The group is first briefed by Captain-Commander Cid about the aims of the mission: they are to infiltrate Eisenhall though the sewers (after scouting them beforehand) and into its foundry with a bunch of hobgoblins called Marcus, Blank and Cinna; they are to neutralize the castle’s magister after being informed more about him by Maggie Quen, and they; and they are to save Princess Pomegranate before she is sacrificed to summon a great evil into this time of enlightenment. Having been left to their own devices, the party decided to track down the hobgoblins who would help them storm the castle and to test their performance by seeing whether or not they could entertain the three. However, Haidar mistook a member of the ship’s crew for Cinna and began rambling about their mission. Crescentlord thought this was Marcus instead; Coral did not care but rather used her skills in prestidigitation to make a small and silent pig appear above Haidar’s head. However, matters were settled to the degree that the hobgoblin informed the party about the whereabouts of the ones they were looking for, in the ship’s resting areas.
In there, one of the three hobgoblins was revealed to be somewhat more talkative than the others, one more decisive than the rest and the last one quite lazy but jolly. The last one was Cinna and the second one Marcus, leaving Blank as the talkative one. The members of this group decided to discuss matters on deck where, after a while, they were interrupted by Captain Cid’s command to prepare for leaving ship in order to prepare a landing spot for it in the forest. The members of the party proper were to act as vanguards while the hobgoblins would focus their attention on sawing the trees and thus preparing the site for landing before the morning mist would disperse and reveal S.S. Tantalus to the enemy.
On the ground, Crescentlord started circling the site in order to find out about any possible threats in advance. He did identify the smell of certain forest-dwelling animals, including wolves and bears, before his sensitive nose was assaulted by the stench of ogrekind. As it happened to be, around this time, Haidar also noticed three silently approaching silhouettes in the mist. He prepared his bow in order to welcome the two hunched beasts and their gigantic master. Coral noted this difference in the atmosphere and joined Haidar on this side of the furiously sawing hobgoblins. When they ascertained that the silhouette indeed belonged to a relatively intelligent semi-humanoid who held a deadly grudge towards hobgoblins, the two readied themselves for the fight. Crescentlord had also noted the ogre’s presence and hurried to the landing site in order to help in the fight.
The ogre sent its bears to maul the enemy as the brute’s advance guard. Coral sent a magical web their way and while the bears were not stopped by the web, Ealaia did ignite it with a fiery burst that filled the air with the smell of crisp fur. Crescentlord’s arrow felled one of the beasts while the other was bombarded to death by Coral’s magical missiles and Ealai’s bursts of fire. After throwing a rock with nigh fatal precision at the closest hobgoblin, the ogre charged in and was greeted by Haidar who managed to cut it but was in turn bombarded with a ferocious onslaught. He was saved by the inspiring teamwork between everyone: Ealaia would prepare a healing touch for when he would arrive beside her, he would attack the ogre with all his might (boosted by an earlier haste spell by Coral) and Coral would slide him away from the enemy’s reach with her magic. Using this opportunity, Crescentlord managed to draw their adversary’s ire with his arrows. He was smashed against a tree by a powerful blow of a morningstar before escaping with the help of his chronocharm’s magic. While the enemy was enraged by this turn of events, it could not turn the tide of battle any longer and was continuously wounded by fire, steel and even acid from one of Crescentlord’s special arrows. In the end, its miserable life was brought to an abrupt closure by a hail of magical missiles which blasted its head into bloody pulp.
Haidar, exhausted by the strenuous fight, collapsed next to the ogre’s headless corpse. He noted how its ivory (if now blood-splattered) gloves hardly fit the rest of the brute’s outfit and slid them from its claws. As Ealaia noticed the shrinking gloves – for shrink they did once looted from the dead ogre – she realized that not only were they magical but would likely provide their user with the ability to strike true once a day. When Crescentlord left to scout ahead of the party and to search for the smuggler’s secret door which would lead the company to town, Coral identified the gloves’ command word. Jestingly, she attempted to lie about the command to Haidar who wished to become the new wielder of these gloves. However, her obvious jests were caught on even by Haidar, and eventually, the elf was forced to provide her half-orc comrade with the truth of the matter.
Meanwhile, Crescentlord decided to search every nook and cranny and took almost the whole day to locate the secret door he was to find. Searching it for traps, he did notice the fusillade of darts which would spring at any unwary customers. However, disabling this device failed miserably. Luckily, he was merely scratched by a few of the darts since most stuck on the door. While reporting of his finds to the rest earlier, he highlighted how the trap had been disabled, albeit upon entering the secret tunnel, most noticed how it had merely been triggered with happily minimal consequences.
Once they crossed the tunnel, the company were greeted by Quinn Quen’s sour face. He had waited for the mercenaries to arrive the whole day, after all. Now, since the tavern was full of customers, they would have to make their way in little by little and introduce themselves as a troupe of traveling performers. Haidar became the herald of this troupe he dubbed ‘the Flying Aristocrats’ in the spur of the moment. However, his singing melted the hearts of the Pile and Face’s gruff customers while the antiques of the rest provided the necessary comic relief for these poor souls. After this successful performance, the company was set to share the common room and everyone fell asleep, tucked between the hobgoblins they had brought with them and listening to Haidar’s healing lullaby.