The heroes of the resistance and the resistance outriders began the session celebrating their victory in the smoldering ruins of Arwich. They drank, finished off the last of the guards, dueled and divided up the spoils. They have, generally speaking, enough armaments to arm and equip 50 guards – leather armor, spears, short swords, wooden shields and crossbows.
There are also around 40 slaves to deal with – 6 of whom wish to join the Outriders permanently, all of them relatively healthy young adults with a half dozen children that would be used as leverage. The PCs plan to return them to Baden’s Bluff, possibly in Emre’s employ, and to smuggle themselves back into the city.
Maeve rides ahead to scout out the city, slips over the wall and kills a Hobgoblin guard on her way in. She does some listening, and discovers that Atradees Khoyl, the Hobgoblin huntsman, has been sent out with his 35 rangers and 100 Hobgoblin light infantry to find the channeler, or channelers who have been aiding the resistance, and any allies they have with them, and bring back their heads or don’t return at all.
She also finds out about a semi-secret meeting of the Avenging Knives, where Jen Almasi is re-hashing a new version of her failed assassination plan from two years ago, seeking to kill Helrion Baden during a public address to the city. She has 30 supporters from a crowd of 50, and 10 of those are convinced to abandon her by Maeve, who has found herself a new enemy.
She returns and reports, and the heroes and outriders decide to fall back from the overwhelming force facing them to the Trollscarl forest, knowing that channelers cannot be tracked there by Legates, and hoping that the threat of Trolls would keep them away.
During their retreat, Jin leads a group of outriders to skirmish with three ranger scouts, killing two of them and bringing one back to be terrified by Emre’s magic until he gives up details of the Hobgoblin plans. Maeve, unable to restrain her desire for vengeance, kills another three of them on her own. (For those keeping track, that’s down to 29 rangers now left under Atradees).
They meet the Trolls, and are brought before a crazed, naked Caransil Elf (whose name is Gwylael, though she does not introduce herself). She accuses them of lying to her, threatens them very awkwardly, and demonstrates surprising magical powers. Emre notes a powerful flow and accumulation of magical energy near the center of this forest, which this Elven madwoman seems to draw upon. She is able to scry using a piece of mirror she carries with her, and the center of the forest has a distinct topiary feel, with decoratively-placed and arranged trees and plant life.
She makes a deal with them – prove they did not come here leading the Hobgoblins to her, and she will help them deal with them, wanting to kill the Goblinkin either way. She also demands the bloodstone, which she destroys, burying the shards.
Next session will open with a big freaking fight in the forest against some large number of Hobgoblins, hopefully with the help of Trolls.