After meeting with Arcanus Keeane, the group realized their best bet for finding any information about the dark holy symbol they found was to visit Calsey Castle, and Abbess Martheray, renown expert on ancient religions. Keeane couldn’t place the religious significance of the symbol, if there was one, and figured it must predate anything that he was aware of.
After a good night’s rest, and resupplying at Creston, the heroes set off for Linande, via the main road. Days went by uneventfully, and there was only a short meeting with a group of army setting for Creston to help with the siege to break the monotony.
This did change however when the party met with several homesteaders that had abandoned their settlement after a goblin attack. The distraught group relayed a tale of many goblins and Red-Skinned orcs that had raided the homes and taken several of the settler’s children. While at odds about many things, the group was of one mind when it came to children being stolen. With little prompting, the heroes set off towards Thistleop, a bluff not too far away to the north to exact a measure of retribution, and also to rescue the children if at all possible.
They made their way quickly to towards the bluff in the north, and early on the next day spotted smoke. Riding quickly they approached the aftermath of the goblin attack on the homestead. Houses lay in burnt ruin, and the livestock and dogs were left where they’d been slaughtered. A quick investigation indicated that fires were definitely not caused by anything natural, and also found many tracks, indicating a large group of goblins, with a few other larger types, and one odd set of tracks that belonged to a heavy, bipedal cloven hoofed creature. All of the tracks led directly to the mountain plateau, Thistletop.
The group approached the bluff and climbed up the winding trail, picking their way through the thistles and brambles that gave the landmark its name. After making their way through a maze of trails, Olvan heard something and stopped the group with a quick gesture. He motioned for Vera to scout ahead, and the 1/2 elf quickly and quietly made her way forward. She turned a corner and spotted two goblins apparently waiting in ambush. Vera smiled and turned the ambushers into ambushees, and fired a shot from her arrow. To her chagrin, the arrow flew wide of its mark, and the goblins were alerted to her presence in the area. After firing a few arrows, one of the goblins moved towards Vera. It was surprised when a charging Olvan turned the corner and buried his axe in the creature’s chest. Teleryn, Trianna and the new recruit Fintin followed and moved in on the remaining goblin, only to hear the warcries of three other goblins, who fired shortbows at the backs of the group, but missed wildly. A short skirmish later, and the groups had finished off the sentries, and had an open path to the rest of Thistletop…