“And you, you know magic?” –Thompson Leary
“Yeah, I’m trying to come up with something cool to do.” –Dalamus
Enlisting the help and boat of the fisherman-turned-ferryman known only as Crawdad, Detective Thompson Leary, disgraced former investigator of a burned city, and the mysterious Catfolk knife-fighter known as Khadustra Zoahiin, both heeding the call of heroes, set out across the narrow sound to the now-stationary Island of Mists. They are interrupted on their way by Dalamus Indrano, a fetchling sorcerer who has literally no past whatsoever yet, and once sorted, the three of them make their way to the misty shore.
It is there that they meet the thrice-orphaned oread cleric FuQuan, who had until then been tagging along with the mighty Viking hero Buliwyf and his 14 companions, and was beginning to feel like a third wheel due to not speaking their language. The four – Thompson, Khadustra, Dalamus, and FuQuan – form a new fellowship amongst themselves due to their common goal and common lack of any other known companions.
The assorted heroes are greeted by an Azata who leads them to an amphitheater high in the hills, where the bashful party carefully avoids interacting with any of the other gathered heroes, except for Khadustra, who befriends the woodling druid Potter, and is gifted a bag of goodberries. The Azata explain the situation to our heroes and let them set forth. Dalamus (?) flirts ceaselessly with a male Azata named (someone has this written down, yes?) who eventually gives him his magically replenishing writing plume, which quickly decays to a desiccated quill shaft once it leaves the island. They are also taught the simple incantation to return an Evershard to Evermore island, which involves approximately one nights’ contact with the shard, after which point it turns into a butterfly made of light and makes its way back to the island on its own, allowing them to collect the shards without being burdened by them. With this knowledge, they set out to the coastal city of Sandpoint, where none of the other heroes have yet gone.
They arrive at Sandpoint in the middle of a festival celebrating the completion of the town’s reconstruction after it was almost entirely burned to the ground by goblins five years prior. The festival offers a wide variety of food, clothes, crafts, and souvenirs, along with speeches by the mayor, the sheriff, and the new head cleric, since the old one was killed eradicating the goblins responsible for the attacks.
Dalamus sets to work eating everything he can, since they do not have food as we know it on the Plane of Shadow where he was born, while both Thompson and Khadustra purchase several bottles of wine and make their way down to the beach to drink together. FuQuan speaks with locals at the fairgrounds and gains the friendship of the new cleric, Jensen, while also gleaning details about his predecessor, Tovyn.
At several hours past sundown, a fireworks display is put on by the town. However, the first firework is also a signal; goblins have been lying in wait in the town’s sewers, covered wagons snuck in with the merchants, and even streaming in directly through the north gate, which seems to have been left intentionally unlocked. FuQuan and Dalamus attempt to defend against the goblins’ mayhem, and Dalamus is nearly slain while Thompson and Khadustra make their way back from the beach.
Rejoined by their companions, the party aids a pair of young huntsmen and their dogs defending the tavern from a swarm of goblins, and through their combined efforts manage to keep the civilians inside from being incinerated. As things calm down, the town of Sandpoint is revealed to be badly damaged, but not destroyed.
In the aftermath, Detective Leary sets out to investigate what could have gone wrong while FuQuan and Dalamus assist with firefighting efforts, but instead winds up antagonizing both the mayor and the sheriff. Khadustra examines the north gate, but can determine only that it was intentionally left cracked open and unbarred, not who did it. Dalamus asks around after the location of Tovyn’s grave, and with this information in hand, strikes off to investigate the graveyard, companions in tow.
At the graveyard, the party is nonplussed to discover that the cleric has been dug up and the body removed. Khadustra, possessing a supernaturally keen ability to track prey across sand dunes, leads the party after the wagon that likely carted the corpse away, and they find themselves at a glassworks outside of town.
While Dusty investigates the glassworks, the party is set upon by three goblin scouts, but they are dealt with in short order. Dusty, meanwhile, spots a local noble named Tarold packing up and fleeing the glassworks, and being part cat, pounces on him with little thought when he runs past. Tarold attempts to slay the catfolk with a rapier, but Dusty proves a far better fighter, and Tarold is slain. Within Tarold’s belongings inside the glassworks, they find many half-finished love letters, a leather-bound journal, a map to Castle Thistlefuck, ancestral home of the supposedly extinct swamp goblins, and a series of clumsily drawn erotic sketches of a goblin female named, judging by the letters, Qorka. Also found within the glassworks are several filthy beds that are clearly made and occupied by goblins, several gruesome trophies taken from the corpse of Tovyn (including several fingers which FuQuan keeps) and a locked trap door that they are unable to open.
Using the map to the goblin lair to avoid the cave of “Lotslegs-eat-goblin-babies-lots” and several obviously marked patrol routes, the companions make their way to Castle Thistlefuck, which is situated on a small island just off the cliffs, accessible either by a rope bridge or a treacherous swim. The party hatches a plan to stealthily assassinate the two goblin sentries watching over the rope bridge, but their presence is noticed when one of the sentries is dramatically thrown screaming from the top of the watchtower rather than stabbed. Their cover blown, the party dashes across the rope bridge, the sharp-eyed Khadustra disarming a trap that would have caused the bridge to collapse as they go.
However, once on the other side, they find themselves faced with a shoddily built but still sturdy fortress door ahead of them and a small army of goblins pursuing behind. The goblins within the fort stay hunkered down at first, but when it becomes apparent that they can join their brethren to flank the party, the doors are thrown open and the goblins inside attack the party along with those on the bridge. Sensing imminent defeat, Thompson (I think?) burns the bridge, casting many more goblins down to their deaths on the rocks below, while Khadustra and Dalamus deal with the goblins already across and FuQuan finds himself enamored with the goblin witch, Qorka.
After trying and failing to murder his friends, FuQuan eventually manages to shake the mud witch’s influence, and retreats from the fortress while Khadustra deals with the goblin chieftain Gnarl, who seems to possess the supernatural ability to regenerate almost any damage done to him in a matter of seconds. Finally, Dusty carves an Evershard out of the goblin’s quickly-healing stomach, which winds up being the source of his supernatural healing, and Gnarl is slain. Emboldened, FuQuan enters the fortress to face the witch Qorka, who winds up being a fairly light challenge when she’s not able to hypnotize stronger fighters. She turns into a mud slick and attempts to escape under the wall, but Dalamus manages to slay her with magic as she retreats, thus putting an end to any significant threat posed by the Thistlefuck goblin tribe.
They also find a passage within the basement of the castle that leads down to a back exit much closer to the water, from which they’re able to swim with significantly less danger and avoid the small army of angry goblins above.