Our heroes found themselves tasked with what seemed to be a suicide mission: take back Iron Keep and defeat Nazin Redthorn, cutting off the head of the Iron Circle and driving them from Harkenwold for good.
A meeting at the Mallard Inn with the leaders of the rebellion yeilded some useful information for the party. They met a retired dwarven stonemason called Old Kellar. Kellar oversaw the repairs that Baron Stockmer made to Harken Keep 40 years ago, and his knowledge of the keep’s layout has proved very valuable so far.
The party traveled to Harken village on Old Kellar’s suggestion to talk to the locals and see what help could be had there.
The party split up on arriving in Harken to canvas the area. Naivara and Briar paid a visit to a cautious shifter known as Grimbold. After getting tossed out of his house, they returned to plead for help and convince him that they were not agents of the Iron Circle. Grimbold’s confession that he has been helping smuggle people out of Harkenwold shed some light on his suspicious behavior! He had some useful, if disheartening information about the strength and patrols of Iron Keep.
Ryvin and Florula set out for the Cliffside Brewery, which they were told was run by a family of dwarves. There, they met the Ironbeards, brothers Omurk and Dannurk and Dannurk’s wife Dathilda. They discovered two things: that the Ironbeards were making their scheduled delivery of ale and stout to Iron Keep on the morrow, and that Ryvin should never drink dwarven ale.
Meanwhile Erinus set out to the The Broken Gaol, a tavern said to be abandoned by the former owner and now converted into a favorite off-duty drinking spot of Iron Circle soldiers. There he met the new owner, a half-orc woman called Krutha. He learned that while not hostile, she would be of no help to the adventurers. It doesn’t seem like he accomplished much except for a few hours of drinking and flirting.
The party reconvened at the Cliffside Brewery, where they debriefed and waited for their fighter to regain consciousness. They negotiated with the Ironbeards to smuggle them into the Keep the following day, and then decided to adjourn to the inn.
Naivara and Erinus made a side trip to recon the keep under the cover of darkness. They confirmed Grimbold’s reports about the number of sentries on duty, but were unable to find an obvious way in other than the gatehouse. The smuggling plan seemed like the best option, and would have to go forward.
Briar and Naivara made a visit to the local House of Faith to see how the clergy was holding up, after hearing the the Iron Circle had been siphoning off all their alms in the form of “taxes”. There, they met Sister Sondal, who told them of the temple’s hardships under the Iron Circle. The adventurers made prayers and donations and received Sister Sondal’s blessings as well as some blessed healing salves.
The party stayed the night at Nonnie’s Place, and cozy little inn run by a talkative halfling named Nonnie Farwhere. After enjoying soft beds and extra helping of the halfling woman’s delicious cooking for dinner and breakfast, they convened at the Cliffside Brewery to be smuggled into the keep in weighted ale casks.
Once inside the keep, the party snuck out of their ale barrels to find the outer bailey thick with Iron Circle guards and sentries. Our heroes survived volleys of crossbow bolts and took out most of the sentries, only to face reinforcements and the gatehouse commander himself, a magic-slinging tiefling called Sturmik.
Will the Knights survive the second wave, or will they fall before defeating Nazin Redthorn? We’ll find out next week!
Bonus Tokens: Florula and Ryvin earned White +1 tokens for answering this weeks extra credit question. Naivara and Briar earned Black +2 tokens for answers with extra detail and background information.
White +1 tokens to be awarded next session: 1 for Florula for using the time-tested combo of gold and roguish charm to convince the Ironbeards to help out. 2 for Briar for persistently harassing a shifter (must be halfling boldness), and for her contribution to the local clergy. 2 for Naivara for ad-libbing chat about the “Fallcrest fog” with Aunt Nonnie, and for paying a professional courtesy visit to the beleaguered temple. 1 for Ryvin; a consolation token for passing out dead drunk on the bar at the Cliffside Brewery.
Session loot and XP:
Loot: Way too much dwarven ale.
XP: 210 XP each.