While the group was enjoying the hearty breakfast laid out by Oril, a messenger came to the tavern looking for them. The youngster introduced himself as Davon and informed the group that Councilmember Eoffram Troyas has asked them to attend him at the City council chambers.
After finishing their meal, the party decided to wander around the city and get a better feel for the attack in the daylight. The group discovered that this was not a random attack. The damage was focused in a few key areas, most notably leading to the Hall of Great Valor. The locals cleaning up the charred remnants of the hall were lamenting the loss of the artifacts from the war with the Red Hand. As the group continued their journey through the city, the townspeople’s fear was palpable. Concern over the return of the Red Hand was on many tongues.
The group worked their way to the city council chambers. Somewhat surprising was the fact that there was no damage to council chambers even though it was on the same square as the Hall of Great Valor. As the party entered, the found Davon sitting at a desk in the entryway. He asked everyone to follow him into a sitting room and informed them that councilmember Troyas would be along to meet with them promptly. While they waited, Davon brought a small plate of local cheeses and crackers with wine.
It was not long before councilmember Troyas entered the room in the robes of his office. The silver emblem of a councilmember hung around his neck. A somber man, Troyas spoke carefully and methodically to the party outlining what he had discovered of the attack. Troyas made sure to make eye contact with each member of the group as they discussed the attack and what should be done. He divulged that seven of the town’s people had been abducted and the artifacts from the Hall of Great Valor had been stolen. Troyas was gravely concerned for the welfare of the kidnapped individuals and was also afraid of the implications of the raiders stealing the artifacts. The adventurers were successful in convincing Troyas of their willingness to help. Reassured by their honorable intentions, Troyas asked the group if they could save the captured townspeople and seek the lost artifacts. He expressed confidence in their ability, after hearing how they stopped the ogre the night before. Troyas let the part know that Davon could provide them details and descriptions on each of the missing townsfolk as well as the artifacts that were confirmed lost. He also suggested the party interrogate the captured hobgoblin to see if they could learn anything helpful from him.
…Start of List from Davon…
Jalissa – tall, blonde, eladrin acolyte of Ioun.
Sertanian – Elderly male, Castellian of the Hall of Great Valor.
Kartenix – Tall, muscular, male guard captain.
Thurann – Dark haired, 8 year-old son of guard captain Kartenix.
Mirtala – Middle aged brunette woman, cook for the Pantashi Inn.
Zerriksa – Elderly crone rumored to have “dark powers”.
Adronsius – Balding dwarven Alchemist
Helm of Shadinn – Ornate, gilded dragoncrest helm worn by Shadinn of the Talons.
Longsword of House Tarin – ceremonial platinum longsword.
3 Red Hand Shields – Each with a charred hole near the center.
Gauntlets of Ayadar – Iron gauntlets with extensive filligree worn by Ayadar.
Battle standard of the Talons- Black standard with a 3 clawed hand in white.
…End of List from Davon…
After meeting with counselor Troyas, the party headed to the jail to interrogate the captured hobgoblin. The group found a lone hobgoblin in stocks and shackles in front of the jail. His wounds from last night’s battle were bandaged, but the collection of tomatoes on the ground near him and on the surface of the stocks indicated that his treatment had not been completely kind.
The hobgoblin took one look at the approaching group and stated, “I ain’t saying nothin’ unless you people let me go.”
A lively discussion ensued where Acorn tried deceit to convince the hobgoblin he could have him freed only to be called out by Flint. Turok made it clear that cooperation was in his best interest. At the same time Brambles negotiated to get him a meal and moved into the jail in exchange for better information. Flint confirmed the honesty of Brambles offer. Given a chance to be removed from the sight of the vengeful town members, the hobgoblin identified himself as Morrik and agreed to help. Morrik spoke fervently of Sinruth, his leader, and their legacy as descendents of the Red Hand. He was confident that Sinruth would succeed in his goal of raising a hobgoblin army large enough to carve out its own fiefdom. Even though he seemed enamored of this vision, preservation seemed to take precedence in his decision to help the party. He let the party know that the raiders were ordered to take prisoners during the raid to give to the “undead horrors” that guard part of the goblin’s lair in the catacombs of Castle Rivenroar. Morrik knew nothing of the stolen treasures taken from the Hall of Great Valor. He assumed that Sinruth must have had a reason, maybe something to do with the Emissary, a caster of dark magic that Sinruth had allied with recently. Morrik even went as far as drawing a map for the party including marking a dangerous nest of Kruthiks to avoid. According to Morrik’s map, the ruins of Castle Rivenroar were located in The Giant’s Shield mountains.
