Arising the morning after the attack on the Antler and Thistle and Brindol as a whole, we discovered just what had been done.
We were summoned by council-member Eoffram Troyas, having heard the tales of my heroism. The rogue, Ronin, decided that such affairs of state were not of interest to one of his station, and chose instead to impress the barmaid with his feats of stamina.
Despite being a fellow half-elf, Eoffram was not as hospitable as one would expect from a public servant. He was disinterested in any talk of alliance with Richardland and refused to acknowledge my royal heritage. He merely wanted to talk of our “adventuring name” and the tasks he required of us. Our group wisely avoided any tacky nome de adventuring, but we heard out his offer.
It appeared that the attack the prior night had been nothing but a red herring. The attacking forces kidnapped Adronsius Stoutmantle, Jalissa Yeon, Thurann Dram, Kartenix Dram, Mirtala Haydar, Sertanian Whitehead, and Zerriksa Layoman. Additionally, the goblin army had stolen artifacts of the last attack by the Red Hand. They had taken a gilded dragoncrest helm, a ceremonial platinum longsword, a set of filigree iron gauntlets, a set of three shields painted with the Red Hand of Doom each slightly burned, and a heraldic battle standard depicting two hands clasped in a handshake1.
1 See the Hall of Great Valor
Eoffram wanted us to recover the artifacts and the captives and was willing to pay us 1000gp upon completion. Although apparently, he would not be offended if Zerriksa didn’t make it home. It was obvious that my cohorts could badly use the money and I wished to curry favor with the council and so we agreed.
After collecting Ronin, we found a violent crowd on our way out of town. A hobgoblin had been captured and was in the stocks protected from the crowd by guards. The old human who joined us, Erich, and I played a good guardsman/bad guardsman routine on the hobgoblin. While Erich was over conversing with the guards, I broke the hobgoblin and gained valuable information on what was afoot.It appeared that some fiend named Sinruth fancied himself the new leader of the resurgent Red Hand. Although our hobgoblin friend feared that Sinruth would “have his head”, he apparently feared me more and delivered us a map to where the captives were held: the ruined castle of