The day after the battle came. Though the storm in the sky had dissipated, the storms in the minds of the Champions had not. Each of them struggled with what had transpired and how that changed them. Some had their resolve only hardened while others had questioned their own.
Blackjack sought validation amongst those who came before and from peers. Some sought redemption for past actions so they may move forward, such as Ari and Clara. Some sought to distract themselves from the horrific chain of events that led them here, like Anja and Orion.
Regardless of what they did to cope with what happened, the Champions decided to take Hawke’s body back to his hometown; a growing port town called Sandpoint located on the Lost Coast. After saying their goodbyes to those who couldn’t come with them, the Champions and their companions gathered around Strog and were at the northern gate of Sandpoint.
Not long after their sudden appearance, the Mayor Belor Hemlock approached and greeted them to their humble town. Seeing the body of the man he looked after in his younger years, he quickly understood what had happened and offered them a place to stay, along with directions to key points in Sandpoint. While most took this time to go with the flow, Anja immediately asked for her nephew. Knowing of who she spoke of, he told her to visit the “Drunken Mother” who resides in the Cathedral.
Ari told her friends that she would secure lodging at the Rusty Dragon Inn, while the rest of the Champions took Hawke’s body to a mausoleum that the town made for him. However, Orion pulled Grunt to the side to ask the ranger for advice about how to honor Hawke the Shoanti way. While Grunt had no solid ideas due to his lack of proper upbringing, he suggested talking to the mayor about it since he was born within an actual tribe.
The heroes, along with their friends and allies, led the body to his final resting place, next to his beloved friends, Anri, Stein, and Friede, that Rand took from him ten years ago. The High Priest of the cathedral, a Desnan cleric named Abstalar Zantus, informed them of a larger ceremony they were going to hold for him later on in the day, and that all of the citizens were probably going to come. He advised them to relax beforehand and to find the time to unwind while they are here.
Though they thanked him for his advice, the Champions told him that they had business to attend to before then. Anja, Clara, and Blackjack prayed in the church for a moment before continuing with what they had in mind. Anja asked for the “Drunken Mother” and after some cloak and dagger conversations, she, along with Blackjack, Clara, and Ari (after she secured lodging), were led to a priest cell far in the back of the cathedral. They slowly opened the door to see who this mysterious person was.
Upon opening the door, they were immediately greeted by Joseph as he hugged his aunt and said hello to the rest. This much needed display of family and affection was followed by an elderly dwarf woman in priestly garments. After some discussion, she revealed herself to be Friede, the dwarf cleric of Cayden Cailean who followed Hawke in his adventure. Believed to be dead, she explained that the Drunken God saved her the day that Rand Gilver betrayed all of them.
In awe of the woman who raised Hawke when he was a child, the heroes present bombarded her with questions. Though there were many, Friede answered as many as she could. Anja asked about Cayden Cailean, while Ari asked about Rand Gilver. Clara asked about Hawke while Blackjack was simply in shock of the whole situation.
When Ari asked for more information on the Thassilonian Empire, Friede pointed her in the direction of the local sage, Brodert Quink, which led to her immediate departure. She quickly found her way to the scholar’s home, and after introductions were out of the way, found herself asking many questions about the ancient empire. Building a quick rapport with Quink, Ari has decided to study with him during her time in Sandpoint so she may discover more about Rand and his connection to it.
Clara had asked about Hawke and the trial that he went through to gain the name Stormhawke. Friede answered that apparently a large Thunderbird appeared before him one day and challenged him. According to Hawke’s own words, the gigantic bird will only appear when it believes you to be worthy. With these words, Clara found herself a small area to focus on the blade and hoped to communicate with it. While she was able to talk to the spirit of the blade, it told her she was not ready yet for its full power. Not wanting to waste the time, she tried to recall any memories from her time within the Gray Maidens. Almost triggering a breakdown, she happened to remember a Vudrani woman who looked like she could be related to Ishani. This woman did torture Clara while she was there, but that’s all Clara remembered. She spent the rest of the day relaxing before the ceremony.
Orion met the mayor at his office at Town Hall, and inquired about Shoanti burial rites. While Mayor Hemlock informed him that he renounced his heritage a long time ago, he did tell the young rogue about a rite that involved two identical necklaces bearing the deceased’s spirit animal. The living would keep one in remembrance and the other would be buried with the dead. Orion and Hemlock came to the conclusion that Hawke’s animal would be, unsurprisingly, a hawk, and Orion set out to the market to find a jeweler and a blacksmith. He spent the rest of the day procuring the necklaces and some new weapons, during which he met up with Blackjack within the bazaar area.
Blackjack took the time to sell some items and looked for some items to buy but with no luck as everything was too expensive at the moment. The merchants in town didn’t have enough money to pay for all of the gear they had. Blackjack, however, took the rest of the time to contemplate what he wanted to say at the ceremony.
Anja spent her day with Joseph and Friede, asking questions and drinking some alcohol with the cleric. After a while, Friede decided that Anja was worthy enough to wield the bracers gifted to her by their god. Anja was in awe of the simple bracers that provided a great surge of power from the Accidental God. Their discussion went on for some time, before Anja and Grunt decided to relax by the seaside before the ceremony.
Around late afternoon, the citizens of Sandpoint proceeded to the cathedral to pay respects to their favored son. As Father Zantus began the ceremony with kind words about the Hero of the Storm, he encouraged those who wished to speak on Hawke’s behalf to step up and say their final words to him.
All of the Champions rose to speak. Clara spoke of living up to her hero’s name and reputation and of vengeance against the man who took him from this world. Anja spoke about how he inspired her to do more for the people around her, despite his belief that he was a failure. Ari spoke kind words about the man she once had a passionate dislike for, saying that she was remorseful about his death. Orion spoke of how Hawke gave him a chance to be more than what even Orion believed himself to be and his determination to be the man Hawke saw him to be. Blackjack spoke about how Hawke inspired him to go beyond his limitations and to fight with more than he had. Others rose up to speak about Hawke when he was younger, telling grand tales about how he had saved them, or how he never stopped trying to make the world a better place.
The town and their visitors mourned the hero many of them grew up with, but they knew his work wasn’t finished. The heroes knew they need to prepare for their trip into the Cinderlands and thus decided to wait a week to gather their resources and wits. The Champions’ resolve hardened with the passing of their hero, knowing that the most dangerous leg of their journey was just around the corner.