Valasaar, Baron and Corren were enjoying a peaceful rest, at separate tables, in the Antler & Thistle in the town of Brindol. The quiet was shattered when a group of humanoids smashed through the front door. Hobgoblins and Goblins poured in and started setting the place alight and killing the patrons, until the three warriors stood to face the threat. Before long the invaders were laying dead in the ground and the survivors were rescued by the heroic trio. After short introductions it was soon apparent that there were more incursions throughout the town.
Corren ventured forth to investigate only to encounter an Ogre bearing a cart full of incendiary devices. A bitter fight ensued and with reinforcement from Baron and Valasaar the beast was put down.
There was to be no rest for the heroes as the attacks were continuing throughout the town…
The Search for the Red Hand
When they arrived at the bridge our brave adventurers found no more of the foul beasts. The attack was over. leaving Baron to guard the bridge from further inccursions, Valasaar started organising the guards and healing the wounded. They found there was a lack of leadership, and went to find someone in authority. The Keep was locked and deserted, and no-one knew where the Master of the Guard, Kartinix was. Eventually Corren, Baron and Valasaar, found rest in the Thirsty Zombie Inn.
In the morning the trio found Eoffram Troilas, a half-Elf and member of the Town Council. He had heard of their bravery and after Valasaar, had assured him of their loyalties he hired them to find a group of prisoners that were taken by the Red Hand, along with sacred artefacts stolen from Brindol’s Hall of Great Valour.
He also advised them that the guard had taken a prisoner themselves, a Hobgoblin, who was in the stocks. Baron and Corren managed to prise the location of the Red Hand’s lair in the North, near the ruined Castle Rivenroar.
The intrepid adventurers set off in following his direction, but were clearly misled as they wandered into a Kruthik Hive. A bitter fight ensued, with the heroes barely escaping with their lives. Finally, exhausted they reached their destination just as night fell.
After a nights rest and a prayer to Bahamut, Valasaar, Baron and Corren descend into an open Mausoleum within the ruins of Castle Rivenroar. As they enter they soon realise they are not alone, two large and heavily armed Hobgoblin soldiers and a Goblin sharpshooter are waiting for them. The heroes brace for the charge as their eyes become accustomed to the darkness and manage to slay the creatures and avoid the deadly flame trap. There were three doors facing them, one to the left, one central and one on the right. Taking the central door they once more descended further below the ruins. They came upon a large chamber full of broken flagstones and rubble from collapsed areas of the ceiling. While making their way across the chamber, avoiding unusal growths of fungus they were set-upon by a pair of Drakes, who were plainly guarding something. The ensuing battle was hard, with Valasaar taking serious wounds. Once the Drakes were slain they moved to the only other door in the room. Beyond it they found a small chamber, inhabited by Zerriksa, one of the missing inhabitants of Brindol. She was held within a magical globe of force. Corren used his extensive knowledge of arcana to establish that there was a weakness in the sphere and with the aid of Baron managed to release her, and take her back to the surface. She told them that there were other prisoners from the town being held here against their will, but she was not sure how many. the only other one she saw was a small boy that they threatened in order to force her co-operation. Taking the left hand door this time the trio discovered a small living area containing four Hobgoblins and another Hobgoblin soldier. Seizing the initiative they charged into battle and dispached them with relative ease.
Blocking the left hand door the trio entered a long corridor puntuated with two gaping holes in the floor. The only apparent way to cross was a rope haong from the ceiling above each. Once negotiated they were in a large room dominated by an alter and 4 large sarcophogi, the crypt of the Rivenroar family. As soon as they entered they were attacked by a group of hobgoblins and a guard drake. The ensuing fight was possibly their toughest yet and Valasaar fell just as the last soldier was slain. Following the skirmish, the heroes decided to recover their wounds back at the camp, and left the crypt for another day.
After being berated by Zerriksa for leaving her alone in the wilderness and pestered to head back to Brindol the party once again entered the ruins of Rivenroar crypt. Heading up an iron spiral staircase from the Rivenroar crypt, they entered a hallway with a door branching off. Inside this room was another of the captives of Brindol, Mirtala, the cook from The Laughing Manticore. She was beset by a group of dire rats and appeared to be suffering greatly from weeping sores caused by their infected bites. Dealing with the pack with relative ease, Valasaar bound Mirtalas wounds and the group led her back to the camp to leave her with Zerriksa. Mirtala was dumbstruck from her ordeal and no one was able to communicate with her, although she followed the party around willingly.
