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Part 2: Local Heroes

   
Part 2: Local Heroes

Toilday, 24th of Rova, 4707 AR

A bright, low sun rose over the town of Sandpoint on the morning following the festival and the unexpected goblin attack. The townspeople had spent the night and early morning clearing the streets of any evidence of both events, and did their best to get on with their lives. Toilday morning, there would be a more subdued, indoor ceremony to officially dedicate the new temple; an event that sadly coincided with a small memorial service to honor the lives of the unfortunate few who had fallen during the raid. The bodies of slain goblins were carried outside of town and burned on a huge pyre, and those who had been captured were locked away out of sight of the commonfolk to await the consequences of their actions.

For those who had bravely defended the town against the raid, the morning marked a stark contrast from the relative anonymity of the previous day. Word of the local heroes had spread among the townsfolk and turned these six into overnight celebrities. Those staying at the Rusty Dragon would find themselves greeted by rounds of applause and offers of free food and drink as they emerged from their rooms and into the common area of the inn. Jan found herself the victim of lighthearted ribbing at the hands of Coleen and the bruise brothers at the Pixie's Kitten, as they teased her about her rising fame. Those who had returned to their caravans would find the troupe being approached by locals bearing gifts and seeking out the courageous goblinslayers to offer their thanks.

As you moved out into the streets you would find yourselves the center of attention, being pointed at by townsfolk who whispered to each other as you passed by, and being approached randomly by locals who called you by name and offered thanks in whatever way they knew how. Aneka Avertin of Sandpoint Saveries met you on Main Street with a plate of fresh baked delicacies. Local shop owners from every corner of Sandpoint invited you to stop by for special rewards or discounted items. Guardsmen approached seeking stories of battle and children frolicked along the side of the road wielding toy weapons and pretending to be you as they feigned combat.

If you stopped by the Cathedral to observe the ceremonies, you would find Father Zantus as thankful as ever, and offering up a prayer of thanks to the Great Dreamer in your name. Afterword, he would take you aside and present you with a special gift he had prepared for you overnight: six scrolls scribed in gold, each bearing the holy symbol of Desna and a short verse of healing.

The acolades continued as the sun crawled lazily across the sky and noon approached...






Gozzik Redknife


Gozzik, somewhat discomforted by all the attention, ate sparingly and drank little of the gifts people gave him. Somehow, it still felt like they were making fun of him, in a way.

It was even worse when he walked the streets, seeing the children try to swing giant toy swords at each other, in imitation of the halfling's fighting style. Many asked for tips; to which he would always reply that the secret was to hit your target really hard, with the sharp bit. This had the effect of simply adding to the children's amusement, and encouraging the vigor with which they repeatedly bashed each other with their sticks.

Eventually, he found his way to the temple, and received his gift; he accepted it as solemnly as ever, with a bow, and a word of thanks. The halfling then glanced at his apparent companions, as though unsure what the night had done to them. Especially those elves. They bear watching.



Tom o' the Six Strings


Brego upon finding out the day prior that the Rusy Dragon had no rooms for him, moved onto the other inn in town, the White Deer. It was a touch too close to the cathedral for his taste but, just the same he enjoyed the view of the sea. The thought occurred to him the night prior that he could probably find a ship and make his way away from his problems. Not being a sailor however he knew this to be at best a flight of fancy and more likely a suicidal thought.

Brego slept well that night but woke up early in the morning, he had been too used to sleeping with one eye open, true relaxing sleep seemed beyond him of late. Rubbing his eyes he would fetch his clothing and make his way back into the streets, ready to ply his trade. To his surprise his name... or rather Tom's name, was on everyone's lips. Children pretended to be him, people were lining up to be nice to him. Brego couldn't figure out just how he felt about this. On the one hand, his ego was suitably pleased for being stroked. He liked everyone knowing him and singing his praises... On the other hand...it wasn't HIS name that they were praising, it was Tom's, Brego Longdon was no one, nobody here, but Tom was a celebrity... In addition he felt a little nervous at the attention, people might start asking too many questions about where the minstrel came from, and that would lead to the wrong sort of attention

All the same Brego did his best to hide his own internal desires and fears, deciding instead to bask somewhat in his newfound fame, partaking of any sweets, food or drink offered with gusto.

