Storm King's Pathfinder

Zhentarim Agents Foiled


The party searched Nightstone, made contact with the guards remaining in the keep, and encountered Zhentarim agents. Foiling their plans to capture Nightstone, the party imprisoned the agents who later escaped during the night.


November 12, 2016 
Session 2: Zhents Foiled 
Now that the battle with the goblin marauders had ended with the party of travelers victorious some time was spent exploring the nearby area.  Okkam remained with the four captives while the rest took in the recently bombarded village more closely.  Ghent slipped away from the rest of the group and took a few moments to inspect a large nearby building from the outside.  A few moments later he returned and informed the rest that he had heard some noises coming from the upstairs of what appeared to be the village’s inn.   
After a quick investigation the group discovered a human woman attempting to hide in the upstairs area of the severely damaged building.  The woman’s name was Kella and she expressed excessive gratitude in being rescued by the party, claiming to be a worshipper on a pilgrimage when questioned by the party.  She had entered Nightstone but was trapped when the village was attacked by giants from a flying castle and then invaded by marauding goblins.  She told them the giants had been after the large dark obelisk that had given the town the name of Nightstone.  The behemoths had retrieved their prize from the center of the village before departing while the goblins were simply marauders looking for easy prey after the attack by the giants.  Something about Kella’s story rang false to Ghent and he began communicating his suspicions in various languages to the rest of the party.  Sure enough, after being victimized by Levi’s compulsion spell, she admitted to being an agent sent to evaluate the village of Nightstone for the Zhentarim.    
With this new information the party was at a quandary about what to do with Kella.  The two half-orc warriors, Okkam and Janus, along with the elven priest, Aesril, stated that she should be killed because the Zhentarim were a nefarious organization filled with cutthroats, dark spellcasters, and tyrants.  However, being charmed, it was decided instead to question her more before any decision about whether to end her life or not would be made.  While Kella was charmed she informed the group that her mission was to scout the village and then signal another agent, named Xolkin, to take Nightstone for the Zhentarim with a group she called the seven snakes.  To accomplish this she would use her bracelet that was in the form of a flying snake to send the signal.  Levi told her to do it and she complied, the piece of jewelry coming to life and flying off into the sky.  
While the party of travelers spoke to Kella they made their way to a broken bridge over the river leading to the village’s damaged stone keep, Okkam dragging the four captive goblins with them.  As they approached the bridge, a group of four guards at the keep called out to them in challenge.  Introductions were made and an invitation to join the guards at the keep was offered.  Unfortunately for Okkam, while trying to get them to cross the broken span of bridge, the goblins made a break for their freedom by leaping into the water.  Two were killed, their bodies floating away with the current, and two escaped.  With nothing else to do about the escaped humanoid marauders, the party crossed the broken area of the bridge and met with the four surviving guards.   
Before the charm spell wore off, Levi convinced Kella to move into the keep tower where she was placed in chains much to her surprise.  Next the guards informed the party once again about the giant attack on Nightstone and then the scavenging goblin marauders that came afterward.  They also told of how most of the citizens of Nightstone that had survived the giant attack had fled to some caves to the east.  Unfortunately one of the victims of the giants’ bombardment was the ruler of Nightstone, Lady Velrosa Nandar. 
A debate started about the party’s next actions with the choices being either head east to find the surviving citizens of Nightstone or prevent Xolkin and his seven snakes from taking the village on the next day.  It was decided that the Zhentarim plans to overtake Nightstone was more pressing at this time and so the group of strangers began making preparations to repel any assault that would come the following day.   
The night passed without incident, although Ghent got into a debate with one of the four guardsmen that eventually deteriorated into the sorcerer rudely questioning the man’s mental capacity.  The next morning the party gathered for a quick breakfast and then spread to various towers along the walls of the village to await the approach of Xolkin and the seven snakes.   
The wait was not long as a group of riders approached from the road to the raised drawbridge.  Sure enough, Xolkin called out to have the drawbridge lowered.  Unbeknownst to him, the bard Levi, cast a minor illusion upon himself to appear as Kella.  The ruse worked for a brief time but then the real Kella  could be heard screaming from the keep.  She had freed herself from her bonds within the keep and was calling out to Xolkin.   
The half-elf Zhent leader and his men turned from the drawbridge and rode their horses hard to the river’s edge where the seven snakes dismounted and plunged into the current in a bid to get across to the keep.  Xolkin remained on the opposite shore calling out for Kella and using his longbow to target any defenders within range.  With a clear advantage while their enemies were in the water, the defenders of Nighstone made good use of their ranged weapons but still some of the attackers made it to the keep.  During the fight Kella had made her way to the bridge where the party was making short work of the few remaining Zhentarim.  In desperation she plunged into the river and began swimming furiously towards Xolkin but before she got barely ten yards from shore, Janus the half-orc ranger was upon her.  After a few quick and deadly strikes with his swords, Kella was incapacitated and floating facedown in the water. 
In a surprising display of affection for his female associate, Xolkin pleaded with Janus and the rest of the party to spare Kella’s life for his complete surrender.  Most in the group were stunned by the offer after all the dark deeds that had been associated with the Zhentarim.  They quickly recovered and agreed to his terms.  Kella was healed by the group and then she and Xolkin both were taken as prisoners within the damaged stone keep.  Their fate a topic of debate for the group at another time but with their surrender the second battle for Nighstone was at an end.  The party stood victorious as the bodies of the dead Zhents floated with the current down river.    

Zhentarim Agents Foiled

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