After clearing the Catacombs of Wrath, our heroes discover that Sheriff Hemlock has returned to town. They report the news of the runewell and the Wrathspawn to him, and learn about the Pixie’s Kitten in the process.
They take a well deserved rest there.
High on victory, the Heroes of Sandpoint strike into the heart of goblin territory – Thistletop. There, they do battle with the Thistletop tribe’s leader Warchief Ripnugget, as well as his druid adviser Gogmurt. After dispatching the rest of the tribe on the ground floor of the keep, and rescuing the warhorse (dubbed Reginald by Ahlmalee), the party makes their way into the depths of the keep’s basement.
Inside, they find another shrine to the Mother of Monsters, along with two Yeth Hounds – gifts given to Nualia by Lamashtu. Messic also discovers evidence that Fleagil has been working with the Thistletop goblins, likely arming them with explosives and other strange and terrible goblin inventions. They also encounter the wizard Lyrie Akenja, a researcher hired by Nualia to help investigate the ancient ruins under the keep. She surrenders and is allowed to leave with her life. In exchange, she shows them the secret passage to the lower level, where they encounter Nualia and the bugbear ranger Bruthazmus. A brutal fight ensues – Ahlmalee falls to the bugbear’s arrows and Nualia’s bastard sword, tainted by a strange affliction – with the heroes ultimately proving triumphant.
They spend the rest of the night resting in Nualia’s observation deck, poring through the Aasimar’s notes – they learn who she is, how she’s fallen into Lamashtu’s embrace, and her plans for Sandpoint, and learn of another weapon she sought to unleash on the town: a barghest residing in the depths of Thistletop named Malfeshnekor.