Marl was a wreck. As a community it may never be the same again. Stories say there was resistance here, and The Iron Circle used it as an example. Burnt out buildings outnumbered habitable ones, there were numerous graves along the road, fields were untended or burnt, fences and gates smashed, farm animals slaughtered and left to rot. The few people the party did see hurried away and hid, or slammed doors in their faces.
The sun had just gone down when the party arrived at Marl’s Tavern. Where a sign should be showing the name of the tavern was just a lonely sign bracket. Light spilled out from the windows and door, but the friendly bustle of tavern noise was missing. Someone was complaining in a loud, coarse voice. Ione and Gauthak went in first, the plan being that if there were any Iron Circle brigands there, they would probably start trouble when faced with just two adventurers. And so it proved. Trouble started and Bobo, Leshana, Tor and Suvalaka poured in. Two more Iron Circle cut throats, rummaging through the tavern keeper’s house and stables heard the commotion. By then the fight – a deadly fight with weapons, not a tavern brawl – was nearly over, so Gauthak and Bobo, each trying to out do each other, launched themselves through the tavern windows to attack these new foe (Leshanna helped out afterwards using a “mend” ritual to repair the damage). They captured the last Iron Circle survivor and sent him back to Harken Village naked and with a message for the Iron Circle leader Nazin Redthorn – “Your days are numbered. We will take back Harkenwold!”
“That should get him moving,” laughed Gauthak.
They stayed the night in the stables in Marl, and then continued their journey to the Woodsinger camp. Farmland gave way to woodland, and soon they were in the Harken Forest. The ancient road was not well travelled here, and was in poor shape. Within a few hours they had encountered a Woodsinger elven patrol and had been taken to the Woodsinger chief, a dark eyed elf female named Eriyel. Initially she is reluctant to commit to the human conflict, but did acknowledge the danger the Iron Circle may eventually pose.
Eriyel asked that if her people were to fight and die in the battle on the side of the rebels, she wanted her people to have an immediate benefit from it. She told the party of an eladrin ruin where an undead necromancer had made his lair. The necromancer was forging a relationship with the Daggerburg goblins, which was going to be trouble for Harken Wood in general, and the Woodsinger elves in particular. If they would go and deal with this undead necromancer, Eriyel would provide archers for the battle.
The party accepted this and after being given directions and instructions, set out for the eladrin ruins. En route they were attacked by goblins and giant spiders. However they were easily dispatched by the party. Once at the stone circle the ritual was conducted, and the party were teleported into the dungeons underground. Here they fought goblins first, and then (after falling into a trap, bouncing off a locked door, and getting in each other’s way) finally faced Yasril the undead necromancer and his minions. As well as his undead soldiers, Yasril had a glimmer spider under his control.
The glimmer spider had various abilities, including the ability to throw a radiant web, become invisible, and to teleport. Yasril himself was no pushover, having many spells, and the skeleton warriors were tough.
In the end the party prevailed, although all the warriors had been unconsious at one time or another, and the prospect of death for them had perhaps never been closer. But in the end the lair was looted, and a passage was found out of the dungeon.
Back at the Woodsinger elven camp Eriyel promised to gather her forces and would send 50 elven archers within a few days to Albridge. The party began their trip back to Albridge. Surely they had done enough to force The Iron Circle into a battle!