The small hamlet of Faircastle is located on the western edge of Almaren and is the largest settlement west of Devonshire. This small outpost has a commanding view of the surrounding territory and is, therefore, able to provide an early warning for the armies of Devonshire should any large forces move to threaten it. It is also the focus of expansionary efforts in the west.

The community has several shops and taverns to cater to local travelers and refugees passing through to the cities of Devonshire or Salusa. One particularly notable establishment is the Black Orc Tavern, which has some of the best ales in the area. The city watch in Faircastle is relatively small and unable to deal with threats outside the village proper. A detachment of the Almaren Army has been dispatched from Devonshire to reinforce the village and prepare for an eventual expansionary push westward.

Campaign Significance Thus Far: The members of the party were brought to Faircastle, by King Pelagrir’s internal security agents, from all over the region for a specific purpose. They were directed to a backroom in the Black Orc Tavern and greeted by Agent Ylaren. The party then began a quest, at Agent Ylaren’s request, to clear out a nearby cave. After facing several "bandits" and spiders, the party successfully cleared the cave with the assistance of a Galeb Duhr, named Goron.

Upon returning to the Black Orc Tavern, they were congratulated and briefed by Agent Ylaren regarding the plot and the role he hopes the party will play in uncovering the plot. Agent Ylaren believes there is a plot to overthrow the monarchy of Almaren. However, information regarding this plot was only recently discovered and it has become clear to Agent Ylaren that the intelligence service has been infiltrated. With the approval of King Pelagrir, Agent Ylaren has brought together a group of adventurers to assist with the investigation. After a round of stiff drinks from the half-orc tavern owner, Wulfric (Wolf for short), the party retired to their second floor bedrooms.

While sleeping, the party was ambushed by goblin cutters. They were quickly dealt with and their leader was detained by Agent Ylaren. Agent Ylaren then ordered the party to assist in the defense of Faircastle, as the town was being attacked by a large band of goblins.

Four of the adventurers, Astrid, Sarcenn, Balasar, and Vorlexian, immediately proceeded to the village center only to discover a band of goblin raiders overturning carts and ransacking shops in the market square. While only four members of the party responded immediately, the first and second wave of goblins was easily defeated. A hobgoblin commander led the charge of the third wave, which may have managed to overcome the four adventurers, but the reinforcement of the party by Othar and Twelve, and a mysterious rogue, brought about a swift rout.

While the remaining hobgoblins fought against the party, a second force appeared in the market square. The hobgoblin commander of this new force broke into a particular shop and began destroying the items within. The party was quick to respond to the appearance of this new group of hobgoblins and bugbears; however, as Twelve engaged the hobgoblin warriors, the hobgoblin commander was suddenly expelled from the shop by extreme force. Immediately after, a small gnome, who later identified himself as Alston, was among the band of attacking hobgoblins. The gnome waved his hand, muttered a few words, and swiftly obliterated four of the hobgoblins. This sudden turn of events left the raiders disoriented and uncoordinated, resulting in quick, painful deaths for all of them. A continually flicking, pinching, and slapping mage hand was also cause for annoyance and discomfort on the part of the hobgoblins and bugbears.

After a brief rest, a mounted hobgoblin and his guard charged the party. The party, having recollected and reoriented themselves, quickly defeated the new threat. During this fight, Vorlexian chose to withdraw as several goblins and hobgoblins had managed to pierce his chainmail. Sadly, Balasar, somewhat winded by the fighting, was snatched by two burly female dragonborn soldiers, who had chosen that moment to desert the army, and dragged away. The chaos of battle made it so the party was unable to respond to this action.

After a minute or two to regain their breath, it became clear to the party that the strength of the hobgoblin raiding party was waning. Unfortunately, at that moment, the goblins finally managed to breach the village gate and overwhelm the remaining guards of the city watch, allowing their remaining forces to charge into the village center.

Once the village gates were breached and the city watch overwhelmed, a large group of hobgoblin raiders marched haughtily to the village center to confront the warriors who had so far defeated their smaller raiding parties. This time, the raiding party consisted of several warriors, archers, warcasters, a commander, a heavily armored warrior and his bladebearer guards, and two macetail behemoths. As the raid formation entered the village center, the hobgoblin commander demanded the party’s surrender.

