REAVERS OF HARKENWOLD – PART 1: THE IRON CIRCLE
We first meet our “heroes” after they have finished their last mercenary contract to the south in Moonstair. The Free Sons of Nerath have heard that mercenary company that double crossed them, The Iron Circle has traveled north. After healing up our adventurers have decided to go get some sweet revenge.
You arrive in Harkenwold in the middle of the day. It’s a broad, lightly settled valley between two arms of the Harken Forest. You haven’t traveled more than a mile or two into the valley before trouble appears. Rounding a bend ill the road.,you spy a pillar of smoke climbing into the clear blue sky. The source, hidden by rolling hills, is roughly a mile along a dirt track that intersects the road.
Moving closer you see human brigands and a pair of wolves surroundin8 a farmhouse. The humans all wear black cloaks with a ring device. They’re preparing pitch-soaked torches, laughing and taunting whoever’s inside. They’ve already burned a small outbuilding the source of the smoke column.
The wolves growl a warning. and the brigands face you. One of them scowls and waves his arm. “Move on, you he snarls. “This is Iron Circle business!”
From inside the farmhouse. you hear a woman’s voice shout angrily. “Business? It looks like robbery and murder to me!”
By shouting they are Iron Circle they didn’t realize they were signing their death warrants.
Brun-Hilda, Claw and Naivara charge in. Surina discovers “Confusing Mockery” and Diaerah shoots from afar. Dak-o-do performs the funeral rights for the brigands you kill.
After killing the Iron Circle members you hear the rasping sound of a heavy bolt being) drawn back, and the farmhouse door opens. A half-elfwoman of middle years steps out. She’s carrying) a battered old crossbow. Two boys of fifteen or so follow after her. The woman looks around the farm yard,frowning at the bloodshed, and sighs. “My thanks, strangers,” she says. “Those Iron Circle jackals came to rob us. I barred my door, but they said they’d burn the house down with me and my boys in it, You saved or lives-but who are you?”
You answer her question but then ask a few of your own:
Who are you?
“My name is Ilyana, and these are my sons Jarek and Jarl. This is our farm. The reavers killed my husband Karthen when they invaded the dale. My boys and I have been trying to get by ever since.”
Who attacked you?
“The Iron Circle is full of sellswords and cutthroats who seized Harkenwold over a month ago. They’ve got Baron Stockmer imprisoned in his own keep, and they’ve been plundering the land ever since. They say they’re collecting taxes, but it’s robbery, pure and simple.”
How can we help?
“The folk of Harkenwold are ready to rebel—we just need a spark to set things off. I think you should talk to old Reithann, the druid, or maybe Dar Gremath. They’ll know what needs doing. Reithann lives in the Druid’s Grove to the southwest; you can find Dar just down the road in Albridge. But go carefully.”
Where should we go?
“I would avoid Harken Village. There are too many Iron Circle soldiers there. But Albridge should be safe enough.”
Why should we help?
“Out of plain civil decency? If that won’t do, I’d wager Baron Stockmer will richly reward you if you drive away the reavers and free him.”
“Take care, strangers. My boys and me’ll hide those who fell here. With luck, the Iron Circle won’t learn what happened here or about you any time soon
WAYLAY THE CARAVAN
THE WOODSINGER ELVES
THE STANDING STONES