The party had arrived in Sandpoint in the evening. They had a reunion with Grigori, who had gone back to being one of Maia Shirayuki’s employees at the Rusty Dragon. The party turned in for the night, most of them going to the Rusty Dragon, but Guillaume specifically went to the White Deer inn instead, not wanting to spend any more time with Maia and her jabs at him.
Everyone had baths drawn, washing off the lingering smell of the swamp. However, in the morning Rehoofa was ill, having contracted Filth Fever from his exposure to the rats. He hesitantly accepted the help of Meckrin, who proceeded to put him through several painful and humiliating treatments (including being dunked in a horse trough and spanked with a wooden board), which supposedly would drive out the “bad luck”. To the surprise of everyone, Rehoofa woke the next morning to find his fever had broken and the sickness was cured.
The party spent the next few days unloading loot from the swamp and spending the proceeds. Through some luck and the charms of Elsa, the party found a nobleman, Titus Scarnetti, who was interested in the Gorge of Gluttons. Deciding to gamble, the party spent 600 gp to repair the Gorge, finding that doing so more than doubled its value.
The party investigated the note they’d found in the skeletal warrior’s sword, which mentioned the town of Brinewall to the north. Arach explained that Brinewall has a dark history, all of its inhabitants vanishing suddenly one day about 30 years ago (a matter of days after the letter was written, to be exact). It is now seen as a cursed city, avoided by most travelers, and the few that have gone to investigate have not returned. The party asked Maia about the note, since it was signed by Rokuro Kaijitsu, the grandfather of Ameiko Kaijitsu, who had owned the Rusty Dragon before Maia. Maia was unhelpful, however: she became very angry that the party wanted her to fill in for Ameiko. She has apparently grown sick of travelers coming to her looking for the nigh-legendary Ameiko, and seeing her as a second-best alternative.
Despite her reaction, Maia still obliquely invited the party to her wine cellar: she told them to talk to Arach, who would understand that this was an invitation for them to accompany him that evening. Arach and Maia had made plans to test the wines he had just delivered to her, and the party helped test. As more wine was drunk and everyone began to loosen up, Elsa stepped outside to check on the kittens she’d bought for Arach. Out there she met Kaellara, who was apparently snooping on the caravan, though the elf politely refused to come into the inn.
While Elsa was outside, Maia approached Guillaume, asking for more explanation of how he’d found the note. She seemed kinder, explaining that the curved short swords were called wakizashi, and often wielded alongside the longer katana. She also asked to see the note again. When Elsa came back in and joked that a woman had come to see Guillaume, Guillaume tried (unsuccessfully) to get a name, but ultimately made his way outside. Maia followed upon hearing that it was Kaellara.
Outside was an altercation: Guillaume met Kaellara briefly, who showed an interest in the masterwork wakizashi of the skeletal warrior. However, further interaction was interrupted as Maia came outside and angrily snapped at Kaellara that she was not welcome, how dare she come here, etc. Kaellara, saddened, left without protest.
The party was invited to join Arach’s caravan for a new business venture: Arach had a new business partner in Maia, who wanted to investigate Brinewall and the mention of enemies of the Kaijitsu family. Maia worries that she is in danger from the enemies of Ameiko, who might come to Sandpoint just as her admirers do. The party agreed to accompany Arach on this next adventure. Using the 2000 gp that Maia put up for capital, the party bought 5 wagons and enough supplies and employees to prepare the caravan for the journey to Brinewall, which is over 500 miles away.
When the caravan was leaving town, whatever history Kaellara and Maia had came up again: Kaellara approached the caravan, offering her services for free, and Maia was angry for the offer. Guillaume successfully got Maia to back off, though this did earn him a furious look from her. The party tried to ask Arach about what was going on with Kaellara and Maia, but Arach answered that he didn’t know the whole story, and even if he did, it wasn’t his story to tell.
Just outside of Sandpoint, the party encountered a last remnant of the Licktoad tribe: Chief Gutwad himself, with a handful of firework-equipped goblins. The party fought and slew him, though their horses (including Acimon, Guillaume’s horse) were gravely injured by Gutwad’s arrows. The caravan was also damaged by the goblin raiders that attacked it alongside Gutwad, but the party decided to wait to fix it until later. After 4 days of travel, the caravan reached the first stop on their path to Brinewall: a small town named Galduria.
So far all is well, but the caravan is only 4 days into its journey to the north, which Arach estimates will take nearly 2 more weeks on the road.