After recovering from the onslaught of the hobgoblin raid on Port Kri the party seemed divided on what to do next. Clay the cleric had abandoned them in favor or a pretty half elf woman he had met at the festival. As such he took his share of funds and suggested they find themselves another person to tend to their wounds and that he was going to get on the next ship with his new woman up north to Athkatla in Amn.
Nefil and Venus were no where to be found in the The Green Cockerel Inn. Winthorpe had not seen them in some time.
As such this left Barnabus, Rothgar, Amelia and Olgoth to wait out until the paladin of lathander returned to fetch them to meet Marquis Laverne.
She eventually returned and stated they had to report to the keep later that day. To pass the time they took up Winthrop's query of what had happened to the gnome Fizzwald. He had not been seen since before the attack.
The group that remained headed to the ruins of the Gnome's shop. They searched all over but found no evidence of the gnome or his body. Giving up they decided to head across town to the keep.
As they approached they saw a wooden and stone structure standing on top of the outcrop of the cliffs. A single loan narrow winding path started from a gate in the village eventually reaching another gate and palasade at the top. The whole town is mostly surrounded by a thick wooden palisade which continued up around the cliffs. All sides around the outcrop were steep and a good natural defence.
The party made their way up to the keep and eventually met with Marquis Laverne who was as noble as they come in that he had little time for these adventurers. However in his home they did notice lots of arms and paintings. He revealed he had been one of the generals on the queen's side and had asked for Port kri as his reward when the civil wars ended. The party queried him about the wars and learned there had been 3 factions. The incumbant King and his followed plus an alliance of old barons and mages keen to rule with a firmer hand. The queen's faction joined late originally on the side of the King but eventually broke off when Queen Annais decided she could rule better than her incompetent husband. Her faction won the war with the existing nobility not allied with the Queen being exterminated one by one and the King himself beheaded. Laverne hinted that queen is a sorceror of considerable power in her own right.
After the history lesson Laverne thanked them for their work with the hobgoblins. the party told him about the princess. The Marquis appeared concerned that he had no information on the princess sneaking away from baldurs gate. He stated he would take the matter to the court. He also took the belongings the princess had left behind on the boat.
While discussing this the Marquis brought up that Hobgoblins had not been this far west since the war. They had originally been aligned with one of the factions. He wanted the party to go out and try and locate the remnants of the raid and follow them back to their base camp. if possible to also put an end to them.
The party agreed but only for a reaonable sum. Laverne also stated they could equip themselves from his armoury and that Barnabus could access his library. Olgoth and Rothgar armed themselves appropriately while barnabus found some useful scrolls and texts.
After this they were ushered out of the keep and they set off out the south end of the town into the forest. Hours went by as they eventually found trail of two fleeing hobgoblins. They followed it as best they could until they emerged out on the east rode to their surpise the hobgoblins had crossed over in to the Wealdath forest.
The party pursued onwards but lost the trail and became lost themselves. Suddenly they came ran into a pack of wolves which they eventually dispatched only to be faced with a powerful large wolf. Just as they were sizing up the situation a young moon elf emerged from the trees bow drawn and apointed at Rothgar.
She demanded to know why they were in the Wealdath. After some convincing they discovered she was named Suri and from one of the moon elf tribes in the far northwestern parts of the Wealdath. She was on a routine patrol to make sure this part of the forest was unharmed. She introduced her wolf as Minna the wisest of all wolves. The inclination the party got was that the wolf was some kind forest spirit on in tune with it. But they did know Minna was a creature they did not want to be on the wrong side of.
After camping the ranger Suri stated she would help them find the hobgoblins but only after she checked on the tower of Xavius to make sure its udnead inhabitants had not risen again. Else they would need to be culled.
After a undetermined amount of time they reached the ruined tower. Suri hinted that there were sizeable catacombs underneath where the worst of the undead wondered but it was the surface risen ones that she needed to deal with. Indeed there were a few zombies moving about. The party helped Suri dispatch them. Afterwhich they tried to get into the catacombs only to hear very disturbing noises from within and a multitude of darkened tunnels ahead. They decided it best to come back another time and for now to focus on their task.
After several more hours Minna found the trail and they followed it to a large camp deep in thre northern parts of the forest. By Suri reckoning through they were NE of Port Kri by about 20 miles or so.
The party snooped around the egde of the camp and saw many tents around a large cave entrance. Outside were several cages in which looked like there were prisoners though they couold not tell if they were dead or alive. At that moment in time 3 hobgoblins rode in on Worgs with a large one at the centre. They dismounted and entered the cave with something similar to orders being barked in their gutteral tongue……
The party began to devise a way to see if any prisoners remained alive…