Thistletop (Part One)
The party stood over the remains of Tsuto Kaijitsu as they examined his journal. The notes on the pages raised many questions for the group about what was going on. Who was Ripnugget? Bruthazmus? What is the true story of Nualia, the deceased Father Tobyn's daughter? They had to talk with the people of Sandpoint to get some of these answers. Before they headed out they continued to explore the basement of the Glassworks. The party found a storage room that had a tunnel leading from it. They followed the tunnel for a few hundred feet before retreating and deciding to examine the rest of the basement before they explore.
While examining the other rooms, they came across the body of Ameiko Kaijitsu. She was in rough shape and the group rushed to patch her up. When she was stable she was shocked at everything that happened. Varok went back into the hallway and brought Tsuto's corpse to her. He threw it next to her as he demanded answers, which caused Ameiko to freak out even more. She told the group that Tsuto had mentioned himself and a band of mercenaries were held up in Thistletop and planning an even bigger attack on Sandpoint. Tsuto wanted to take Ameiko with hima nd have her out of the city when it happened. She refused and got thrown into this room to be dealt with later.
The shocks weren't over for Ameiko as the party broke the news of her father's death. With both her father and brother dead in such a short span she was solemn. The party headed back outside as some split off to escort her back to the Rusty Dragon Tavern. Meanwhile, Varok took the corpses of Tsuto and Lonjiku and carted them off to Town Hall where he dropped them at the feet of Mayor Deverin. Kendra wasn't pleased with his act, yelling at him for his act through the town. Varok told her some of the details they had discovered before walking off. During this, Maiwyn and Rion went to speak with Father Zantus in regards to Nualia to find out more about her. They learned that Nualia wasn't Father Tobyn's biological daughter but instead was adopted and in fact she was an Aasimar, a human with celestial blood. Zantus examined the notes they found and warned them that any dealings with the deity Lamashtu should be taken lightly as dark things circulate such a god.
Eventually the party made there way back to the tavern to discuss everything they all found during the day. The last person they had to speak to was Shalelu, the Elven Ranger who knew a lot about the Goblin tribes in the area. With her help, they were able to acquire directions to where Thistletop was located. She also told them that Ripnugget was the Chieftan of the tribe and one of the few goblins that had earned his respect as a "Goblin Hero". Bruthazmus on the other hand, was a Bugbear Ranger that she had ran into a few times while exploring. The two had fought but only to draws as she warned Maiwyn of the Bugbear's hatred for Elves. The party made preparations to leave in the morning.
The next day while finishing up their preparations the group was approached by a merchant. He told them that his caravan had been attacked by goblins and that they took his prized horse. If they found his horse he would reward them for it. The merchant went on to describe his horse whose name was Shadowmist. After talking with the stablemaster and getting their horses ready, they set off to Thistletop. The journey was less then an hour before they reached Nettlewoods, named for the thick bristles and nettles that made up this forest. THe party ventured through the woods for about a hour or so before they came across what appeared to be a network of goblin tunnels. The tunnels were quite small and Varok didn't enjoy the cramped space so he took action and started chopping the brambles to open up the tunnel a bit more.
With the party behind him, they ventured further through the tunnel until they came to a small chamber of scared goblins. The goblins lashed out at them to try and kill the intruders but met a swift demise. After they killed the goblins, they found another one of the "Thistle Doors" that the Goblins created and opened it to see the island of Thisletop. From their vantage point the party was able to see a bridge that crossed the channel to the island and based on their sense of direction headed back through the thistle maze to try and find the bridge. While navigating through the maze they came upon a group of dogs being raised by the Goblins. The party killed the goblin dogs as they pushed onward and came to the bridge.
The sight before them was one to behold. An island, smoothly carved and circular with a stockade fort sitting on top of it. All that was left was to cross the bridge. As the party crossed the bridge they exceeded the integrity and caused the bridge to fall as one side broke off. Gunderbags, Varok, and Duline were able to grab a hold of solid ground or the bridge itself to hang on but Chester was unable to grab onto something. The cheetah plummeted 80 feet to the cold water below knocking the cat unconscious. The party panicked as they had to figure a way to save the animal before he got washed away by the current. Gunderbags climbed down the the side of the island and swam out to try and get the cat. Once he had a hold of Chester he brought him back and with the strength of Varok and Duline was able to pull Chester out of the water.
The next challenge was to get Maiwyn and Rion across as they hadn't stepped on the bridge yet before it broke. Again the Gnoll was resourceful as he took his grappling hook out and threw it across to the other party members. With the secondary rope set up they were able to make a makeshift system that Rion and Maiwyn shimmied across carefully. After the long process, the group was finally together again as they stood before the Goblin fort, announcing themselves quite loudly with the bridge shenanigans.