Darren NakamuraUnited States
An unlikely band of heroes has traveled to Arrhyn to aid Baron Greigory. You can read about the start of their journey here: First Blood
Baron Greigory let the party of heroes know that there have been raids on the nearby farmlands. With winter on its way, the heroes set out to make sure that the crops could be secured. On the way to the farm, the heroes felt as though somebody was spying on them, but they brushed it off as if it were nothing.
Upon arriving at the grasslands, they met a panicked farmer who cried that not only are a pack of goblins raiding the fields, but also that his brother had been kidnapped. The heroes rushed to the battlefield, only to be met by a couple of huge merriods blocking their path.
Jain fired an arrow at the weaker merriod and Syndrael charged it, felling it and clearing a path for Avric and Leoric. Leoric summoned his reanimate, Boney, in preparation for the battle. Where the merriod fell, another appeared in its place. The two merriods flailed at the heroes, wounding them a bit, but also distracting them from the goblins that were racing to the fields to steal crops.
Jain realized that the merriods were the least of their worries, heroically charging past the sea creatures en route to the goblins. Avric and Syndrael followed suit, but Leoric wasn't able to make it before the merriods blocked him in, separating him from the group. The goblin archers picked up all four crops and began their hasty retreat with the goods.
Jain heroically chased down the goblins, but it was clear that they would be getting away with all of the crops. At that point, the heroes cut their losses and searched for items in the bush. Leoric found nothing, but Jain was fortunate enough to find a treasure chest holding an Immolation rune. She held onto it while the party followed the goblins' path to a nearby keep.
Inside Splig's keep, there were cave spiders near the entrance, zombies in the next room, and goblins near the torture chamber. The heroes pushed into the first room, but didn't get very far. Splig ordered his minions to fetch the prisoners, which they started to do immediately. The cave spiders swarmed the party, dealing little damage, but making sure they couldn't progress before handling the arachnids. The zombies shambled closer to the entrance.
Leoric's reanimate made quick work of a spider, while Syndrael pushed forward and Jain brought up the rear. Avric kept the group healthy, though their forward progress was slow. The goblins brought all four prisoners back to Splig at once, and he began interrogating the first one. The first prisoner turned out to be Frederick, the former Shadow Binder who Splig was searching for. Splig grabbed the man and hoisted him over his shoulder. The zombies shambled closer to the entrance.
Realizing that Splig had found what he was looking for and would soon be heading their way, the group formed up in a phalanx inside the tight corridors of the keep. They easily dispatched the rest of the spiders, as well as some zombies that were unfortunate enough to find themselves in Jain's line of sight. Splig's archers barreled toward the entrance, while Splig ran as fast as his little legs would allow.
Leoric sent Boney into a group of zombies, where the reanimate apologized to his brothers before exploding into a blast of rotten mist. The heroes searched nearby, only to find a small potion. Splig and his archers advanced further, with some of the archers taking shots at the party, and Splig ending in sight of the exit, but out of sight of the heroes.
Jain moved around a corner in order to fire an arrow at Splig, then moved back into the entrance hallway to block his exit. The remaining zombies swarmed Avric, felling him. This allowed a couple archers to take shots at Boney, destroying the reanimate and opening up a path for Splig. As Splig dashed for the exit, Jain demonstrated how nimble she was, moving in the way and blocking Splig's path. Enraged, he could do nothing but retreat and sulk.
Though Splig had an impressive constitution from eating so many of the farmers' crops, he could not make it out with his prize. The heroes were able to form an impassible wall of meat, sacrificing their own health to prevent Splig's escape. Eventually, Splig saw that his cause was lost, and he dropped Frederick then bolted out the door.
Back in Arrhyn, the heroes sold some of their treasures and equipment in order to upgrade. Avric traded his mace for a sling, and his wooden shield for an iron one, while Jain ditched her yew shortbow in favor of an elm greatbow. Leoric took the Immolation rune off of Jain's hands, while Syndrael was content with her chipped greataxe. None of the heroes learned anything new, though they did consider their technique for a bit, which will surely help in the future.