Always eager for some extra coin to fund his upcoming trip Brego took what goblin gear they had gathered and took it to the Goblin Squash stables, he had promised that he would give the rest of the party a fair share, he still had been undecided about whether he truly would. He'd try his best to get a fair price for the items regardless. Blood sweat and tears had been shed the night prior, perhaps something could be gotten for it.



With however much money on hand Brego would make his way to the ceremony, mostly to make an appearance. He had had little use for religion, but he could understand why others wanted it. He received the scrolls with a bow and a smile

When things had quieted he would address the others

"So, do you plan on finding out what Lord Foxglove's appreciation actually means?"
he'd ask the group, looking over the gold scripted scrolls before sashing them into a pouch

"Don't believe there's much to think about." Veritas noted as he came up behind Tom. "He's a noble, which means he's used to getting his way, he appreciates blood sports and he had big perverted eyes towards our good friend Saitylvaness. He's probably interested in how he may be able to exploit us with as little to no consequences to himself."


He was unceremonious in receiving Father Zanthus' reward, but not ungrateful. Meaning he didn't bend on one knee, but he did nod, smile and thank the priest.
_____________________

Earlier that day, Veritas had taken a certain level of shock to the kinds of reactions he'd provoked. Some were mixed in a way - he could feel a slight sense of... dread, mixed with curiosity, from some of the elders who took notice of him. Others were significantly more forward with their questions.

But the children were the ones who got to him the most, for some reason. The half-elf was clearly not used to admiration of any kind, and few things are as pure as a child's interest. Some of his day was spent playing with them. He even summoned Asura so the kids could take a look. He told them stories about things he'd seen on the road, careful enough to keep out certain nasty details. He avoided teaching them anything about his style of martial arts beyond the most basic breathing exercises.

The next morning had likely been what Aegon's idea of his own personal hell was. He was on edge all day--everyone recognized him, people constantly came up behind him and initiated physical contact without announcing their presence. He'd nearly stabbed a banging window shutter as he rounded a corner. "Eh... thought I saw a goblin, there! Ha ha..." A pitiful excuse.

Carlton's caravan had been relatively unharmed, although his wife had taken an arrow to the shoulder. It was a minor wound; she was lucky that it hadn't hit an artery. He spent the morning fending off well-wishers and helping repair the damage done to the wagons and patching up the various injuries that the caravaners had incurred during the chaos of the festival the night before.

After waiting what he felt was a reasonable period, having not seen any of the other so-called Heroes, and especially that elf woman he'd pushed away so violently, Aegon thought it would be prudent to swing by the temple to pay his respects. As he entered, he felt a sinking feeling in his stomach as he noticed that several of the others were already there. Damn, they had seen him. Play it cool... you were bound to run into them sooner or later.

He trudged uncomfortably to the front of the temple and accepted two of the scrolls with thanks, listening to the others' conversation in silence. He wanted to speak with Father Zantus, but not with them around... maybe they would leave soon?

Saitylvaness Sylvari The Knight of Stars

Sai made her way down Lost coast road toward Sandpoint. She had spent the better part of the morning in the forest just outside of town doing her daily workout. After the attack, she had been hesitant to wonder far from town when Goblins could be lurking around every corner, but she had decided it was worth the risk. Her sword hung lazily from her hip as she strolled past the White Deer Inn, where she had previously helped a few brave strangers fend off the Goblin onslaught.

People began to gather as she made her way down Church street. It seemed the town was already working hard to forget the attack, but not the people who faced it. Two small children ran down the street, one little girl spinning in circles waving a stick saying she was a beautiful Elf. Sai had to smile at the pair. It seemed the small town had begun to idolize the group who had made a stand against the Goblins. Cheers rose up as two men exited the White Deer, waving wildly at the Bladedancer.

