A few days later they arrived at Kas-Farak, the southern border stronghold of Gerllun. They were allowed entry after showing the pass gotten by Marco and sat down with Olia Marunt, the Muul leader of the southern Border Guards.
Donavan, A human arcane caster from the southern reaches of Vancalla, managed to gain permission to train with the weapon masters of Clan Gerllun. Part of the payment for training is service to the city in some way, usually a craft or skill of some sort but many warriors and adventurers serve as temporary border guards. Donavan was one of these, and he was traveling along the southern Riverwatch with two Muuls, Fiirga and Derak. They were attacked by a group of goblin wolf-riders led by a Barghest They defeated the Goblins and Barghest, but were wounded and exhausted and tried to make the journey quickly to Kas-Farak where Olia commands.
On the road they were ambushed by hidden archers, lured in by the body of a wounded Muul. Derak and Fiirga fell, and Donavan escaped only through the use of his magic. He managed to make it to Kas-Farak where Gabriel and his party were arranging passage to Gerllun with Olia.
After some discussion and explanations, Gabriel decides to continue on to the city of Gerllun, led by Donavan and bearing letters from Olia to the other strongholds and the city. They managed to avoid the archers, but were ambushed during the night by Gargun and twelve of the Sons of War.
Gargun yielded once he saw that these enemies were more powerful than the average Border Patrol, and he saw a chance to save the 5 tribes from their current predicament. Gabriel and the others agreed to meet with the other Warchiefs, Shiv, Waark and Ungar and see if they could help the Hobgoblin women and children.
Gabriel sent Cornelius back to Kas-Farak with Anna-Sophia and Annissa the next morning.
Gabriel met with the four chief and a deal was struck with them to free the women of the tribes, a plan was worked out, and Shiv led Gabriel’s band to a hidden path that would bring them to the Northern reaches of Fargul’s camp, near where Fargul himself has the women and children contained.
The party travelled onward to the hobgoblin encampment, and caught a glimpse of a large figure being led from there by a small escort. There was some talk about it possibly being Cornelieus, but the party was too far away to really do anything about it, and they still had to rescue Ana Sophia, if possible.
Through some Careful Planning, the party was able to sneak into the camp, subdue the guards, then Eylyl and Kai took down the priest before he could so much as make a sound. The party then arranged to get horses, so they could catch up with the ones who had taken COrnelius away, but not before Gabriel announced that he would be heading to Gerlun, for Ana Sophia’s safety more than anything else, and that Phaedra should lead in his absence. While this was going on, a hobgoblin named Volarr asked to travel with the party. He was filled with hate, but that was directed towards the priests who had killed his wife (who followed him as a spirit). A Mul named Gaarvak Fundin joined the party for some reason, too. He was a member of the Gerllun border guard and was traveling toward the Eastern outpost of Fartia. But he had scout levels and the track feat, so he turned out to be pretty useful.
Enhorsed and in a hurry, the party did a lot of hard marching to catch up with Cornelius and the forest trolls who were guarding him. After a running and sniping battle, the party closed with the trolls. Kai was poisoned, along with one or two other members, but finally the trolls were killed, one subdued, and Cornelius rescued. Dag, who was about as useful in the battle as tits on the proverbial bull, collected some poison from the fangs of the defeated trolls, and tried to make it look like he had actually done something in the battle.
Cornelius revealed that the trolls were bringing him to Geffen Stalt. Upon hearing this name, Else was visibly stricken. Questions came up, and Phaedra gave in to the pressure of leadership, placing Else in charge. Else was a little surprised at this turn of events (although the players were not), and then the party realized that they had been marching for the last four days, and decided to rest, although there were plans to question the remaining troll, and the party’s next step had not been decided for sure in the wake of the transfer of leadership.
Using inventive excavation techniques, the party questioned the remaining troll who told them of three other armies comprised of orcs and goblinoids as well as a large contingent of men from Vanir, each led by a priest of the Reaper. The most dangerous of the priests, according to the troll, was an illithid named Vera Kulmin, and the General in charge of the entire invading force was none other than Defrain Chanteal, who Else identified as one of the higher ranked high priests of the Reaper and a vampire.
Gaarvak found it impossible to believe that an invading army of that size passed the borders of Gerllun without the dwarves knowledge. Regardless of the validity of this army, he planned on investigating the area they were supposed to be at, which was between here and Fartia, and then travel on to report his findings to the captain of the stronghold, Oria Murunt.
Getting a description of Greffen Stalt from the troll, Elyl, Phaedra and Cornelius seemed sure that this half giant was the same priest who killed Zerick in the Jungles of Parasabda. Volaar took part in the interrogation, using his powers of creepiness to intimate the troll, who somehow manned up and began to taunt the hobgoblin. This didn’t end well for the troll as Volaar lost his temper as the taunting included his wife’s immortal soul, and Volaar caved in the troll’s head, ending the conversation.
Elyl wanted revenge, Volaar lived for nothing else, Kai seemed up for killing, and Else seemed intent on facing this Greffen Stalt for his own reasons. Phaedra, Dag and Donavan thought this a bad idea, though Pheadra did wish to see Greffen dead, they had other priorities.
Donning his new Mantle of Leadership, Else decided to accompany Gaarvak and “investigate” and if possible eliminate this Greffen Stalt. Most of the group agreed with this, save Pheadra who was now perhaps regretting her impulsive decision to hand over leadership to Else, as no one seemed to listen to her argument, save the two newest members of this group. She reluctantly agreed to follow the group as she made her opposition known to the others.
Cornelius, who had been strangely silent during this discussion, took Else aside and told him that he thought it a bad idea for himself, Pheadra and Elyl to go into this camp and possibly be captured as the priests seemed to be specifically looking for the three of them and had been since they left Loxosphil. He planned to ask Dag and Donavan to accompany him to the outpost on ridge and hopefully catch up with Gabriel and then on to Gerllun with him and Ana Sophia.
So the Group split again, Cornelius, Dag and Donavan heading North to the outpost on the ridge, the others heading east to travel along the hidden dwarven trails to find this hidden army camp.
They traveled for another day and a half when Gaarvak left the others at dusk to go and scout ahead after seeing signs of patrols circling where this camp was most likely located. Gaarvak told the others to follow after an hour, taking care to cover their tracks.
Following the trail markers left by Gaarvak, they met up with him and he led them to a secluded gully that should be safe from random patrols to discuss what Gaarvak had found out infiltrating the enemies camp.
It wasn’t, however, and a patrol consisting of a Half fiendish dwarf mounted on some sort of horrific aberration and six half giants descended upon the group. A pitched battle ensued, which the group eventually won, but not without cost. Gaarvak and the half fiend seemed to challenge each other in dwarven, but the half fiend proved stronger as Gaarvak was killed.