The recent war against the goblins took its toll on western Scardova. Your patrol had been assigned to assist in the recovery effort, helping to deliver food and supplies to communities devastated by the war, clearing out pockets of goblins still remaining in the countryside, and providing general assistance where needed. It was an exhausting effort, and after several weeks during a sweltering summer, your patrol was allowed to return to Wintersholm for some much-needed rest. But the work of the Guardians never ceases, and so you are not allowed to remain idle for long…
The Matriarch has requested your aid in searching for a missing Dwarf. Gundren Rockbiter passed through Wintersholm two weeks ago. He was traveling to Landon to meet his two brothers, who had sent word that they has a lead on the whereabouts of an old Dwarven mine that has been the prize of several treasure seekers over the past few years. Gundren was in a rush and refused to wait for a proper escort, but a retired guardsman named Sildar Hallwinter offered to travel with him. Unfortunately neither of them arrived in Landon, even though the journey only should have taken 9-10 days.
Your patrol heads out immediately and with the aid of the Master of Wizardry at the Lyceum, the part is teleported just south of Rothwell. From there you travel west along the road to Landon, finding at one point two dead horses in the middle of the trail surrounded on either side by escarpments. Your initial suspicion of an ambush proves correct, as your are assailed by goblins. They are defeated, and you find a trail leading north where it is obvious someone was dragged.
The path leads to a cave. You explore the cave, killing several more goblins and defeating a Bugbear within who called himself Klarg. His abode contains several barrels and casks, each marked with a blue lionhead. You also discover a chest containing 2 healing potions and some coins, but there’s no sign of Gundren of Sildar yet.
Klarg’s abode contained many barrels containing sundry goods. Hidden amongst them was a chest containing 600 cp, 110sp, 2 pots of healing, and a jade statue worth 40gp
You decide to search the remainder of the caves. You head to the western side, where you ambush a group of goblins around a cooking fire. During the battle a goblin appears from the upper-level of the cave with a middle aged man in tow and holding a dagger to his throat. The goblin demands you cease fighting and lay down your weapons. The patrol manages to distract the goblin while Osovar sneaks around behind the foul creature and shoves him from the ledge. You take goblin as a prisoner, and heal the man of his wounds. This man is revealed to be Sildar. He explains that he and Grundren were captured some time ago, and while the Dwarf was taken away, Sildar was left with this group of goblins and has been beaten for sport.
The patrol rests in the caves for the evening and questions the goblin captive. You find out that Gundren has been taken to Cragmaw Castle, but its location is unknown. You also find out the Klarg was taking his orders from King Grol who resides in the castle. From the goblin’s description, Grol is another Bugbear. After some debate, the patrol decides to release the goblin in hopes that he will lead the party to Cragmaw, but he simply runs back into the cave.
The patrol decides to escort Sildar to Landon. Sildar explains that he has a friend there named Iarno, who is a Keeper who recently retired to the town. He hopes Iarno might know where Cragmaw is, but if not, others in the town may know. The patrol travels about 4 hours to Landon, and arrives in the late morning. On the way through town, the patrol sees a sign with a blue lion’s head which matches the emblem on the supplies found in the cave. The sign reads “Lionhead Coster”. The patrol also passes the Townmaster’s hall, and outside is a bulletin board with a sign which offers a 100gp reward for dealing with Orcs near Wyvern Tor.
The patrol’s first stop is the Stonehill Inn. There they are met warmly by the owners Toblen and Trilena Stonehill. After some discussion with them and some of the local patrons, the patrol discovers a number of things. First, Iarno disappeared about 20 days ago—he went out for a walk, but never returned. The townsfolks put together a search party and looked for him for a few days, but there was no sign of him or where he went. Second, no one in the Inn knows where Cragmaw Castle is, but various townsfolk are suggested to the patrol as people who may know the castle’s whereabouts: Keeper Garrel, who runs the local Chapel; Qelinne Alderleaf, a local farmer who’s family has been in Landon since its founding; Daren Edermath, a retired Guardian. Third, the Innkeeper expresses concern about the local town guard. He says they have recently taken to calling themselves the Redbrands and now wear red cloaks and armor. The group has taken on new members, and have been shaking local business owners down for coin as a “protection fee”. Nobody likes this behavior, but so far no one has stood up to the group for fear of retaliation. The patrol promises to talk to the Redbrands, and then after securing rooms for the night and making sure Sildar is left in good hands, heads to talk with Keeper Garrel.
Keeper Garrel tells the party she doesn’t know where Cragmaw Castle is, but she will check her books to see if there’s any mention of it. She also expresses dismay at the behavior of the Redbrands, but they haven’t bothered her so far. The Keeper also asks if the party wouldn’t mind undertaking a quest for her: there’s a restless spirit of an old arcanist named Agatha who resides up the Triboar trail in a ruined town called Conyberry. She explains that the arcanist gave her spellbook away before her death, but the Keepers don’t know to whom, and the group has yet to be able to track it down. Garrel says she’s tried to speak with Agatha several times, but hasn’t gotten her to appear and hopes the patrol will have better luck. She promises 3 healing potions if they can talk to Agatha and find the answer to the missing spellbook.
Next the group heads Daren’s house to speak with the retired Guardian. Like Garrel, he doesn’t know about Cragmaw either. Daren also explains that he’s heard recently from some local miners that there is something going on near the Old Owl Well, which is a mining cave in the foothills. Miners there say there’s been strange things appearing in a ruined tower near the mine, and they’re concerned. Daren suggests the patrol investigates.
The party next heads to the Lionshield Coster, but en route notices that two Redbrands are following them. Cassian calls out to them and issues a challenge, and one Redbrand stands his ground while the other looks like he’s leaving to get help. The party intercepts and incapacitates both rather quickly. Instead of continuing to the Coster, Egg grabs the body of one of the Redbrands and marches down the street to the Sleeping Giant where 4 more Redbrands are gathered. He issues no words: Egg simply throws down the body of the fallen Redbrands, and unleashes his breath weapon on the men drinking outside the tavern. The battle is swift and decisive, and the party drags the one remaining Red Brand survivor to the Townmaster’s Hall where they’ve heard there is holding cells. The Townmaster is agitated that the Guardians would wonder into his town and attack the town guard, but the party persuades the Townmaster that it’s for the best.
15sp from the captured goblin