Securing horses from Kaulvaeras Stables, the party set out for Diego’s home town of Rivermeet. What would have taken two days on foot, or with a caravan only takes the bulk of a single day with the horses. A bit more than half a mile from the walled portion of town, Caer Rivermeet, they begin passing small farmsteads, shops, smithies that make up most of the town outside the walls.
As they get closer to the walls of Caer Rivermeet, the tell-tale signs of an attack become more pronounced. Buildings burned and families dressed in mourning black. Crews are apparently working on the northern sections of the wall, repairing damage done during the raid. Not far from those crews Diego sees the smoke of the Smithson forges.
They enter town and ride to Diego’s home, behind the smithy is stabling for the horses for the night, Kaulvaeras’ groom will take the horses back in the morning. Diego leads his new friends to his home, which is a flurry of activity and people. Young cousins run everywhere, and the older Smithson’s seem to either be running after the children or running errands. The children stop and gawk for a second upon spotting the shifter Torra and the dragonborn Brost, some of the younger children running screaming from the room. Eventually, as all good Smithson’s do, they make their way to the kitchen. There they met Miss Maura, Diego’s mother. After introductions all around, Torra, Brost, Elias and Myrphon were shown guest rooms and the group settled in. Miss Maura quizzed the two strangers a bit, and filled Diego and his new (strange) friends on news of the town, while making sure they filled their stomachs with “good down-home cooking, not like that citified stuff you must be starving on”. Later they went to the Green Tankard Inn, the center of Caer Rivermeet’s nightlife.
The Green Tankard was full that night, as it is most nights, but the mood was somewhat subdued. The owner, Marsh Laval, was concerned about the abductions, one of those taken was his own cook Mirtala. Settling in at a table in the corner, and getting quite a few stares, the group began to relax and enjoy the night. Many of Diego’s old friends came up and said hello, but none stayed long with the dragonborn and shifter alongside him.
Sheriff Dugan Narros eventually made his way to Diego and explained that they could account for seven townsfolk taken in the raid, along with many of the treasures from the sacking of Brindol by the Red Hand. His elven scout, Harrowleaf, had tracked the hobgoblin raiders to the ruins of Brindol. The party needed to enter the hobgoblin lair, free the captives, recover the treasures and pretty much wipe out the hobgoblin menace once and for all.
Sheriff Narros had one other request of Diego. It seems that another mercenary had approached the Sheriff about the job just that day. Not trusting this stranger, and knowing that Diego was on his way, Sheriff Narros put this new guy, Felix , “Fix” Castor off. That night at the Green Tankard, Narros introduced Diego to Fix and asked Diego to take Fix with him and “feel him out”.
The next morning, led by the elven ranger Harrowleaf, the party, now accompanied by Fix, was led to the ruins of Brindol. Here, Harrowleaf had found an out of the way basement to set up camp and directed the party to an old mausoleum. The mausoleum was dedicated to the Rivenroar family, whom Brost recognized from his research on Hawkmoon as a noble family that relocated to the new town of Brindol to escape Hawkmoon politics. Descending the stairs, the party immediately encountered goblin guards in the entryway.
When one of the goblin crossbowmen escaped deeper into the crypts through the left-hand door, the party pursued, right into one of the goblin’s barracks. It was a bloody fight, but the goblins here were eventually defeated.
Taking the next passage left, the party came upon an odd sight, it was a large image of a castle deep within a swamp that looked almost real. When an ooze emerged from the illusion, they discovered that the image may have been more real than they first assumed. Once engaged with the ooze, two spectral opponents joined the fray.
Upon the defeat of this odd group of combatants, the party realized that it had two immediate pathways to pursue. From this room, they could go right or again left. They had also left two doors in the entryway unexplored and a door in the barracks unexplored.