As they ran down the nearest alleyway, a shadowy figure, dressed in an obscuring hood and dark clothing, stepped out in front of them and held up a commanding hand. Not even knowing why, the trio drew to a halt. A voice issued forth from the cowl; “Come with me if you want to live.” The figure disappeared around the nearest corner. After some discussion, the party followed him.
As they rounded the corner, they found the door he had used, and entered. They were in a corridor. At the far end was a large oaken door, to the right was a staircase leading up. After Kalus sent his familiar to check out the door, and Veil tried to unlock it, they discovered it led to a pub, and was locked from the other side, leaving them only the stairs.
At the top of the stairs, they found themselves in a small storeroom. At the far end stood the shadowy figure. As they moved to face him, he spoke.
“You’ve made the right decision. We Are not safe here, but I must speak with you. I saw you fight in the arena. Although I can’t say you necessarily fought fair, you did prove that you are not easily subdued. I am in need of assistance. As you may or may not know, the ruler of this kingdom is assembling an army of darkness at his castle. I know not how, I know not why, I know not even the numbers he commands. It is far too dangerous to walk right into his lands, but I must know what he’s up to. My compatriots and I suspect evil is afoot. If you can find a way to bring me the information I seek, I shall see to it that you are handsomely rewarded.”
Veil the Sly: Hm… are we talking a substantial reward here?
Although they couldn’t see his face, they got the feeling that he was glaring at them. “I said handsome, did I not?”
Brynn StarGazer: We definitely don’t want evil ruling the kingdom.
Kalus: So says the Paladin!
He threw a large bag filled with gold onto the table. “This is about what you would have won in the arena, had you thought to collect it. It is yours now, and I promise, it is but a taste of things to come.”
“Concern yourself not with my alliances, just know that we want what’s best for these lands.” The stranger turned slightly, addressing Brynn; “You’re right. We do not want evil ruling this kingdom. We exist to prevent that from happening. What do you say?”
Before anybody could answer, a hubbub broke out in the barroom below. The sounds of a table overturning, and a brawl made their way through the floor. The stranger stared at the group. “We are not safe here. Meet me at the southern end of town, and I will get you out of here safely.”
- * *
At the south end of town, you meet the stranger, at the edge of a dark woods. He tells everybody; “Go south through the forest. I will meet you on the other side, and then I will meet you and give you further directions. I must deal with this crowd of…. Simpletons.”
He turns and walks back into town. As he is almost out of sight, he seems to simply disappear. A cold wind blows, almost as if a signal of things to come…
- * *
After walking through the woods for a few hours, the party found a large clearing. In the center was an enclosure, in the middle of which was a large stone altar with a dead soldier laying upon it, apparently a sacrifice of some sort. As the party advanced, they were taken by surprise by a group of 5 goblins. Brynn was felled almost immediately, leaving Veil and Kalus to dispatch the rest. After a long, drawn out battle, leaving Brynn on the very brink of death, the party was victorious. After searching the area, the party found a chest containing some gold and a map of the land. The party quickly hurried onward…