Forgotten Empires

The Siege of Cadia

The party comes together in the town of Cadia: a small town in a far corner of Bael Turath. The party arrives to find a pall of unease has settled across the town. Refugees are pouring over the border from the dwarven holds to the west; speaking of attacks by an unusually large and well-organized orcish horde. Compounding the town’s fears is the fact that there has been no contact with the soldiers sent to garrison the watch towers along the border. Elhorn Carter, captain of the guard, hires the group to investigate the watch towers.

The party finds the towers have been captured by members of a mercenary band known as the Crimson Fists. The party fights valiantly to retake the towers and alert Cadia of the presence of mercenaries in their territory. In the process of opening a magically sealed door, Tolmacopo must scar his palm. This scar now marks him as a member of the Crimson Fists. Amaranth Duskrider also finds an amulet bearing the mark of her village on the body of a Crimson Fist shifter whom she does not recognize. By the time the towers are retaken, smoke is clearly visible from the direction of Cadia.

With the towers cleared of mercenaries, and the warning beacons lit; the party splits. Amaranth scouts into the border crossing. She discovers a sleeping hobgoblin wizard bearing a bizarre enchanted staff, and accompanied by gnolls with arcane marks carved into their flesh. She kills the sleeping wizard and steals his staff.

Meanwhile; the rest of the party returns to find Cadia besieged by orcs. The vastly outnumbered heroes hatch a plan of attack as they wait for the cover of darkness. With Amaranth returned, the party launches a daring night raid on the orc encampment. Amaranth rides through the camp setting tents ablaze. The rest of the party charges in on her heels, and fight through to the leader of the orc forces. The beleaguered defenders of Cadia take advantage of the confusion to attack the orcs, and the adventurers are able to defeat the strange leader of the orcish band.

While negotiating the surrender of the orc horde, the party learns that the creature leading them is a half-orc. A strange product of hobgoblin sorcery. He is one of many examples of this new race; created by the hobgoblins to stir up the scattered orc tribes into a coherent fighting force.

The siege is now broken. The orcs have retreated. The town of Cadia has not come through unscathed. Elhorn Carter, captain of the guard, is dead. Much of the town is damaged. They still require assistance from the adventurers who have driven back the orcs. The party agrees to escort a trade caravan south to the town of Thowald’s Crossing so that Cadia can purchase vital supplies.

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The Journey South

The adventurers experience strange and symbolic dreams the night before they are due to set out from Cadia. They wake in the morning to find that Wilril Silentread, a local wilden who sells alchemical reagents, admits to slipping them a magical herb that causes prophetic dreams in anyone who ingests it. Wilril tells the party that their have been dangerous portents surrounding them, and he gives them enough of the herb so that they may all use it three more times.

The party sets out to the town of Thowald’s Crossing as the guards for a trade caravan charged with obtaining supplies vital to the survival and reconstruction of the town of Cadia. They are joined in the defense of the caravan by a half-elf cleric named Ravalynn Greensleeves. She speaks openly with the party, but reacts strangely upon discovering the scar on Tolmacopo’s palm. The party attempts to find out what each cart in the caravan is transporting, but are met with resistance from a particularly secretive merchant.

When the caravan makes camp for the night; the party wake to discover that Ravalynn has disappeared, and they are under attack by unknown assailants. The party kill their attackers, and discover that they were Crimson Fists mercenaries. Many of the merchants are spooked by the attack, and the secretive merchant attempts to leave the caravan. The party chase, and accidentally kill, the merchant.

The party discover that the merchant was transporting slaves. The slaves are completely comatose, and they all wear strange enchanted collars. When Ace tries to remove one of the collars the slave suffers violent seizures and dies. The party discover that the caravan’s manifest lists the cargo as alchemical supplies for the magical academy in Thowald’s Crossing, and they decide to investigate.

The rest of the trip passes without major incident. Though the party does notice that they are being followed.

Upon reaching Thowald’s Crossing the party bribes the town guards so that they can enter the city without their cargo of comatose slaves being discovered. The party learns the location of the magic academy. They also discover that there is a Crimson Fists lodge within Thowald’s Crossing. A few members of the group remain with the cartload of unfortunate slaves for the night while the rest of the party secure lodgings at the local inn. In the morning they set out for the magic academy.

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