The rebellion awoke early on the day they knew the Iron Circle would attack. Dar Gremath and the adventurers agreed that they would serve as a rapid response force, assisting and taking on opponents where they were most needed. Their first task was to intercept a large group of Iron Circle attackers on their way into Albridge. They took up guarded positions on a farmstead, Malagar firing from the roof, Eldan sneaking dagger shots from behind a well, Lia slowing and disabling clusters of the enemy from behind a cart, and Velos targeting anything that got close. Berend manned the gate. Besides the poorly trained rabble, a female commander engaged the battle and after some over the wall swipes (including one that tripped Berend) they engaged face to face. Once most of the enemy was dispatched Velos struck fear into the heart of one remaining. It ran but was chased down and slain.
Dar Gremath came by shortly thereafter with no time for congratulations. Another group of Iron Circle, this one with more capable units, was making their way toward a weak line of rebels. The adventurers made their way and came upon a group that included two tar devils with flaming nets, a dark adept, and two brigands. This team was far more dangerous as one devil quickly incapacitated Berend. Lia and Velos both made a move to strike out at all of the enemy. They were successful, but Lia’s gambit led her into trouble as she was caught in the net of the other devil and pulled into dangerous territory. Malagar and Eldan wasted no time in tactically taking the enemy down one by one, and Lia freed herself from the net after her devils had been forced away. The team had opened up the fight and was able to shortly thereafter put an end to it.
The group needed a slightly longer rest, and they fortunately had it. However this time when Dar showed up he was far more adamant. Nazin Redthorn had been spotted. This was both a great potential danger, but also a great opportunity. The group was certainly ready for it. Eldan kept thinking of the great reward he would receive for burying several daggers into the leader of the Iron Circle. He wasn’t much for heroism, but now it could really pay off. Berend and Velos saw a great opportunity to stop a great evil from despoiling the land, while Lia sought to protect her people by putting an end to this grave threat. What Malagar was thinking though was anything but clear. He was proving to be a valuable ally, and it seemed likely that he was an outcast from his people, but why would he engage in this battle? Did he simply enjoy killing and saw this team as good a group as any to join? Was he making up for something? Did he actually care about the people of this land or even just those in this small crew?
These thoughts flitted through the heros’ minds, but foremost was the question of how to take down Redthorn. When they found him along with numerous rabble and two more tar devils, the plan was quickly set: Berend would engage rapidly and with overwhelming force as Lia slowed and took down those on the periphere and the others supported Berend. This plan looked like a good one, but they had underestimated the power of the enemy. While Lia picked rabble off easily enough and Velos, Eldan, and Malagar made good on their support of Berend, Nazin and his tar devils broke through Berend’s defenses on every strike, leaving him unconscious and bleeding. Fortunately he was not in immediate threat of death and the fire one of the devils had started obscured anyone’s view of Berend. The enemy began to focus on the support team, but not soon enough to stop them from bloodying Nazin and taking down one of the devils. The team looked on in surprise as Nazin turned to run to his steed. They had very quickly plugged him with well placed arrows, daggers, and divine strikes, but his strength had made them assume he would come for each of them next. Fortune shown on the group as Nazin overestimated the defenses of those still standing.
The enemy was still about though. Velos and Eldan got burned by the remaining tar devils fire, but they stood their ground. Berend had awoke seconds earlier but had stayed down to appraise the situation. Now he saw his chance as he got up, ran out from one fire, around a tree and charged the devil in the other fire. The devil was shocked and had no time to escape as Eldan struck next and finished him off.
There was no chance to stop Nazin. He got away. But Dar rode in soon thereafter exclaiming that the Iron Circle was retreating. The war was not over, but the day was won. However it was clear that the best plan was to finish this all quickly. As the group cleaned up and recovered in Albridge Dar explained about the Iron Keep (which used to be Harken Keep) in Harkenwold where Nazin had been staying. Fortunately the master stonemason of the major renovation of the keep 40 years 45 years prior was living in Harken and ready to help.