The Five Lords made their way to the mouth of the caves, back to the Northern Pass to escort Androso home to Hammertooth and to Justice. They were greeted by both sunlight and by one of the winged Clay Scouts from the fortress. After handing a note to Arjhann, he addressed all the lords together.
“Great masters, I have news both good and dangerous. Along the road running from here to our home, bandits have set up several ambushes. I was able to avoid them, but their forces are too strong to be attacked directly by this force here. Last count, there were 4 different banners represented in the ambushes. None of them bore the Wolf Fang’s banner.”
“There is an alternate route that will take extra time to traverse in order to provide a safe return. Fortunately, upon your return, you will find the outer perimeter rebuilt and secure for defense. Brandis had the garrisoned troops fortify the walls, gates, and archer towers surrounding Hammertooth Village. We will be prepared to repel any attack thanks to his preparations.”
Armed with this warning against the threat of multiple bandit gangs forming some sort of army, the Lords set out along a longer route to return. After a sort distance, they noticed the hilltops were crowded with onlookers. They had been found and surrounded quickly. Once they were fully encircled, a frightening looking Drow steppe forward.
“Bring out your leader so I may persuade him. Bring out your master so that mine may be set free.”
Arjhann stepped forward, and despite the Drow’s threats, refused to release Androso. The Drow grew impatient and said “I will make a bargain with you. I will duel your master and if he wins, you may go on your way after giving me Androso. But if I win, I will decimate every community in this valley. Every tenth man will be slain in every settlement large and small. then I will return for Androso. Begin.”
Suddenly, Guards stepped in front of the other 4 Lords, separating them from Arjhann as the duel began. The Drow shot Arjhann with a hand crossbow that he pulled out of nowhere, then quickly sliced him twice with his rapier. Before taking a step in anger, Arjhann fell.
“Very well. I’m off to decimate the valley. If you survive this fight, I’ll return to claim Androso soon” the Drow said as he picked up Arjhann and stole away.
The remaining lords fought the guards feverishly, only defeating them when Arjhann was long out of sight. The made with haste down the path to Hammertooth until, near sunset, one of the Wolf Fangs approached.
“Sir, begging your pardon, but this is an ideal spot to deal with that party that’s giving us chase. We’ve got just enough time to set something up.” Morgoroth stepped forward and blessed the area with a prayer, as pits were dug, mannequin soldiers placed, and hideouts crafted. Tents rigged with magic explosions finished the preparations. The trap was set.
The enemy crept in slowly and probed the camp for resistance. All of a sudden, one by one, they started falling into pit. A quick halfling threw open a tent door only to have it explode in his face. Everyone was staggering about. Everyone except for their commander, who had yet to draw a weapon. Soon the battle was on, and after some effort the villains fell. All but the commander. He proved to be a peerless warrior, and only with the combined might of all four preset was he defeated.
Not stopping to rest, they raced back to Hammertooth.