the end of the peacefulness in Sandpoint. Going along with the schemes of Miro and Vrinn, Farnsworth allowed himself to be captured and handed over to the authorities in Magnimar. However, without a solid plan of retrieval, a long wagon chase was had throughout the city, the end result being that Vrinn needed to abandon his father for the sake of his own freedom. In the end, not only did they not receive ownership of the mill, but all of their other holdings in the city were also stripped from their possession.
A week or so after that occurrence, another band of travelling adventurers made their way into Sandpoint. Through general conversation, it was revealed that they had been hired by Mayor Grobaras to follow up on the findings made by the Heroes of Sandpoint, more specifically why a lot of dead bodies had turned up with the Sihedron rune, and what was happening at Fort Rannick and if there was a link between the two. Miro had come up with the idea to get a head start on them and complete their quest for them to get back into the good graces of Mayor Grobaras. Following Miro’s lead, the party left Sandpoint hurriedly to try and get as much of a head start on them as possible, only to find out after a few hours on the road that no one knew where they were going. Needing to turn back, most of the party then went about finding a map of the hinterlands and its townships, and locating Fort Rannick and Turtleback Ferry.
While the party went about their task, Vrinn went about it in his own way. After spending a few hours being strip searched and frisked many times by Lorren, Vrinn waited until the dead of night before finding their room at the White Deer and sneaking in. Reading through their documents and maps, he also read the apparent leader’s journal, a female human wizard named Amal. Learning some interesting pieces of information, Vrinn couldn’t help himself but to try and rob the adventurers. Managing to pilfer the majority of their coins, he was discovered by Amber, their rogue. He was able to get away, hopefully with his identity still a secret however.
During the night, Vrinn was visited by a god, presumed to be Norgorber, and gave him a Shadow who turned out to have once been a girl named Everlyn who has some history with Vrinn.
Now that the Heroes knew where they were heading, they made their way to Wartle, cutting across the countryside in an effort to save time. On the way, the party was beset by a raiding party of goblins from the Brokenteeth Tribe. Chuffy almost single-handed decimated them himself with his bombs, which caused a debate with Miro about the methods and morals involved. A murder of murdered crows were also encountered, but these also were quickly dispatched.
After arriving in Wartle, the group had an unexpected encounter. While attempting to secure their passage to Turtleback Ferry, they came across the elf ranger Shalelu, who also was looking for passage up river. After securing their passage, the Heroes went their separate ways to prepare for their journey. Synovia visited the dockside taverns and inns to learn about the state of the journey along the river, while Vrinn questioned the whores about the men from Fort Rannick. Chuffy however, managed to disguise himself as a small child and in a great display of absolute fucking adorability, managed to have the supplies purchased from the general store be discounted.
Before their departure, Miro and Vrinn concocted a scheme in an effort to waylay the adventurers from Magnimar even further. Miro used his beguiling wit to explain to the townspeople of Wartle that the people following them were in fact followers of Besmara, the evil pirate goddess of piracy, strife, and sea monsters, while Vrinn used his authority as a Magnimar Hero to issue Wanted posters of the aforementioned adventurers.
The travel to Turtleback Ferry was smooth sailing for the most part. The rain grew heavier and consistent, while the group learned that Shalelu was going to Fort Rannick to check up on her deceased mother’s ex-lover of whom she hadn’t heard from in quite some time.
Arriving in Turtleback Ferry, the Party was eager to finally get out of the rain and into something warm and dry. They made it to the first inn that they saw, the Turtle’s Parlor Inn, run by a surly man known as Cestin Orlandi. He seemed to be distrustful of the group and didn’t offer much hospitality further than the bare minimum.
After a hot meal and dry clothes, the group decided to explore the small town. Synovia went to the church, speaking with Maelin Shreed, the mayor, who offered her nothing but polite smiles and a very engaging conversation, almost too much hospitality as opposed to too little.
Vrinn and Gulo made their way around town, first visiting the Bottom’s Up Tavern, the proprietors being an enthusiastic halfling couple of Berthandy and Yads. Without even realising it Vrinn had become overly friendly with Berthandy, while earning the ire of Yads.
They also visited the general store, a place run by an aging woman named Winda Linee. Gulo earned himself a cat as disgruntled looking as he is, while Vrinn proceeded to charm the elderly lady. It was at this point that Gulo rejoined Miro back at the Inn. Vrinn also made an appearance at the local blacksmith run by Irontooth Jorveni, but quickly returned to Winda to play cards, chatting the whole while.
Between Synovia and vrinn’s factfinding efforts, they learned that the rain that they were receiving is an unnatural amount for this time of the year. That no one had seen or heard from the Black Arrows from Fort Rannick in quite some time, the gambling ship Paradise had sunk in the harbor, with some conflicting reports as to whether the cause was a fire or a sea monster called Pinkeye. They also found out that there are ogres and dragons in the Hook Mountains around where Fort Rannick is. Vrinn also heard from Brethandy and Yads about a witch living in the area.
Resting for the night, the deluge continued, and after a brief discussion on whether to salvage the gambling ship or press on towards the fort, it was decided to do the latter.
Following the trail towards Fort Rannick, Miro and Synovia found and rescued a trapped Firepelt cougar, while off in the distance baying hounds could be heard closing in. Revealed to be a hunter, the party took care of his dogs and subdued the man, who turned out to be a Ogre-kin named Rukus. With his child-like mind, it took some delicate questioning, but eventually Vrinn managed to get that his mother lived on a farm not too far from their current location, he had several siblings, and that they took in human slaves for food or sale. Circumstantial evidence provided a link between these slaves and Black Arrows of Fort Rannick.
Synovia leading the way herself, the party made haste towards this supposed farm…