Upon riding into Valkur’s Roar, the party is stopped at the town gate by rough looking guards in mismatched armor, demanding a toll. They are also shaking down a traveling merchant. The party steps in to assist the merchant and almost gets into a fight themselves while Noxital magically creates beer to placate the guards.
As they ride further into the center of town, it becomes clear that the town guards are out of control and do as they please. A meeting with the mayor confirms this. It seems the town had been under attack by rampaging gnolls and all manner of beasts from the surrounding countryside. The town’s own militia was ineffective against the monster. A group of mercenaries offered to rid the town of the invaders, but at a cost. Now the mercenaries “patrol” the town daily, taking what they want and generally causing a ruckus.
As the party spoke with the mayor, the leader of the mercenaries kicked open the door of the town hall and demanded his weekly payment for “services rendered”. The party decided to investigate the situation with the gnolls and leave the mayor to deal with the mercs. As they walked out the door past the mercs, they caught a glimpse of a medallion of Cyric on the leader, which most likely meant that the mercs were Zhentarim soliders.
The party took rooms for the night at the Rooster’s Rest, small inn frequented mainly by farmers and not mercenaries. Though there were a couple mercs in the bar, they caused no trouble. The only other person of interest in the bar was a cloaked halfling who declined to speak with the party.
At first light, the party journeyed out the South gate toward the supposed area where the gnolls came from. The guards eyed them suspiciously, and two of their number went back inside the town, presumably to report the party’s movements.
It was not long before 2 soldiers and the one from before with the medallion of Cyric caught up to the party. Fortunately, the party saw them coming and hid in the treeline as they approached. The mercs dismounted to track the party, and the party ambushed and defeated them. A quick interrogation revealed the location of the merc camp to the South.
Figuring that the gnolls were not the threat, the party rode toward the likely direction of the merc camp. Splurg cut their horses’ post ties and caused a stampede through the camp, causing the mercs in camp to scatter, allowing the party to sneak in and kill a few of them. With the camp empty, they were free to examine the leader’s tent. The mercs had led the gnolls to the village in order to “remove” them and extort money and goods from the villagers. A chest of gold was found, which likely belonged to the village.
The party rode hard back to town and quickly dispatched the guard at the gate. They remembered that the mercs usually take dinner at a bar called the Skulking Rat, and so rode there to eliminate as many as they could. It was a bloodbath. Only one Zhent solider managed to escape the bar, but Sanora put an arrow through the back of his head before he could cross the street.
The last stop was town hall. The two guards outside were little threat. The mayor was being held hostage by one last Zhent solidier and a Zhent War Mage. The party attempted to negotiate to no avail. A few rounds of melee saw the Zhents dead on the floor and the mayor rescued just in time. The chest of gold did indeed belong to the town, and the mayor tossed the party a bag of gold for their trouble, and made sure the townsfolk knew of their valorous deeds.
The town heroes spent another night at the Rooster’s Rest before traveling on West. Noxital Pridebane attempted to flirt with a cloaked woman at the bar, but only managed to belch in her face.