Returning from the mysterious old keep in the Witchwood, our brave adventurers seek out the Town Speaker of Drellin’s Ferry, Norro Wiston. The heroes tell the Speaker of the map they found in the keep, and the goblin writings that seem to indicate a plan to destroy not only Drellin’s Ferry but all of Elsir Vale! Without another creature in town that speaks goblin however, there is no one to confirm the groups theory. Without proof, Wiston cannot in good conscious take this threat seriously and frighten the people of the town.
Convinced to provide the town proof of its impending destruction, our adventurers venture back into the Witchwood, the hardy Jorr in tow. After retracing its steps to the keep, the party heads north and after traveling for a few hours happens upon a decrepit effigy standing at the crossroads of the Dawn Way and a very wide, rarely traveled footpath. This effigy, crafted long ago of heavy branches and trees, looks like a massive humanoid skeleton and once marked the territory of a tribe of giants. Intrigued to see where the path might lead, and knowing the bridge to the north is but a few hours walk away, the adventurers take a detour and explore the dark woods beyond the overgrown path.
It does not take long for our heroes to happen upon the remains of an ancient massive fortress made of immense trees lashed together to form the walls. Within the walls of the fallen fortress the group finds one lonely old forest giant, talking to himself and cooking his dinner (an entire dire boar) over an open fire. Seeing a potential ally against the goblins, the group presents the giant with a gift they found in the keep’s hidden storeroom. The giant intoduces himself as Warglegnaw and invites his kind new friends to have a shank of dire boar, and warm themselves by the fire. Having been abandoned hundreds of years ago when all of his brethren were either killed or run out of the forest, Warglegnaw is the only of his tribe left in the Witchwood. However, whether in an attempt to repay the little ones’ generosity or out of a desire to see if any of his kin are still alive, Warglegnaw promises to seek out any remaining relatives he may have and try to recruit them to deal with the Red Hand threat. Warglegnaw wastes no time and takes his leave to the west leaving our heroes alone in the ancient fortress of his kin.
Happy to have a new ally, the adventurers rest and prepare for whatever resistance they may meet at the bridge the next day. Waking up early, so that they might take the bridge at dawn, the seven swashbucklers head north. They find the bridge heavily guarded, but before they can regroup to create a plan they are spotted and the battle begins. With some quick thinking and a bit of luck our heroes manage to defeat the bridge guard without any casualties (but more than a few close calls).
The team then heads further north, hoping to get a glimpse of what the goblin army may have in store. With Jorr’s expert guidance, the group find a safe spot to gaze upon the army’s forces. What they see however, is not at all comforting. The Red Hand numbers in the thousands with dozens of giants, manticores, and worse. With this knowledge the group wastes no time in heading back to the village.
On their return journey, the group decides that destroying the bridge, while cutting of all trade to Drellin’s Ferry and the surrounding areas, may buy the townsfolk valuable time for making their escape. After a flurry of spells and sword swings targeting the bridge’s weakest point the dwarven edifice come crashing down.
Upon returning to the town, they waste no time in imparting their new found knowledge upon the unsuspecting Wiston. Having confirmation from Jorr that the threat is indeed serious, an emergency meeting of the town council is called later that night. Although heated, the discussion eventually leaned in favor of complete evacuation of Drellin’s Ferry while there was still time.
This left our brave heroes with an important decision: what will they do next? Wiston made two suggestions for the esteemed heroes: stay ahead of the horde, crushing their raiding parties and helping the locals, or head north in an attempt to free up travel from the north, the only possible entrance to the vale that could provide valuable assistance against the goblin horde.
After intense debate, it was decided that the team would head north, making fast time on horseback, and investigate the area called Blackfens.