Friday, April 11, 2014

Heroes of Sandpoint: Burnt Offerings

Art by Wayne Reynolds
Our Cast of Characters
  • Alfgeir Stannisson, an Ulfen Cleric of Gorum who has traveled from the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, hoping to become a great hero like his ancestors. 
  • Fiona of Sandpoint, a Varisian Rogue who has spent most of her life on the streets of the coastal town, doing whatever she can to survive. 
  • Jon Silverbow, an Elf Ranger who hails from the Mierani Forest of northern Varisia who has a deep hatred for goblinoids. 
  • Ongar, a Half-Orc Paladin who has dedicated his life to the goddess Sarenrae and hopes to spread her redeeming light wherever he goes. 
  • Theoian Daleborn, a Half-Elf Investigator who joined the group on the behest of Belor Hemlock, Sandpoint's current sheriff. 
  • Tywin, a Half-Elf Sorcerer from the shadowy realm of Nidal who has traveled far and wide in search of vengeance against someone who has wronged him.

A week has passed since the heroes traveled to the Devil's Platter and foiled the derro's nefarious schemes. Needing to take a rest from their harrowing adventures, the party decided to attend Sandpoint's annual Swallowtail Festival.  

Sadly, their day of relaxation was cut short when a goblin horde invaded the town, singing their demented songs, setting fire to numerous buildings, and attempting to kill everyone in sight. Acting quickly, the heroes engaged these sadistic monsters in battle, hoping to prevent more death and destruction. After a long and arduous battle, the heroes managed to defeat the goblins while the town guard ran the remaining invaders out of town and tried to put the fires out. 

Wondering what the cause of this sudden attack might be, the heroes and the town's mayor Kendra Deverin interrogate one of the goblins they managed to take prisoner. After some words and careful intimidation, the heroes manages to coax some information out of the goblin. This horde was sent by a white-haired woman as a distraction so she could sneak into the Sandpoint Boneyard and extract the corpse of the town's former high priest for a ritual that will turn her into a demon. After retrieving what they came for, the remaining goblins returned to their headquarters near the Nettlewood. 

Wanting to stop this mysterious woman from performing this ritual and causing more problems along the Lost Coast, Mayor Deverin hires the heroes to travel to the Nettlewood and put an end to this menace. After getting a good night's sleep and directions from the local ranger Shalelu Androsana, the party headed northeast to the area known as Thistletop. 

While they were slowed down by a goblin patrol and their owlbear companion, they managed to reach their destination as the sun was slowly setting behind the horizon. After a number of brutal fights with numerous goblins, the party managed to make their way down to the white-haired woman's chamber, interrupting her while she was starting the ritual. Before the battle began, the characters learned this woman was an aasimar named Nualia, whose tragic past drove her into the arms of the evil goddess Lamashtu. She was the one who burned down Sandpoint's previous cathedral, accidentally killing Fiona's parents. Hoping to stop her from completing the ritual, the heroes attacked and the two sides met in a vicious conflict. 

Although things seemed grim for the heroes, with most of them unconscious or bleeding out, Ongar managed to land the blow that brought the fight to an end. Instead of delivering the final blow to kill Nualia, the party decided to bring her back to town so she could be brought to justice. 

The trip back to town was rather uneventful and Nualia was placed within the town's garrison. After a few days, Fiona and Ongar were contacted by a guard, who said Nualia requested to talk to them. Feeling that her goddess had abandoned her, she begged Fiona to just end it. However, before the rogue could plunge her dagger into the aasimar's gut, Ongar stopped her. After revealing that he too had come from a rather rough background and did something horrible, he managed to find redemption and believes she can too. Listening to the half-orc's speech and seeing the dark path she could be heading down, Fiona decided to forgo her vengeance and leave with her friend. 

((I used a heavily modified version of the  Burnt Offerings adventure for this session. Also, while I know some people would believe that Nualia was beyond redemption, I'm glad the session went that direction because the scene with Fiona, Ongar, and has become one of my favorite roleplaying moments ever)).