While the party was slow to speak, a few were quick to act. Twelve buried Othar beneath several tarps and debris to protect him as Othar was still rather ?enthralled/stunned? by an episode with an incendiary booger which landed upon an unfortunate bugbear warrior. Twelve then proceeded to take his place at the front of the party and began to stalk towards the hobgoblin commander. Eledra, the mysterious rogue, who most recently looked like a dwarf, quickly hid herself in a nearby shop to prepare for some stealthy stabbery. Vorlexian also rejoined the party. Though heavily exhausted by the fighting thus far, his time spent back at the Black Orc Tavern with Agent Ylaren, a cleric of Pelor, and some of Wulfric the bartender’s home brews, allowed him to regain a temporary respite which allowed him to rejoin the fight. Alston, the gnome wizard who got caught up in the fighting with the party, began to fashion an intricate pattern on the ground.

As Twelve began to stalk closer to the enemy, the hobgoblin commander finally lost his patience and ordered the formation to attack. The macetail behemoths charged forward to begin battering the party members just as they had battered down the village gates. The hobgoblin archers and warcasters then began unleashing their fury upon the party. After this initial barrage, the party managed to take the initiative and they began attacking the macetails and the warriors.

The hobgoblin commander was immobilized in place by Twelve and was stuck by the warforged’s side for the remainder of the fight. During the confusion…a mysterious hobgoblin joined the fray from a nearby shop. After this, the heavily armored warrior and his guards moved confidently forward to engage the softer party members. Following the initial deployment, the fight quickly degenerated.

Sarcenn lobed a fireball into the enemies midst and consumed several in a raging inferno. A few hapless warriors also managed to be fried by a small, but deadly, spark bug. One of the macetails also happened to gain underbody lights…which caused it some consternation until its primal instincts thought the female macetails might think it pretty cool. Sadly, it didn’t have time to test its theory.

The macetails, archers, and warcasters continued to target separate targets, but the melee fighters were trapped in the middle of the square with a sturdy warforged and stealthy rogue.

Slowly, but surly, the hobgoblin warriors fell, followed by the bladebearers, warcasters, and macetails. However, the heavily armored brute continued to pound away at the party, with his armour and shield absorbing the majority of their blows. A summoned abyssal maw of Sarcenn’s proved a great asset in the battle and managed to take several meaty bites of passing hobgoblins and a good chunk out of the hobgoblin commander.

As the hobgoblins fell, so did the strength of the party members. Twelve was downed several times and may have encountered the mechanical equivalent of death had any of the creatures possessed a more sinister intelligence. Sarcenn got punctured by a few arrows but managed to recover from the pain of his injuries with Vorlexian’s help. Astrid took a few blows and a couple macetails to the head and was unconscious for a time…Alston attempted to heal her, but sadly, he was trained as a poisoner, not a medic…luckily, Astrid wasn’t poisoned.

The heavily armored hobgoblin, with the symbol of Bane on his shield, was finally downed by the parties amazing efforts and the timely appearance of Agent Ylaren through the portal which Alston had been scribbling on the ground. The archers, seeing their commanders fall, attempted to flee. While one managed to escape, the other was teleported back into range by Alston and decapitated by a well placed blow from Twelve.

The party and Agent Ylaren returned to the Black Orc Tavern to recoup and prepare for their next undertaking. Alston remained behind in the market square to establish some magical protections which will hopefully secure the village for the day.

Leaving Faircastle

Later on that day, an army division from the cities of Devonshire and Salusa arrived to ensure the safety of Faircastle. In addition, an influx of settlers arrived from the nearby cities to bolster the village’s population and continue the nation’s westward expansion.

Agent Ylaren was quite pleased with the party’s demonstrated abilities thus far and dispatched them to the City of Salusa with a note for the city’s garrison commander, Colonel Averon. While Agent Ylaren had intended to teleport the party quickly to Salusa by way of a teleportation circle, the goblin raid on the village destroyed the circle. This forced Agent Ylaren to arrange a new means of transportation. The party set off for Salusa by horseback with a small detachment of the Salusan Militia which had accompanied the army to Faircastle.

The fate of party members

Sarcenn, Astrid, and Vorlexian followed the orders of Agent Ylaren and set off for the City of Salusa.

Twelve and Othar chose to remain behind at Faircastle, as Twelve felt it would be better for Othar to explore the powers of the magical stone he received in a more rural and less populated environment.

For unknown reasons, Eledra, the changling rogue, disappeared the night following the raid and is assumed to have mysterious business of her own to attend to in the region of Faircastle.

Additionally, Balasar never returned from his encounter with the two burly dragonborn females…life can be rough sometimes.

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