Harbinger of Battle

The Hand at the Marooned Schooner

The party is introduced to the city of Brindol, Scumble, and a fiery group of hobgoblins

Gunnar, Garil-Kai and Tira travel to the city of Brindol, whose council are hiring militia to protect from recent hobgoblin raiders. They are pointed towards The Marooned Schooner, a local tavern/inn where the council has been sending envoys to meet with any likely adventurers that arrive in town. Gunnar went straight to the bar and ordered a large glass of their most potent spirit, which was called Scumble, it was distilled from apples and would give paint thinner a bad name. He handled it well though and slowed down on his drinking when he felt the effects of the brew almost immediately after his first mouthful. After a few drinks and a meal (complimentary due to the promise of a few stories or songs from Tira, the party’s Bard) they are patiently waiting for an emissary to tell them the council will meet with them when the ever-watchful Garil-Kai notices an impending assault by groups of hobgoblin raiders, one of which is directly outside the tavern door!
The hobgoblins smash down the doors and pour into the room, followed by goblins with torches who begin trying to light the bar on fire with torches. Due to Garil-Kai’s observation they save the life of a farmer who certainly would have died on a hobgoblin longsword were it not for his warning and the protection of the party. The bartender also escapes a fiery death with the assistance of an uncharacteristically athletic Tira, who leaped onto the bar to help him towards the back door and then catapulted herself onto a nearby table. Gunnar cut a swath the the hobgoblin attackers first with thrown hand axes and then with hid father’s greataxe; both Tira and Gunnar were unnerved to say the least when Garil-Kai first transformed in front of them into a swarm of scarab beetles, stripping the flesh off of several hobgoblins. The goblins succeeded in setting the bar ablaze and then scampered from the bar, escaping and running away.
After the fire was put out by a bucket brigade and the party was being questioned by the town watch they barely had time to catch their breath when a huge ogre pulling a wagon loaded with pitch casks and two bow-wielding hobgoblins rolled into town. The ogre began throwing flaming casks at the party and nearby buildings. After an unexpectedly short battle in which the ogre succeeded on lighting on fire only himself, Tira played a drum beat which confused and disoriented the breast, and after throwing a cask at Gunnar and missing (again) He toppled over, pulling the wagon; casks, hobgoblins and all; down with him. The casks began to ignite, both hobgoblins panicked and made it worse, a building lit on fire, and the ogre was set ablaze. The hobgoblins escaped from under the cart before it exploded and as they were putting themselves out Gunnar, in a display of staggering awesomeness leaped into the air, brought his greataxe to bear, bellowed “Gunnaaaaaarrrr” into the evening sky and sunk his axe clean through the ogre’s chest, burying the blade in the ground beneath. Covered in the ogre’s steaming blood, he turned to the hobgoblins and shouted at them to flee. One was unimpressed but the other, mouth agape, tore off his red hand tabard and ran from the scene. The other was dispatched soon after.
The party were then sent to the Arrow and Thistle tavern and in short order were taken to meet with a member of the town council, Eoffram Troyas. After a period of question and answer in which the party tried to convince Eoffram they were worthy of a special task he had for them, he revealed that several townspeople were kidnapped by the hobgoblins, and several relics were stolen as well. The party accepted their mission to retrieve the prisoners and if possible the relics as well, but Gunnar, unimpressed by the leadership qualiies shown by Eoffram, would only take the job if he himself would accompany the party on their quest. He eventually relented and agreed to join the party, under Gunnar’s supervision and tutelage.
They slept and in the morning were able to question a hobgoblin captured during the attack. The very one Gunnar had frightened off. Tira kept her foot firmly in her mouth during questioning and Gunnar nearly had the town watch called on them, but eventually with much hardship they were able to coax a rough map out of the captive. They set out immediately towards the nearby ruins of Castle Rivenroar, where Sinruth the hobgoblin had been amassing a horde to attempt to overrun the region. The trip was mostly uneventful, despite Gunnar’s horse injuring its leg, and they arrived at the ruins quickly, discovering a large set of bronze bound double doors leading into a crypt underneath the castle.

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