After learning about Sinruth and his new Red Hand, Acorn questioned Morrik whether he had ever raided in the Feywild. Morrik lied and told him no but was not very convincing. Acorn was enraged and wanted to see the hobgoblin punished on the spot. Flint conversed with Morrik in Goblin and learned that yes Morrik was there but he lied because he thought the pixie was unstable and was afraid to be honest. He saw what was done to the pixies at that grove.
Brambles and Flint ensured the guards moved Morrik to a cell and got the meal they promised on Brambles coin. While they were busy, Acorn pulled aside the guards for a quiet conversation. He was very convincing in letting the guards know that Morrik was dangerous and was planning to escape and kill them in the process. Acorn suggested they deal with him before he has the chance.
Acorn used his influence to acquire horses from the town stableyard and the party gathered provisions to prepare for their journey to Castle Rivenroar. With their horses, the party estimated they could make it in less than a day. Thanks to Morrik’s map and Flint’s skill, the party was able to make it to the entrance to the catacombs of Castle Rivenroar with only one incident at a river fording where Galtheri was thrown from his horse and twisted his ankle.
The party found a suitable hiding space to set up a small camp while Brambles and Flint observed the guards and their schedule. Once they were ready, the party entered the catacombs while the guards were on the far side of their circuit.
As the party entered the catacombs, they noticed the floors were made of slippery flagstone due to the damp. Thick wooden beams held the ceilings up. The party cautiously descended the slick stairs and found themselves in a dimly lit room with a pair of braziers on the far wall. Standing between the party and progress stood two flail-wielding hobgoblins at the ready in the center of the dank chamber. Two goblins with crossbows stood behind the hobgoblins near a door on the far wall. As soon as the goblinoids spotted the part, the hobgoblins charged forward, blocking the entry passage and trapping the party in the stairwell. This allowed the goblins to rain arrows on the party as the group tried to deal with the two hobgoblins. The hobgoblins fought as a cohesive team, using their shields to guard one another and push the adventurers back. The fight appeared to be in the goblins favor as they continue to avoid Turok’s massive sword and Bramble’s arrows, but eventually the tide turned. Brambles shifted his attention to the goblins with Flint to devastating effect and Turok unleashed a series of massive blows on the hobgoblins with Galtheri. This let Davik rush forward to engage the goblins, preventing their attempts at escape.
After a few moments to catch their breath, the party chose to investigate the doors. The doors each had plaques above them. The west plaque stated “To Von Urstadt.” The north plaque was marked “To Rivenroar Family”, and the East door was labeled “To Von Jallach.” The party decided to investigate the Von Jallach door. The passage led to a room with sarcophagi and a square bounded by glowing runes that dominated the floor. In addition, the walls were lined with empty alcoves designed to hold dead bodies. In one corner, a large swarm of needlefang drakes appeared to be eating a dragonborn alive as their gnome master watched with malicious glee. Brambles and Flint were able to sneak up on the swarm of needlefang drakes and their skulking gnome master. With surprise on their side, the party made quick work of the enemies and managed to save the dragonborn, Brolaf. In an adjoining room the group found Adronsius, the dwarven alchemist. It was clear that Adronsius had taken serious abuse during his two days of capture. He had numerous wounds from the needlefang drakes and it appeared as if he had been beaten bloody numerous times with clubs or other blunt objects. An attribute to his stoic race, Adronsius asked for armor and weapons so he could help save the others as he limped away from the manacles. He informed the party that he was brought to an interrogation session with Jelissa on an upper level. He was blindfolded while they moved him, but he remembered the way pretty well.“No true dwarf gets lost in a tunnel, blindfold or no. It was down the stairs, straight across the entry chamber, turning left in the room that smelled of goblin, then left again the room with the crackling sound, around two right corners, then through a room that smelled of the dead, then up the stairs to a room with a sticky floor, right and up another set of stairs, then through a dusty room and left through a door. That good enough directions for ya.”
After searching the sarcophagi and finding an exceptionally well-made fullblade and a nearly perfect Lapis Lazuli sphere, the party decided it was best to send Adronsius back to their camp in the foothills while they sought the other townsfolk. Galtheri agreed to see him back to camp with Brolaf.
…Needlefang Drake Swarm…