After the heroes returned to Sandpoint, the toll of the goblin raid became clear. There were few fatalities among the townsfolk, but many injured. The heroes learned that a few other citizens and guardsmen were involved in protecting the town, including Albi Komondon, a gnome with a well timed elemental blast, and Ragnok, a tiefling warrior who then defended Komondon from certain “goblining”.
The cathedral consecration was completed the next day in a solemn and more private ceremony. The Heroes of Sandpoint participated and were recognized for preventing the goblins from ruining the building and saving one of the local nobles. Afterward, Mayer Deverin rewarded the heroes with 500 gold coins each, paid by public subscription (mostly from an anonymous donor).
Over the next few days, the heroes enjoyed their new fame. They received friendly reception, including several romantic invitations and small gifts such as flowers and baked goods. Malcanthet received an invitation to her “and fellow heroes” to attend dinner at The Rusty Dragon Inn from Lord Aldern Foxglove. During the pleasant evening, albeit largely focused on Malcanthet’s expert archery and bravery, she and others were invited on a boar hunt in the Tickwood two days hence.
The next day, Bandaro received a welcoming invitation to the Sandpoint General Store, which offered a discount on outfitting gear for the boar hunt.
The following morning, Karik and Taryn met their boss, Viskanta, at dawn to unload a ship’s cargo. Once back at his warehouse, the town guard barged in and arrested Viskanta, charging him with murder of Alergast Barrett. Viskanta swore his innocence and demanded that Karik clear his “good” name.
Bandaro and the others met at the General Store and were welcomed by Ven Vinder, the storeowner. Maggie shared gossip of Ven’s elder daughter Katrine and her unapproved relationship with a local lumber mill worker. Shayliss Vinder, Ven’s other daughter, coyly presented a story about large rats in the basement and lured Bandaro into the dark storage area. The Varisian suspected trouble but was uncharacteristically stunned when she lunged lustfully at him. So unnerved was he, that he cautiously kept is sword at hand despite her obvious romantic intent.
When Ven approached the basement door, Ragnok distracted him while Bandaro slipped away. Shayliss was clearly spurned and cried, “You can’t leave me like this!”
When the others completed their purchases, they moved outside and found Karik and Taryn. They explained their boss’s predicament and divided the party into a team of murder investigators and a team of boar hunters.
The boar hunters, including Malcanthet, Ragnok, and Bandaro, rode to the Tickwood with Lord Foxglove. Foxglove’s interest in Malcanthet continued and the other two fell back snickering and looking for trouble. Once in the forest, they spotted fresh boar tracks and eventually their quarry. A large boar bolted in the distance and Foxglove separated from the group to move into a flanking position.
Meanwhile, Karik, Taryn, Albi, and Maggie began their investigation into Barrett’s murder with the victim’s employer. Alergast was the second mate on a merchant vessel named Andiamo owned by a rival company of Viskanta’s, Gulf Coast Trading. The Andiamo’s captain told the investigators that Alergast was a good sailor and provider for his family. Captain Tilernos told of an encounter involving Viskanta. Six months earlier, a mercenary named Vancaskerkin brought threatening letters from Viskanta encouraging Alergast to stop working for Gulf Coast Trading. Then, the mercenary left town toward Magnimar and the threats ceased.
In the Tickwood, Malcanthet, Ragnok, and Bandaro closed in on the boar, but were ambushed by a small band of goblins. The nasty beasts focused their attacks on the hero’s mounts, but the monsters were quickly slain before any significant injuries occurred.
The investigators decided to split in two pairs. Karik and Taryn went to the town garrison and jail to get more details from Viskanta. He claimed he was innocent and had a long list of people who might want to frame him, including his nefarious shipping rival, Manaldo Manchini, owner of Gulf Coast Shipping.
Maggie and Albi went to the Barrett home. Maggie easily picked the lock and they entered the dark abode. The entry hall and scene of the crime showed blood dotted across the wall and ceiling. They continued exploring the place and the observant tiefling found a slightly disturbed floorboard under the stairs. She lifted the board and peered into the darkness when a rusty dogslicer slashed her face. She reeled back and a band of savage goblins surged forth. Maggie back-peddled as Albi cast a shield spell on himself. The goblins lashed out at him as well, nearly cleaving his small frame in two. The pair narrowly made their escape since the monsters did not pursue into the daylight.
Once in the street, locals moved to aid them and staunch the bleeding. The threat of more goblins created a small panic that brought the local guards. One guard watched the Barrett home while another brought the injured pair to the cathedral for treatment. En route, they found Karik and Taryn leaving the garrison. The half-orc oracle used his miraculous touch to heal the wounds.
Back in the Tickwood, the boar hunters were back on their quarry’s trail. From long range, Malcanthet and Bandaro managed to injure it with a pair of impressive bowshots. Ragnok’s horse frustrated the Shoanti rider failing to close with the large beast. He dismounted but was unable to keep up with the boar.
They continued to press the boar down a gentle valley and saw the mounted form of Lord Foxglove on a distant ridgeline. With both flanking parties in place, the heroes charged forward. The archers launched more glancing blows into the beast. Foxglove charged on horseback and slashed the beast with a vicious looking spear. Malcanthet halted her horse, noted the wind, her mount’s breathing, and the course of the boar. As Foxglove circled for another strike, Malcanthet expertly loosed an arrow that flew truly and buried into the boar’s flank nearly taking it to the ground. Lord Foxglove’s boarspear finished the beast in one final dramatic blow.
Back in Sandpoint, acolytes of Desna and Sarenrae attended the investigators in the cathedral. Karik overheard that the body of Alergast Barrett was being prepared in another room. Karik bullied his way in and found the body pale and cold with a jagged slash to the neck and a slowly chopped off leg. A cleric of Gozreh interrupted Karik’s examination and discouraged his brutish investigation.
They took their findings to Sheriff Hemlock and explained that the goblins in the Barrett home basically proved Viskanta innocent of murder. The sheriff agreed that his evidence was circumstantial but the goblins would have to be dealt with and he would need to see them for himself. The investigators eagerly agreed to slay the nasty creatures, so the heroes left with Sheriff Hemlock and two of his guardsmen.
The boar hunters celebrated (quaffing their wineskins) and loaded up their prize. As they departed the Tickwood, they saw a figure standing on the Turandorak Bridge. As they neared, they could see a Varisian man dressed in purple leathers and a pair of sliver handaxes at his belt smiling at them.