Sunday, Flocktime 23, 552 CY (50 AN)
Bosabrieln, Emma, Peren, and Torinn enter the tavern. Noting an older woman waiting there, they get something to eat and drink before they go to speak to her. The woman introduces herself as Treona, and indicates that she has heard of the members of the group, reciting their names and deeds before she is cut off. After introductions are made, she explains that she and her associate, Kiris Alkirk, who is currently not present, are refugees from Kiris Dahn. Kiris Dahn was abandoned and overrun by goblins eight years ago. After relocating to the group’s room, Treona explains the rest of the story. Many years ago, the nobles of Kiris Dahn commissioned the manufacture of eight slaying stones, magical devices that could automatically kill anyone within five miles of the town. As such, any individual attempting to attack the town could be killed instantly. These eight stones were all used in various incidents, but Treona recently read that a ninth was manufactured and never recorded. Presumably, it still exists in the ruins of Kiris Dahn. Treona wants the group to find the stone so that she can destroy it. If the group must use it on their adventure, she at least wants them to present the pieces to her so that she can see proof that it was destroyed.
Treona explains that the town is overrun by goblins, so the group must gain entry and keep quiet. She provides them with three ritual scrolls and the necessary components to perform a ritual that detects the stone. She also gives them a map of Kiris Dahn and explains that it is most likely to be found in the Library, the Shrine of the Moon, or the Kiris Estate. Treona further explains that a rival wizard, a woman by the name of Dreus Matrand, has hired mercenaries to look for the stone for some unknown purpose. Treona explains that she has heard Dreus is a human or an elf, but she does not actually know which is accurate. When they ask about payment, she explains that she can give them about 250 gold pieces, plus they can keep whatever they find.
After discussing, the group agrees to seek the slaying stone. They spend the rest of the day purchasing provisions and preparing. The next day, they set out for the ruins of Kiris Dahn.
It takes them three days to reach the town, and once they do, they wait until nightfall to sneak into it. They enter from the north, creeping through the forest and across the river. They then manage to sneak through town, and initially finding the Kiris Estate, they decide that it is too well guarded and try the library instead. Upon entering, they hear several goblins in the next room. Organizing themselves, they kick open the door and attack.
Surprising the goblin soldiers within, the group manages to cut through them. Even when the well-dressed goblin in the room starts ripping pages out of the library books, throwing magical attacks, and summoning small ooze creatures, the group manages to quickly dispatch him. Treona’s ritual indicates that the stone is not present. However, when the group searches the library, they find an abandoned wing with several bookcases pushed aside. Brass scales litter the floor, and a stone wall panel sits upon the ground in front of a small alcove marked with claw gouges. Also, among the goblins’ things, they find a mace which Emma takes and recognizes as a Holy Healer’s Mace.
Sneaking through the town, the group decides to try the Shrine of the Moon in the temple district. Though the place is empty, they spot a man within. Dressed as a noble, albeit with ragged, well-worn clothes, they beckon the man to speak to them. He explains that he is a resident of Kiris Dahn, and as far as he can tell, the last human resident. He was deposed in a power play by the rest of his family. When they ask about the slaying stone and the strange clues and detritus in the library, the man begins to explain what he knows when goblins run to the porticullis at the south corridor. Their leader brandishes a silver sword and shouts to “Kill the rat man! Them too! KILL ALL RAT MANS!” As combat is joined, goblin troops break through the double doors to the north, as well. Then, the noble appears to completely lose it, and turns into a man-rat hybrid creature whom the group recognize as a wererat.
The group easily manages to defeat the goblin troops, but their leader and the ratman take a little more effort. Even so, the group manages to take them down, carefully ensuring that the ratman, the goblin leader, and a goblin with a strange brand of a closed eye on his face are taken alive. After resting, the group performs the ritual and finds that the slaying stone is not there. However, they find that the goblin leader’s longsword has value, and Peren takes it.
The group then starts to interrogate their prisoners. The nobleman, having turned back to human form upon losing consciousness, apologizes for his loss of control, and says he will explain everything if he is allowed to leave. The group agrees, and he says he heard that the slaying stone was in the library long ago. He has also heard about a brass dragon in the area. He overheard the goblins saying that it dug something up and left, but he claims that it dug a lair by the hot springs. He thanks the group for letting him leave, and then quickly departs.
The goblins, meanwhile, explain that they were hunting the wererat and didn’t expect to find multiple people there. They know nothing about the slaying stone or the dragon, and they can give little tactical information regarding the Kiris Estate. Finally, they do explain that a group of orc mercenaries has been looking for a stone, and that is where the brand originates; the orcs interrogate and brand people, but seem to have little luck finding the stone. Not wishing to give away their position, the group then executes the two goblins and decides to stay the night in the Shrine of the Moon. As Torinn starts becoming sweaty and feverish, possibly from the bite the ratman gave him during the fight, Emma takes care of him through the night and manages to cure the infection.