- After settling back into their home region, they prepare to return to Brindonford. After learning the details of the siege, the adventurers are ready to bring their part to the fight. Hillfort arranges for his coffee plants imported from Thaotrem to be stored and cared for.
- The party makes way for Brindonford, following their same route they used when they left what felt like so long ago. They depart from the main road, follow the lake’s shore, and come to River’s End. Memories flood Sapphira and she instantly leaves the group to visit her brother’s grave. A few of the members come along to pay their respects as well. As they leave Helix’s grave, Gvados asks what happened to Sapphira’s brother. “He was a wererat,” Landen callously explains. Sapphira overhears, “bite your tongue!” Gvados carefully tries to continue with Landen, “what killed him?” Perhaps it was a slight anger born of a little guilt, but Landen replies sharply, “that’s no concern of yours.”
- As the adventurers approach the keep of River’s End, and villager tells them it’s locked tight. “Only soldiers and wounded can go in there right now, and the nobles that live inside haven’t left either.” Landen suspects this to be something amiss. He turns to his companions that visited here last time, “Helinack’s in on it! He must be aiding those holding Brindonford.” The group discusses this idea… and quickly dismiss it. Sapphira and Durgyn put Landen’s concerns at ease.
- They approach the keep and are halted by a guard. “The keep is secured. What’s your business?”
Durgyn introduces everyone by their formal titles. “We have come to see Lord Helinack.”
Landen smugly states, “we brought news of Brindonford.” “HA!” the guard laughs, “YOU bring US news of Brindonford? You think we don’t know of our neighbors being held under siege by demons?” Slightly annoyed but having patience, Landen tries to make the matter clearer. “No, we brought news of Brindonford, originally.” The guard rolls his eyes, “The heroes of Brindonford are the ones that brought us the news.” Landen lets the guard consider what he just said for a moment and replies, “exactly.” The guard looks at him and takes another moment to process… then his eyes open wide. He turns to another guard, “get Lord Helinack.”
- Helinack comes to the gate flanked by a pair of heavily armored guards. “You have returned! Please come in.” Lord Helinack walks them through the keep’s streets, explaining that the nobles have converted the common areas of their homes into a place of healing and respite for wounded soldiers. He takes them to his castle, held within the inner keep. They discuss the siege, and Helinack speaks personally of the Baron. “The Baron’s proclamation took the entire town by surprise. Baron Euphemes was never a particularly popular leader, but he also never displayed such a streak of cruelty before. He is generally regarded as wise, benevolent, and authoritarian. He has taxed trade heavily, preventing the merchants from gaining as much wealth and power as they would like, and ruled consistently in favor of keeping the aristocracy in its favored place. However, no one ever would have guessed that he would institute such heavy-handed measures. Of course, no one ever would have guessed that he was in league with devils, either . . . it just goes to show how wrong you can be about a person.” He explains that the hellhounds and barghests police the streets of Brindonford. Many were killed initially, but it has not been an outright slaughter. All of the citizens that have complied to the new rule were spared, so killings within the city have majorly decreased at this point. The adventurers ask about the temple of Pelor, and Helinack confirms there is a massive column of fire, ever burning into the sky. He asks that the group rest in his guest rooms and provide him company in the dinner hall this evening. As the party disburses, Helinack stays and motions for Landen and Durgyn to speak with him. “I see you have a couple more new companions. Let’s not have a repeat of last time’s dinner.” Landen reads the seriousness of Helinack’s statement, but also senses a slight tone of humor. “Well the last one was a little feral, but this one’s straight from the woods.” Helinack gets a slight expression of surprise. “Your sense of humor is testing me… but I enjoy it.” The Lord of River’s End smiles and leaves the guests’ hall. “I hope your jail cells are empty,” Landen shouts after him. He hears Helinack chuckle around the corner.
- At dinner everyone is dressed in their finest attire. Durgyn gives Gvados and Franz extra instruction to be one their best manners. Landen asks if Helinack has the same wine they enjoyed last time in his cellars. They share a bottle with much enjoyment. Landen asks where Helinack’s Master of Coin is, and with a slight chuckle he states, “He declined the invitation.” The party learns from Helinack that scouts of the Corumur army have found a hidden way into the city: aqueducts along the city wall against on the Brinding River. The portals are under water but give access to a few areas in the city via the underground channels providing the city with fresh water. Lord Helinack informs them to contact Commander Ramsey when they find the force assembled northeast of Brindonford’s walls. The scouts are using the aqueducts rarely to avoid the demons discovering they’re sneaking into the city. Dinner is enjoyable and the party decides to depart immediately after. Lord Helinack sends them off with greatest regards.
- Before seeing the city walls of Brindonford the adventurers notice the column of fire shooting into the clouds. They find the assembled troops and ask to speak with Commander Ramsey. Ramsey briefs them on the types of foes the army has encountered: hell hounds, barghests, occasional imps, and most devastating are the osyluths. The osyluths seems to be the commanding officers of this occupation; bone demons that can fly and have a scorpions tail. The Commander tells the group he’s planning an assault on the gates of Brindonford; an attempt must be made to breach into the city. The adventurers state their intentions to attack from within the walls using the aqueducts. Ramsey states it would be a suicide mission with such a small force, but the adventurers insist. The Commander gives them his permission to do so, but says it will not affect his plans to attack. He directs them to one of the scouts to lead them to the Brinding River and show them the aqueduct entrances. Before going into the water, Sapphira casts divination to speak with her deity. With a time of meditation, she senses the presence of Heronious. “How do we stop the pillar of flame in the temple of Pelor?” She hears a voice resonate in her head. “The flames can be purged with the holy power you can summon forth; the aura that sends evil to flee.”
- The adventurers dive into the river. Durgyn takes off his armor so that he may swim, and Sapphira casts water breathing on everyone. Then, Gvados summons a fleet of 7 dolphins to propel them through the aqueducts. The submerge and find the entrance that would lead them into the aqueduct running under a main road. They follow the round tunnel flowing with water. Small branches feed water through the city, all too small for a man to fit. They come to a fork in the main aqueduct, and turn left. The scouts told them this would lead to a porthole that opens to the street near the temple of Pelor. They find a column opening up to the surface. Landen climbs up and peeks out a well: they are underneath the West Hill district. They continue in the canal. When they arrive to the proper spot, Gvados changes shape into a racoon, and grasping his dolphin’s fin he rides the sea animal further down the aqueduct and finds a small supply channel branch from the main water flow. Being in shape of a racoon, he can fit down the small channel that runs to supply water to the temple. The tube is blocked by a metal grate, so he turns back. The water current pushes against him, and Gvados must claw and fight his way back to the main aqueduct. He rides his dolphin back to the rest of the group and shakes his head, signaling up: that the porthole is their only route.
- Gvados and Landen climb up and open the solid stone cover to the aqueduct. On street level, they can see the temple of Pelor down the road. Gvados takes shape of a bird, taking to the sky to scout the city for patrols. Landen uses his slippers of spider climb to scale a building for a better look toward the temple. The 20 foot wide column of fire bursting from the roof of the temple sheds a glowing light in the area. Gvados spots a patrol of two hell hounds and a barghest rounding the corner of a street, soon to be within view of the adventurers climbing from the porthole. Gvados tries to warn them, but the patrol spots them and the kick their heads back and howl.
Speaker in Dreams
Return to Brindonford
The group returns to the city where they first gained fame.