One way or another, you have found yourself in the employ of the Brelish army, and today’s battle is again on the Saerun Road near the border with Cyre. Forces from both Thrane and Aundair have joined the fight, reinforced by Zil wands, Valenar calvary, and mercenaries from both Droaam and Darguun, and now the Cyran defenders are vastly outnumbered.
The platoon captain selected five members of Gryphon Company, Davain Ashe, Swaggart, Kel’iah Dek’ar, Pint, and Plunkett, for a special ops mission to scout the ruined Tower of Scars overlooking the field of battle from a high hillside some distance away. There are two goals of the mission: 1) it’s possible the enemy is using it as a supply depot or as a command post, and 2) the Lord Major Bren ir’Gadden was captured in a skirmish a few days ago. If he is being held in the ruins, rescue him and bring him to safety.
The team approached the ruined tower jutting up from the hillside, silhouetted against the gray sky. A few leafless trees grew taller than the tower’s crumbling walls, and a mound of rubble stood piled near the entrance. Davian and Pint, scouting ahead through the sparse brush, could see no sign of activity, even through the gaping holes at the entrance and in the west wall. A low moan was heard, but the scouts were unsure if it was a breeze blowing through the gaps in the walls, or a sign of hidden danger. The team cautiously crept closer. What they could see were several mounds of dirt, like large gopher holes, both in the rubble at the entrance and in the broken flagstone floor just inside the tower. As soon as Davian stepped foot inside, four kruthik hatchlings burst from the holes and attacked! The fight was on, and in seconds more kruthiks emerged from the mound of rubble just outside, separating the party. The hatchlings were proving to be nothing but a nuisance, but then the situation became more deadly as two twisted foulspawn emerged from hiding behind the wall that split the interior into two rooms. The dolgrims attempted to use the kruthiks to their advantage, but the bugs were never able to converge on any one of the team, and fell quickly. The dolgrims soon fell as well, but not without getting a few good strikes in.
During the fight, it was seen that two men were being held prisoner by the dolgrims. Chained to the walls, one was wearing his armor and seemed to have been tortured for the sheer pleasure the foulspawn took in it. This man indeed proved to be Lord Major Bren ir’Gadden, and he identified the other man as Aric Blacktree, his aide and scion of a wealthy merchant family in Sharn. Unfortunately, Blacktree was apparently being used as an experiment, for his manacles held him fast within the area of a strange arcane mark that seemed to have been hidden under the flagstones of the tower floor. The sigil, similar in design to the dragonmarks of the Great Houses, swirled like veins of the earth, bulging upward and visibly pulsing with magical power. After some debate, Plunkett stepped into the circle and freed Aric, who seemed catatonic. Left alone for a couple minutes, he would curl into a fetal position on the floor until moved. The Lord Major informed the party that the dolgrims had ambushed his party, slaughtered his escort, and brought them here bound and blindfolded. They kept Blacktree chained in the area of the Mark, and seemed interested if it had any effects, constantly checking his skin as if looking for something. A study of the sigil did have an effect; anyone who did so experienced a flashing montage of images, and “heard” a strange verse echoing in their head in their native tongue; “Six at the brink of the Desolation stand as one against the Tempest’s Roar.” Davian scrapes a sample of the Mark into a vial, and realizes that studying the contents has the same effect. It was decided that the party and their charges would set camp, and return in the morning.