Also, I don't really know anyone's character names because the GM kept referring to us by our real names. Blaaaah.
The brave ship Snarrot, a legitimate merchant ship and not a pirate ship at all, sailed into the port town of Sandpoint in time for the festival. After a day of work unloading the bulk cargo and hitting the dockside bars and brothel, three of the crew -- a sea elf witch and a pair of kitsune (although the barbarian, Kaito, usually went around as a human) -- headed to the festival grounds to set up shop and sell their curiosities acquired from around the world.
The sheriff was making his rounds, and asked who they were and if he could see their paperwork.
"We're legitimate businessfolk," said the female kitune magus. "We're selling curiosities."
"Is this really what you do all day? Walk around harassing legitimate merchants?" Kaito complained. "Go find something else to do."
"I... I'll let it go for now, but I'll be back!" the sheriff said, scurrying off from the crazy look in the barbarian's eyes.
The barbarian laughed cruelly. "Always a pleasure to meet a sensible lawman!"
Meanwhile, another group was heading into Sandpoint for the festival. Led by Foof, a teenage ent and a bard by trade, there was also a ninja (her Best Friend!) and a monk who'd been travelling with them for a time.
"Here is where we part ways," the monk said. "I must find the House of Blue Glass."
"Do we have to?" Foof asked. "We can go find it with you! I'm great at gathering information!"
The monk was silent. After an awkward pause, she continued, "No, I should go alone."
"No, you can't leave!" Foof said, desperate to keep her new friend. "I'll keep you company! I'll sing!"
The monk walked off on her own, saying nothing. Unfortunately, she had no idea where to find her destination, and was too shy to ask the townsfolk for directions. Eventually, Foof came up to her and offered to lead her to the monastery, and she had no choice but to accept.
"Please," she said to the other monks when at last she reached the sanctuary. "Take me somewhere I can have some peace and quiet."
A third group headed into Sandpoint as well -- a... human? Maybe? With orc and dragon blood in his veins, enough to taint his sorcery but not enough to count as an actual half-orc or half-dragon. Between his fangs and his androgenous looks, he was certain that no one would ever find him attractive, making him the last of his cursed line.
He was accompanied by a silent urchin holding a box. Together, they headed to the general store to buy a wig. The shopkeeper, Vend Vindor, was more than happy to sell them all sorts of wigs and wig accessories -- and to go on and on about his oldest daughter's romantic prospects -- until the urchin opened the box to reveal the 'Uncle' who was actually in the market for some fake hair.
"Oh, that's a lovely wig! How much is it?" asked the chattering, floating jeweled skull that rose from the box.
That mostly led to panic. The beautiful younger daughter emerged from the basement and fawned over the skull, probably just to piss off her father who looked like he was seconds away from chasing it out of his store with a broom.
The last of the characters in this little story was a native of Sandpoint, an alchemist healer on call for the festival. When the keystone event of the festival was finally to take place -- the reconsecration of the rebuilt cathedral that had burned down the year before -- he was standing behind the podium where the town nobles and priests explained what they'd need from the crowd. "But until then, food and drink is free! Eat all you wish!"
The Snarrot's crew descended on the free food like a pack of locusts, the witch and magus shoveling food into their bags of holding while the barbarian loaded a dozen pies on his rapier. The other travelers were similarly -- if less ravenously -- engaged, except for the urchin and the 'uncle' who'd gone into the only bathroom set up for the festival to sabotage it, because that was what chaotic floating skulls did.
Before they could rig it to explode, screams rang out from the edges of the crowd, followed by horrible goblin singing. The crowd was under attack!
The first to respond was the alchemist, who threw a firebomb at the nearest pack of goblins, incinerating them along with several innocent bystanders who were standing a little too near by the goblins. He was soon joined by Kaito, who managed to kill another nearby goblin with a bit less collateral damage, shoving the remaining pies down its throat.
Elsewhere in the crowd, the monk and ninja closed in on the same goblin, who was setting one of the food booths on fire. The ninja snuck up silently, drawing her katana and... completely missing her target. Then the monk punched the goblin once, sending his head hurtling into the stratosphere.
Another goblin was on the roof of the bathroom tent, trying to hit the floating skull who was taunting his mercilessly. He took a flying leap... and missed, and plummeted to the ground, where the monk followed up with a quick punch that pummeled him several feet into the ground, leaving a goblin-shaped hole.
More screams came from the far side of the square, this time from a noble who ran into view and cowered behind a barrel, pursued by five goblins, one of which was riding a warg.
"Save me and I'll reward you handsomely!" the noble promised.
The crowd had thinned out by this point, so Kaito was able to charge across the open square and skewer one of them, with the ninja and monk (and the rest of the Snarrot crew) close behind.
That was when the ogre appeared, bursting out of one of the tents and slamming Kaito painfully with its club. Kaito flew into a rage and returned the favor, but it was the sorcerer who finished it off with a barrage of scorching rays. The monk and ninja finished off the other nearby goblins, at which point the warg ran off.
"This is terrible!" said the priest. "We can't consecrate the temple now. The mood's been completely ruined! We'll have to try again in a few days."
