The Swallowtail Festival
The Swallowtail Festival begins promptly, as scheduled, on the Autumnal Equinox. The square before the Sandpoint Cathedral quickly becomes crowded as locals and travelers arrive, and several merchant tents featuring food, clothes, local crafts , and souvenirs are there to meet them. Madam Wu Chin, Grimborn Dragonheart, Iras Hearthflame and his companion Derek, Travis Blade and Sam join the crowd.
The turnout for the opening speeches is quite respectable, and the four keynote speakers each deliver short but well-received welcomes to the festival. Mayor Deverin’ friendly attitude and excitement prove contagious as she welcomes visitors to town and jokes about how even Larz Rovanky, the local tanner (and notorious workaholic) managed to tear himself away from the tannery to attend, much to everyone’s amusement (except Larz’s). Sheriff Belor Hemlock brings the crowd down a bit with his dour mood, his reminder to be safe around the evening’s bonfire, and his request for a moment of silence to remember those who lost their lives in the fire that claimed the town’s previous church several years ago. The next speaker is scheduled to be local nobleman Lonjiku Kaijitsu, but a sudden illness has prevented him from attending the ceremony (this isn’t something that surprises the locals, given Lonjiku’s well-known dislike of frivolity and festivals). Sandpoint’s own showman Cyrdak Drokkus is more than up to the challenge of bringing the crowd’s mood back up with his rousing anecdotes. He delivers a not-completely-irreverent recap of the long process the town went through to finance and construct the new cathedral. He throws in a bit of self-promotion at the end, as is his wont, inviting everyone to stop by the Sandpoint Theater the following evening to check out his new production of “The Harpy’s Curse,” revealing that the lead role of Avis era the harpy queen will be played by none other than the famous Magnimarian diva Allishanda! Finally, Father Zantus steps up to give a short speech thanking everyone for coming before declaring the Swallowtail Festival underway.
Festival Fun and Games
Numerous games and contests take place during the day, including sack races , games of
hide-and- seek, weight-lifting challenges, balance beam contests, tug-of-war events, and the like. However, Wu, Iras and Sam all want to take part in the Dragon Races ran by Travis Blade. Wu, Iras and Sam pay one copper piece to play. There is a bit of arguments between the players and Travis about the choice of the lizard. Wu managed to intimidate Travis and convinced him to give him a different dragon. It appeared that some of the lizards were overfed the night before, and are docile and more difficult to move. The players notice that some of the lizards seem more motivated than others. Travis disappear as it looks like Wu, Iras and Sam have caught onto his scheme. Grimborn, who had been eating and drinking at the Rusty Dragon tent comes by and try to diffuse the situation. Wu was very annoyed and started to load her musket
At noon, Father Zantus and his acolytes wheel a large covered wagon into the square, and after recounting the short parable of how Desna first fell to earth and was nursed back to health by a blind child whom she transformed into an immortal butterfly as a reward for her aid, they pull aside the wagon’s cover, releasing the thousand children of Desna-a furious storm of swallowtail butterflies that swarm into the air in a spiraling riot of color to a great cheer from the crowd. Throughout the rest of the day, children futilely chase butterflies, never quite quick enough to catch them.
Lunch is provided free, at the expense of Sandpoint’s taverns. Each brings its best dishes-this event is as much a marketing push by the taverns to win new customers as it is to feed a hungry crowd. It soon becomes apparent that the darling of the lunch is, once again, Ameiko Kaijitsu, whose remarkable curry- spiced salmon and early winterdrop mead easily overshadow the other offerings, such as the Hagfish lobster chowder or the White Deer’s peppercorn venison. Grimborn particularly enjoyed the company of Ameiko.
Finally, as the sun begins to set, Father Zantus takes the central podium, uses a thunderstone to attract everyone’s attention, and clears his throat as he prepares to recite the Prayer of First Dreaming.
A sharp retort, like the crack of distant thunder, slices through the excited crowd as the sun’s setting rays paint the western sky. A stray dog that has crawled under a nearby wagon to sleep starts awake, and the buzz of two dozen conversations quickly hushes as all heads turn toward the central podium, where a beaming Father Zantus has taken the stage. He clears his throat, takes a breath to speak, and suddenly a woman’s scream slices through the air. A few moments later, another scream rises, then another. Beyond them, a sudden surge of strange new voices riseshigh- pitched, tittering shrieks that sound not quite
human . The crowd parts and something low to the ground races by, giggling with disturbing glee as the stray dog gives a pained yelp and then collapses with gurgle, its throat cut open from ear to ear. As blood pools around its head, the raucous sound of a strange song begins, chanted from shrill, scratchy voices.
Wu and Sam sees that the shape that raced by and killed the dog now hides at the wagon’s edge-a single goblin, licking the blood from its dogslicer as it looks excitedly at the crowd, seeking out a new target. The song is a nameles s goblin rhyme, performed by several goblin warchanters and intended to give the goblins a boost of bardic music to spur them on.
A group of 3 goblins attack Wu, Sam, Grimborn, Iras and Travis.
Wu had her musket already loaded and was quick to fire. Travis took his dagger out of his boot. Sam prepared a bomb. Iras made use of his magic missile ability. Grimborn started a bardic performance on his bagpipe to inspire courage.
After the PCs defeat the initial three goblins, they take a few rounds to recover from the first battle. Chaos has engulfed Sandpoint. Goblins race everywhere, running amok and singing and slashing indiscriminately. At the point Wu, Sam, Iras, Travis and Grimborn seem about ready to take action, a sudden bloom of fire from a nearby unattended wagon or cart should grab their attention.
A group of goblins has found the cart full of fuel for the sunset bonfire just south of the festival grounds and has lit it on fire. Wu, Sam, Grimborn, Travis and Iras are soon confronted with several cackling and shrieking goblins armed with dogslicers and torches . As soon as the goblins see the PCs, they shriek in delight and attack. These goblins have not only armed themselves with burning torches (weapons they wield with maniacal delight), but also have the support of one of their warchanters-a goblin bard with great skill at whipping fellow goblins into furious, shrieking frenzies by using her bardic performance ability.
Wu continued to use her musket. Sam bombs had devastating effects. Iras continued to use his magic missile, Grimborn his bardic performance and Travis used his shortsword.
Both Iras and Travis got burnt by the torches of the goblins. Iras casted mage armout to improve Travis’ AC.
After tangling with the first two group s of goblins, Iras and Travis were wounded. Goblin antics were still going on around them (a goblin leaps off a roof in an attempt to land on a victim but misses and breaks his neck, a goblin throws a lit torch at a fleeing mother only to have it land on another goblin and light his armor on fire). Father Zantus rushes to their side. He thanks them for what they’re doing to help fight the goblins heals Iras and Travis using channel energy.
Die, Dog, Die!
Things at the festival itself have calmed somewhat. Here and there, the sounds of battle, clanging swords , calls of support by the town guard, and shrieking and singing goblins echo through the streets, but at the festival itself, most of the citizens have fled. One or two goblins remain behind to scavenge food, and many more lie dead (along with a few unfortunate citizens).
However the sound of a scream and a frantic barking come from the north.
Rise Of The Runelords
Goblins In The Streets!
Toilday 23rd of the month of Rova 4707
The Swallowtail Festival