Scene One: Vhennyk’s Mission (9th Level)
As the campaign opens, the heroes find themselves in the midst of a tense and challenging situation. For the past several months, they have been working in the employ of the Iron Keep. Today, that keep is under siege. Rebel forces gather in the outlying areas, preparing to strike and rid the keep of its current occupants.
The leader of that keep, Lord Vhennyk, has instructed the group to find and eliminate the leader of the resistance, a man by the name of Dar Gremath. Scouts have reported that Gremath is located in one of the two groves that lay between the Keep and nearby Harken. Due to their previous dealings with Gremath, they believe that he’s most likely set up in the West Grove. Seeking confirmation, Varis asks the Hand of Fate which way they should go. The Hand points them to the East Grove, causing them to call their assumptions into question.
As the party prepares to leave the keep and head toward the West Grove, they find guards attempting to secure the gates. The party offers their assistance in moving and placing timbers to further fortify the keep’s defenses.
Progressing down the road, the party stops to aid wounded soldiers in a patrol attempting to return to the keep. Working their way around toward the grove, bypassing several groups of warriors, they discover a catapult hidden in a nearby clump of trees. They waylay the catapult operators and use their expertise to disable the catapult. After putting pressure on the engineer, the party now believes Gremath to be hidden in the East Grove. They finish off the catapult operators, and head back around to the east.
Along the way, they discover a group of wizards attempting to perform a ritual which will weaken the keep’s defenses. The party is successfully able to disrupt the arcane forces in the area, in effect turning the ritual on its head and instead strengthening the keep’s walls.
The party then maneuvers their way around the back side of the East Grove, and enters the leader’s tent from the back.
Scene Two: To the Rescue (1st Level flashback)
It is a stormy autumn night on the road toward Albridge. The peaceful homestead of Ilyana and her two sons finds itself host to travelers, driven inside by the cold and the darkness. First to arrive are Gin and Scalpel, followed shortly by Sovellis. Varis arrives, supporting a very weakened Khan D’Sing. (Khan having been waylayed by bandits and left for dead, only to be found and bandaged by Varis.) The motley group begin to become acquainted, just as the shadows start to drive other dark forces into Ilyana’s steading.
A band of Iron Circle brigands – along with a pair of trained attack wolves, attempt to pillage the home. The adventurers band together for the first time, destroying the brigands and driving the wolves back out into the night. Ilyana tells the group that the Iron Circle have invaded the Harkenwold in the past two months, oppressing its people and murdering her husband (as well as many others) along the way.
Ilyana begs the group to aid the humble folk of the Harkenwold, and explains that the people are ready to rebel. They just need a strong and brave group of adventurers to inspire them. She suggests looking for the rebel leaders at the stables in Albridge, or talking to Reithan, the druid, who lives in a grove to the Southwest.
Ilyana indicates that she’ll help Khan convalesce, and send him on to Albridge when he’s feeling well enough to travel.
Scene Three: Meeting Reithan
The following morning, the group visits the druid Reithan and her two acolytes. Reithan tells of the bullywugs who are terrorizing the dwarves in Tor’s Hold, and believes that if the bullywug menace could be dispatched that they would bring serious strength to the resistance.
The party is unconvinced of the immediate benefit of freeing Tor’s hold, and continues on toward Albridge.
Scene Four: Albridge
Upon ariving in Albridge, the party makes their way into White River Mercantile. There they meet the proprietor, Roma Featherton. They ask about the Iron Circle, and whether the locals have been oppressed. Roma seems very deferential, and speaks well of the Iron Circle (especially after Sovellis shows her a glimpse of an Iron Circle cloak.)
The party leaves the Mercantile to head toward the stables. They notice a halfling child darting from the Mercantile to the stables, and Sovellis gives chase. He loses the girl, but believes her to have entered the stables. Accordingly, he climbs on the roof, and listens in through the chimney.
The rest of the party approaches Gremath Stables. They enter, and begin to speak with Dar Gremath, the owner. At first, Gremath believes them to be undercover Iron Circle agents, thanks to the words of the halfling. The party tries to convince him otherwise, but when Sovellis drops out onto the hearth, Gremath flings a knife directly into the wall above Sovellis’ head.
Eventually, the party explains their tale, and ask what they can do to help defeat the Iron Circle. Gremath notes that there is a supply wagon heading for Harken tomorrow, and that if they were to disrupt that wagon it would strike an inspiring blow, giving the people of Harkenwold courage.
Scene Five: Cutting the Supply Route
The next morning, the party sit in wait for the supply wagon. The wagon, which is guarded by several brigands, an Iron Circle acolyte, and a vicious clockwork dog is easily overtaken by the party. They head back toward Albridge with the supply wagon, having fulfilled their mission and brought hope to the Harkenwold.