In the aftermath of you and your comrades dispatching the blinking demon, a creature whose behavior left you with some lingering concerns, you warned Father Zantus (Abstalar Zantus) about the demon roaming inside the town. Tar Sighard finished with his prayers and solitary contemplations of his impending doom (the plan to propose to Shayliss Vinder) and joined the party to begin a deeper discussion as a group.
After checking on Rob and Tom and learning that Lucretia Scarnetti was still badly injured, you left the cathedral and returned to the Rusty Dragon to continue your planning. When you entered the inn, Ameiko Kaijitsu greeted you and informed you that your meeting with the Merchant Council would happen in two days. In response to you wanting to know more about the meeting, she said that members of the Council wanted to get to know you better, and that some already support you, while others – particularly those more parochial in their views and hostile to strangers – did not. Some members did not know you well enough, which was a major reason for the meeting. She also told you that representatives from the four major families would be present, including her father, whom she was reluctant to talk about, and that she may be attending as a guest. Finally, as one of your supporters, she offered her help and advised you to be open and honest at the Council meeting. Afterward, you and your comrades gathered in private to go over the pros and cons of the marriage plan, before finally calling it a day.
In the morning, Sir Jasper Korvaski, the Mercantile League manager, formally invited you to the Merchant Council meeting taking place the next day at noon, but he did not offer too much other information. Fortified from a night’s rest, everyone went to call upon Ven Vinder at the general store and have Tar ask for permission to marry Ven’s adopted daughter Shayliss. Skillfully and heroically diplomatic in the face of his plain hostility, Volunder StoneShield and Tar conveyed the party’s apologies over the misunderstanding and Tar’s desire to do the right thing and marry Shayliss. Ven expressed his appreciation for the apology and said he would need time to consider Tar’s offer and check with Shayliss. However, Ven was extremely dubious about how Tar would enter into matrimony while in service to his deity, how he would provide for Shayliss, whether he would settle down in Kingsport, and other practical details of the proposed union.
You then spent most of the day gathering information, mostly to prepare for the Merchant Council meeting, but also to learn more about the town in general and perhaps pick up some local legends, such as the Haunted House. As you were regrouping to share what you found and have dinner, you ran to the aid of a woman screaming for help on Main Street. Her son showed signs of goblin bites, and after she took you to her house, Brannigan Stryker raced inside and discovered her husband stuck in a hole in the floor of a closet, his legs sticking out and his upper body down inside the hole. When Bran and Tar yanked the dead man out, you found that his face and torso had been eaten … and immediately a goblin jumped up from the hole and sliced Bran with a nasty looking knife!
The samurai responded by nearly beheading the vicious creature, and in a flash, Volunder leapt down the hole into a crawl space under the house and confronted three more goblins hiding there.
Irena and Bran followed Volunder to battle the goblin fugitives, while Tar and Kalinda Nwosu watched over and secured the makeshift entry into the crawl space. Whisper (Tiatha Thistlewood) rushed outside the house, and after locating the filled-in burrow that the goblins used to get under the house, she guarded against their possible retreat in that direction.
In an exciting and fearsome combat, Volunder was triple-teamed and gashed by each goblin, but the dwarf lord soon had his revenge, impaling two goblins on his greatsword. Along with deadly strikes from Irena with her hands morphed into massive claws and Bran with his katana, the goblins were quickly slain. Lord and Captain bellowed in victory! StoneShield! StoneShield! StoneShield!