Bairwin begged her not to go. “They’re going to kill me, I just know it!” But, Fey’rel could not ignore the news she received about Kevin being dragged off by the mystery elf, so go she did.
Kriv, Maiya, and Fey’rel pursued Kevin’s captors through the night and most of the next day. They found a camp where the captors split into two groups, kobolds and hobgoblins, each going separate ways after burning a half dozen bodies in a fire. They found a dead goblin, killed during some unknown petty squabble, and that dead goblin was wearing a strip of linen tied to his arm whose color was eerily reminiscent of their own colors in a previous life where they were soldiers in a mercenary company, The Bloodreavers.
Finally, near a ruined monastery the heroes caught up with the hobgoblins, and rescued Kevin, who was not dead. In fact, he was very much alive, another ominously real dream of the Shadowfell not withstanding.
Convinced of a much larger force ahead, the heroes withdraw back to Winterhaven. On the way they retrace their steps to follow the kobold trail. It leads to the “Old Dragon Burial Site.” The site turns out to be an excavation site very much like the one found under the Keep, where kobolds have been digging for an artifact called The Mirror of Shadows. The heroes know nothing of the mirror, however, and are only searching for the stolen power core, taken from the smithy. They find it in the hands of some rather terrified and leaderless kobolds. The kobolds exchange the power core for their life, and are instructed to rehabilitate their miserable lives by praying to a golden idol of the dragon god, Bahamut.
The core is returned to Coalstriker who gladly renews their credit.
Upon returning to Winterhaven, the heroes receive news that the previous night someone had broken into the lord’s manor, killed the halfling prisoner, and kidnapped the lord’s own wife and two children as well. Witnesses claim the kidnapper was an elf. The kidnapper did leave a ransom note.
For your meddling in affairs beyond your comprehension you are punished. The halfling’s blood is first to stain your hands. If you wish to avoid the death of your precious spawn, the price is 5,000 pieces of gold. In two weeks bring my money south on the Old King’s Road. Bring a horse. Come alone. Test me and you will never see your precious family again!
It appears there are another ten villager missing as well. This time their houses are emptied, all possessions carefully packed, and removed, as if they knew they were leaving. The lord surmises they are accomplices of the elf, and maybe have been all along, in her employment by the cultist Kalarel. Lord Padraig offers the heroes the 5,000 gold if they can rescue his family, and offers to assist in their investigation in any way he can.
While searching the homes of the missing villagers (“accomplices”) the heroes discover the remains of old magic circle dedicated to Orcus, confirming their suspicions about the villagers’ position within the cult. In the elf’s old apartment they find a old fishing lure in the couch cushions which reminds Fey’rel of an orphan girl that once followed their old mercenary captain around, very much like a page, once long ago. Could this elf spy really be the page of their old captain?
Between this new lead and returning to the Keep, the heroes decide to set out for the ruined monastery once more. This time, Lord Padraig and ten of the Winterhaven regulars, along with horses and provisions accompany them. The heroes tell Padraig some of what they know about the Bloodreavers and Captain Lo-Kag. They do not tell him of their previous association.
Upon arriving once more at the ruins, Fay’rel and Splug scout the location to judge the company’s true strength and defenses. In the process, the dark elf spots a nearby conclave of eladrin camped near a magical fountain. The mercenary camp itself confirms reports they are approximately 50 in number mixed humans and hobgoblins. Nearly 20 prisoners are also chains to the stumps of trees near the center of the camp.
A minute or so of closer inspection reveals the camp is just a trap. The sentries are dummies, the tents are empty, and the prisoners are goblins. The true mercenary force is waiting in ambush position with the false camp in sight. Before Fey’rel can withdraw, however, she is spotted by once of the real sentries, and an old fellow Bloodreaver. Mira is the long time consort to Captain Lo-Kag. She interrogates the dark elf, gets what she believes is the truth, and then offers to let her go in return for her magic sword. Mira did not see Splug. Splug sneaks up on Mira, whacks her in the knee with the club of screaming, which turns out to be an apt moniker, and Fey’rel gets away.
Upon hearing of a large group of eladrin camped nearby, the heroes decide the try and win their alliance against the mercenaries if possible. They leave the dark elf out of this discussion, naturally, and she wait nearby with the Splug and the regulars.
The heroes discover they are a contingent of fey knights from House Velfarren, led by its scions Berrian and Analastra. The fount is a holy site dedicated to Ioun, goddess of knowledge, and the eladrin are here to study its secrets in pursuit of a quest for their family. They are reluctant to become involved in the conflict between humans, no matter how sad they are for Lord Padraig’s situation. Kevin offers the Rod of Ruin in return for their assistance. Still, the eladrin refuse. Then, they offer to assist Berrian in his quest, and still he refuses. Analastra points out, however, that they have been searching for answers for many years and are no closer to finishing their quest than when they began, and that perhaps the humans are destined to be the key that opens the door to the mysteries they are seeking. Finally, the eladrin agree, swearing each member of the party before them to return and assist in their quest when they are ready.
The attack on the mercenary camp is swift and decidedly one-sided. With the help of the Lord Padraig AND the eladrin, the Bloodreavers are quickly defeated. Lo-Kag himself appears after being called out by Kriv, and is cut down by a host of allies. With his dying break, Lo-Kag warns Kriv, “…you…must use your strength…lead…the weak!”
Surviving the attack are Mira, her son Joachim, a handful of mercenaries held in reserve to guard their treasure, and 15 of the remaining missing from Winterhaven. When Kriv appears wearing the Captain’s Fist, Lo-Kag traditional symbol of authority, the mercenaries immediately assume Kriv will be assuming the mantle of captain. Kriv is at first interested in the prospect of taking command of his own company, especially when he learns half their number is still camped beneath Thunderspire, waiting for their captain to return with new orders.
After a difficult discussion regarding the 15 prisoners that were to be sold for 7.5k in gold to their patron, who paid them to come north in the first place, whereupon Kriv freed them all and returned their stolen possessions. Kriv tell Mira, who is quite surprised at such mercy from the new captain of the Bloodreavers, that he will not traffic in slaves. After all, the dragonborn were once slaves to their dragon masters. Furthermore he sends Mira away with their treasury and command of the company itself. Kriv will have none of it. He tells Fey’rel, “The problem with mercenary companies is everyone wants to be captain. I didn’t want to have to be looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life.”