Liberated Souls

The story so far, part 2

The next morning, the adventurers meet with Brindol City Councilmember Eoffram Troyas. Though the rest of the Council is hesitant to trust the lives of seven kidnapped souls to outsiders, Troyas has seen these adventurers in action and believes that the guard cannot be spared for a rescue mission when the city may be on the brink of a new war. He commissions the party to bring back the missing citizens and recover several artifacts stolen from the Great Hall of Valor. The party interrogates a goblin prisoner being held in the stockades in the town square and discovers that this new “Red Hand,” led by an individual named Sinruth, is based out of the ruins of Rivenroar Castle. Arriving there, the party finds that the castle itself is all but gone – only the foundations remain – but an underground tomb on the castle grounds proves to be where the Red Hand is based.

It is, as one would expect, hardly a hospitable location for heroes. Sneaky is very nearly eaten by a drake. Bork gets chewed out by a bitter old woman who’s barely appreciative of being rescued – though on the other hand, he also wins the attention of an attractive young priestess of Ioun who is among the hostages. Aramal, a little too eager to light the undead on fire, nearly gets run down by a pair of ghouls. But the party ultimately prevails, killing Sinruth and routing his group as well as destroying the undead remnants of the Rivenroar family and their allies. Along the way, they find evidence that Sinruth and his band were likely not associated with the same Red Hand of Doom that invaded the Elsir Vale a decade ago – but they did have some dangerous allies. They had come to an agreement with the Rivenroars, who themselves had secretly forged a pact with Vecna in pursuit of their own eventual return to power. On Sinruth’s body, the party also finds a note from an individual identifying themselves only as “The Emissary” which encouraged the Hand to attack Brindol, seizing hostages and other spoils.

The party returns to a grateful city with five of the seven missing alive, the bodies of Guard Captain Citas Kartenix and his son Thurann, and all of the missing artifacts. Kella pledges to Kartenix’s widow that she will find a way to raise the son.

Troyas, pleased that his gamble on the party has paid off, asks them to do him a favor: Carry a sealed note to Beldan Bronzeblade, Quartermaster of the City of Overlook. He says the note contains a requisition for supplies to rebuild the town and bolster its defenses in light of the attack. He also provides the party with riding horses, which he says they may keep as gifts in thanks for their efforts. As the party sets out from Overlook, the elf ranger Talandur stays behind in Brindol to help train new militia recruits in the use of the bow.

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The story so far, part 1

An elven cleric looking to introduce the Elsir Vale to his goddess Melora. A human fighter leaving behind a family of wizards. A halfling rogue, tired of the shadowy corners of Overlook and curious about what there was to see beyond the city’s borders. A half-elven warlock who’s out for… action. An eladrin wizard, thrown from his home for setting one thing too many on fire. And an elven ranger on a self-appointed mission to keep his Vale safe.

It wasn’t fate that brought them together. It was a band of goblins that overran the city of Brindol.

Our adventurers each found themselves relaxing at the Antler and Thistle Tavern when the attack came. Bork chatted up one of the waitresses, a brunette of average build who introduced herself as Mirtala. Sneaky joined a game of chance with three locals who saw an outsider and thought her a source of easy money – and were quickly proven wrong. The others relaxed about the bar, either enjoying their drinks quietly or chatting with the proprietor, a man named Jak who was unusually quiet for a bartender but had a reputation among the locals for putting thought and wisdom into the few words he spoke.

Outside, something clattered and a woman screamed. Kella looked at Jak and asked, “What’s going on?” The man listened to the growing ruckus outside for a moment and simply answered, “Trouble’s coming.’ As if on cue, the tavern doors crashed open and in rushed a stream of goblins bent on destruction. “For Sinruth! For the Hand!” the lead goblin shouted to his audience of bewildered patrons. A few brave souls made makeshift weapons out of items ripped from the walls; many tried to escape but failed. A goblin grabbed the woman Bork had seemingly made progress with and hauled her towards the back door; the warlock tried to save her but was unable to catch the kidnapper before it disappeared into the chaos erupting in the city streets. It fell to those who would soon call themselves the Liberated Souls to defeat the invaders, but by the time the last goblin was dead on the floor, the tavern was well on its way to burning down. In the aftermath, concern began to spread among the townsfolk as it became known that the attackers bore cloth sashes with blood-red handprints on them. Had the Red Hand of Doom returned?

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