It was a cold night when four members of Redwatch, the Elven Ranger Rolen, the Revenant Paladin Bane, a Air Sorceress named Kestra, and the Mul Guardian Shaman named Narin, were returning to Varen’s Hall in the town of Loudwater. Stopped by the apprentice Crowkeeper with a message meant for Redwatch from a woman named Treona, their curiosity was peaked when they read the woman’s message. Calling for aid from Captain Gedras Harker, Treona claimed that the goblin horde that had overtaken the town of Kiris Dahn a decade previous was amassing once again for something sinister. Living in a tower only a half days ride from Kiris Dahn, known now as Goriz-badd by the goblins inhabiting it’s walls, she claimed to be able to see their movements through an assumed magical means. Enclosing payment enough for their time, she asked that the Captain send an envoy to her home in the Dire Wood so that she may speak more safely with them and explain her need. They took their message directly to Captain Harker, who’s admitted his history with Kiris Dahn and the woman Treona, and claimed a personal interest with what she had to say. He was First Commander of the Redwatch Outpost in Kiris Dahn and was away in Waterdeep when the city fell and his Captain, a dwarf named Mirewood, was killed. Granting the group the authority to act on Redwatch’s behalf, he sent them north into the Dire Wood to Treona’s tower.
The group settled down for the night, after a few visits with local shrines to their gods. Bane met a curious woman named Liadra praying to the Raven Queen for her long-lost husband and Rolen an old friend in the Temple of Pelor in Brother Korsa, a Dragonborn devout of the God of Hope.
Gathering supplies the next morning, such as food from Varen’s Hall’s cook, Rosmerta, and a new crossbow for Bane from Loudwater’s best, and most expensive, weapons merchant Yul Ragehammer, the group set off north along the Greenfork river, ahead of a winter storm and prepared as they could be for the two day ride ahead of them with only Rolen’s memory of a tower deep in the Dire Wood to guide them.
It wasn’t long till the Dire Wood began living up to the dangerous reputation it was known for in the region. After noticing they were being followed for several hours along the river road, the group was finally set upon by a pack of starving wolves. Though the wolves nearly carried Kestra off, the group proved skilled enough to fend off the animals and dispatched them quickly enough. Deciding to make camp nearby to lick their wounds, they settled in for the evening while Narin watched over them for most of the night.
The next day, after a breakfast of fish and trailbread, it was noticed that a storm was headed their way out of the Greypeaks to the east, a storm that promised to deliver colder temperatures and most likely snow. Donning their winter cloaks and clothing, they started back up the river road, traveling for most of the day through the storm that dropped nearly a foot of snow on them and dropped the temperature severely. Eventually it passed and they were left with blue skies, but the cold wind remained to harry them.
It wasn’t long before trouble found them once again. Rolen’s sharp ears told him of an approaching group of goblins, at least four in number. When they realized that hiding would be impossible due to the tracks they left in the snow, they concluded that standing their ground would be the only possible choice. Taking their positions, Rolen and Kestra in the trees, Narin near the back, and Bane and Narin’s Spirit Bear taking point, it was shown soon that Rolen’s ears were correct.
Three goblins and a Kobold tag-along appeared on the road ahead of them and seemed surprised to see the group waiting on them. After the goblins demanded in broken Common that the group leave their gold and belongings and run away, Bane challenged them head on. Rolen, upon seeing the Kobold bring out a sling and arm it, opened up with a salvo of arrows on the small group. After being rooted where he was standing by a Kobold gluepot, Bane was forced to stand his ground as the goblins descended upon him. Kestra, after nearly killing a single goblin with a bolt of lightning, was saved from a rusty sword by Narin’s Spirit Bear, while Narin himself did his best to bring protection and healing to his Company. Bane, Kestra, and Rolen fought on quickly and it wasn’t long till the goblins and the kobold lay dead.
After a quick search of the bodies, gold was collected and Rolen discovered a silver dagger on the body of the kobold with the engraving “To Liadra, All my Love, Shen.” on the pommel. In addition, orders written in goblin, ultimately indecipherable, along with a crudely drawn map leading the way to Loudwater was found. It was decided that this was a advance scouting party, possible giving credence to Treona’s message to Redwatch. Realizing that they needed to get to the woman’s tower as quickly as possible, they decided to risk riding the road and possibly coming across more patrols rather than take longer by riding through the forest and risking bigger and meaner things than wolves and goblins descending upon them.
Shortly after dark and only an hour away from Treona’s tower, the telltale howl of a fully-grown dire wolf sounded through the air, not far away. It was met with the calls of other wolves in the area and soon, after hearing them more and more, it became apparent that the wolves were tracking them and getting closer with each passing minute. Finally, Treona’s tower, a wide structure of three stories, a surrounding wall and nearly completely hidden by the thick trees of the Dire Wood, came into view. The dire wolves sounding as if they were only a short distance away, they quickly approached the gate to wall surrounding the tower.
Just before reaching the gate, a voice cut through the darkness and called out to them, telling them to stop and state their business. An old man armed with a crossbow lay on a thatched roof of a stable inside the wall, ready to fire, telling them he knew nothing of visitors coming to the tower. Just at the point when the situation was becoming most dangerous, with dire wolves at their backs and a crossbow bolt before them, a woman appeared in the window and told the man, named Harrys, to bring them inside. Letting them in through the game, the old man apologized to the group, claiming that a lack of visitors in the Dire Wood, along with living so close to Goriz-badd, made a man cautious and a bit paranoid.
Harrys led them inside the squat tower and into Treona’s sitting room on the second level where the woman, who proved to be an old Tiefling, waited along with her guest that she introduced as Alkirk Kiris. Alkirk was of the former ruling family of Kiris Dahn and, after reprimanding Bane for what the noble perceived as a slight against him by the revenant, settled down to partake in the conversation between the Redwatch company and Treona. The tiefling woman had warm food and wine brought to the adventurers and allowed them to eat and drink before telling them of her need.