Q uestions. The four adventurers’ encounter in the swamp had left them with even more questions since stumbling upon a lone orc sorcerer and a welcoming party of young dragons. Scouring the scene, they attempted to make sense of what had transpired here, and what impacts it may have on the impending invasion of Daggerford.
Inside the sorcerer’s tent, they first discovered an exotic and opulent chest, albeit empty of its contents. Wandering further from the site, Aystra found a number of freshly hatched dragon eggs leading toward an ominous cave. Though eager to explore it further, her colleagues insisted that their mission in Daggerford was critical, so they continued their journey down the river.
Arriving on the banks of Daggerford’s shores, Havard spotted a group of hobgoblins about to break their way into a hilltop tannery. Not wanting to give their enemies an early advantage, the group stormed the building, rescuing its inhabitants: an elderly leatherworker and his apprentice son. As a sign of their thanks, the tanner gave them each a pair of skillfully crafted bracers, formerly intended for a now-dead noble.
The party was received by the Daggerford guard and promptly introduced to its defense council: Duke Pwyll Greatshout, Captain Bretti Overlock of Daggerford’s guard, High Priestess Niramour Farseer of the Temple of Pelor, and Lady Selyse Adarbrent, the town’s most influential noble. Together, they went over the details of their scouts’ reports, now bolstered by the party’s own knowledge, and devised a plan to keep Daggerford secure.
Though Daggerford’s scouts reported movement from the south, their limited reach had prevented them from spotting the massive army that the party had encountered just days before. With this new knowledge, Greatshout and Overlock made certain to redirect troops to the town’s north marches in hopes of preventing a two-front battle. Against the insistence of a nervous Duke Greatshout, the party convinced the council to keep the majority of the town’s defense forces safely within the walls, rather than engaging the invaders in the field.
The council also opted to send Daggerford’s clerics into the streets as combat medics to cure the wounded on site, rather than keeping them contained to the safety of the town’s temple of Pelor. This decision was also made at the anxiety of Greatshout, who revealed a personal concern for High Priestess Farseer. With plans in place, the party settled in for the long, tense calm before the impending war. Havard spent his evening working with local militia to ensure that the town’s southern bridge could not be easily crossed, while Vyurek lent his hand to fortifications throughout town.
The orc armies arrived on the southern shores of Daggerford the following day, and established their siege camps. Later that night, a messenger was sent to the council chambers, offering terms of surrender: by orders of Chieftan Ulmuron gro-Khazlam, the town’s inhabitants would be offered safe passage if the council surrendered Daggerford without a fight. Scoffing at this idea, Greatshout maintained the impenetrability of Daggerford’s massive walls, and committed to waiting out the siege.
Mere hours passed before the waiting would turn to war. The council’s chambers shook with a sudden and massive jolt as groups of Hill Giants began to assault the walls with boulders. The party rushed across the river to engage them head-on, but spotted a force of saboteurs attempting to burrow their way under the town walls. Recognizing the need to confront the giants, Aystra used the council’s telepathic link to alert defenders of the scheme.
Employing their trademark teamwork, the group felled the massive beasts. Their victory would be short-lived, however. Moments later, they learned that the soldiers sent to engage the second Hill Giant group had been slain. The Battle of Daggerford had only just begun, but the early lost could end up costing the town dearly …