4th of Tarsakh, midday.
The members of the Gray Hands search the town after interrogating Kella Darkhope, who reveals she works for the Zhentarim, a powerful and ruthless faction of merchants from the Moonsea region of the Realms. She tries to convince the adventurers to join her in claiming Nightstone for the Zhents.
Bogg the Orc Barbarian and Varis the Elven Ranger search more of the abandoned cottages, and soon discover two other survivors being tortured by a pair of goblins: Fletch, a Half-Elven Rogue and Uso Rahim, a Tiefling Sorceror and courtier of Waterdeep. They both reveal they were approached by Jardwim the Ranger to join the Gray Hands but decided to travel directly to Nightstone to investigate for their respective patrons. They join the rest of the adventurers after their credentials check out.
The sound of an ominous warhorn is heard and Bogg informs his comrades that an orc warband is near, and soon the town is besieged by orcs of the Ear Seeker Tribe; its leader can be seen in the distance with a shaman directing the assault, but they leave when they witness the adventurers defeat the orcs. Soon the adventurers hear the sound of about a dozen orc war-drums. During the siege Zhakaras releases Kella to seek refuge in the Keep. After a heated melee the adventurers manage to kill the invading orcs and settle into one of the guard towers for a long rest.
Fetch goes to the Keep and searches for loot, discovers a chest loaded with coin and defended by a magically animated sword; he makes a hasty escape and returns to the rest of the party the following morning.
5th of Tarsakh, morning.
Preparing to leave Nightstone the adventurers soon discover from the 4 remaining towns guards that Kella did not go to the keep but instead jumped into the moat and fled the town heading northeast. The party decide to take their horses and travel about a mile north to the Dripping Caves to investigate the whereabouts of the missing townsfolk.
They find their tracks and soon confront a pair of Ogres guarding the cave's entrance. After dispatching the ogres they are beset upon by goblin archers. Kass then leads the party into exploring a tunnel that leads to a goblin nest, and a huge boulder-trap is released that nearly kills half the party; promptly a hasty exit to reformulate a new strategy to rescue the survivors of Nightstone still trapped inside the Dripping Caves…
Party Loot collected thus far:
- A gold signet ring with the Zhentarim symbol, worn by the slain bandit captain Xolkin, (25 gp)
- Coins: 4pp, 13gp, 5 gemstones (worth 100gp each)
- Potion of Invulnerability
- 7 Riding Horses, (belonged to the Seven Snakes bandits) plus riding gear
- Winged snake, which Kass has seduced to make her familiar, (Asper)