Sai turned toward the church. She had decided her first stop back in town would be to actually see the inside of the building. The people of the town had made such a fuss about it, and Saitylvaness found herself curious what it was all about. As she stopped in front of the temple, she saw the others congregating there. She inclined her head to them as she moved toward the group. "Good Morning all, beautiful day isn't it?"

Hearing Tom talk about Aldern Foxglove, Sai smiles. "I was just on my way back to the Rusty Dragon to freshen up! And I am a bit curious what he has to say."

The children of Sandpoint were delighted at the chance to frolic with real life Heroes, and they played with such vigor that it was uncertain who tired you out more, the kids or the goblins of the previous day. Parents kept a close eye on the activity, but were glad to have something to take their children's mind off of the tragedies that the attack had brought, and focus them on more positive aspects.

Aside from all the aforementioned attention, there were others who showed interest as well as you made your way through the streets. Brego, in particular, noticed several lovely, young ladies giggling and whispering to one another, or pointing and even playfully blowing kisses in his direction. Whether he wished it or not, it seemed that ol' Tom o' the Six Strings was being assigned the role of the local heartthrob.

* * * * * * *

The mood was somber at the cathedral, where some of you had gathered by chance, and as the modest ceremonies came to a close, the attendees shuffled past you giving silent nods of appreciation. Father Zantus, of course, was willing to share his time with any of you who sought his attention, and noticing that Aegon seemed to have something troubling him, the curteous clergyman escorted the elven ranger to a quiet corner of the temple where they could talk privately.


* * * * * * *

Earlier that morning, Brego had entered Goblin Squash Stables to find Deverin Hosk proudly showing off his latest "trophies" which he had "acquired" during the raid, a fresh pair of goblin ears nailed to the wall with the name "Blogrog" scratched into the wood beneath them. He joyfully described how the monster had squealed while he did his work, a morbid indication that he had removed the ears while the creature was still alive.

The old hunter was very excited at the prospect of adding the goblin commander's weapons to his collection as a lasting symbol of the town's victory. After some smooth talking from the minstrel, he agreed to pay a fairly hefty sum to take ownership of the bow and the horsechopper, which he promised that "Tom" and his friends could come back and collect whenever it was convenient.


* * * * * * *

Those of you who decided to attend the meeting with Aldern Foxglove would approach the Rusty Dragon at noon to find his riding horse tied up out front and an armed guard standing outside the tavern door door; no doubt a recent hireling of the Magnimar noble, given his close call against the goblins. Once inside, you would spot Aldern at a large table in the back, flanked on either side by two of his manservants, one of which had a small, black lock box on the table in front of him.


"Ahh, the Heroes of Sandpoint have arrived!" he announced loudly as you entered the bar, drawing shouts of approval and polite applause from the lunchtime crowd. Aldern made a demonstrative display of greeting each one of you, as if to show off to the crowd that he had already made your acquaintance. "It is a pleasure to see you all again, especially you, dear Saitylvaness," he said politely, inviting you all to take a seat at the table and to order anything you'd like on his tab.

After exchanging some pleasantries and sampling some of the food, Aldern's talk became a bit more personal.
You know, Imve never had the pleasure of being in the company of real adventurers before. It is quite a treat." Of course, he was just assuming that you all fit the role of what he would define as an "adventurer," based on his knowledge of the tendency for a certain type to make their way up and down the Lost Coast Road. "Oh, what I wouldn't give to live a life like that rather than being stuck behind a desk in that old manor house. I'm afraid I don't have the spirit for it though. Tell me, what is it that makes people like you all tick?" he asked, his question sounding oddly vague.

Later he would turn his attention awkwardly back to the apparent object of his fancy...
"And speaking of pleasure, Miss Satylvaness, you are truly a delight to behold." The nobleman continued showering the elven maiden with compliments seemingly out of nowhere. "You carry the spirit of your people with such grace, dignity and kindness, which is more than I can say for most elves I've met. And pardon my opinion, but you seem so out of place in a dusty little town like this. What is it that brings you so far from home?

