Heroes of Khemer

March to the Blackfens

But first, a murder and a raid

     After defeating the dragon, Ozyrrandion, Atreus and Quinwyn set out to help the folk of Drellin’s Ferry prepare to evacuate the town, while Kishra and Ian look to secure passage up the Rhestwash towards the ruins of Rhest, where they believe another of the Wyrmlords of the Red Hand may be stationed. Deciphering the notes of Wyrmlord Koth’s map let the heroes know that Wyrmlord Saarvith was in the Blackfens, possibly brokering a deal with the local lizardfolk tribes to join the Red Hand. The group decides that while their force is too small to deliver a blow to the Red Hand by themselves, they may be able to weaken the Red Hand’s position by taking out their Wyrmlord leaders. Kishra and Ian find that while most of the boats have already left, one daring boat captain by the name of Cullen Tyroshi will take them upriver to just north of the Witchwood, if they are ready to leave soon. Joining back up with Atreus and Quinwyn at Jarett’s Sundries, Kishra and Ian inform the warriors that they have booked passage when a local woman approaches looking for her son Owen. She says that she hasn’t seen him all morning and wondered if Jarett had seen him. Jarett tells the heroes that the boy is something of a local troublemaker and that she hasn’t seen him.
     The party, being heroes, decide to search the town for the missing boy and split up. While Atreus and Kishra uncover nothing, Ian and Quinwyn are more successful. Ian discovers that a group of local hoodlums had dared Owen to rob Jarett’s Sundries before she left town with all of here wares, and Quinwyn put his tracking skills to use finding the boys trail leading to a small stand of trees near the north end of town. Following the trail, Quinwyn is shocked to discover the boys corpse, seemingly killed in ritual fashion. The group rendezvous at the Church of Light and Atreus tells them that the symbol carved into the boy is that of Asmodeus an archdevil with a cult following. As they decide what to do next, they notice that Ian is missing and must have sneaked out to see what he could find at Jarett’s shop. Rushing to the store, the heroes meet back up with Ian who says that while he did indeed infiltrate the shopkeeper’s abode, he didn’t uncover anything for a secret cellar with bloodstained floors. Before they group can decide what to do next, cries from the center of town let them know that goblins are attacking the west bank!
     Atreus, Quinwyn and Kishra rush to help, meeting up with Sir Holger and a contingent of guardsmen at the ferry, while Ian stays behind to keep an eye on Jarett. The ferry pulls our heroes across the river as quickly as possible and they see that a group of goblin worg riders and an enormous hellhound savagely assaulting the west bank. The heroes join the fight, and although the mere presence of the demon dog was enough to slow Tehnavaer, Atreus’ superior horsemanship was enough to spur the mount forward and strike a telling blow with Cyfiawnder. Quinwyn stays in front of his brother to protect the wizard using his bow to strike the goblins from range and Kishra slings his spells at the goblin invaders.
     On the other side of the river, Ian spots Jarett and two of her bodyguards loading up her wagon and preparing to leave town. The young rogue calls for them to stop and they nearly ride him down, leading to Ian calling them seven different kinds of coward. The taunt works and the guard nearly loses control of the wagon as he turns to curse at the thief. The two guards leap from the wagon to engage Ian, while Jarett tries to control the rogue with her magic. Ian fights off the mind control and quickly dispatches one of the guards and engages the other. Jarett seizes the opportunity, takes the rains of the wagon and escapes, while Ian subdues the other guard and throws a dagger at the fleeing cultist.
     Back across the Elsir, the heroes press the advantage against their goblin foes and are looking to wrap up the battle when they notice another hobgoblin wave entering the town. A group of five warriors and a hobgoblin sorcerer approach the group, but Kishra quickly dispatches them with a great ball of flame. Only the hobgoblin sergeant and sorcerer survive, and the sergeant quickly decides that discretion is the better part of valor and retreats leaving the sorcerer alone. The hobgoblin sorcerer spreads his contempt amongst both his fleeing comrade and the heroes, challenging them. “What can soft-bellies like you do against the might of the People of the Dragon?” he screams, and then lets forth a mighty fireball of his own that crashes down amongst the heroes, killing Atreus and Tehnavaer instantly, and severely wounding Quinwyn and Kishra. Only the timely return of Sir Holger and his men saves the heroes and chases off the hobgoblin sorcerer.
