The group, composed of Xedeti, Gravel and Chang after rescuing the halfling snake breeder, asked him if he knew where to find the goblin village. He instructed them that since he was in no shape to travel to seek out a young local witch named Din. At that same time a northern dwarf named Durson had approached the cottage looking for directions as well to the goblins as he had also heard of the bounty on goblin ears.
The group found the two in the witch’s small cottage on the edge of the marsh lands. The witch did indeed know of the old fishing trail that could lead to the goblins village and had also heard of the increased goblin attacks. Now, with a bounty on ears, the witch and her dwarven companion chose to gear up for the adventure themselves. They showed the other three to the trail and followed it to the village.
Gravel:I have heard of witches but have never came across one and the dwarf with his bang stick.. i would swear he has some gnome in him.
Once there, it seemed abandoned. They approached cautiously, and once inside they found the goblins in wait. A massive battle ensued (big battle), the goblins on the ground were unable to resist the onslaught the ones on the bridge were troubling.. as gravel was climbing to engage them he was struck by two arrows causing him to fall. the tiny dragon blew her breath weapon sending a burst of flames up to the rope bridge and setting it ablaze. This collapsed the bridge sending the remaining two goblins plummeting to the ground. The rest of the group finished them off in quick order.
The group then searched the village, collected ears and the head of the goblin chief and started back off to Irongate to collect rewards. In one chest the goblins had hidden, they found a shipment intended for a Tigerhands Maatsura in Irongate, and they chose to finish the delivery.
Once in Irongate, the group first stopped in town hall to collect rewards for the goblin ears and the chief’s head. Marshall Willow was most pleased. All of a sudden, a huge explosion was heard from outside. The group ran to the door and saw that down the street, the Inn of the Rusty Katana was missing the front half of its building. Smoke and fire blazed from the remaining portion and bodies laid strewn about its wreckage.
The group helped the Iron guard as best as they could, but as they approached the smoldering building, they could feel a cold, evil energy emanating from the center of the blast area. As they entered the death zone to search for survivors, the bodies rose up as undead. Chang had made his way to the second level by then and found the body of his father’s personal assistant and longtime friend, Tsutamu, lying dead on the ground with Rikimaru’s wakazashi in hand. He was not dead from the explosion or fire, but from sword wounds. The cold energy soon emanated into the top level and Tsutamu rose in undead state to attack Chang.
The group, with the help of the Iron guard, soon dispatched all the undead. They found while investigating Tsutamu that the hilt of Chang’s father’s sword, Whispering Strike, held a secret compartment with a letter rolled inside.
“Rikimaru. My son, my heir. You know now that I have kept secrets from you. You were always a perceptive son, and while you may not understand my reasons for secrecy, I hope that you realize it was necessary. Know that I was not angry with you for opening the warding box- I was angry with myself for withholding the truth from you and forcing you to seek out what I should have given to you. The words I spoke to you were from anger with myself, and it shames me to think of them now. Your appearance startled me, but you are still my son and I write this note as an apology. I also humbly beg you to leave the secrets of our family to history.
The next few days will be the most important I have faced in many years. If our family’s enemies have, as I hope, forgotten us, I shall reunite with you and your child, and your mother and I shall reveal the full truth to you. But, if they still seek the contents of the warding box, I fear that I may not speak to you again. The box holds our family’s greatest treasure, the future of Tian Xia and the secret to your child’s ki, so I have returned it to Kortun’s care and it shall remain hidden in the secret third vault under our manor, obscured from our enemies. I hope and pray I will not grant our foes the satisfaction of killing me themselves. If it comes to it, let death, by my own hand, be my final act to protect you and my grandchild, so that our enemies believe our line ended.
I have instructed Tsutamu to deliver this message to you in Irongate only should I fail to return as I hope to. If I can, I will reveal all to you myself. If I cannot, this final missive from a father to a son must suffice as an apology in place of an explanation, and you must destroy this letter, flee to the south and never return to Telflamm. If our enemies find what I have hidden, there will be nothing here for you. If they do not, they will lie in wait forever for your return.
I hope to see you again soon, my son. But my heart tells me I will not. I am sorry to have failed you. But I am proud of you, and I know you will survive this old man’s shame. You are strong, and you must remain so. For if you are reading this and I am gone, know that our enemies will never stop searching for us, and that is why I cannot reveal the truth to you until I know there is no chance of them finding us again.
On the back of this letter, Chang noticed a watermark which held a map of the city of Telflamm, and at its center was marked the site of Rokuro’s manor. They decided to first sell off the goods and deliver the other belongings to Tigerhands before going any further with the investigation. The Ironguards told them that a witness, named Sandru, was being treated at a local temple and they should talk with him later in the day.
Sandru just happened to be Gravel’s former employer and had been seeking out the dwarf to catch up and have a drink. They met with him as he recovered in the temple of Tyr. They discussed what Sandru Vhiski had seen and he told them that as he approached the tavern, he saw an individual that matched the description of Rikimaru fighting with multiple individuals inside the tavern. As Sandru approached, he felt a cold energy expand from within the tavern, then the whole place went up in a ball of flames.
Chang told Sandru of the need to go to Telflamm and knew that Sandru’s caravan had intended that city as its next destination. Sandru welcome the extra help and company along the journey to the far-off city, and soon the caravan set off.
The long journey took more than a month’s time, but was otherwise routine and uneventful for the group of travelers. They did get to know the relationships of each other (see individuals bio’s) and once they arrived in the city of Telflamm, they headed off for Chang’s grandfather’s manor.
Once there, they entered and found that a dead servant lied just inside the door, cut down by swords. He appeared to have been dead for at least a week. Throughout the manor they found more dead servants and guards, and ultimately, the vault entrance.