* * * * * * *

When she was able to steal a moment of attention from the others at the table, a familiar face approached.
"Hey, Veritas!" It was the lovely Ameiko Kaijisu, current owner, operator and charming hostess of the Rusty Dragon, who had until now left the table to their own business. "I leave you alone for a few hours and you go and get famous on me," she teased, nudging the half-elf playfully on the shoulder. "I hear you guys put on quite a show last night," she continued, making an exaggerated effort of looking up and down his sides as if she were expecting to find more arms. "I guess some of those secrets aren't secrets anymore, hmm?"


Gozzik Redknife


The halfling accompanied the others to the lunch with Aldern, apparently still a little confused about all the attention they were getting. If sticking close to the other Heroes was meant to make him less conspicuous, it was a huge failure; their larger-than-life reputation made them appear bigger, and more intimidating, to many of the townsfolk. In comparison, the tiny halfling with a big sword and lizard-skin jacket looked both enormously small, and much more approachable than the others. He kept his eyes forward as they walked, but couldn't help but hear the whispers, the questions, about the hero-child...

* * * * * * *

Upon arriving at the Rusty Dragon, he reflected again on the meal he had had there the day before, and its spices. Being unaccustomed to eating in a restaurant, he followed everyone else's lead when it came to where and when to sit; except he ended up kneeling on the chair, in order to ensure that he was high enough to reach the table.

He simply ordered more water and fish, when the waitress came by.

At the nobleman's question to the 'Adventurers,' Gozzik shrugged. "I don't know. I don't understand what would motivate someone to sit behind a desk all day. Where I am from, everyone migrates, all the time; this isn't so different, except that here there are inns to stay in, and spicier food," he stated, bluntly.


"Lovely to meet you too, Ameiko." Veritas chuckled at the playful ribbing. There was something about this maiden that caught the half-elf's interest - unfortunately, the night before, he'd been unable to talk to her properly after the raid.

"Hey, the arms weren't a secret! I just hadn't showed them yet. Maybe I can put on a display of how many mugs of ale I can drink at once with them."

Saitylvaness Sylvari The Knight of Stars

As soon as Saitylvaness entered the inn, she headed straight up stairs, telling everyone she would be back shortly...

******

Sai casually descended the stairway to the main floor of the Rusty Dragon. She was still busy fixing her fiery red hair into a complicated half knot, leaving only some to drape down on her shoulders when she noticed the others were already here. She had just finished securing her hair in place with an small ornate blade as she set foot on the tavern floor. The Rusty Dragon was now filled with familiar and welcoming faces.

She waved at Titus Scarnetti, who she had met the previous night when she had come down for a drink. Like everyone else in town, the man initially seemed overly grateful for Sai's involvement in stopping the Goblins. They chatted for over an hour, trading stories and laughs about what had brought her to Sandpoint and how his lumber trade was doing. Sai flashed him a smile and a sly wink as she made her way to the table where the others now seemed to be conversing with Aldern.

"Apologies if I kept you waiting." The black dress she wore seemed to shimmer as she walked, the gossamer material a true testament to the Elven tailor who had crafted it. She still had her sword belt slung comfortably over her hips, her blade within easy reach, it seemed the only part of her wardrobe she was never without. Graciously accepting Aldern's compliments she smiled at his comment about other Elves. "Yes, I would have to say I agree with that. Though I must admit, it is nice to now be in the company of one as gracious and respectful as you." She shot a momentary glance across the table at Aegon before continuing. Turning back to Aldern, she gave him a smile at yet another of his compliments. "I've come from the Tower of Stars near Celwynvian. There I studied to become a bladedancer. Currently my goals are two fold, recover a few items that were stolen from me in Riddleport, and complete my Ra Iaur. I was told by a friendly and wise old sage that I would find that which I sought here on the day of the swallowtail festival. Though all I seemed to have found were Goblins!" She let out a light-hearted laugh as she raised her mug to her lips and delicately took a sip of water. "I'm a bit curious what brought the rest of you here myself." Her comment this time seemed directed specifically at Tom, who by her estimation seemed to be the most mysterious of the group.





 

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