     With the battle won, the townsfolk take the defeated heroes to Brother Derny a the Church of Light to be healed. He then uses the remaining magic in the Staff of Life to return Atreus to the land of the living. With a solemn heart Atreus approaches Delora Zann at the livery to see if he can acquire a new mount. Delora presents him with a proud white stallion that she calls Majestic and states that the horse is a gift to Atreus for his and his comrades efforts in saving Drellin’s Ferry. The next day finds most of the town evacuated and the heroes are approached by Lord Wiston and Sir Holger. Sir Holger nods to the heroes. “You’ve already done us good, heroes. Without your warning, we’d have all been asleep in our beds when the horde arrived on our stoops. You’ve saved many lives today. For that you have my thanks. But I am afraid your work may not be done yet. There’s nothing to stop the Red Hand before they reach the walls of Brindol. If there’s anything more you can do to slow down the Red Hand, we’d be mighty grateful,” the Lord says. “I’ll personally make sure that Duke Jarmaath knows what you’ve done for us.” The heroes made their good-byes and loaded their gear on to the River Queen, the ship of Cullen Tyroshi. Joining them at the ship is Sergeant Hersk and a group of guardsman. “These men have lost everything they own during the raids on the town,” Hersk says, “we want to help fight this threat and are here to serve you, if you’ll have us.” Atreus and the rest of the party agree and they start their journey toward the Blackfens.
     They group makes their way upriver and see the signs of war along the river. Several times as they came close to the west bank, goblin archers would come out of the woods to take shots at the passing ship, but soon they were north of the Witchwood and traveling on land on their way to Rhest. With the help of Quinwyn and Jorr, they avoid most of the perils of the journey and the group comes upon the Rhest trail leading to the north. They follow the road for a couple of hours when they see a blockade before them straddling the trail, and manned by a hobgoblin archer. Quinwyn, Ian and Kishra, decide to move forward with stealth while Atreus and the guardsman stay back so as no to alert the guards. Ian makes his way to the blockade and uses his armor to turn invisible while Kishra and Quinwyn stay within bowshot of the fort. As they prepare to spring their attack, Kishra slips and attracts the attention of the guard, who shouts out an alarm. With their cover blown, the group attacks in force. Quinwyn and the hobgoblin archer trade shots before Ian takes out the guard at the top of the tower. To make matters worse, more hobgoblins fire bows from inside the fort and a couple of ogres appear and throw spears from behind the walls. Kishra blasts the doors of the fort with a mighty ball of fire and soon the flames consume them. With their cover destroyed a couple of hobgoblin sergeants move out to engage the heroes in melee and Atreus and the guardsman charge in to join the fray. The ogres wound Kishra and Quinwyn with thrown spears before Atreus comes in to smash one of the hobgoblins with a mounted charge. Tiring of ranged combat the ogres rush out to join the melee, but Atreus continues his charge and skewers one of the ogres on his lance killing him instantly. The second ogre moves to make Atreus pay but a look of surprise crosses his brutish face as an invisible Ian hamstrings the monster from behind dropping him to his knees, and follows up by opening the ogres throat. Quinwyn eviscerates one the the hobgoblin sergeants sending the remaining hobgoblins fleeing from the fort. Quinwyn and the guardsman, with their crossbows, strike down the fleeing sergeant and Ian knocks the last archer unconscious.
     The party interrogates the hobgoblin, promising to set him free if he cooperates, but the creature knows little of the plans of Rhest. He tells the heroes that the goblin Wyrmlord Saarvith is in command of Rhest and he’s not sure what the goblin’s plans are. When Kishra asks him how a lowly hobgoblin could rise to the level of a Wyrmlord, the hobgoblin replies “probably because of his friendship with Regiarix, a black dragon.” The heroes decide to spend the night at the fort before moving into the Blackfens the next day and agree to leave their mounts at the fort with Sergeant Hersk and the guardsmen, as they would be a liability in the marsh. They settle down for the night at the fort wondering what terrors the next leg of this journey will bring.

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