Day 22: Lamashan 13, 4707
It's been a whole three weeks since the goblin attack during the Swallowtail Festival. After Cipriano's funeral and the departure of the Magnimarian guards five days ago, life in Sandpoint has regained something of its normal rhythm and pace. The watchmen on duty at the gates smile a little more readily at weary travelers seeking entry. Daviren Hosk has taken down the notice on his stable door for a bounty on goblin ears. Hannah Velerin is less twitchy and the dour Sabyl Sorn has taken to bestowing upon you a rare smile every time you pass her place. Parents are allowing their children back out to play now. With Mandraiv taking over his departed uncle's business with a surprising and relentless energy, even the familiar low rumble of the Glassworks furnaces at dawn and the wagon-loads of scintillating mosaics and gleaming windowpanes at dusk have resumed.
With the horrors at Thistletop behind you, some of you might be thinking of setting out on the road. Others might be wondering whether settling down in Sandpoint for now might be a good idea - the town, its troubling past aside, is a welcoming and friendly enough place. Either way, all five of you had decided to meet at the Rusty Dragon tonight for some drinks - to remember Cipriano on the fourteenth day of his passing, as per the old Varisian tradition, and perhaps to talk about the future and where your paths would take you now.
The night is peaceful enough as most of you
pick Rico up from her duties at the Garrison andstroll down Main Street. The brisk autumn wind is refreshing after the lingering heat of the day, and the prospect of a cold drink and some fresh bread at Ameiko's tavern is a cheering one. There hasn't been any trouble at all since Thistletop. Sure, the goblins tried to riot once, and there was the unpleasant discovery of some local swindlers turning up dead in a barn after a deal likely went sour, but all things considered for a growing industrial town, things were going pretty damn fine.
Which is probably why you are probably puzzled - stunned even - at the sudden cry of "STOP, thief!", followed by several loud thumps before a frazzled-looking Setsuna tumbles unceremoniously through the basement door of the Vinder General Store, clutching frantically at the loosened straps of her hakama to preserve her modesty. Behind her, the imposing bulk of Ven Vinder squeezes through the door, growling as he shakes a large leg of ham in the tiefling's direction. "Take my daughter, wod'ya? See if I don't take yer head off first!" He thunders as he stomps forward, more for the benefit of the local crowd that is quickly gathering, drawn by the noise and prospect of some juicy gossip to trade later.
You were just strolling down Main Street a couple of days ago and had just passed the General Store when you suddenly remembered Shayliss and the rat problem in the Vinder General Store basement. Seeing the aforementioned young lady trudge grouchily out of the store with a large sack of corn meal over her shoulder at that very instant, you thought nothing of inquiring after her health and gallantly offering to assist with the rat problem if it was still extant.
Shayliss had showered you with a few curses at first, sure that you were simply making fun of her in the same way Rico had several days earlier. But you'd persisted and eventually, the shopkeep's second daughter had assented for you to accompany her into the basement. ("But no sword swingin'! Dad'll chew me up if he hears aught of slashed merchandise!")
As it turned out, there were indeed rats in the Vinder basement. Quite a lot of them, fat with the excellent Vinder produce and grain. Armed with heavy oaken clubs, you and Shayliss did the best you could and for your pains and bruises (not to mention rat bites), managed to clear the varmints out of the basement and present the delighted Mrs Vinder with several bludgeoned rat corpses.
So of course, you'd suspected nothing when a flushed Shayliss had hurried up to you earlier this evening, claiming that the rats had rallied and made a come back. You'd gone with her quite willingly into the basement and were looking about in the darkness for rats and were about to mention that you couldn't find any, when you'd heard the rustling of cloth and turned around, only to behold Shayliss with her bodice off and the straps of her dress around her shoulders, a knowing look in her eye as she reaches for your hands and presses them to her bosom.
You'd never been propositioned before, so you weren't exactly sure what to do. It took a few good minutes before you finally came to your senses and realised that no, fumbling about on dusty grain sacks in someone's basement was not how you wished your first time to go. So you'd tried to turn the lusty Shayliss down while politely trying your best to prevent her from shucking your pants off, only to have the basement door suddenly thrown open and the looming shadow of her father, Ven Vinder, fill the door frame. Convinced upon sight that you were trying to have your way with his daughter (rather than the other way around), Ven had bellowed and snatched up several items of choice food and hurled them at your head. By the time he manages to grasp the leg of ham, you've managed to dodge past him and make it to the door - only to find that the altercation has attracted rather more attention than you'd have guessed...