The attack on Remulus’ hideaway was divided into two fronts: a main force, made up of Eldrad, Nevara, and Coldsweat, would attack the base head-on while Althaea used a secret passage to confront Remulus one-on-one. She surprised the thief lord and managed to beat him into submission. She learned that both he and Brigand Baneous were working for a man named Gravitus, an enigmatic figure who concealed his face with a silver mask. Gravitus had apparently elected Baneous to be the right hand of Ardennes’ usurper-king. Ardennes is currently a military dictatorship, ruled by a legion of orcs that massacred its native elves.
Meanwhile, the main force rushed the underground base, eliminating Remulus’ guards with ease. However, they soon learned that the thief lord had one last trick waiting for them in the mess hall. His last remaining thugs unleashed a rabid owlbear upon the invaders as they rained arrows down upon them from a defensive battlement. Eldrad transformed into the form of a massive bear to fight his monstrous foe, but was unable to match its strength and fury. Three powerful swipes of the owlbear’s talons rent apart Eldrad’s flesh and skin, killing the elf.
Althaea and Nevara’s quick thinking, however, allowed the party to escape with both Remulus’ loot and Eldrad’s corpse. They could only pray that a cleric in town had the power to bring him back from the jaws of death.
They requested that the High Priest of Baldur at the temple restore Eldrad’s life to him. In a grand ceremony, their elven companion was returned to life. The party then made all haste to Restenford, where Hectre was imprisoned. Marco told them he was being held in a small fortress on Bone Hill, near town. They hoped Marco could persuade Hectre’s captors to release him, but Marco was devoured by a gelatinous cube, an acidic monster that was imprisoned on the bottom floor of the fortress. Upon ascending to the top of the fortress, they found Hectre in chains and overseen by three sinister beings, dressed in red robes and silver masks.
The three figures say that they captured Hectre and hoped to retrieve Naiadé for their master, Gravitus, but were disappointed to learn that Baldur’s blood did not flow in Hectre’s veins. They released Hectre and vanished in a cloud of black smoke, warning that “danger would be on their heels.” Mere moments later, a war horn sounded from the west, in the direction of Restenford.
An army of orcs, nearly two hundred strong, marched for Restenford.