○ Our heroes emerge from their hidden positions amidst the tall grass of the Brightmeadow. The goblins and their wild hunting dogs are unprepared for the attack. War cries are loosed and blades bared. Arrows whistle through the air, tearing stalks of grass and goblin flesh to shreds. The battle is over almost before it had a chance to start. The goblins and their hounds lie decimated; their bodies pierced by arrows or cloven by hard, cruel iron. Some survive though their wounds are grievous.
The party interrogates the living with unforgiving efficiency. They learn of an orc named Lokthal who seems to have revived a horde of orcs and goblin warriors called the Bloodfoot Clan. They’ve recently emerged from the depths of the Sword Mountain range to the north. When our heroes ask the goblins about the boy they met in the Kryptgarden the goblins grow fearful. One even tries to take its own life, terrified of what fate awaits it should it be taken by the boy and punished for its betrayal. Apparently, Howden Wrightwater is working with Lokthal and his Bloodfoot clan. In the past, Lokthal’s goblins have been tasked with kidnapping innocent travelers in the surrounding countryside and bringing them to the boy-necromancer for some unknown purpose.
The boy also helped the orc warleader and his soldiers when they attacked Winstock. Most villagers where slain though some were taken back to Lokthal’s fort in the Kyrptgarden where they are being held prisoner. The village is now an outpost for Bloodfoot scouts and the party learns that a map to the fort could be found within. After this, the goblins are given a merciful end and the party continues toward the village of Winstock.
○ The party scouts the perimeter of the village though finds little activity besides the screeching crows that perch atop the palisade wall and the roofs of the buildings within. The party devises a plan to gain entrance to the village. Orryn approaches the northern gate disguised in goblin armor and manages to fool the two goblin guards into opening the gate. One emerges from the village to assist Orryn and is rendered unconscious with sleep magic. The other goblin races to the other end of the village for help where it happens to notice Darth trying to sneak into the village from the river. Lia assists the elf rogue with an expertly placed arrow fired from over a hundred yards. Darth is unable to silence the goblin before it can cry out however. Its allies arrive to assist just as it dies bleeding in the river. Darth is in dire peril though Cor and Lia arrive just in time.
The odds are against them and a massive orc, covered in the thick armor and muscle strides to the fore. Cor is grievously injured though his faith in Helm sees his wounds mostly healed. Lia’s magic is potent as a Thunderwave rocks the village, sending goblins flying and a cloud of crows erupting into the sky. The orc, though injured, is only made that much angrier. He fells the elf druid with a single wicked strike from his greataxe, sending her to the threshold of death’s door. Eventually, Darth delivers the final killing blow. Cor manages to stabilize Lia and the party begins exploring the village.
○ The party first explores the water mill. They find large amounts of flour, unrefined grain, corn, various vegetables and other food stuffs. Also here are many weapons, most likely scavenged from the stores of the village. Finally, the party finds chests filled with treasure and a map that leads to Lokthal’s fort to the north, deep within the Kryptgarden forest. Lia is placed in a room on the second story of the mill to recover from her wounds.
Orryn explores the various homes of the villagers. He finds many signs of struggles and that most where surprised with little chance to adequately defend themselves. In one house he finds the strange collection of an aspiring naturalist who seems to be focusing their observations on a griffon who apparently makes its nest in the valley. Drawings are pinned to the wall and a detailed journal is found.
Meanwhile, Cor begins exploring the barn and animal stables. He finds a single animal still alive in the yard, a malnourished and skittish pugnub. A small mammal with a long, furry body prized for its pelt and tender meat.
Eventually, Lia emerges from unconsciousness. She steps out of the mill only to find herself face to face with yet another goblin(the one Orryn had lured out of the village). But, just before it can attack a shadow passes overhead. A massive griffon swoops in and lands its imposing form in front of Lia, crushing the goblin beneath it. It tears at its newfound meal, ripping great chunks from the goblin’s pulverized body. Cor rushes to the scene to see Lia bowing in reverence before the great beast. He calls out a warning and the griffon lets out a great roar before lunging at the paladin. Only the strength of Cor’s shield and his reflexes save his life. The beast screeches and takes to the air after grabbing the rest of its meal in its beak. The party watches it fly back to its eyrie in the southern hills. Beyond the creature’s terrible majesty they notice that it has been strapped with a worn and tattered saddle and harness.