Zhents prove to be evil, cruel, callous, and they also smell funny, too!
Surviving the Orc Siege
Temperance Foundling. A loud half-orc paladin (Absent).
Sterrin Blackhand. A human rogue and far traveler.
Valandrien Dezlentyr. A half-elven sorcerer from Waterdeep.
Ilamayil de Pauw. A vain half-elven bard.
The adventurers ran fast enough to the towers to raise the bridge before the 7 riders crossed it. There was much talking with the riders. They claimed to have arrived from Daggerford to help the town—but they would have had to have left Daggerford before the goblins attacked in order to have arrived in time. Suspicious!
Their leader was Xolkin Ass-ass-adar, a half elf in leather armor. Soon enough, the heroes lowered the bridge and the riders rode into town. They were immediately greeted and joined by Kella. Apparently all of the riders were Zhentarim. Xolkin wrote a note and attached it to the winged snake, which flew away.
The Zhents holed up in the inn and did nothing that could be remotely classified as “helping the town.” The company of heroes slept overnight in the town store, keeping watch the entire night. Nothing happened… apparently….
In the morning, a Zhent in a gate tower yelled “Orcs!” and people started running everywhere. Once again, they managed to get the gate up. About ten orcs swam the moat and attacked. The others watched them fail utterly, then ran south toward the gap in the wall.
Fighting happened. Temperance wasn’t there to hold the gap because he had a splinter in his pinky finger and so he hid. Sterrin killed many. Some Zhents helped. Ila outlined four orcs in faerie fire which only hastened their demises. Xolkin downed the leader of the orcs and then cried over his dead comrades.
We took down the windmill vanes and used them to cross the broken bridge to the keep. Four soldiers barred the way. Soon we learned that they were the only living inhabitants of the keep. Of course, they also had the dead body of the mayor, Lady Verosa Noldar. They wanted her buried in her family’s mausoleum, behind-ish the inn.
The heroes made friends with the guards and got the explanation of what happened.
Two days ago, a flying castle hovered over the town and rocks fell from it, putting large holes in many buildings. Cloud giants flew down and grabbed the town’s namesake, a large obsidian rock, and carried it up into the castle. Townsfolk headed north/northeast/neville longbottom into caves (where they were apparently surprised and captured by recently arrived goblins).
These are the so-called “Dripping Caves” and are less than a mile distant. Whether they drip water, snot, or gooey cheese is currently unknown.
There was much discussion of what to do. Nobody quite trusted the Zhents, but Ila didn’t feel right attacking them before they had truly shown what evil dirt-eaters they were. Sterrin snuck out and recovered all of the town’s land deeds, just in case the Zhents were thinking about taking them.
The group scouted the cemetery and mausoleum, then dropped by the inn to chat. Xolkin offered them 200 gold pieces to kill the guards. Was that evil enough for Ila? Not quite.
There was even more discussion before the group put their plan into action.
The three heroes took the four guards and walked casually to the inn. Sterrin snuck off and fatally hugged one Zhent who had been watching the keep. Xolkin was sitting at a table. Talking happened, but nobody felt good about it.
Sterrin surprise attacked Xolkin. Kella poked her head around the corner and shot Ila. Ila fell over unconscious. A full-fledged battled occurred. Zhents ran away upstairs. Guards chased them. Sterrin gave Ila a potion of healing. Valandriend stabilized a guard who had been downed. She looked in his eyes and swooned. Ila spelled Xolkin into unconsciousness then took wayyyyyyy too long to stabilize him.
Upstairs, the guards rushed Kella and she fell out of the window. Val leaned out and magic missilified her into oblivion. Sterrin took out the last Zhent.
Back in the Keep, Temperance farted in his sleep.
In the end, both Xolkin and Kella didn’t die. They were tied up securely and the group took stock of the situation. Xolkin said that thenote he had written and sent “to the Snail in Daggerford” said that the Zhents had secured the town. Yeah, that might have been a bit premature, buddy. Xolkin and Kella were tied up, searched, stripped naked, searched again, and put in separate cells beneath the keep. Then they were searched again.
Ila healed the guards. They all lived!
Future plans involve the Dripping Caves, rescuing villagers, and slapping Temperance awake.