Our intrepid heroes handed over their prisoners (Zark and the remaining barge operator) to the Loudwater militia, trusting justice to be done. While there Captain Harrowleaf introduced them to another pair of adventurers looking to make a name for themselves. The hulking Goliath, Garusk, and his lithe associate Li, who after an evening of discussion and much brandy joined our merry band.
Fearing the slavers would try to recover the barge, Æðelric and Thoradin decided to lie in wait on board. Their prudence paid off in the early hours of the morning, as three furtive figures snuck aboard the snow covered deck, though they soon wished they hadn’t as the wizard and druid made short work of them.
In the morning Captain Harrowleaf revealed that under interrogation Zark had revealed the slavers were holed up in a disused temple of Tyr just outside Zelbross. The heroes set off to investigate further.
Arriving near the temple Li scouted forward, her stealth training letting her discover several bandits hidden in wait amongst the ruins, unfortunately her aim was a little off and her crossbow shot which should have taken the nearest sentry out merely alerted him to the party’s presence.
Several thugs armed with cheap maces rushed to the attack, led by a swarthy man in heavy chain. Battle was joined with the thugs menacing the druid, wizard and rogue, while the doughty paladin charged the man in chain in an effort to prevent bringing his deadly looking crossbow into play.
Another figure appeared from deeper within the ruins, human in shape but scaled, and the barbarian Garusk charged towards him.
(image courtesy of “Riverwind the Plainsman” – a dragonlance novel)
The melee was brutal, with several members of the party being repeatedly dazed by the mace attacks of the thugs, and the barbarian taking the brunt of the marsh mystics poison cloud attacks, but eventually, bruised and battered, the heroes prevailed.
A thorough search of the bandits and the ruins revealed a dozen children caged ready for sale as slaves and the treasure cache of their captors.
While the heroes decided on their next course of action they noticed a group of the strange, blue-skinned goblins approaching. Though outnumbered more than 2:1 the party made short work of the smurf-like attackers. A search of their corpses revealed a small amount of gold, some healing potions and around the goblin spellcasters neck, a chain sporting the symbol of Auril the Frostmaiden.
With their base raided, is this the end of the Zelbross Bandits? What was their connection to the reptilians? What sentance have the Loudwater Magistrate’s handed out to Zark and his asscociate? Where are these blue-skinned goblins with a penchant for ice magic coming from, and why?