As these stories usually go, at a tavern in Brindol, three adventures meet. Two of them, Holt D`varen and Cliffton Steelheart are in town in answer to a summons for mercenary help by a local official, while the third, Evraen, is there by chance, looking for a meal. The three overhear from some of the locals how hobgoblins have been raiding caravans coming into town and putting everyone on edge. They scarcely have time to agree to work together when a group of hobgoblins and goblins burst in from the tavern’s front entrance, some carrying torches!
The citizens mostly panic and try to flee the tavern from the back entrance while the goblins lob their torches into the building. One torch breaks several bottles of liquor behind the bar, igniting a raging fire, while the three adventurers do battle with the hobgoblins and try to cover the citizens’ escape. The fire behind the bar quickly spreads during the fight, and though the goblinoids are routed, the adventurers barely have time to get out of the tavern before the building goes up in flames!
Out on the street, the adventurers see signs that theirs was not the only group of attackers in town. They quickly confer with some local guardsman about the situation—the hobgoblins have launched an assault on Brindol! While exchanging info with the guards, sounds of screams are heard from the street to the north. Chasing a group of fleeing townspeople is an ogre hitched to a wagon by a yoke. Riding the wagon are two hobgoblin archers. One of the archers is busy with the cart’s cargo—many barrels of tarry pitch. As the adventurers watch, the archer unstoppers a barrel, lights it with a torch, and pushes it to the front of the cart where the ogre can reach it. The ogre then takes the flaming cask and lobs it into a nearby building as a makeshift bomb, setting the structure alight!
The guards flee in a panic, promising to bring reinforcements. Holt knows that the ogre is a deadly foe, but notes that the cart hinders its movement. Undeterred, the party moves to engage the cart. Cliffton tries to draw the ogre’s attention, while Evraen and Holt trade fire with the archers. The party is hard pressed. Cliffton takes several savage blows, first from the casks of pitch and then from the ogre’s club as it draws into melee and the archers pepper Holt and Evraen with arrows. A few well-placed shots from Evraen’s bow fells the archers, and the torch they were using to light the barrels falls to the ground and ignites some of the spilled pitch which then spreads to the other barrels!
The ogre is too stupid to realize the danger as the party ducks to safety. The barrels begin to ignite in a series of explosions! The ogre howls and futilely tries to remove the yoke which binds him to the cart, but there is no time. All at once the remaining barrels detonate in a terrific fireball and the ogre collapses in a charred heap. In a few more moments a contingent of crossbow-wielding guards show up, stunned at the scene before them. A cheer erupts from them and other bystanders who watched the heroic battle. The sounds of fighting throughout town have diminished as well. The hobgoblins have been driven off, and the day is won! Then a woman’s cry of anguish can be be heard in the distance. Victory was not without its price.