Anselmo, Dorn, Kendal and Sova wait for full sunlight before approaching the enemy outpost. They find a wooden palisade blocking the road, though it’s still under construction and doesn’t reach all the way across the pass. They are able to creep quite close before using spells and arrows to pick off the hobgoblin sentries. Anselmo blows the horn of Caetar and the battle is on!
At the uncompleted edge of the palisade they run into several hobgoblins training dire wolves by dangling a hapless kobald in front of the ravenous beasts. When the hobgoblins see Dorn, they feed the kobald unceremoniously to the wolves, who then charge in a blood-frenzy.
After cutting down the first wave of wolves and hobgoblins, Sova and friends push inside the enemy camp and face another line of hobgoblin archers with their captain and three bugbears. Two spined devils fly in from Rookhaven to investigate the ruckus. In the end the field is littered with fallen foes and the heroes are victorious.
Inside the hobgoblin’s headquarters they find a vellum map of the lands northwest of Felleg’Avin, including Stonerim. On the walls hang banners of the hobgoblin’s 3rd Death Legion and six orc clans: White Skull, Three-scalps, Scars, Blood-Moon, Wolf-Tail, and Black-Tooth.
Dorn takes the captain’s greatsword and finds a letter on the fallen hobgoblin. With drums and shouts closing in they retreat back to their last camp and get a short rest while they wait for the Queensworn.
The rangers return with news that over 3000 orcs now cover the pass, with many ogres and at least five hill giants supporting them. Rookhaven itself is circled by dozens of flying demons or gargoyles. Jules offers to take this and any message Sova might have to the Chamber of Five and Sova’s father. She says simply, “tell them to prepare for war.”
Dorn shares the letter he found. It’s sealed with blood-infused wax, the signet the divine seal of Malice, used only by the goddess and certain high-clerics, and addressed “into the hands of Malebrant and no other.”
My dear child,
The forges at Helspire are lit. You need risk only one more shipment. Arrange it for midsummer.
I expect a full report of your setbacks in the city. Have no fear my child, your efforts have pleased me and some reaction by his faithful was to be expected. Redouble your efforts and remember: the hearts of men are easily swayed. Hatred is stronger than Justice. So it ever was and so it shall prove again.