Lightbringer Lands

Assault on Thistletop, episode 3

The rest of the party opts to follow Nadierra off of the roof in pursuit of Rip Nugget. As they get to the ground, the party remembers that Rip Nugget might try heading to the cave entrance, so they head back inside and down stairs to cut him off.

Not finding any signs of Rip Nugget in the cave, they decide to leave Reshoy Fin and Staly downstairs to watch for Rip Nugget while Nadierra, Telbien, Grael and Orik head upstairs to search the rest of the throne room and loot. After finding a couple magical items on the dead druid and little else of real value, Nadierra searches Rip Nugget’s room, finding a holy symbol to Lamashtu made of silver with garnets underneath his pillow and a large iron key tucked away under the arm chair. The sheets are made of silk (albeit stained beyond recovery) and the well-worn and battered headboard once depicted a scene of centaurs and woodland creatures. Nadierra quickly strips the bed and cuts up the silk sheets to weave into a rope. As Nadierra finishes and enters back into the throne room, she hears goblin riders coming in the front door. As she alerts Orik, Pishyankan, Grael and Telbien they take positions to ambush any incoming goblins. As the goblins charge through the doors, it becomes obvious that they are led by Rip Nugget. As the first passes the threshold into the room, Nadierra and Pishyankan attack the goblin and its dog. When the whole group makes it into the room, with Rip Nugget is leading them atop his riding lizard. Grael unleashes a blast of acid, catching almost all of the goblins and dogs, as well as Rip Nugget and his gecko. Next, Nadierra lights the goblin leader up with a purplish glow, ensuring that he won’t escape again. Orik moves forward to slash at the goblin rider who was missed by the acid as Grael begins casting again. A bright flash of colors slams into the goblins and disorients most of them, stunning Rip Nugget. Rip Nugget’s sword and shield slip from his hands and hit the floor right as a spear slams into his side from Nadierra. A split second later, a crossbow bolt pierces his chest as he drops to the floor. Cleaning up the rest of the goblins becomes a formality at this point. Nadierra hurries over to stabilize the dying gecko and manages to make it just in time. With everything wrapped up, the party decides that it is time to rest. They position themselves in the lower tower room, and as they rest Nadierra treats their wounds for the evening, including the rescued gecko.

The next morning, the party clears out the rest of the main level. The pen with the goblin dogs still has almost a dozen goblin dogs, with two dead goblins that have been rotting in the yard. Whining from a horse can be heard from a small barn in the pen that has been boarded up to keep the dogs out. Unable to calm the dogs, Nadierra is saddened by the conclusion that the only way that they will be able to safely continue and also keep the dogs from starving to death is to kill them. Reshoy takes the task upon himself while Nadierra occupies herself elsewhere to keep from having to witness the deed. Once the pen has been cleared, further inspection of the dead goblins reveals that they were trampled to death by a horse. The horse is very obviously scared, and under-fed judging by its ribs showing through its skin. It takes a moment, but Nadierra is able to calm the beast long enough to get close to pet it and feed the horse some of her rations. The horse preoccupied with eating rations, Nadierra is able to take a closer look at the mare. This once strong war horse has been beaten and starved, but could probably be nursed back to health. It is still wearing her tack, beautifully engraved including a small name-plate with the word Shadowmist on it, presumably the horse’s name. Nadierra slowly removes the tack, taking care with some of the injuries that Shadowmist has developed from the tack due to extended wear.

As Nadierra stays with the horse, Telbien, Reshoy and Staly explore a bit further, checking the door that leads out of the pen. First, a meeting room with a table and a few chairs where undoubtedly meetings were held with the goblins. Next, the stench of the latrine causes Telbien to recoil, but Reshoy presses forward into the room to search for anything valuable left behind. From outside the doorway, Staly thinks she spots what might be a secret door. With her direction, Reshoy is able to figure out how to open the door and behind it lies a large wood and metal chest. Nadierra, finally finished with Shadowmist, comes up and searches the chest and realizes that the iron key she found in Rip Nugget’s room should fit the chest. Not finding any traps, she tries the key and opens the chest. Only after opening the lid does she realize that she accidentally bypassed the trap. Within the chest, they find thousands of coins (copper, silver, gold, and platinum), as well as jewelry, armor, and other trinkets. After collecting their new found treasure, the party presses on. Just past the latrine, they find a stairwell heading back down into the dungeon. After a bit of discussion, they decide to descend down this stairwell rather than going back through the main hall.

