Scales of War
Rescue at Rivenroar
Chapter 1: Rescue at Rivenroar
THE WORLD HAS NEVER been a safe place. Bastions of civilization populate a dark, menacing world—islands of order and reason exist in a land otherwise overrun by dark cults, vile monsters, creatures from the dark edges of the imagination, and worse. As deadly as the world is on a normal day, something has begun to stir on the fringes of the civilized Elsir Vale. Formerly the site of an attack by an army known as the Red Hand, the Vale has known several years of peace since brave adventurers stormed into the teeth of the approaching Hand and sent them scurrying back into the darkness. But the peace of Elsir Vale—and specifically, the town of Brindol—has been shattered. Now Brindol finds itself once more in need of brave heroes willing to come to the aid of their citizens.
In this opening chapter, five intrepid heroes find themselves, by chance or perhaps the subtle hand of divine fate, drawn to the bustling Antler & Thistle Tavern in Brindol, on a hot summer’s day in August. The memory of a disturbing dream still fresh in her mind, Nissa seeks refuge in a cold ale, her associate and bodyguard Hasim keeping a vigilant eye on her safety. Across the street, the man known only to the townsfolk of Brindol as the Fist of Sehanine is embroiled in an emotional scene with the widow of a man he had murdered years before, in his previous career as a highwayman. For his part, Iorminas the elf cares little for the frailties of the lesser kindred, having come instead to the tavern to prepare for a great archery competition to be held later that day. Last, but perhaps not least, the humble half-wit Aldor Rake waits tables and serves his betters, the vague, flickering memories of a tumultuous past occasionally and unexpectedly surfacing to trouble his waking moments.
Random chance, it would seem. Nothing to indicate the destiny on which these adventurers would embark. And then…
The gentle hubbub of tavern talk shatters with the crack of the front door flying off its hinges to land amid the nearest tables. Four hobgoblins rush into the bar, swords outstretched to skewer the nearest bar patrons. “For Sinruth! For the Hand!” they cry, as they begin laying waste to both the tavern and its patrons. The five adventurers, as yet disconnected from each other and not yet formed into the redoubtable Second Wind, nonetheless spring to action. While the bar patrons cower or flee, our intrepid heroes route the goblins and put out the fire, only to find an even greater threat awaiting outside the tavern: a vicious ogre bombardier and his hobgoblin henchmen. After a pitched battle, they slay the ogre and force the hobgoblins to flee.
Summoned to the chambers of Councilmember Eoffram Troyas, the heroes find themselves called upon to act on behalf of the citizens of Brindol. These goblins, acting in the name of the reconstituted Red Hand, have kidnapped a number of townsfolk and made off with some valuable artifacts from Brindol’s museum. The town council will pay handsomely for brave adventurers to rescue the prisoners and recover the antique treasures taken from the Hall of Great Valour.
The heroes travel to Sinruth’s lair, a sprawling underground complex called Rivenroar. There they defeat Sinruth’s Hand, free the lost citizens of Brindol, and overcome Sinruth himself, though alas, Iorminas perishes in the climactic battle with the leader of the reconstituted Red Hand. And so is the Second Wind born, out of the ashes of valour and sacrifice.
But the tale, far from being over, is barely begun, as Nissa, Hasim, Aldor, and the Fist discover some uncomfortable information about the nature of Sinruth in Elsir Vale. On the body of the dead hobgoblin, they discovered a note from a mysterious figure called the Emissary, who seems to have armed Sinruth and incited him to pillage and war, for dark purposes of his own. The threat of Sinruth is ended, but none can tell what dread fate awaits the Elsir Vale in the months to come.