The Journal of Ailis Tapley, woman of many talents

Day One

Mam always kept a journal. She thought it cleared her head. I thought it made good reading. Anyways, I found this empty book just lying on a table in the market, and since I’m having trouble keeping track of my days since leaving home, it seems I might as well try writing down what happens to me on my trip.

I have 124 gold, 3 silver, and 8 copper.

Today I am in Sandpoint, a small town partway between Riddleport and Magnimar. It seems my visit is timely; they are dedicating their new church today and having a festival to celebrate.

The weather is not bad for a festival. It is slightly overcast, and there is a slight breeze off the sea that makes it a little chilly, but it’s a fairly nice day for the harvest season. My stomach is beginning to growl, and I can smell the meat pies as the market begins to open for the day. I shall have to have one before I begin work.

This festival is not as helpful as I thought. The crowd here tends towards farmers and poor tradesmen rather than the prosperous, and all my efforts have netted me so far are pebbles, a cob of corn, string, wood shavings, and an incident where a man accused me of attempting to thieve from him! Of course he forgave me for my clumsiness and realized his mistake when I was so taken aback and blushed and stammered and apologized for bumping into him, but it was very embarrassing and made me keep my distance from others to avoid any other accusations.

The meat pie, at least, was delicious, although while eating it a strange woman kept staring at me. She was so bold about it that I was amused rather than insulted, so I stared back.

I also saw a large, bald man with many tattoos being followed around by what I’m sure was a gnome in the marketplace. They were quite a distraction for the locals. Sadly, this only resulted in my acquisition of the corn.

It is almost time for the dedication ceremony.

I still have 124 gold, 3 silver, and 8 copper. What a rotten festival.

Desna’s Eyes! Tonight has been one strange event after another. And I thought the festival was rotten before! As Father Zantus gave his speech dedicating the church, goblins invaded Sandpoint, killing people and setting the town on fire!

I saw the tattooed man run across the square to some sort of skirmish near a wagon, tossing locals aside on his way, and then I became aware of screaming from different parts of town. As the crowd panicked and the square emptied, I quickly ducked into the shadows of the festival platform until I could figure out what was going on. There wasn’t much cover since I was in the middle of the town square. Next time I will remember to stay closer to the edges of the crowd and cover. Anyways, this at least gave some darkness and a chance to protect the priest-I could always use some favor with Desna.

It was rather confusing, as goblins set several wagons in the square on fire. I saw the woman who had stared at me earlier doing battle with a goblin across the square and took out my bow to help her out. Although I missed, she was able to kill the goblin herself with an impressive blow to the face! She did take some damage from a nasty meat pie, though.

It quieted down and I realized that a burning wagon was disastrously close to several buildings. The large tattooed man was beating the body of a goblin against the flaming wagon; I still do not know what he was doing. I ran over and began trying to push the wagon away from the buildings, but it was too heavy for me alone. The staring woman ran over to help and we managed to move it a small distance, but the screams of more goblins interrupted us as another band invaded the square.

The woman with me ran towards the goblins, and I followed, pulling out my short bow. The large tattooed man charged in and began swinging his deadly hammer. Then the strangest thing happened; in a circle all around the goblins and the tattooed man, plants rose up from the ground and began twining themselves around all within their grasp. I realized after a moment that the gnome with the man was responsible. We slowly picked off all the goblins save one, though the damn giant weeds were more a hindrance than a help. I’m afraid the gnome and I disagree on the exact nature of her undergrowth. A few goblins attacked Father Zantus, but we managed to drive them off him and kill them, except for the one who ran off. I saw the gnome send her giant bird after it.

In the aftermath, we four eyed each other and began introductions as Father Zantus came over and thanked us for our help. He also healed our wounds. A useful priest! Thank you, Desna!

It seems that all four of us are strangers to Sandpoint. The large, tattooed man is Tekal Wind-Blown from the plains of the Storval Plateau. He says he is Shoanti and away from his tribe on his journey of manhood. I can’t say I know anything much of the Shoanti, but the tattoos certainly looked tribal. Apparently he and the gnome ran into each other several days ago. She’s Kajsa Bramblington, and not surprising to me after her little plant trick, she’s a druid. At least I got to practice my Sylvan a bit. And then there was the human woman, who remained a bit standoffish and mysterious. It took a long time to find out that her real name is Etina Jewelfist and that she is a monk. All I know is that I wouldn’t put myself in range of her fists if I had a choice.

Father Xantus started off through the night, and we accompanied him. It was a crazy night; I can’t recall now if he invited us or if we simply sought to protect the priest and stick together in case there were more goblins. Either way, we found more not far away.

We heard them before we saw them. It would have been hard not to, as they had a nobleman cornered behind a barrel and were cheering on their own fell canine as it tore apart his loyal dog. Tekal rushed in and bashed the goblin dog into a bloody heap as I sneaked up behind the backmost goblin and ran him through. I’ve decided that barbarian that he might be, he’ll make an excellent distraction for me. We dispatched the rest of the goblins fairly quickly, including their leader, who was waving around a fairly fine small halberd. I picked that up with promises to fence it for the group. These goblins were better pickings than the others; we gleaned 20g from them, and I scavenged 20 arrows, too. Father Zantus showed no interest in the gold (I like that priest!), so the other four of us each took 5g.

We escorted Aldern Foxglove back to the Rusty Dragon, where he was staying. Over a few drinks we discovered that he was a noble of Magnimar. I admit to being pleased to have met him; I think I shall try to find out more about him in the next few days. A wealthy lord can be a useful person to know.

And on another positive note, I now have 129 gold, 3 silver, and 8 copper, a couple drinks in me, and a possible contact with a Magnimar noble. The day has gotten considerably better.

(More later as Ailis continues to decipher her scrawled notes)


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