As they reach the bottom of the stairs, they find a large room with a table in the center of the room surrounded by several chairs with two doors exiting the room along the east and west walls. Maps, plans, and papers are spread across the table and on the north wall of the room, a chalk board displays a map of Sandpoint with what is obviously invasion plans. This is where the assault on Sandpoint was planned. Further inspection of the plans reveals that another assault was going to take place within the coming weeks. As the party quietly searches the room, Nadierra hears someone breathing on the other side of the eastern door and whispers a warning to the rest of the party.

Orik steps up and says that he is pretty sure the person on the other side of that door is Lyrie, the woman he has been looking for. This area is where she did the majority of her study. Content to let Orik take the lead, the party quietly steps aside out of view and lets Orik do all the talking.

As Orik makes some small talk with Lyrie, he casually asks what her plans are after everything Nualia has planned goes down, hinting at life afterward. When bringing up the idea of returning to Sandpoint, not only does Lyrie not seem interested, but she seems to delight in the death that they have caused. Finally realizing that she is beyond help, Orik pleads with someone to help him, but there isn’t anything to be done. After closing the door, Orik, Grael, Nadierra, Reshoy, and Telbien quietly discuss their options and Orik finally concedes that he knows she must be dealt with, but is unable to do the deed himself. And so, Orik goes upstairs while the party sets an ambush for Lyrie. When the door was thrown open, death came to her so quickly that the look of surprise on her face with remain until it decays away. Searching the room, they find a number of arcane scrolls as well as a few wands, a magic cloak, and a few pieces of jewelry as well as a staircase on the opposite wall leading further down. In addition, the old tomes and papers she was working on were all written in Thessalonian and might prove very interesting to Cornu and Brodert Quink back in Sandpoint. Finally agreeing to dispose of her body by tossing her into the ocean and cleaning up so that Orik doesn’t have to witness the aftermath of the carnage, Reshoy closes the door and they move toward the last unexplored part of the level: the sanctuary.

As Nadierra throws open the double doors, the sanctuary looms ahead. To either side of the door are fountains of dark water. Pillars line either side of the room all the way across the room, behind which are flaming braziers leading to a raised dais with a black marble alter. A statue of a pregnant, albeit shapely, woman with a reptilian tail stands over the alter with a kukri in each of her taloned hands. Her left hands glows with a fiery orange light and her right glows with a sickly frosty blue light. Nadierra and Reshoy spot a flying dog-like creature to the right, floating about fifteen feet above the ground. Reshoy, with his flail drawn, drops the flail in order to draw his ranseur as he moves below the creature, pointing it out to the rest of the party as he prepares to stab the creature. With Reshoy’s direction, Telbien and Grael fire into the area where they believe the creature to be, both luckily striking the strange creature. Staly moves forward to strike the strange creature. The dog-like creature lets out an unearthly howl, causing Staly and Telbien to panic, as Telbien drops his crossbow to flee on his new gecko mount. Pishyankan leaps into the room, attempting to bring the creature to the ground, but is unable to drag it to the ground. As she falls to the ground, the dog creature snaps at her, and catches her in the shoulder, ripping her flesh away. Unseen to the party previously, a second creature howls, sending Reshoy fleeing in fear. With Pishyankan now exposed, Nadierra calls her back out of the room. Pishyankan narrowly dodges another snap from the creature’s jaws as she slips past one of the pillars. As Pishyankan clears the doorway, Nadierra slams the double doors closed and gets in a defensive position.

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