Runelight

Zuri's Journal, Entry 3

Aldern's going to get stabbed with a tooth

It’s been about two weeks since the goblins attacked; aside from Aldern continuing to annoy us (didn’t he say he only had a few days before he had to leave Sandpoint?) things have been pretty uneventful. I convinced the headmaster of the Tunadarok Academy to let me look through his spellbooks for a donation of a platinum coin; found a few that I’ve figured out how to turn into alchemical preparation, happily. I can enalrge myself, armor myself with electrical energy, and grab a glimpse of the future for a perfect strike, now.

The unexpected return of the elven tracker Shalelu makes me suspect that the relative peace won’t last. As soon as she was sighted people started talking about it. At least Aldern started looking nervous – I suspect he had a run-in with her sometime while I was away. Good. Maybe she’ll chase him out of the Rusty Dragon finally.

Sure enough, before half an hour was past, a guard came looking for us to let us know that Belor wanted to see us. James is snoring in a puddle of ale, so I just asked Ameiko to make sure he knew where to look for us if he sobered up in the meantime. She agreed, so the rest of us – including the roc, to the bemusement of the guard – went to see Belor.

Turns out he, the mayor, and Shalelu were all present. We were formally introduced to her as the heroes of Sandpoint, and she told us that someone’s been organizing the goblins across the region. No surprise there – the goblin raid had all five tribes in on it. She doesn’t have any better idea who might be behind it than we do, although she agrees that evidence suggests a ‘longshanks’ of some sort. She couldn’t discredit the concern Azaya and I have about Nualia’s body not turning up in the aftermath of the fire, either. Worrying.

The main reason we were called, though, is that Shalelu’s going back out to track the goblins and see if she can find their leader, and Belor’s headed for Magnimar to try to get some additional guards. He’d like us to make ourselves visibly present around the town to keep people feeling safe and secure. Ezra was a little too excited about that, and had to be reminded that he only gets to help keep the peace, not enforce his own idea of law and order.

She accompanied us to the Rusty Dragon, insisting we regale her with the tale of our heroics. Ezra’s hammer apparently impressed her, and she agreed with me that the goblins popping out from under things can be unsettling. James woke up sometime during the tale wearig a doiley and a crown of flowers on his head, and joined us in time to tell her how he’d punched a boar in the snout. Ameiko served up some boar stew, accentuating the story perfectly. Partway through I laid a finger on the odd smell at the table – someone had made a bid at soaping James and rinsing him off while he was passed out. It’s the cleanest I’ve smelled him since meeting him.

Not long after she left, a boy came running in, shouting for us – it seemed that goblisn were trying to scavenge the Frothy Goose. I don’t think I’ve ever seen James move that fast; he nearly outran Azaya on the way to the isle. Ezra was happy to join us, eager to knock more goblin heads into ruin.

Half a dozen goblins were picking at the section of the forecastle that had detached, squabbling over something they’d pulled loose. While James and Ezra charged in, I downed my mutagen and grew a bit taller and lankier, moving to position myself to attack the goblins. then Azaya decided she had other plans.

It turns out that what she summoned was called a harpy eagle. Apt name, given that it tore into the closest goblin like a hurricane chewing up a ship. I don’t think the stupid little freak ever knew what hit it. Most of the rest were flailing and shrieking – Ezra got stabbed by one and James by another. All four of us in the melee – Ezra working with the roc and James working with me – did an effective job of putting down all but the one that had snatched the thing they’d been squabbling over. It took off at a run, with me in pursuit and James harrumphing along behind us.

Then the stupid freak tried to hide from me in some dried-out shrubs. Alas for it, I carry alchemical fire, and lobbed a bottle in. didn’t hit it, but splashed it and doused the bush well enough to get it alight. The stupid little bastard took my mace to his head as he tried to run away. He went face-down in the surf, dropping a six-inch curved tooth. Something odd about it, for sure.

Closer inspection made it clear that the tooth, whenever it got stuck in the Goose, had done some acid damage to the planks; Azaya thinks it belongs to a sea serpent. While Azaya and I convinced the captain to hold onto it, he didn’t seem to thrilled, since it couldn’t be used for boozing. Sometimes I wonder about him – this is something he could use to prove his prowess as a sailor to anyone, having a ship that got attacked by an acid-fanged sea-snake and survived, and he’s just not interested.

Ezra made a fairly noble self-sacrifice when we left the temple, intercepting Aldern as he stalked the group of us. James hung back, trying to fake him out and hit the fop, but mostly staggered around looking like he needed a drink. Ezra was irritated that I disappeared, but admitted he couldn’t blame me.

James tried to parley the tooth into a free drink at the Rusty Dragon, but the man he was betting with wasn’t biting. Eventually Hannah, the local priestess of Gozreh, turned up and confirmed it was a sea serpent tooth. That plus some angry glaring from James made the man give up the liquor he’d gotten out of the bet, muttering something about no honor in beating drunken idiots.

I’d like to see him try to sail with an agitated roc on board. James might not cut an impressive figure just now, but he did better than most anyone in this town could’ve hoped to accomplish back then.

Meanwhile, after James failed to get his booze for free with the tooth, he tossed it aside. Last I saw, Azaya was stringing it on a necklace – Hannah said it might provide a measure of resistance to acid, and I suspect she’s hopping it’ll protect her if she gets caught in the splash of an acid flask of mine.

Here’s hoping nothing else overly exciting happens between now and when Belor gets back. I don’t want to get in any worse trouble than we’ve already been in.

Somehow, I don’t think that wish is going to be granted any more than my wish that people would wise up about the gods. Maybe I’ll take a trip to Rahadoum sometime – I hear those folk have banned all religion within their borders. Sensible of them.

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Kassil

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