The women, children and elderly (except Iormel) are leaving Drellin’s Ferry, their faces streaked with tears and set with worry about their loved ones and their village.
The morning after the midnight attack, Captain Sorannah stares with concern at the destruction inflicted on the West (East) bank. As you approach her, she mutters that if that was just an advance raiding party, things are going to get much worse very soon. Along with the solicitude, a gleam of excitement flickers in her lovely eyes. You sense that this is what she knows, this is her specialty.
Gavin returns laden with purchases from Drellin’s Ferry. He reports that Brindol knows of their plight, that the towns from Drellin’s Ferry to Brindol have been warned, that he has heard rumours of goblinoids all over the Vale. The most distressing news is that there are rumours of another force coming from the North, from the ruins of Rhest.
The townsfolk would not evacuate until they saw evidence of the attackers. We agreed to help prepare their defenses and train the men for the invasion. We heard rumours of a Ghostlord to the south, and Ssarvith’s troops to the north, but they were too far to reach now, with the attack looming.
One night, as we sat in Guarlla’s inn, we heard a bloodcurdling scream, cut short by the wet gurgle as the victim died. Rushing outside, we saw a strange three-headed monstrosity: the chimera. We dispatched it quickly and were trying to figure out from whence it had come, when a column of unholy fire enveloped several party members. Badly singed, but still alive, we looked for the source of the blast, and saw only a hobgoblin monk exiting Gran’s store, just as it snapped the neck of a hapless villager with its bare hands. It then raised a horn to its lips and blasted Belkar deaf, injuring others with sonic puissance. We chased down the monk and killed it, but not before Gavin too was struck deaf. Spud and I desperately looked for the invisible spellcaster, but to no avail. Finally, a goblinoid in fullplate wielding a wicked battle axe emerged from the vacated house of the locksmith. We stood resolute as his weapon emitted waves of fear, and in spite of his magical protection, we felled him with no casualties ourselves. Still, the villagers refused to believe that the ambush was anything other than a typical raid, rather than part of a larger organization. We left, following a hunch that the new locksmith, Iormel, or Gran might have sided with the Red Hand.
We found Gran outside of Terrelton, and when prompted with copious amounts of strong ale, admitted to having killed the locksmith, in truth a wererat and a spy for the Red Hand. Doubting the legitimacy of his claims, we backtracked and indeed found a body of a wererat, but to our surprise, we also found the corpse of a man that had died of a similar wound. We confronted Gran, now outside Nimon’s Gap. Gavin subtly cast message to link Gran to commoners that came out to witness the encounter. He admitted to stealing from the refugees, to killing the locksmith, and to killing others along the way that refused to buy goods from him. We turned him over to the proper authorities, and the Lions of Brindol took him to the walled city under guard. We led the refugees without incident, and took phantom steeds back to Drellin’s Ferry, the day before the impending attack.
What we beheld the next day looked nigh unstoppable. A red dragon led the hordes of giants, hobgoblins, and siege engines. Thousands and thousands stood across the river from Drellin’s Ferry, and the villagers at last realized the truth, and knew overwhelming fear. The men finally fled, and as we knew that we could not stand alone against this force, also withdrew.
It is clear to us that Brindol is the only place that this army can possibly be stopped, and we may need the help of the nearby halflings and elves. If the Ghostlord is in fact an ally of the Red Hand, it will need to be neutralized. Also, the army of Ssarvith likely approaches from the North, and will have to be stopped before it meets up with the main host. There are now at least two dragons that we know of that must be slain, as well as generals and Azurr Kul himself.