Trace of Breath
The Plight of Albridge
Chapter 1 in the Quest to free Barfield
Polycarp stops in at a bar, called the Barley Bin, and discovers a band of brigands, wearing the insignia of the Iron Circle, harassing locals and carousing obnoxiously. In hushed undertones, a barkeep named Dar Gremath explains that these mercenaries have named themselves the new law of the land. Their leader, Ptolome (pronounced Tall-uh-May), had been operating in the area for months as a traveling gypsy until a few days ago, when these brutes brought word that he had claimed the seat of Iron Keep in Marl and named himself sheriff of Barfield. There’d been no word of response from Duke Horace, but in the aftermath of the great war, there is little in the way of law and order able to oppose them.
When Polycarp challenged the men, they staggered drunkenly to their feet and attacked him for refusing to surrender his weapon. Though outnumbered, Polycarp fought well, and he was aided by the surprising appearance of Taima, a Dragonborn cleric of Bahamut on her way to see an old friend in Anvar. Convinced of the righteousness of Polycarp’s plight, and that of the townsfolk, she helped him defeat the brigands (272 XP).
Dar Gremath, who turned out to be a retired adventurer himself, begged for their help to rally the people of Barfield to oppose Ptolemy. He suggested attacking supply caravans of the Iron Circle, visiting the other towns or seeking the advice of Hearthelle, a Druid near Tor’s Hold. The heroes, joined by Taima, agreed to help the people and planned to investigate Harken on their way to Tor’s Hold. To help them succeed, Dar presented Camden with a magical dagger that had belonged to a swordmage comrade (level 7 magic item reward).