As night fell, the party reached the low, stout bastion of Roklund Keep. It was here that they were to find employment under the service of Warrick, the Duke’s champion in his proxy wars against the city of Laruqa. Warrick was a master of the style of warfare that best suited the City States. To wage war without openly declaring it was a difficult process, but by operating outside of the Duke’s direct authority and by using mercenaries, it allowed the Duke to wage war without openly declaring it.
Upon arriving, they were informed of the situation in the area: Warrick was preparing for a large-scale incursion into Laruqan territory, but was having supply issues due to frequent goblin raids. At present, they were simply a nuisance, but the situation was growing worse. To make matters more complicated, a scouting party from Laruqa had been revealed in the area and only the gods knew for how long.
Kaz immediately set off with his followers to take care of the scouts, who they found easily several miles south of Roklund. In a masterstroke ambush that took less than a minute to complete, the six enemy scouts were laid low in a flurry of spells, brutal hand-to-hand attacks, and crackling lightning. A few minutes later, the scouts had been questioned and the party was preparing to set off with the scouts own horses.
It was Laucian who heard the sound of feet pounding toward their position. In moments, dozens of goblins began to pour through the woods, threatening to overrun the party. Kaz ordered a hasty withdrawl, and his mercenaries fell back to Roklund, a single scout prisoner in tow. But it was soon realized that all of the important documents had been left at the campsite due to the haste of retreat, and all of that information was now in the hands of the goblin warchief, King Gifki.
It took only a few days for Gifki and his troops to put this new knowledge to use. A series of raids hit some of the weaker villages and farmsteads in the area, and the caravan carrying all of the region’s tax revenues was ambushed and stolen. This money was meant to pay Warrick’s mercenaries, but as he had hired them to retrieve the information the spies had gathered and they had failed somewhat at this task, he insisted they be the ones to retrieve the gold.
In order to find where to begin their search, Laucian decided to pursue the warband that had chased his allies back to their fortress and, after hours of travel, he managed to track them to a stone tower overlooking a river crossing several miles southeast of where they had encountered the scouts. Sadly, he was detected by the goblins, who lit a large warning beacon atop the tower and sent out scores of goblins to butcher the elf where he stood. Knowing that a fight would cost him his life, as well as the valuable information he now possessed, Laucian fled back to Roklund to inform his allies of what had transpired.