The Scarred Valley

The Journey Begins

Into the keep on the borderlands.

Six monster hunters, having heard rumours in the city of Fallcrest, journey to the western march to seek out work.

Upon their arrival, they journey to the keep of Restwell, which sits vigilant behind the King’s wall, overlooking the Scarred Valley. Entering the gates, the corporal Fallek takes their weapons, letting them know that arms are not allowed within the keep’s walls.

They barely make it through the gates before an excited and jovial man, Friar Benwick, bounds along and gestures them into his nearby house, where he welcomes them with wine and some salted mutton. Before long, he explains that he is need of someone to assist him:

"Friends, here on the borderlands, we must be ever mindful of dark influences creeping in the night. In doing so, I have become suspicious of the banker, Ferdinand Ronnik. His wealth and greed are well known. He was once a well known and successful thief in Fallcrest, a point he does not deny. To learn more, I asked a trusted friend, a man named Gordi who worked for Ronnik, to inform me of anything unusual.
“I say ‘worked,’ because Gordi is now missing. Before his disappearance, Gordi provided me with two brave reports. First, he glimpsed accoutrements of Tiamat worship hidden among Ronnik’s belongings. Second, Gordi recognized a jewel in Ronnik’s possession known as the Serpent’s Eye.
As you might know, that item was treasured by the Moonsong Temple in Fallcrest before it was pilfered.
“Ronnik and his lackeys didn’t try to hide the fact that they spirited Gordi to a grotto near the northern swamps. I believe Ronnik hopes to flush out me and Gordi’s other allies when we attempt a rescue.
“I truly believe that you all are a blessing sent to me. No one in this keep yet knows you. I realize that I’m about to ask much of you, but you can act boldly where I cannot.
“First, I want you to go to Ronnik’s prison grotto and rescue poor Gordi. Also, I hope that you are able to secure proof that Ronnik is an unholy follower of Tiamat. If all else fails,
at least try to recover the Serpent’s Eye so we can return it to Lathander’s chapel.
“If you’re willing, I suggest an early start after a full night’s rest. Although I hope that I’ve impressed on you my sincere purpose, I would take no offense if you wish to confirm my reputation among the folks of the outer bailey. Still, I ask that you be discrete about your task. No need to provide the scoundrels more warning than we must.
“So, what say you?”

The party agrees to assist, on the understanding that, while Benwick can’t pay them much, he can reward them by lending them his skills as a priest, and using his influence in Restwell to assist them in future.

As night falls, they travel to the Stumbling Giant. Mother Aran, the owner, greets them warmly and offers them food, drink and lodgings on the house to make them feel welcome in Restwell, and to make them feel more liable to stay and assist people with their problems. The hunters enjoy their night and drift to sleep.

In the morning, they are woken by Fahz, Benwick’s young cleric, who ushers them out in the chill predawn air, to an open gate and a jovial Benwick. After handing out some healing poultices, and giving the party a map of where the grotto is, the party heads out.

At the grotto, they are greeted by lizardmen and guard drakes, led by a confident Dragonborn leader. It isn’t long however before the party, with consummate skill and vigor, dispatch the leader and his cronies in short order. Clearly this is a group of monster hunters one should not take lightly!

The party find Gordi in the back of the grotto, shivering and pale from a poison injected some time ago. He is gathered up and swiftly taking to Restwell in the midst of pouring rain.

On arrival, Benwick, highly concerned, tends to Gordi and thanks the adventurers hastily, promising to meet them at the Stumbling Giant for a good meal and warm thanks.

As they arrive at the cozy inn, Mother Arun informs them that the Lord of the keep had heard of their arrival and wished to meet with them. They head to the keep and are greeted by Kendon Longstrider, the man in charge of the outer bailey and commander of the guard. He takes the adventurers to see Lord Drysdale in his office in the keep. Upon entering, Lord Peridin Drysdale ignores the travelers and only looks up after having finished writing. He spends a few moments in appraisal before speaking.

“Hail travelers, and welcome to Restwell. I apologize for not making my acquaintance earlier but I was tied down in maintenance of the keep’s many affairs. I am Lord Drysdale, ruler of this keep and sentinel of the chaos scar. Tell me, do you know much about the scar?”

Upon his questioning, Cassi reveals her deep knowledge of the scar and its history, surprising the group and Drysdale. After this, discussion is had about the group’s plans, and Drysdale willing to render his assistance should it be needed.

“If you need anything else I’m sure I can make time to assist you in any concerns. The problems we face here can only be solved with a good sword arm and pure intentions. Tyr will solve our problems should the need become urgent. But in the meantime, the gods look after those who look after themselves.”

He bids the group goodbye, and they return to the inn to settle down and dine with Benwick. Gordi is well and good and the group discuss potential moves against Ronnik. Benwick however urges them to show a bit of restraint, though doesn’t explain his caution. Instead, he bids the adventurers to eat and relax, and, if they have time, they should try to find Oneus at the Saruun guildhall if they want to find some work.

After Benwick leaves, the group decide to go to the guildhall, but upon leaving the Stumbling Giant, figures emerge out of the shadows and surround the group. In the damp, rainy evening light, daggers flash through the air. The group react fast. They fight monsters, these hired goons pose little threat. Despite being unarmed, the group again make short work of the opponents, managing to knock one unconscious and force the other to surrender, with only one enemy escaping.

Taking the prisoners to the guards, Garrik Blackoak, the guard sergeant, orders the keep to shut down in search of the one escaped thug, and attends to quickly dispatching orders and ignoring the adventurers. After a while, the human thug awakens from unconsciousness, and it is revealed the thugs had been hired by Ronnik to assassinate the group. After Garrik questions him about whether he’d be willing to testify this to lord Drysdale, the smell of smoke rises in the air.

Ronnik’s bank is on fire…

To be continued for session 2.

Summary:
- A party of adventurers, working as monster hunters, arrive at Restwell Keep after hearing of the opportunity for work there.
- They are contacted quickly by Benwick who asks them to rescue Gordi, who was taken away by the keep banker, Ronnik. Gordi believed that Ronnik is an evil, Tiamat worshipping thief.
- They rescue Gordi from a nearby grotto and return him safely to Restwell. Benwick and the group discuss what to do next, but Benwick urges caution.
- As the group leave, they are attacked by thugs. They beat up the thugs and take them to the guards.
- Ronnik’s bank goes up in flames as they are questioning the thug. End of session.

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