Scene One: Albridge
The group awakens one morning at the Inn to find an square foot piece of bark on the floor. Scalpel looks at it, and determines that there is an arcane message. The message says:
“The Iron Circle is not the worst of our concerns. One of our own has betrayed us to demons. Please come, tell no one!”
The party determines that the message must come from the Druid Reithann. They leave the inn, and are approached by Gerrad’s granddaughter. She says Dar Gremath wants to meet with them at noon. They head to the stables to get horses, and do not encounter Gremath on the way.
Scene Two: Reithann’s Grove
When the party arrives, they find a horrible sight. Reithann’s grove has been razed, and she is crucified upside down in the center. They find recently-animated corpses and bone footprints headed to Albridge. They also find the body of one of Reithann’s acolytes, clutching another piece of bark.
On the bark is a list of names. Some are circled, some crossed out, others are neither:
Madeira Lear (the elder in Dardune)
Aldabaer (A trapper from Easthill)
Gerrad (The village elder in Abridge)
A feeling of gloom and dread hangs over the party as they leave the grove.
Scene Three: Back to Albridge
Varis asks the Hand of Fate whether to go see Bron Torrson, Dar Gremath, or neither. The hand points them to Albridge.
The party follows the bone footprints to the clearing North of Albridge (where they previously burned the supply cart). Someone has camped here in the last day.
The party continues to become suspicious of Dar Gremath.
Upon arriving in Albridge, they find Gremath – along with Bron Torrson, as well as other leaders in the area – holding a war council. Gremath asks the party to help make preparations, as the Iron Circle will be marching on Albridge within two days. He also says he’d like to keep them in reserve during the battle, as they are his best warriors.
The party meets great difficulty making arrangements, however. They are unable to resolve conflicts between the Woodsinger elves and the dwarves of Tor’s Hold. Scalpel is able to make some alchemical fire to help with defenses, some of which Varis attempts to steal.
The Battle of Albridge
The battle opens with a straightforward attack by the Iron Circle soldiers. Arrows and crossbow bolts fly as the two armies close. The Harkenwolders give ground, but their formation doesn’t break. The battle becomes a desperate, swirling melee that sprawls over several farms and fields a little way south of the town. The area the party is guarding is quiet at first, but then they spy a large band of Iron Circle soldiers heading in their direction, with a reptilian creature trotting at their side. They raise a war cry and charge at the party!
The party dispatches them hastily.
After a short rest, A young Harkenwolder gallops up to the party on horseback. “Dar Gremath says he needs your help over by the Radden farmstead!” he pants, pointing across the battlefield. A couple hundred yards away, the party can make out the rebel leader’s banner, now under attack. Between the party and Dar Gremath, a band of marauding soldiers is busy setting fire to farmhouses and killing off any wounded they come across. Some of the Iron Circle warriors aren’t human. They’re short, scaly creatures with black horns and lashing tails, surrounded in dark fumes. The messenger gallops off again, leaving matters in the party’s hands.
Again, the party dispatches the Iron Circle soldiers, this time with some difficulty.
Only minutes after they finish with their last foes, the party hears a roar of challenge. Another group of lron Circle soldiers is advancing. They are supported by two scaly, humanoid creatures with horns and tails, with dripping globs of burning pitch in their taloned hands. With the band rides a massively muscled human warrior in scale armor. A standard flies from a holder at his stirrup – a black pennant with a red and gold-trimmed gray ring in the center.
“You!” the enemy lord cries. “You are the ones who have caused me so much trouble! Know now that you face Lord Nazin Redthorn, champion of the Iron Circle. With your deaths my victory is assured!”
The game is called at 12:00 AM