Well, maybe we misheard that.
What began as a sunny and hopeful morning quickly devolved into a town-wide riot when an unlikely group of travelers arrived at the gates of Cold Harbor. Despite the timely premonitions of snowfall given by Valthrun, the town’s historian, woodcutters in the surrounding area were caught unawares by the coming of winter and desperately sought to sell their wares and purchase provisions. Joining them was Acolyte Thane, a contemplative cleric of Bahamut sent to investigate the fate of Brackus, and the stag-headed Druid that had previously been seen stalking the party.
The guard at the gate proved incapable of dealing with the immense stress of having town visitors. While he panicked and ran to Lord Padraig’s manor, adventurers Locke and Zedd attempted to converse with the Druid and the Cleric. Meanwhile, Froyo and Fionna broke into the (sadly emptied) repossessed stable and the rest of the party emptied from the inn to examine the commotion.
The town guard arrived in short order to confront Ursis, the Druid. It was here that it’s leader, Rond Kelfem, made a grave mistake in enunciation.
“Put them to the sword.”
There has been some debate as to whether or not Rond actually said this. Some of the adventurers less near to the confrontation swear that Rond had actually used the personal pronoun him rather than them. This of course would change the entire function of the sentence. But the Dwarf Ferris has little concern with such etymological trivialities. Ferris raged.
Town Guard (No Longer Employed)
The party was tactically at odds; Zedd initially attempted to disarm the militia and defuse the situation while Ferris and Locke began to draw blood. The Thief and Halfling rained arrows upon the militia, adding to their sense of impending doom. When some of the guard managed to wound Ferris, Zedd and Locke swapped approaches; the previously resistant Zedd began to kill the guards while Locke began to mend Rond’s wounds. Still uncontrollably furious, Ferris bypassed the party’s attempts to protect Rond and, having been disarmed, pumelled the life out of the town guard with his fists. He soon turned on the party and was subdued by the mighty Ishmael before any of the adventurers were critically injured.
A few facts should be noted about this battle. First, the Druid was and continued to remain non-confrontational (though quite rude by civilized standards) until battle was already upon him. At no point did he threaten anyone within the town walls. Second, regardless of any slurring of words by Rond, he and his approached the Druid and two adventurers with their blades drawn. Third, when two of the guards fled, Halfling Froyo only fired warning shots at them, allowing them to retreat from the carnage they began.
After some deliberation the party opted not to remain in the confines of the town and followed the Druid into the forest. Seeing the beautiful holy symbol the party had looted from the excavation site the day before, Acolyte Thane chose to join them.
They soon arrived at the dreaded keep where the surrounding ground featured a large scorch mark and ghostly apparitions. Thane and the Druid were certain that their respective missions were tied directly to the evil causing these disturbances.
On the topic of evil, Zedd asked Thane to remove the evil amulet from around his neck. After some completely unlawful debate about bashing Zedd’s head in, Fionna intercepted and removed the amulet herself, tossing it into the forest. It made a reapearrance when the party attempted to cross the screaming Sigils; despite being disarmed by Thane, the Sigil activated when Fionna crossed it. Thane turned the bulk of the incoming undead while the party fought off the rest. Thane took the amulet from Fionna and wrapped it around his holy symbol, providing a temporary solution to the issue.
Summoned by the Sigils
Continuing on, the party heard voices on the other side of a door. They set up an ambush and Fionna stealthed ahead to scout the situation. She soon inadvertently alerted the Hobgoblin brigade of their presence. The party funneled in and dispatched the bulk of the brigade. Ferris went into an uncontrollable rage and attacked the Hobgoblins while the Druid followed him to provide healing and support.
When there were only a few Hobgoblins remaining they fled from the party, taking shots from the archers as they ran. Ferris ran after them, Ishmael, Froyo and Zedd following closely behind. He didn’t find the escaped goblins, but he did cross a trap. A portcullis dropped from the roof separating Ferris from the party. Alone and exhausted, Ferris was left face to face with the Bugbear and its master. No longer enchanted by the Wand of Terror, they readied to fight.