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Though they had defeated Gogmurt, the threat had not yet died. They’d sent their allies off to try to find more information, but it seemed Nualia, who was supposed to be dead, was the true source of trouble in Thistletop and Sandpoint. They decided to search the goblin fortress again as well as the Thassilonian dungeon, the warrens, and of course the throne room of the Thistletop fortress.

Seoni and Seelah decided a fresh set of eyes in the goblin fortress would be better, so Seelah headed off in that direction. Seoni, with the Sage by her side, set off for the Thassilonian dungeon.

Seelah was a bit surprised her greatsword had been so effective against the rat swarm she’d encountered upon entering the goblin fortress. She finished cleaning her sword and moved farther in. It wasn’t long before she found a man who looked to be a mercenary.

“Who are you?” she asked.

“Orik Vancaskerkin.”

The name sounded vaguely familiar. “What are you doing here?”

“Being a distraction.”

Seelah raised her sword. “Then you’re working with Nualia.”

That brought an end to the conversation, and they attacked. Seelah quickly dispatched him and turned to leave. If he was a distraction, then Nualia wasn’t in the goblin fortress.


Seelah turned back. She hadn’t noticed the soldier when she was fighting, but now she went over to him and untied him.

“Thank you,” he said, slowly getting to his feet. By the way he moved, he’d been there awhile.

“You’re welcome, now let’s get out of here.”

While she’d been rescuing the soldier, a goblin raider had snuck up on them.

“I’ll keep him busy,” she told the solider. “You get back to town.”

He nodded, and she attacked the goblin. Once the solider was clear, she finished off the creature. She took a moment to look for other enemies but only found a weapon stash. The warhammer looked like it could be useful, so she took it with her on her way out.

“I think I was expecting more danger in a dungeon,” Seoni said.

So far she’d only found a potion and armor, both she left behind.

“Perhaps this is what you had in mind,” the Sage said, gesturing to the collapsed ceiling.

“At least it’s a bit more exciting. Let’s see if we can find a way through.”

It took some effort, but after a few tries, they managed to get through the rubble. Then Seoni spotted something promising.

“Ah, a spell. Finally something useful in here.”

She was looking over the spell when the Sage called out a warning. Just in time, she dodged a fireball.

“I believe this is Lyrie Akenja,” the Sage said, almost as though she were introducing two people at a party.

Seoni was unconcerned with who the enemy was and focused on casting her frost ray. She managed to freeze Lyrie before she could use any more fire spells.

The Sage walked around the frozen enemy. “My understanding is Lyrie has been working with Nualia. It seems likely that Lyrie was meant to keep anyone looking for Nualia busy. I would therefore conclude that Nualia isn’t here.”

It was sound logic, so Seoni decided to continue their search in the warrens.

Seelah decided the throne room in the Thistletop fortress was the next best place to look. It seemed promising when she had to kill yet another goblin raider, but there was nothing else there. The warhammer had proven effective against the goblin, but Seelah decided to discard it and return to the goblin fortress to see if there were any better weapons. Unfortunately there weren’t, so she headed for the warrens and regretted her life choices a little when she saw the ancient skeleton. She sighed and set to work hacking at it with her greatsword. She almost wished she’d kept that warhammer handy.

As they approached the warrens, Seoni’s acolyte joined them.

“It’s being said that Nualia is hiding somewhere in the warrens,” Amy said.

Before Seoni could respond, they were attacked by a bugbear. Without a spell prepared, Seoni used the Sage’s energy to send a blast of arcane power at the beast. Surprisingly, the Sage did not collapse, but she did seem quite woozy.

“I think I shall return to town to rest,” she said and slowly headed in that direction.

Shortly after entering the warrens, they found Seelah just as she was finishing off a cultist.

“I’m glad you’re here. I think Nualia is in here somewhere,” Seelah said.

“We’ve heard that is the case,” Seoni replied then accepted a scroll from Amy.

“I found it,” the acolyte said with a shrug.

Seoni examined the scroll. “This looks like an interesting spell. Good find.”

“I also saw a potion, but I can’t seem to pick it up.”

They went to inspect the potion, but were unsuccessful in acquiring it. Since it didn’t seem all that important, they decided to move on. It was a bit surprising when they ran into Mayor Kendra Deverin. Seelah attempted to ask her some questions, but she hurried on her way, a dog following her moments later.

“This is a strange place,” Seoni said.

Suddenly a strong force sent them all flying. Thanks to the gods, Seelah wasn’t injured, and one of Seoni’s spells protected her. Seelah was on her feet first, and charged Nualia. While she engaged in combat, Seoni prepared her scorching ray, using Amy’s energy for an added boost. Forced to discard her sword, Seelah retreated, and Seoni unleashed her spell. Weakened from her fight with the paladin, Nualia couldn’t defend herself and was swallowed by the magical flames.

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