The adventure began when a Dwarf merchant named Traevus recruited five young adventurers in the Barony of Harkenwold to guard his caravan while on its way to Fallcrest. While the journey started out peacefully enough, that changed when a group of goblins assaulted the caravan near the Moon Hills east of Fallcrest. The adventurers beat back the attack only to find that a box, very important to Traevus, was stolen from his wagon. The group noticed the goblins on a hill in the distance handing the box over to a man in black on horseback.
Traevus begged the group to recover his box from the man in black, finally offering 30 gold pieces for its safe return. The heroes set off and eventually tracked the horse and rider to a cave set back behind a creek. After battling more goblins, they gained access to the caves and found an entrance to a dungeon. Hot on the trail of the man in black, they fought their way bravely through the dungeons rooms, leading to a final confrontation with Malareth, a dark necromancer, who was guarded by his zombie minions. The battle was brutal, resulting in both the party’s cleric and warlock knocked out of the fight. They were ultimately victorious, but not without a cost. While the cleric, Rue, was able to recover from her wounds, Warryn Glimzig, the warlock, was not. After the battle, the group investigated both the area and the box they had been searching for. Surprisingly, the box held a very old, crystalline skull. It emanated a magic that was both strong, yet difficult to identify.
Lacking answers, the group left the dungeons, leaving Warryn to rest there forever. Once back in the cave, they quickly sensed a band of warriors just outside the cave. As it turns out this band was made up of several orc zombies led by Nynag Mordergrave, a Tiefling necromancer and her rat-faced lackey. The battle was very difficult, especially as the group was both tired and shorthanded. Fortunately, a Dragonborn paladin, Abraxus, came upon the battle and with his help the group was victorious.
Abraxus was actually searching for our adventurers. He had come from the Barony of Harkenwold, which had been beset by marauders soon after the group’s departure. The group quickly agreed to help and off they went to Harkenwold. On the very outskirts of the Barony, they came across a small farmstead being attacked by soldiers. Defeating the attackers quickly, they sought out the farmer to see if she had survived. The farmer, Ilyana, and her children had been saved, much to the group’s relief. Ilyana shared more of the misfortune in the Barony, informing the adventurers that the group taking over the vale was the Iron Circle mercenaries, led by Nazin Redthorne.
The Iron Circle had entered Harkenwold and began taxing the farmers and merchants, indicating they now controlled the Barony. They in fact did, as Nazin Redthorne had captured Baron Stockmer and locked him away in his own keep. Ilyana urged the adventurers to help Harkenwold and directed them to Reithann the Druid and Dar Gremath, leader of a growing rebellion against the Iron Circle. Reithann told the group more about the occupation. She and Dar Gremath encouraged the group to help embolden the growing resistance movement.
Reithann told them of a holding called Tor’s Hold, which could provide several able-bodied soldiers. Unfortunately, Tor’s Hold was being harassed by a group of bullywugs, making it nearly impossible for them to help free the rest of the Barony. The adventurers decided that was the first thing they needed to do. After several battles they managed to take down the bullywugs, freeing Tor’s Hold’s citizens to join in the resistance against the Iron Circle.
Returning to the town of Albridge, they met again with Dar Gremath. Dar told the group that they had to draw the bulk of Redthorne’s forces out of the keep if they were ever going to be able to defeat them. Dar advocated for a campaign of harassment, to which the group agreed—even a very reluctant Abraxus. This campaign succeeded so well that the group was ultimately ambushed by one of the many Iron Circle parties out searching for them.
Heartened by the adventurers’ aid, the people of Harkenwold have begun to prepare for the battle against the invaders. The leaders of the resistance asked the heroes to contact the Woodsingers, a clan of elves living in the Harken Forest, south of Harkenwold.
This is where we have come so far. As to what happens next…