The heroes healed up and were met by the tosculi who were pleased to see they removed the others from their home. They escorted you back to the cave-in that was created by the Legion and after you left, immediately started fixing the wall.
Once you made your way back to the Stator Mines a message was sent through the bottle to HQ about your situation, regarding Rigel 108 and the Robes of the Fallen. You spent the next couple of days recovering in the Broken Dagger waiting for a reply.
Two days later you finally heard back.
There is only one person that we know of that can help you with this predicament. He is an arcane and divine researcher named Morthos. He has retired to the village of Alnerwick. However, this village lies within the borders of Aqium, about 4-5 days from your location. Legion forces that recently took Arabona also captured the nearby Fort Rifugio. You’ll need to be careful as you will be in enemy territory. Report back when you reach the village.
Corvus Septum spent the next four days traveling into Aqium territories to the village of Alnerwick. As they approached, they saw plumes of black smoke.
A handful of women were all that remained, they said the Legion came down from Fort Rifugio, killed all the men, and all for the damn tiefling, Morthos.
The heroes contacted HQ about this latest development
You will need to infiltrate Fort Rifugio, find Morthos, and break him out. This is a well defended fortress manned by those who captured Arabona. A direct assault on the fortress is ill-advised, so you’ll need to split up into two-man teams when you reach the fortress walls and find different points of entry.
Also, Commander Vahlen is the person in charge of Fort Rifugio and he has been instrumental in developing the war plans for the Legion herein Decius. It is likely that he has the plans on him, so if you can get copies of them, it was be a tremendous boon for Decius. We have an operative within the fortress who will try and assist you as best he can. He has placed a handful of stashes around the fortress with this symbol on them:
Keep an eye out for them, they could be very valuable to accomplish your mission. Try and knock out the spotlights in the field next to the fort, they could be a great help in your escape. Get Morthos out and back to Alimar, the war plans are optional.
Corvus started to head towards Fort Rifugio and Brenna sent out her raven to scout out ahead.
Corvus wisely waits until night before making their move towards the fort, beginning their approach from the safety of a heavily wooded area.
The heroes quickly dispatched a guard sleeping in a set of ruins, then slipped past two more that stopped to watch two squirrels fight over an acorn.
After they quickly and quietly dealt with some rats. From here the group split up. Brenna and Brodus going up the west side of the fields while the gnomes headed up the east side and going through the stream.
A nearby guard swore he saw or heard something in the stream and moved over to investigate while the gnomes remained still. Eventually he gave up and Evaine and Ethne continued upstream.
Meanwhile on the other side, Brenna and Brodus slipped past some more guards along the way.
Until they reached a breach in the main wall. A handful of laborers were working on it. A guard with his back to the area was not far away. The two slipped past the opening and down into a sewer grate and into the sewers.
While it was night, the entire fortress was well light, and included two spotlights over the main gate, similar to the ones in the fields.
Brenna and Brodus continued into the sewers and dealt with a carrion crawler.
Meanwhile, the gnomes slipped in under the grate for the stream and entered the fort.
From here they entered a different sewer system, unconnected to the one the others went through. Once there, they ran right into a giant spider.
Brodus and Brenna worked on clearing out the rest of the main sewer area, dispatching a 2nd and 3rd carrion crawler.
The gnomes passed the winch room and came up onto the streets of the fort, in the far southeast corner.
At about the same time, Brenna and Brodus came up near the center of the fort, not far from the main guard building.
Here they saw Commander Vahlen, with escorts, enter the main guard building. They tried to listen in and pretend they were guards here but all they saw was Vahlen eventually leave this area and head to the Misty Moon Inn. From here they headed up to the top of the northeast tower, and took out the scout.
They gnomes maneuvered around to a nice hiding place behind the Misty Moon Inn. Fortune and luck were on their side as Evaine spoke with their trusted contact in the fort. He whispered to her at the window that Vahlen was here with guards and later he dropped her one of the secret stashes.
Brenna and Brodus circled around to the battlements and using a nearby ladder, slipped into the 2nd floor of the mansion.
