It's amazing how a little food, ale, and, um, companionship can really refresh a guy's view on life.
Anyway, as I mentioned in my last entry, Signe took down the three-armed goblin freak and we managed to limp back to Sandpoint, with no spells, dented weapons, and no clue. So, basically, a pretty standard outing for us.
I shouldn't really complain, though, since I did get a new axe from it. I practiced with it this morning and it really sang, like it knew where I wanted to strike before I did. Makes sense, since the kid seems pretty sure that it's enchanted. Plus, since we found it on a goblin in a secret cavern, we're pretty sure that the three-armed goblin was actually that Koruvus character that Shalelu mentioned a few days ago. After all, how many goblins lurk in secret caverns carrying around human-sized axes? (Actually, don't answer that.)
The problem is that this revelation only really confirmed something that we already knew. The caverns hadn't given us any new ideas about Tsuto's lover's plans. We were hoping that Father Zantus would be able to piece together some details, particularly given the demented fairy, but he unfortunately didn't have much to add. (Signe senses that he was telling the truth, and she's usually pretty good about spotting that sort of thing.) The revelation that a quasit was lurking in the tunnels underneath the glassworks seemed to rattle him, but, again, he didn't know anything more than we already knew from Tsuto's journal or Shalelu's chat.
At this point, we decided that we could start looking for the lover's lieutenants in an attempt to sort out whether they were still planning on attacking Sandpoint or if plans had changed after we interrupted their initial foray. Our options were basically to track down the crazy bugbear or find this Ripnugget character. We opted for Ripnugget, since we at least had a pretty good idea where to find him. (In retrospect, I'm still not sure why I agreed to this trek. Although the Father expressed his faith in the Guard, I'm pretty sure that we're going to return to find that they've accidentally burnt down the entire village.) So, the kid made some more of his Asmodeus-cursed bombs and we headed to Thistletop, where Tsuto's journal said that Ripnugget would be.
The journey here was pretty quick and I managed to find a trail to a gate made of brambles. Since it seemed to shout, "COME THIS WAY," I hacked through it and we made our way into a series of tunnels that the brambles formed.
(Having just spent a good while plucking brambles from my clothes and arms, I'm again haunted by how stupid we seem to be when we decide what we're going to do. "Obviously, we need to plunge into the poorly-lit, sinister-seeming bramble tunnels." The best part is that we decided to stay AFTER the gate reformed behind us once we were all in the tunnels. Did any of us mention that brambles that close on themselves are generally a bad omen? No. Did any of us suggest that maybe we should return for reinforcements? No. I mean, at least we could've used some of the guards as cannon fodder. It's not like they're good for much else. But, no, here I am with three people I don't even really know trying to track down someone named "Ripnugget" in the hope that he can tells us something about a failed plot against a town that I barely knew existed a few days ago. When we make it outta these damn tunnels, I need to seriously reconsider my options.)
Anyway, I saw some signs that something had been dragged through the tunnels and, since we didn't exactly have any better leads, we followed the trail. Unfortunately, we got sidetracked and found ourselves taking on four hungry-looking goblin dogs. I managed to rush one and take it down pretty quickly, but the others rallied fast, getting in a bunch of attacks. One of them bit me and I still feel woozy from it. Don't know what it did to me. You know what also hurt? When the kid hit me with one of his Asmodeus-cursed bombs AGAIN! I swear to Gozreh, the next time he does that, I'm letting whatever thing is trying to eat us just freaking eat him. At any rate, Signe didn't help matters when she managed to get herself disarmed by a damned dog. Seriously, the girl falls of roofs, tumbles off stages, and gets disarmed by dogs: we're just lucky that she mostly does more damage to our opponents than us. (Unlike the kid.) Needless to say, It took us longer than it should've, but we did managed to bash them all unconscious. Signe healed us up a bit before we then resumed following the trail.
We got to a fork in the road but, before we could decide where to go, we were attacked by some huge cat and another goblin. (I am so over goblins.) The first few rounds didn't go so well. They used the tunnel against us, pinning Signe and the kid in front. Then, the goblin cast some sort of spell that made the brambles around us come alive, forcing Garridan and I to struggle constantly to keep from getting entangled. The kid once again managed to hit everyone with a bomb (though, remarkably not me this time), but did later manage to do something useful, casting some spell that sent a ray of color or something at the tiger. I'll admit that I was going to make a smart-ass remark at the time about the usefulness of firing flares at a tiger, but the tiger spent the rest of the fight totally disoriented, so his ray of color obviously did something to it. Garridan took advantage of the opening, too, doing his flippy thing and using that crazy hand dagger of his to take down the tiger for good, driving the blade deep into his neck. It wasn't pretty, but, damn, it was effective.
The goblin wasn't as easy. He got off a few bursts of fire before disappearing into the bushes. He then managed to get in a few hits against the kid, who happened to be standing where he appeared. You'd think the kid would've retreated and done something useful defensively. Instead, he threw another of those damned bombs, barely hitting the goblin but TAKING DOWN HIS OWN DAMN SELF. We're going to have a talk about those things when we're done here and he's not going to like it. Eventually, the three of us left standing (though singed) got in enough hits to take down the goblin. Signe healed all of us, though I'm still feeling a little dazed from that dog bite, something that Garridan also complained that he's feeling. When the kid could finally stand upright, we went through the goblin's equipment. He found a few wands that excited him probably too much to be healthy and we got a cloak that should help Garridan to shake off some of the magical attacks that seem to affect him more than the rest of us. The way things are going, we're going to need all the help we can get.
We plan on interrogating the goblin, but, right now, I just need to close my eyes for a minute and get some rest. Maybe Gozreh will bless me with the reason why I'm putting my ass on the line for this town...