The PCs arrive in Fallcrest, get rooms at the Nentir Inn and then head up to Moonstone Keep. Here, they are kept waiting by the busy Lord Warden Faren Markelhay who is listening to lengthy representations from various townspeople. Eventually they are shown in to see the warden who offers them 200 gp (not each!) to travel to Harkenwold and rescue his friend Baron Stockmer from the Iron Circle, a group of evil mercenaries who have seized control of the valley and its keep. Lord Markelhay is keen they take Nobby MacKennobby, a garrulous gnome psion, with them, saying that he’s proved himself to be very useful. After some tough negotiating by Nobby, the warden agrees to up the party’s reward to 300 gp.
The PCs, now known as Nobby’s No Marks, set off for Harkenwold via the King’s Road.
The party arrive in Harkenwold. Seeing smoke coming from a track off the main road, they decide to investigate. The track leads to a farmhouse which is under attack by brigands from the Iron Circle and their trained wolves. Kinmel sneaks up successfully, but unfortunately Zelda’s attempt at stealth is pretty dismal, and she is heard by the wolves who growl a warning to their masters. Battle is joined as Zelda and Minron charge into melee while the others attack the Iron Circle from range with spells and arrows. Before long, though, nearly all the PCs are embroiled in hand to hand combat, with Nobby forced to turn invisible so he can make a tactical retreat. After a few rounds the party are victorious, with Amina knocking the last brigand unconscious.
The door to the farmhouse opens and a woman and her two sons come out. This is Ilyana who thanks the party for saving her family from being burned alive inside their home. She explains that the Iron Circle have taken over Harkenwold but that two people are trying to organise a rebellion – Reithann the druid and Dar Gremath in Albridge. Nobby interrogates the captured brigand who tells them the Iron Circle leader is a man called Nazin Redthorn. When he doesn’t seem to be able or willing to tell the PCs anything else useful, the gnome kills him.
The PCs decide to go to the Druid’s Grove first. There they talk to Reithann, a spry 80 year old woman, who suggests they head to the Toadwallow Caverns and vanquish the bullywugs living there. If they do this, the hamlet of Tor’s Hold will be able to send men to aid the rebellion.
The party head towards Tor’s Hold on the King’s Road. Spotting a wolf feeding on a deer at the side of the road, the suspicious Kinmel shoots it dead with his bow. At Tor’s Hold, the boisterous Bran Torsson is delighted the PCs are going to go after the “stinking croakers” and puts them up the night in his barn.
The PCs arrive at the Toadwallow Caverns. Since the entrance is ten feet up above a waterfall, Minron throws Nobby up on to the ledge where is promptly stabbed by a bullywug and knocked back off again. Minron climbs up and charges the croakers who are soon joined by reinforcements. As the other PCs arrive to help the minotaur, three stirges appear from the darkness and latch on to Amina. A fierce battle ensues with most of the party badly wounded before the bullywugs and stirges are defeated. The PCs take a short rest afterwards during which they are able to harvest several useful mushrooms from the cavern floor. The caverns continue further in…