A crowd slowly starts to gather around the fallen ogre. Some guards arrive to secure the area and mention the attacker’s withdrawal over the northeast bridge. Before heading for the bridge, the group searches the hobgoblin corpses in the tavern. They find nothing of note other than the mark of a black arrow on all of their weapons. A quick chat with the barkeep reveals nothing remarkable about the stolen banner, only that it was a relic from the battle with the Red Hand of Doom. When asked who would know more about the banner he directs them to Sertanian, the local historian and castellan of the Great Hall of Valor.
At the bridge, the party finds only the town guards busy shoring up defenses. The goblinoid invaders have fled into the night. Alara retires to the inn while the rest of the group seeks out Sertanian in search of some answers. When they arrive at the Great Hall of Valor, they see that the doors have been bashed in. They carefully enter the castle and investigate the break in. A quick survey of the area shows a few of the displays near the entrance broken and looted. Sertanian is nowhere to be found.
With no answers, most of the party returns the inn to retire for the night, with the exception of Trome, who spends the night resting on the streets. In the morning the adventurers are met by Alys, a messenger who brings word that Councilman Eoffram Troyas wishes to have words with them. She leads the group to the Brindol Council Hall and ushers them to the offices of Councilman Troyas.
Reports of missing townsfolk have come in during the night as well as looting of the Great Hall of Valor. Councilman Troyas tasks the adventurers to track down the goblinoid invaders, rescue the kidnapped townsfolk, and if possible, retrieve the stolen artifacts from the Great Hall of Valor. As their meeting concludes, the councilman mentions that they’ve managed to capture one of the hobgoblins and he is currently being held in stocks outside the Council Hall.
Outside, two guards stand watch over the prisoner. Alara manages to grease the palms of the guards for some alone time, which doesn’t last long, as she openly threatens death to the prisoner. After some more subtle attempts at intimidating the captive, the party receive crude directions to the where the hobgoblins are holed up. The rest of the day is spent trekking through the wilderness to the secluded ruins of Castle Rivenroar.
Tucked away in the foothills of the Giantshield Mountains, the adventurers find the remnants of a centuries old castle. Searching around, the group find some recent track marks leading to and from a door marking the entranceway to the catacombs of the families of Rivenroar. Descending into the entryway they are met by two hobgoblin guards and two goblin sharpshooters. After a perilous fight, they check the slain goblinoid bodies and find the same black arrow mark on all their weapons.
The party decides to head straight and descend down into a large dank, mushroom filled room. They slowly makes their way across the room until two rage drakes come stalking out of the shadows. Seamus pulls out all the stops and casts Phantom Chasm to immobilize the drakes. Sebastian moves into attack and steps on a brown thicket of mushrooms consuming the space around him with a thick cloud of spores. Alara takes this time to keep to the darkness and maneuver behind the drakes.
The drakes shake off the effects of the spell. One of them starts to slash at the cloud of spores in hopes of getting at Sebastian. The other maneuvers around to flank the concealed attacker. Alara takes this time to jump out of the shadows and strike at one of the drakes. Catching the drake off guard, she manages to plunge her dagger into side of the beast, causing severe hemorrhaging. Seamus summons a flaming sphere and consumes one of the drakes in a searing blaze. Trome pelts the remaining drake with arrows and it slumps lifelessly to the ground. The gnoll rips out the drakes’ reproductive organs and takes them as souvenirs.
In the adjoining room, they see an elderly woman trapped inside a magical barrier. The adventurers manage to free the captive, who reveals to be Zerriksa, an old crone who bluffed her way into making her captors think she had dark powers. After some arguing between the old woman and the adventurers, the group reluctantly decides to let her tag along.