The Brotherhood searched the northwestern frontier for 16 days spending the nights in barns and cottages if invited into, and as they found these frontier towns. However, on several occasions they had to sleep in the wilderness. Their questions about Jaryn and his group continued to lead them in the directions they traveled.
As they went, they continued to come up with additional ways to win over the paranoid frontier folk. When the opportunity presented itself they brought some of the game they killed along the way, Kuruk thought to perform simple healing as he could, and he was able to add to the goodwill and benefit Arjhan while he seeked the information for the group.
F’Lar assisted where he could by offering to remove chastity belts from famer’s daughters, and thinking to steal a pig from one town only to donate it to the next. Kuruk had to put the kabosh on that idea. However, they were given a pig in one town, which they did in fact end up donating to the next town.
Solath utilized his skills to exterminate pests in frontier barns and Uthrag located some skunk weed that he shared, as the group demonstrated the pig skull bong, which Arjhan constructed and donated to that town. The next day though was rough on everyone, and they failed to accomplish much of anything including finding another town.
All in all, as the group moved through the frontier, they leveraged the following information from the folks who called this area home. They found that the paladin, Jryrn, and his followers were going after a Hand chieftain named Larkazh— the foulest hobgoblin Hell ever spawned, and that these hobgoblins have been trained well over the years. Where the Hand used to be seen only coming out of the mountains to the northwest, now the well trained soldiers of the Hand can be seen everywhere on the frontier.
As the Brotherhood continued to make their way north and west, they found the last three settlements they passed through had been burned out, human and hobgoblin bodies scattered in the ash. At last just before dusk, they found a settlement still standing. The track met up with a wide stream, with green fields to both sides. As they approached, a lone figure on horseback rode out from the nearest farmhouse. An older human man hailed them, one hand rested on the longsword at his hip. He introduced himself as Perren Auldwyl, and warned of dangerous times ahead, inviting them in from the road.
The group accepted Perren Auldwyl’s hospitality for a place to stay and a bite to eat. However, they found him shaken when F’Lar questioned him about the Hand. He answered by stating, “Not the first time I’ve heard such questions from outsiders, and I’ll tell you straight what I told them—Erstlin don’t need no would-be heroes making trouble. Best you take your questions and head back to your precious cities at first light.”
However, before much more could be gathered from the scared frontiersman, from outside came the sound of hoofbeats through the dark night. Auldwyl sprinted to a window, carefully peering through the shutters. “Fools!” he hissed as he turns back. “You don’t know what you’ve done.”
As the group started to rise, then doors blew open, Perren flew into the wall behind him, and four large bugbears burst onto the scene dressed in the Hands uniforms. The group had come to silence Perren, and additionally there were several hobgoblin soldiers, archers and a war wizard. As the Brotherhood raced met the bugbears and wizard head on, the combat raged around them, and Perren lay unconscious against the wall of his home….