And so their story begins.
Gathering in the small village of Sarcano’s local inn our heroes, or anti-heroes, awaited fates next hand. After a brief interlude with the irrepressibly exuberant Gen, a paladin of Ten’dross, the group meet Dyrke. Pithy and efficient, Dyrke relayed their new assignment in concise words, “find Thane’s son… or maybe daughter,” and, with practiced patience, took Gen off the groups hands.
Through tactical use of a liquid libation the party discovered the location of the enigmatic Thane Denemore. Working as a stable boy on the grounds of the local air-headed mayor he was at first overwhelmed with relief to see them, though he quickly became prickly with their line of questioning. Thane imparted to them that an unknown source had told him that members of the cult of Jirha had infiltrated the town and that they had taken his daughter, Silandra. By the end of the conversation the party left with a general plan: investigate any member of power in the town, but not before Septis was felt an shadow of unholy magic grip his heart after he slighted the halfling, but the party in the end left without further trouble.
First stop was accosting the local priest of Emora, who albeit useless, kindly informed the charming Hiss that he had never seen recognized a cultist of Jirha and left them to return back to the mayors. After leaving though, the priest found Redband’s antics concerning enough to contact the local authorities…
Returning to the Galen residence, the Eladrin warlock entered through the window, scaring Zen, a half-elf maid near to death. After leveling a simple request for silence with ominous portends, Hiss was able to open the unlocked door for the heroes from the inside, ringing a bell while he was at it. Archtompst and Septis took this moment to launch themselves into the wine cellar, where they began their search for the missing girl. Meanwhile, back in the foyer, Hiss and Uthal began a frank discussion about Thane and his missing daughter. With empathetic concern, Galen insisted the two return to the stables to further inquire into the story, and also determine how Thane could afford the service of the Red bands.
Back in the wine cellar Archtompst and Septis learned that empty barrels leave one with an empty heart. Exhausting their search of the mayor’s cellar and his excessively aged wine, they exited to the front of the house so as not to arouse suspicion. Meanwhile at the back of the house Zen, the scorned maid, was relaying information to the local patrols about Thane’s missing child and a group of thuggish Red Bands.
In the stables Thane ceased his mucking to expand upon his story for Hiss, Uthal, and his soon-to-be-former employer. The halfling admitted his previous connection to, and worship of, Jirha, but insisted having ended his cultist days shortly before Silandra was born. Thane also admitted to leaving his child in the custody of a mother in Mud Hearth, for which the group reprimanded him. Irritated he ripped off the cowl covering his head, revealing extensively charred flesh that covered his cheeks and mouth while extending down into his tunic and sardonically questioned the his accusers, “who but the air-headed mayor would employ him?” At this point questions ceased and apologies may have been murmured. They had, however, gleaned that Thane had been moving from town to town with Silandra, he knew of no cultist in this town, and the mayor was aware of the local guards behaving oddly.
The band of brother reconvened, discussed their finds, and promptly headed for the manor of Merin, the captain of the guard. Arriving they found his wife and daughter who, though at first shocked by Uthal’s size, quickly became friendly and relayed that Merin was a law abiding man that was currently running training drills with all the men back at the Garrison. Informed of a hunter’s path between Merin Home and the garrison, the group left to purse their quarry, but not unnoticed.
While they wended their way through the forest Archtompst and Uthal were able to notice that they were being watched. Drawing arms, they were non-the-less at first overwhelmed by their enermies who were able to draw first blood on the party. After a short struggle they were able to eliminate their attacks, leaving one restrained by the strength of Uthal and cowed by the dire portents of Hiss. The lieutenant admitted to the local constabulary abusing their power to get rich off tariffs, worshiping Jirha, and, lastly, to abducting Silandra to summon Jirha’s presence to them. Binding the man, they left him in the forest and continued onto the garrison.
But what they found was a death trap.
Laid out around the tower that housed the troops was rubble surrounding a tower with arrow slits visible at all corners. Archtompst and Uthal were able to spot a crouched figure sitting behind some of the rubble and they rightly assumed it was an ambush, but summoning their courage the party dashed forward, braving the field. Arrows sailed from the tower while the party was assaulted by loyal canines. The battle was bloody for both sides, with many party members brought near to sweet oblivion of unconsciousness, but with Archtompst’s fullblade and Septis’ inspiring brilliance the part was able to eliminate most of the threat, unable to halt a single archer who fled deeper into the tower.
Taking a short breather the party unlocked the garrisons doors and entered to find an an stairway that descending into hellish flames.