Garn: The Shadow Keep battle raged on and with my injuries, I decided it best to head toward the dock to see if I could signal the boat. As I flew over the wall, I looked back to see Fingers and the others fighting the Orcs.
Fingers: I watched the battle raging and thought it best to use my skills to accomplish the mission and began to search for our quarry and rescue them. I find Gardinal chained to a wall down a pit in the courtyard. There were some nasty grubs coming out of a pipe that he was terrified of, I made quick work of the locks on the shackles and grasped him and flew him over the wall. I wondered if it would not have been easier to “silence” him but remembered our primary goal was rescue. Taking a moment to let the others know I had our quarry was a near-fatal mistake as I took a hit from the shadow Orc with the returning spear. Thanks to my quick wits we were able to get to the boat and have a successful mission. Back on the boat we all take some healing and count our losses. We’ve lost Viktis, Granny Po, Dickerson and some Champion I did not know that well. We decide not to head to town and instead have the boat drop us off a good distance away. Deciding it’s best to split into two groups, one to warn the Yammery and the other to help Gardinal return to the Tangles I head off to the Yammery. I’ve had enough of this hero stuff for now.
Garn: Battered, bruised, and missing our Granny Po, Viktis, Dickerson and Tard, we start to make our way to the Tangles with some new travel companions. Gleem appears to be some type of Gnome Wizard and Ghrug is a Bugbear fighter. We have our forged papers in case we encounter any Iuz troops on the road and plan on telling them we are headed to Hallorn with Gardinal as a prisoner. Along the road, we do find a peddler cart with a Goblin that seems to have come into some trouble. The Goblins seem to have been attacked overnight by some type of feral beast that rent with its teeth, killing one of them and savaging the other’s leg. We learn that it said something like “I’ll teach them how to run a Thieves Guild. Keep an eye out for me”. It’s a nasty business but we need to move unseen, so we leave with no survivors making it look like the surviving Goblin was killed by the same beast. Oddly, we find Granny’s sword-cane at the sight, and a sleeve of the shirt Granny/Ugrax was wearing at the fort.
Making it to the Tangles, Gardinal leads us to a safe place to rest and offers to let us join his forces. We of course decline and he gives us a feather token to identify ourselves as friendly to Moskol’s Legion. We spend a few days resting and healing in the hidden location and reseal the jugs of food and drink before moving on. Making our way back to the Yammery we see that it is under a no contact warning and move on to where we are eventually contacted along the road by a halfling from the farm. He tells us it looks like Shadow Keep is abandoned now and some of the Bonefist Legion has left their barracks in Hallorn, off to parts unknown.
We decide to move to Rookroost to see if we can pick up a mission. Khesh does his usual attempt to change his appearance and I braid my beard and hair before heading into town. The locals in Rookroost seem to be on edge, and we soon discover it is because of the presence of the Bonefist Legion questioning people. They’ve taken over the Havadance Saloon and we see them questioning someone inside before we move on to Fanny’s Follies. We’ve had some contact with resistance here before and take a table and try our best to subtly try and figure out what is going on. A large female half-orc enters and pulls a seat right up sitting next to Khesh saying, “Buy a girl a drink?”. She then proceeds to make his day by fondling him under the table and says “Gayle is happy to see you” with a wicked smile. Quietly she says, “Your friend General Hok may be compromised.” It takes her a minute to finish… her drink and gets up and walks out leaving behind a note in Khesh’s pants. “Alahad is a minstrel moving from place to place in disguise, his third song is always Old MacDonald. If you sing and act out the chicken verse, he will talk to you after his set.”
We make it through a few inns and even see and overhear some Bonefist parties looking for Alahad and Gayle. Finally, we find a young male minstrel playing the song and I do my best drunken dwarf imitation of the chicken verse: “with a bock-bock there”. After his set, he joins us at our table asking what we want and why he should trust us. Khesh does much better than me impressing the direness of the situation upon Alahad and he gets up to fetch his items and is immediately hit in the chest by a crossbow bolt. He flops unconscious on the table.
Standing at the entrance are three Orcs, one reloading his crossbow, another blowing a whistle, and the last saying “It was the Dwarf… led us right to him he did!” Battle ensues and we quickly overwhelm the three Orcs but hear more outside with answering whistles coming from all around. Khesh heads out blowing the whistle the Orc had, trying to draw off some of the oncoming troops. The rest of us head out the back and fight another group before making it out of the city.
I’m saddened that I led them right to us and take a dagger to my beard. This beard has been with me for over 1,000 years, it has seen me stand silent watch in Hold Stonefist after the Invoked Devastation. As I cut it away it feels like I am losing a piece of me. I shall now go by the name Stumps…