Location: A small farm in the Harken Forest.
Having slain a cadre of Iron Circle troops attacking a local farm, the party began searching and stripping the bodies. While the thief was in charge of that, Khufu the druid began talking to the farmer Dane and his wife Fiona.
“They’ve been taking from us for weeks. I gave them what I could, but they came back for more – more than I could give. When I told them that I had no more that they could have, their insane leader, that woman over there, told them to crucify me! She was also hollering about some southlanders they were looking for and a magic ring. Neither my wife and I had any idea what she was talking about.” ~ Dane the farmer.
The party left Dane and his wife behind and continued to make their way to the Druid Grove wearing the tabards and other accoutrements of the dead Iron Circle troops.
Nearing a dusty roadway, the party heard the sounds of a skirmish. The thief snuck ahead to apprise the situation. She watched as 2 wagons were being road down by a platoon of Iron Circle soldiers. The thief quickly scampered back and informed the party. In a quick engagement, they dispatched the armored brigade, but not before the wagons were destroyed and most of the occupants killed, save one, an immaculetly dressed woman.
The woman became enraged and started accosting the group for waiting to long and letting her servants get killed, her wagons destroyed and her fine garments spread to the winds! After listening to her tirade the thief felt she was a danger to the group – as she would betray them to the Iron Circle once she made it to Harken. A quick shot from her bow settled the matter. The silence was short. Not even the Knight, Sir Alexander objected.
Searching the bodies, Tondrek noticed that one of the bodies, the slain tiefling leader, appeared to be bloated. Almost as if being “blown up” from the inside. The group quickly moved to burn the bodies and make the attack appear as if by simple brigands. With that, they continued to make their way around Harken to the Druid Grove.
Early the next morning they arrived at Brode’s Crossing, a small outpost of halflings and humans. The halflings operating a tavern named the Broken Oar and a fleet of rafts that went up and down the White River. Meanwhile a crusty man by the name of Harrigan Brode operated a ferry service that went from one side of the river to the other. Brode’s ferry service was in conjunction to a small general store.
The party was met by a halfling by the name of Hailey as they entered “town” who promptly escorted them to the Broken Oar. The group rested, ate, drank and prepared themselves for further adventures, eventually making a deal with Hailey to take them upriver by raft. The party would later break this deal when Harrigan Brode entered the tavern and told them that the halflings were thieves. They agreed to use his ferry service to cross the river, much to the dismay of Hailey.
On the other side of the river the party found themselves in the muck of Toadswallow, a mire on the east side of the White River. As they journeyed by foot up river they encountered a group of halflings whose rafts were smashed and many of them lay dead. They cried that some monstrous creatures had toppled their rafts and stolen some of their goods – but more importantly some of their children! Grudgingly taking up the cause, the party set off after the monsters. Not long into their trek, the found the body of a dead halfling girl drowned in the swamp. As daylight waned they broke through the murky treeline to discover a waterfall – the prints of the monsters indicating they’d gone inside the falls…
At the base of the falls, on a dry hillock of land, lay a large tent. The thief, as thieves are prone to do, snuck up to the tent and looked inside. The tent was empty of people but on the back wall, painted in red, black and gold was the icon of the Iron Circle!
Next: Rescue and Rewards!