Five mercenaries were called to the small town of Brindol. The site of a major battle between the citizens of the Elsir Vale and a faction of goblins calling themselves The Red Hand. The battle raged more than ten years ago and the Red Hand was overthrown and beaten. Later, the town of Brindol became a place for people of the Vale to remember their victory against the evil monsters that tried to take their land.
The mercenaries were called by a friend of their priest. When they arrived in town they headed straight for the tavern, The Antler and Thistle. They found the friend, Alys, there, tending bar and serving the many dwarfs that frequented the place. Alys explained to the group that there had been multiple raids on the town as of late. The thing that worried her the most was that the attackers seemed to be imitating the Red Hand of Doom. She told them that the bogus Red Hand had come and stolen treasured relics from the Great Hall of Valor (relics which were from the Red Hand war).
The mercenaries were mid conversation when goblins burst down the tavern’s front door and rushed in. The goblins and hob-goblins were fierce and numerous, but the mercenaries persevered and conquered them, and they saved Alys’s tavern from burning to the ground—which Alys credited mostly to Paeleus. As they were putting out the last of the flames, two town guards arrived at the tavern and asked for any aid that could be provided. The goblins were crossing the bridge at the front of town. The mercenaries volunteered their help again. But by the time they arrived, the goblins had gotten away. The mercenaries helped clean up any immediate mess and then went to bed down for the night.
The next morning a guard arrived at the Antler and Thistle to ask that the mercenaries come at once to the town council building. Without an argument, the mercenaries followed the guard.
Eoffram Troyas, a stubborn half-elf, greeted the mercenaries in the council building and spoke to each of them alone (which he later explained as a way to make sure he could trust them), and then together as a whole. He explained to the group that one hob-goblin had been captured and that he was being held in the courtyard. He also explained that instead of relics, the goblins had kidnapped multiple residents of the town. Eoffram asked if the mercenaries would accept the task of tracking down the goblins and returning the imprisoned residents. He offered them minimal gold and the promise that they could keep whatever treasure they found along the journey. Again, the mercenaries accepted.
After the ranger among them tracked the horde, and the others questioned the imprisoned hob-goblin, they set out on their journey. A full day later they arrived outside of the old Castle Rivenroar.
The underground castle provided many threats, including goblins, rats, and gnomes. The mercenaries also found a few of the prisoners. Most notably Mirtala. She had been bitten numerous times by infected rats and was nearly unresponsive. With one half of the first level cleared out, the mercenaries needed to continue on. It was clear that they wouldn't be able to bring Mirtala with them, so they laid her down in a bunk, the room had been cleared of all threats.
In the other half of the first level the mercenaries found two other survivors: Zerriksa, an old hag whom the goblins believed was a witch, and Sertanian, the keeper of the Hall of Great Valor. With the two citizen with them, the mercenaries returned to the room where Mirtala was sleeping. They arrived just in time to find a hob-goblin standing over her with a large blade dripping with blood. The Mirtala had been lost. The group decided that they should camp for the night to rest. On their way out they came upon a room which they hadn't entered before. The room was covered with cob webs and soon they found why; large spiders were creeping in the corners of the room. With one last effort the mercenaries were able to overcome the spiders, and in the process they found the body of Kartenix—the captain of the Brindol town guard. He had been drained of his blood by the spiders and wrapped in web. With this final loss the group fled Rivenroar to camp for the night. The talk around the fire that night consisted much of the spiders and what other aberrant creatures would be awaiting them in the second level.
The next morning they started out on the second level. The first level still seemed quiet and without threat. The mercenaries kept the two citizens with them in case further danger came upon them.
Right at the top of the stairs they met more trouble with gnomes and goblins. This time magic was involved, further confirming that there were other horrors than goblins. Donn, the ranger, went into the first room after the fight. There he found Jalissa. She was an acolyte of Ioun. She said that a young boy had been crying close by somewhere. With that, the group continued on.
It was then that they came upon Thurran and Adronsius. Thurran was the eight-year-old son of the dead guard captain. He was hysterical and became unresponsive to any questions from the group once he was told that his father had been killed. Adronsius was a dwarf weapons maker in town. He was very thankful for the mercenaries help and told them that he'd been through most of the tunnels of the place, and that he'd help them navigate.
It was then that they came upon Sinruth. The leader of this Red Hand band was alone in his chamber. The citizens stayed a room behind as the mercenaries fought Sinruth to the death. The fight was long and hard, but the mercenaries persevered. They kept Sinruth alive to question him, but all he would give up was the knowledge that a wight was someplace on the second level. With that Bardryn, the dwarf fighter, decapitated the hob-goblin leader. Paeleus searched the body and found a note in one of Sinruth's pockets.
The Red Hand will rise again! The other remnants take great cheer in your recent attacks on commerce into The Blight That is Brindol.
We're particularly pleased with your ability to inspire a fighting spirit in others, whether they have true goblin blood or merely wish they did. To be blunt, we think you should have many more soldiers under your command. Many, many more.
And recent events have rendered some remnants leaderless. With a bold stroke on your part, the remnants would rally to the Red Hand you so proudly display.
As your bold stroke, do this: Attack The Blight That is Brindol by night. Focus your efforts on their Hall of Great Valor, for it mocks the many hard-won victories by the first Red Hand of Doom. Take from them the spoils of war they shamelessly hang on their walls and bring those antiques back to Rivenroar.
Do this before the moon is next full. And with regard to your previous question, turning over captives to your unliving allies at Rivenroar is perfectly acceptable. War sometimes makes strange bedfellows, and we appreciate how you've united such disparate forces under your banner. Whatever prisoners you take from Rivenroar you can give to the wight.
Fight with the valor of your ancestors, Sinruth. And keep your hands stained red with the blood of the weak!
I will visit you again next month, at a time of my choosing.
They realized that they had found all of the citizens of Brindol, all that remained were the relics. They continued on through increasing risks of zombies and demons. They finally came upon the wight and its skeleton guards. The mercenaries were nearly killed in the battle, but the cleric and rogue were able to defeat the wight. Sertanian ran into the altar room and found a pile of all the missing relics. As the group was leaving with the treasure they came upon a pack of rats. Paeleus was bitten and contracted filth fever.
The group needed to carry Paeleus most of the journey back, which took two full days with the added burden.
When they arrived back the town was in their debt and very grateful. Eoffram Troyas paid them their gold and a large party was held that same night. The relics were ceremoniously put back into place in the Hall of Great Valor.
The next morning Eoffram came to the party again to tell them that the city of Overlook (a week's journey from Brindol) was calling on all sellswords and heroes. The rumor was that there were orcs that had crossed the mountain, a lot of orcs. The mercenaries reluctantly agreed to travel to Overlook—they were concerned with Paeleus, who was fading fast with disease.