When Shalzar Hellwhisper's winter supplies began to run low, the party agreed that they would need to mount an expedition to the Hammerfast Holds to restock the larder. Veesha, still too injured to travel, was left to continue her recovery in Shalzar's secluded cabin. The others traveled to the dwarven stronghold as quickly as possible, hoping to return before the heavy snows began to fall.
Upon arrival, the Rovers were disappointed to discover that provisions were tight at the Hammerfast Holds, and none could be spared for outsiders. Fortunately, they were given the option of performing a service for the dwarven community in exchange for supplies and a small reward. The task was to clear out a small dwarven holdfast that had not been heard from in months. Originally established to help protect the trade route down to Harkenwold, the dwarves suspected that the holdfast had been overrun by the monsters that inhabited the foothills around it. Ghesh, proud warrior that he was, felt it was a dishonor to run errands to be permitted to purchase food and declined to accompany the others. In his place, the Rovers recruited a talented swordsman named Jerron Caulder, whose skill with a blade Ghesh personally vouched for.
Knowing that time was against them, Shalzar, Jerron, and Knives set out immediately. After a few hurried days of travel, they discovered the holdfast, and were met with a grisly scene: the decayed and desecrated bodies of dwarves hung from the few scraggly trees outside the entrance. Steeling themselves for fierce opposition, the three heroes entered the holdfast.
Thanks to the careful scouting of Knives, the trio was able to get the drop on the gate guards, slaying several goblin cutters with a devastating barrage of magic and steel. Unfortunately, reinforcements were quick to arrive, and Shalzar was knocked senseless by a bugbear's mighty blow. The deadly sword work of Jerron and the quick blades of Knives were soon able to lay the brute low, and after a brief rest to bind their wounds and catch their breath, they were off again.
Careful exploration of the barracks (inhabited by the malignant spirit of one of the dead dwarves) revealed a secret passage that allowed the band to get the drop on two hobgoblin archers at target pratice. After dispatching them with ease, the Rovers boldly burst into the complex's throne room to challenge the goblin hexer and his guards.
The combat was fierce, but with Jerron holding the chokepoint against the goblin berserkers, the numbers of the enemy were rendered useless. As the goblin hexer fell, Shalzar kicked the dented bronze crown from his head.
"You have been punished for your pride, goblin. Praise the Raven Queen."
Further exploration resulted in a few brief skirmishes ending in the annihilation of the goblin infestation. After solving a few riddles, the Rovers uncovered magical artifacts of great value, and were able to return to the Hammerfast Holds with trophies of their victory. Pleased with the group's success, the dwarves paid them an additional bounty of gold and gave them a wagonload of supplies to last them through the winter.
And so it was with heavy purses that the trio returned to the now nearly-recovered Veesha, who eagerly listened to their tale of derring-do.
200gp paid by the dwarves
Winter supplies donated by the dwarves
Symbol of Life +1 (Raven Queen)
Duelist's Weapon +1 (dagger)
Black Iron Armor +1 (Scale)