From: Fulhoff of Clan Balderk
To: Helja and Adrik of Clan Balderk
Mother & Father,
While the rest of the party investigated some of the ruins, Thorin and I stood guard outside, and discussed Kella. Neither of us trusted her, and we resolved to make sure that we were free of her company as soon as was feasible.
Once the rest of the group finished with the outer bailey, we fashioned a makeshift bridge to cross the moat into the ruined keep. There we discovered only 4 survivors grieving over the loss of both the town and the lady of the keep. After learning that most of the town evacuated to some nearby caves, we resolved to go find them. But first I took the guards and the body down to the graveyard, and, being familiar with the teachings of the village's patron god Mielikki, I performed the necessary rites. Why they were holed up with a dead body... do they know how quickly flesh rots?? By the Great Digger, you return rotting flesh to the earth, not weep over it like some child!
While I was performing this duty, the rest of the party investigated the ruins of the keep, and then went off and raised the drawbridge into the town. They'd spied a mounted group coming down the road, and felt that it was better to be safe than sorry. Thorin told me what happened next. He, and Bran and Rin (the 2 humans) who'd gone up to raise the drawbridge from the guard towers were joined by Kella. The riders approached, and it turns out to be her "brother" that she'd been waiting for. He, and his 6 mounted mercenaries demanded the bridge be lowered. Bran, or maybe Rin refused, but Kella moved to the mechanism to lower it. Thorin grabbed her by the belt and tossed her off the tower. Apparently the look of shock on everyone's face was epic. Kella hit the dirt at the base of the tower, and then rolled into the muddy water outside the wall. Her brother ran to her rescue, made several insulting remarks, then tried to send off a message with their winged snake. One of the humans (I really should try to figure out which one is which) shot it out of the sky.
I'm not really in favor of killing pets, but...
Kella's "brother" took the nearly unconscious Kella up onto his horse, and they all rode away. Good riddance to them and their black hearts, as well as their black network.
A bit later, after we'd rested and had some food, we took Gum-Gum, and marched to the caves. It seems the humans took refuge in goblin caves. How they missed the signs... After circling around the area, and seeing all the different entrances, we opted for the back way. It was wet. My chainmail will need some serious sand scrubbing. I was all in favor of killing the goblin chief, but the rest of the party wanted to negotiate. We traded a lock and a few gold coins for the remaining villagers. Seeing the chief's giant rats eating one of them wasn't enough to distract us from saving the prisoners... and we did save them. We escorted them back to their ruined village, and made plans. While there was little we could do to giants, we could deal with the goblins!
I hope this letter finds you well. I'm sending it along with the note back to the barkeep to let her know we found her brother alive. Oh, and her finest ale? It was actually an excellent brew! Far better tasting than the stuff she'd served us.