Heading back and pressing onwards, the next room to be entered contained a group of three Ettercaps, spider like creatures who had captured two humanoids and web them to the walls of their lair. During the fight, one of the captives broke free and assisted with the fight. He introduced himself as Dargoth, a Goliath warrior who had tracked the Hobgoblin forces down into the crypt, only to be ambushed by one of their Warcasters and handed to the Ettercaps. He agreed to join the party in their task to locate the prisoners and the missing items. Unfortunately, the other humanoid webbed to the Ettercaps lair was the now dead body of Kartenix, captain of the guard. Valasaar determined that he had died sometime within the last twelve hours. Clearly they needed to hurry in their rescue of the prisoners for fear of losing more!
Heading down the stairs, they came across the Von Urstadt crypt, several alcoves in the wall holding decayed bodies of the former noble house. At first glance this seemed like a normal crypt. Corren went to investigate the room further and as he stepped within the middle, the North door swung opened and a small gnomish creature appeared out of the shadows near the door. Within seconds two magma creatures were summoned in by the protective magics warding the tomb, throwing the party into another fight for their lives. During the fight, one of the gnomes managed to sneak away and appeared to be running for help but he was chased and cut down before he could escape fully.
The room to the North was a small jail cell which contained another of the citizens of Brindol. Sertanian, castellan of the Hall of Great Valour. He was welcome for the rescue and joined the party, saying that he would recognise any of the missing treasures on sight and as such had to accompany them so as to be sure they didn’t miss any of the precious artefacts that needed returning. The party pressed onwards through the room that held the Ettercaps and the corpse of Kartenix and moved upstairs to a guard room with several more of the Red Hand Hobgoblin army.
The guards were dealt with swiftly but a Hobgoblin Warcaster gave the heroes the run around for a good while. Eventually he was dealt with as he was attempting to flee the room to the west. The party saw a dark side of Sertanian as he spent part of the fight dismembering the bloody remains of some of the Hobgoblin guards, cursing the ‘foul beasts’ who had invaded his town and stole his precious antiquities. Scouring the area, the fourth prisoner, Jalissa, an acolyte of Ioun, was found tied to an alter in an antechamber to the south. Corren freed her and she clung to her saviour for dear life, grateful for human contact after so many days spent in the company of the Hobgoblins.
Following the Warcasters intended route and heading West, the group wandered into a room containing several large stone Menhirs. Bitingly cold to the touch (as Dargoth discovered to his pain yet not seeming in any other way malevolent, the group headed to open the North door. Inside the Northern chamber was a huge Hobgoblin in spiked armour, contemplating a highly decorative helm sat on the sarcophagus in front of him. Upon the door opening, the Hobgoblin turned to see who had violated his inner sanctum and roared a challenge before hefting his large spiked chain and charging into the group. This was Sinruth, leader of the reborn Red Hand!
A vicious fight ensued, with Sinruth swinging his massive spiked chain with reckless abandon, greatly damaging several of the party members and causing them to trip and fall precariously before he would stomp on them with his huge Hobgoblin jackboots. The superior combat awareness and skill of the heroes shone through in the end and despite his tenacity, Sinruth eventually fell under the onslaught.
Sertanian confirmed the helm and also the gauntlets that Sinruth were wearing were both treasure from the Hall of Great Valour. On Sinruth’s body, along with a map of the area surrounding Brindol marked with key ambush points and hiding locations, was the following letter:
The growing party left Sinruth’s corpse and headed deeper into the crypt. Corren was heavily wounded and Valasaar knew that only time and rest would heal them. Corren insisted that they all press on and rescue any other prisoners. Fearing the worst, and after reading about the Wight in the letter to Sinruth, they cautiously advanced. In the next room they found a strange emblem enscribed on the floor, the only inhabitants were two Zombies and two Ghouls. They seemed to be drawing energy from the emblem and their eyes glowed manacingly as they moved to attack. The paralyzing attacks of the Ghouls slowed the party, however after a brief fight they were victorious.
The next room contained a strange fountain. Dargoth approached to quench his thirst only to witness scenes appearing in the water of rooms within this crypt. The most prominent of these was a large throne room. Upon the thrones sat two rotting corpses.
As they moved through the crypt they soon found the throne room. Two powerful undead creatures rose to destroy the heroes. Small piles of bones knitted together to form skeletal warriors that seemed to keep coming back to life as soon as they were put down. The mighty Dargoth was immobilised by the undead and the battle was hard fought until Valasaar unleashed the holy might of Bahamut upon the foul denizens of the afterlife, forcing one of them within reach of Dargoth. The fight was won and the Crypt was cleansed. They soon recovered the rest of the lost artifacts and Kartenix’ son, and returned to Brindol, their quest accomplished.