Here they learned, from the butler, that this is where Vahlen lives. They were able to fool the butler, not only making him believe they were here to fix the chandelier, but also that they should be paid 3 gps for it.
Luck was on their side again and the gnomes ran into Brodus and Brenna in a dark alley. They exchanged information on what each had learned so far.
Evaine told them about the silent horn they acquire that only the two of them could hear. They set up a 3 signal pattern to communicate with each other. The two teams compared notes and divided up the remaining parts of the fort.
The gnomes headed for an area that turned out to be the interrogation chamber and confronted the torturer.
As they left this area, they saw the body of the scout that Brodus and Brenna killed atop the tower and threw into the river.
The gnomes made it to the southwest tower and climbed up the sides to take out the scout up top.
Brodus and Brenna began to work their way through the marketplace.
Luck would turn on the gnomes as the scout atop the tower was crafty and resilient. They nearly had him thrown off the tower but he caught himself on the railing with his rand. Meanwhile in the distance, at the market square, something else was about to go down.
Meanwhile, Vahlen appeared and moved through the marketplace with his guards, one of them a minotaur.
The minotaur stopped and looked at Brodus, You! What is your name? What herd are you from?
Brodus stumbled through his answers to the now unbelieving minotaur. A fight was inevitable.
In a case of perfect timing, the gnomes flung the scout off the tower who wailed in pain and landed with a loud thud. Alarms were raised throughout the fort. Vahlen and his minotaur bodyguard raced towards the SE tower while Brenna and Brodus seized the opening and made a run for it.
The gnomes ducked into the 2nd floor of the guard tower and found Morthos, chained to a wall.
Evaine signaled that they have the target and it is time for everyone to get the hell out of here.
Brodus ran through a guard coming over the bridge and escaped the way the gnomes came into the fort.
Brenna ducked back into the sewers and escaped the way she and Brodus came into the fort.
The gnomes, with Morthos, escaped through the nearby breach in the wall and to the open fields in front of the fort.
Brodus lifted the gate over the stream and the body of the guard he threw over before, washed down the stream, right into the paws of a bear fishing in the stream
The gnomes dealt with a guard and with Morthos continued along, behind them, and invisible Brenna saw the direction they were heading.
As they made a push, Evaine knocked out the nearby spotlight temporarily, but it was enough to get through the open area and back into more wooded areas.
Brodus darted down the front of the fort and came in behind the his fellow comrades.
But by this time Vahlen and the minotaur bodyguard were made it to the first spotlight which was not up and running again. Brodus was caught, the two minotaurs circled each other in a fight to the death. Brodus was ready to lay down his life so that his comrades could escape, but Brenna swung back around to cast a spell. It was just enough for Brodus to slip away.
Corvus Septum put a couple of days between themselves and Fort Rifugio. During that time they contacted HQ and brought Morthos up to speed on the situation. Morthos said their was someone that could help them. In the Nosiriath Realm, a unique individual by the name of Triton 714.
Throughout the mission the group stumbled upon several notes, letters, and documents that showed a glimpse to things happening behind the scenes. Here are the highlights of them:
- Commander Vahlen is the man in charge of Fort Rifugio. He is a cruel and driven man.
- Rumors that Aqium possesses airships that were probably built by the gnomes of Geargrind Island.
- Aqium not only controls dragons but squadrons and dragons.
- Ingar the Blacksmith is engaged in suspicious behavior.
- There are three known warforged in the world, Triton 714, Rigel 108, and a third one.
- The Legion of Aqium is aware of two similar groups of convert operations from Decius. One is Corvus Septum, and the other is the Abyssal Blades.
- A half-orc loudmouth named Gruk has been taken to The Citadel
- The Blacksail is sought out by the Legion of Aqium and they recently escaped from them through a strange storm that came out of nowhere.
- Possible sighting of Bulpuller boarding a ship in Vitera bound for Ramicus.
- The Legion of Aqium contains a smaller branch called the Artifact Recovery Team, they hunt magic items and most likely the Seven Artifacts.
- Commander Vongrim Bronzeshield passed by here recently.
- Possible sighting of the Warrior of the Woods nearby
The story continues in North.