The alchemist had taken a goblin prisoner that others had overlooked, but his interrogation went nowhere. The goblins had been hired to attack the festival, but they didn't know who'd asked them to, and their payment was 'lots of food to eat'. Still, the way they'd appeared from out of the festival tents implied that someone on the inside was responsible.
The noble invited them all to join him for dinner at the Iron Dragon, a tavern on the other side of town. Everyone except for the sorcerer and his uncle (and his uncle's valet) took him up on that offer... or tried to.
The folk minding the door at the Iron Dragon wanted everyone to check their weapons before heading inside. The ninja cheerfully handed over her obvious swords and chains, and the others were quick enough to comply, except for Kaito.
"This isn't a sword," he said. "It's an eating utensil."
They weren't buying it, and when he tried to bully his way through, they called in the bouncer. Not willing to get into a fight over it, he turned to leave, when Foof noticed the kerfluffle and ran to his rescue.
"He's with me! He's with me!" she said. "Didn't you see him at the festival, he was so brave! Come on, let him inside, he won't cause trouble, he's a hero!"
It was difficult to argue with her enthusiasm, so they let him in with his 'eating utensil'. "And now we're best friends!" Foof exclaimed happily. "I'm making so many new friends!"
Kaito and the alchemist were both happy to be her friends, especially when they discovered that she'd never had alcohol. When the owner, Amiko, told them that the noble they'd rescued had arranged for free food and drinks for all of them, they ordered a wide selection of different drinks for Foof to try.
Unfortunately, her ninja friend, always on the lookout for her best interests, wouldn't let her touch them. The alchemist managed to sneak her a sip of Vodka ("Made from potatoes." "ACK! That is not potatoes!" "Mother's potatoes.") but she wasn't a big fan.
Eventually, the noble showed up and gave the monk and barbarian 50 gold each as a reward. He'd also wanted to reward the sorcerer, whose flaming rays had downed the ogre, but he wasn't there. Then he invited Foof to join him at a private table. The ninja was suspicious and insisted on going with her, but all he was doing was talking about his time in Sandpoint (he'd come for a boar hunt and stayed for the festival coincidentally) and inviting them to come visit him at his estate, 150 miles to the south.
At some point, Amiko's dad arrived and started insulting the heroes of Sandpoint.
Dad: "Who do you think you are?"
Kaito and the rest of the Snarrot crew, in unison: "We're legitimate businessfolk."
Dad: "You think you're 'heroes' but you're only going to get the townsfolk killed! You should leave the defense to the people who live here."
Kaito: "The only one of us who killed any townsfolk was him --" pointing to the alchemist, "-- and he lives here."
The father wasn't rational enough to really argue with, but eventually Amiko came over to hold a shouting match with him until he gave up and left, after possibly disowning her, although it wasn't clear if that was serious, since Amiko didn't seem bothered by it.
Otherwise, the night was uneventful.
Except for the sorcerer and his uncle (and their valet), who were approached by the sheriff to help investigate the boneyard. He'd wanted to invite the others, but couldn't find them, so the two of them would have to do.
They split up once they arrived in the massive graveyard, but before the uncle could start swapping gravestones, the sorcerer noticed that a crypt had been broken into, and they headed over to investigate and possibly rob the dead.
Inside was a trail of broken seals, leading to the should-have-been-final resting place of the previous town priest, who'd burned to death in the fire. It looked like someone had raised him from the dead, and led him away under his own power.
There were also some skeletons left to harass would-be searchers, but the sorcerer dispatched them casually with a single burning hands spell.
The only loot they found was a necromantic robe, a magical one -- a Robe of Bones, although all its patches had been used (probably to lay the trap).
The sheriff let them keep the robe, and asked them to keep the disappearance of the priest secret, to avoid causing a panic.
The next day, it was back to business as usual. The monk meditated in her temple and the alchemist spent the day in his shop doing alchemy, while Foof, her ninja friend, and the witch and kitsune magus from the Snarrot went shopping, and the sorcerer and his uncle (and their valet) went to the magic shop to try to pawn the robe, although the shopkeeper wouldn't offer them enough to part with it.
Kaito spent some time at the academy/orphanage trying to convince the kids to join the snarrot for a life of what was definitely not piracy, until he was chased out by their guardians. It was just across the way from the general store, and he was accosted by the younger daughter, who invited him into the basement to 'hunt some rats'.
While the rest of the party (in spirit) screamed at him that it was a trap, he wasn't worried. Sure enough, as soon as he arrived in the very well-furnished basement, the daughter sprung her ambush! She quickly tore off her clothing, and pounced on him, pinning him to the bed!
He was okay with this.
Her father would probably not be okay with this, and soon arrived, stomping his way down the stairs. "What's going on down there!"
But when he arrived, he found his half-naked daughter cuddling an innocent little fox. "What -- you can't keep animals in here!"
"Oh come on! Why don't you ever trust me!"
"Put that outside this instant!"
The fox growled.
The daughter just pouted. "Fine! I hate you."
Suspicious averted, the father left her to put her clothing back on and take the fox outside. Instead, Kaito turned back into his human form.
"So... should we continue where we left off?"
The daughter smiled. "You know, I think this might work out after all!"
The fights were ridiculously easy this time, because the GM is starting us at level 5 despite the module starting at level 1, as a 'tutorial level' since many of the players are new. But we had fun utterly stomping them, I guess.