The heroes gather their supplies and begin to make their way out of the Thornwaste. The deadly land is not ready to give up its claim on the heroes lives, however, as they are attacked by a pair of wyverns as they travel through a ravine. The monstrous beasts swoop down and grab Ian and Kishra, looking for a quick meal, and fly off towards their lair. Sir Atreus gives chase, while Moric and Thissag use bow and crossbow to try and take down the wyverns.
Unfazed the creatures cling tightly too their prey, fighting off the attempts of the wizard and rogue to get free. Unable to take the creatures down, Moric and Thissag gives chase as well, as Sir Atreus tracks the monsters to their cave. The valiant knight climbs up alone to confront the wyverns, but makes a tactical error by making his ascent in-between the two beasts. The monsters savage the paladin, dropping him, and now their are three victims in the lair. Moric and Thissag come up with a plan. Moric will try to draw the beasts out, while Thissag sneaks in to heal and help their fallen comrades. The plan works brilliantly, and in short order Moric has slain the wyverns and the heroes are healed and ready to travel once more.
Travel is arduous, but in a couple of days the heroes find themselves on the trail to the County of Ellisfield. Pressing hard, they arrive in Gormsey. The group finds the village on lockdown, but not completely empty. Getting some rooms at the Jester’s Rose, the dwarven innkeeper Aznal tells the heroes that they haven’t seen much of the “supposed” hobgoblin invasion. She tells them that the only thing they’ve seen is a couple of goblin raiding parties, not at all out of the ordinary. The group spends the night and re-provisions in the morning, while Sir Atreus makes his way to the Brilliant Halls of Light and meets with Brother Vernus. Brother Vernus explains that while most people did indeed flee to Brindol, some were simply unwilling or unable to leave everything behind, so he stayed behind as well to take care of his flock.
As they leave Gormsey, the party decides to send Thissag to the Hammerfist Holds, to see what help he might be able to secure from the dwarves in their fight for the Vale, while the rest of the party presses on towards Brindol. They make their farewells and press on, and soon they see the telltale signs of war. The Duchy of Allondale is deathly quiet and as they make their way into Coniston, they see black smoke rising above the Nimon Hills to the north. They find only a token force left in the town, and again spend the night and move on in the morning.
About halfway through the next day’s travel, the party crests a small hill and below they see the sights of a battle. A carriage is under attack by a pair of ettins and a gang of goblins. A mounted knight and a group of soldiers wearing the livery of Brindol fight to defend the carriage but are soon struck down by the humanoids.
The heroes spring into action with Sir Atreus and Moric charging towards the ettins, while Ian takes off after a group of goblins and Kishra prepares his arcane magics. The battle is on, and one group of goblins, showing surprising discipline, waits for Ian’s charge and spring their attack at the last minute surprising and surrounding the rogue. Finding himself wounded and in trouble, the young warrior panics and rides on through hoping to get away. Meanwhile, the second group of goblins interrupts Moric’s charge at the ettin and the warrior responds by throwing his spear through the biggest and nastiest looking one. The goblins respond in turn, using their foolish tactics to taunt and enrage the mighty Moric. Sir Atreus charges the ettin and lowers his lance for the kill, but the two-headed monster swats aside the weapon and smashes the knight with both club and morningstar, sending Sir Atreus flying off his mount, unconscious. Kishra evens things out some, by dropping a fireball amongst the goblins surrounding Moric, but the second ettin takes away the momentum by charging forward and smashing Moric in a similar way that Sir Atreus was smashed!
Things look grim for the heroes as the first group of goblins surrounds Ian once more, causing him to leap from his horse and flee…right into the clutches of an ettin who, having dispatched Sir Atreus already, gleefully pounds the young rogue into the dirt. Kishra knows that the situation is dire and that if he doesn’t get aid to his companions, he and the entire Vale may be doomed. But Kishra is no conjurer of cheap tricks, he is a wizard of the Crystal Tower! The magus starts off by blasting the closest ettin with a cold spell limiting the giant’s movement and then takes out most of the goblins with a fireball. Then making his way to the fallen Moric, he administers a healing potion, bringing the warrior back from the brink of death.
Using the power of Woundhealer, Moric rejoins the fight and engages both ettins and the remaining goblin barbarian, allowing Kishra to escape and use a healing potion on Sir Atreus. He then helps out Moric by taunting the closest ettin to get his attention. Enraged, the ettin gives chase and threatens to smash the wizard, but the distraction works. No longer having to defend against both giants, Moric goes on the offensive and slays the ettin engaging him, and also gave Sir Atreus enough time to mount his steed and charge forward with his lance, this time impaling the ettin threatening Kishra. The tide had turned, and in short order the remaining ettin and goblin were defeated and the heroes rushed to check on their fallen comrade, Ian, and the soldiers of Brindol.
With the use of both mundane and magical healing, the Lion of Brindol and two of the soldiers were saved but unfortunately, Ian was gone. With a heavy heart the heroes set to finding out why these soldiers and the carriage were here, when a second fight nearly breaks out. It seems that the Lion of Brindol, is none other than Sir Erdrick Teskerwill, a knight that shares a tumultuous past with Moric.
Many years ago, Moric was in the service of Duke Kerden of Brindol nearly reaching knighthood when fell in love with the Lady Elisi, who was betrothed to Sir Erdrick. While the sentiment was shared the union could never be and Sir Erdrick taunted Moric over the “victory”. Moric responded by smashing the face of the knight, and was banished from Brindol for his actions.
Time did nothing to heal these wounds and Sir Atreus was forced to step between the two warriors. After calming down the situation, they find that Sir Erdrick was on his way to the Hammerfist Holds to hire the Shining Axes, a mercenary company of axe wielding dwarves, famous in the Vale. The heroes help the soldiers to depart for the dwarven holds, but Sir Erdrick stuns Moric by saying, “If I don’t make it back, look after her for me.” before departing.
With the fate of the Vale weighing heavy upon them, the heroes set a funeral pyre for Ian, and make their way towards Brindol once more.