Six days out from Lastlight, the adventurers were hot on the trail of the bugbear and goblins that have been wreaking havoc across the farms and trade routes of Sunder. Following clues from raided merchant caravans travelling on the road between Lastlight and the southern towns of Vandalin and Foolshelm, the adventurers push on, deeper into the wilderness. On an isolated track, little more than a goat-path, they find the mutilated bodies of two ponies – their riders missing, and possessions gone.
The trail leads them to an isolated valley well off the main road. A town used to be here, centuries ago – now it’s buried under landslides, moss and mighty trees, with little more than a seemingly-abandoned church to mark where it once stood. Having noticed some lights in the valley in the early morning, they search the forest and discover a young girl named Aadara. She is small and human-like, but not of a race that anyone has encountered before. She tells stories of the Raven King – a terrifying foe who is conquering the lands far to the south – and provides some limited assistance in identifying where the bugbear and goblins keep their lair. Her wariness around Taerus indicates that the Raven King may be an elf. Scouting the area, Erol notices dust rising from the north – perhaps riders, a short distance away. Otherwise, the area appears deserted.
Entering the cave where the monstrous raiders lurk, the adventurers quickly dispatch sentries and delve into the darkness. A guard positioned ahead escapes and sets off a trap that injures two of the party, but the group scrabble their way up a steep side-tunnel. There, they find a dwarf held captive by a band of goblins. Rastus uses his Burning Hands to obliterate the band. A mixture of intimidation and negotiation is used against the surviving goblin, failing which a flurry of arrows does the trick. Taerus rescues and revives the dwarf, and discovers her name to be Gwendalyn Hearthhold. She is niece to Burgen Hearthhold, the farmer/potion master killed by the bugbear a month ago. Gwendalyn was captured along with her brother, Gundren Hearthhold; she says something in passing of a map that Gundren held, but little more is mentioned at this time.
Some fine bowmanship by the rangers eliminate more threats – the returning sentry is dispatched, as are others who come to investigate the noises. The final battle is held in a dark cavern that acts as the bugbear’s lair and treasure chamber. The bugbear’s wolf attacks and nearly kills Gwendalyn. Sensing weakness, the bugbear emerges from the shadows and, swinging its massive spiked club, nearly kills Carnacki. The tiefling holds it off while Taerus circles around and backstabs the foul creature. Enraged, the bugbear knocks the elf to the ground before circling back on the other foes. As Rastus dispatches the last of the goblins with his quarterstaff and prepares to charge into the fray, Erol and Carnacki launch themselves at the bugbear and dispatch their massive foe.
After reviving wounded comrades with some homebrew healing potions, the adventurers search the den and discover a large stack of coins – many of them, Heathlander copper. These coins come from a lawless neighbouring kingdom to the lands of Sunder. There are no further clues of how the goblins and bugbear came to have them, however. Beyond the coins, they find a small statue and several crates marked with the sigil of the Goodbrace Trading Company, which operates in Sunder. There is no trace of Gwendalyn’s brother, Gundren or this mysterious map.