In a terrible and climactic battle, the party battled the Hobgoblin general and his Hydra mount. With a powerful display of both magical and martial skill from the heroes, both enemies were vanquished. Seeing the defeat of one of their leaders, the orc lines broke and poured back into the forest to rejoin the main horde. Though many of the militia had laid down their lives, the civilians had safely escaped the town. Both Stone-Fist and Verathan survived the battle as well, and together they joined the heroes on their return journey to Deepwatch.
Hans explained why he had been so delayed. To the distress of the party, he informed them that after his arrest three members of Duncan Black’s guard had tried to murder him in a back alleyway. He had needed to lay low for a short time after killing his would be executioners, and had only just managed to escape the city undetected. With everything that they had seen, the party now strongly suspected that Devan Grisbane was involved somehow in the arming of the hobgoblin army and the attempt on Hans’ life. They grimly smuggled themselves back into Deepwatch, posing as Stone Fist’s retinue while Verathan watched the refugees outside the city.
Upon reaching Lord Duncan’s court, the evidence against Devan was presented while Duncan listened in dark silence. At last, Duncan agreed that the evidence of Devan’s treason seemed damning, and ordered him to face execution by hanging. Thorneth delivered an impassioned speech to spare the man, and Duncan finally relented and agreed that if Devan proved himself in a trial by combat against Baron Lockheed – who had been accused along with the party for attempting to murder Lord Duncan – then he would be sent to Lethray to serve the rest of his life in service towards his redemption for his actions. Devan denied that he had done anything wrong, but had no choice but to consent to the judgement.
At dawn the next morning, Lockheed and Devan faced one another in the courtyard. Thorneth – who had stayed the evening with Devan’s father, Baron Willem – reported that Willem could not bare to see his son’s “inevitable defeat” at Lockheed’s hands. Indeed, Alistair Lockheed proved the superior blade, and deftly bested Devan in the duel.
As Duncan prepared to deliver the execution order, however, he was stabbed in the back through the heart by Thorneth herself, accompanied by a crackle of purple energy. Duncan Black died instantly, and Thorneth fled with incredible speed. As Devan grabbed his sword and prepared to lead the guards against Thorneth and her companions, the rest of the party pursued Thorneth around the corner. They saw their companion transform into none other than Baron Willem himself before their eyes, casting the barely-conscious body of the real Thorneth into the street before him before vanishing into the castle with a tremendous leap. Knowing that the entire city wanted them dead, Hans summoned a giant eagle to secure their escape from Deepwatch. Now on the run and wanted for murder, the party prepares to find their way to the heart of the treachery rampant in the city – hopefully in time to save the entire region from destruction at the hands of the oncoming horde.