The party, still without Vanator, headed south to find out what they could about Kurdesh and his army. They encountered a band of goblins ransacking a village, and found them under the command of Agglack, the goblin who had helped them in the Deepwood. Agglack joined them to help them find the army, leaving his band to continue their raiding. Mostly avoiding the other patrols of gnolls and goblins, they eventually found the main body of the horde in a massive encampment. Here they were spotted and captured.
Meanwhile, Vanator had received word that DiMaggio wished him to return to the College of Sorcery. Suspecting DiMaggio’s motives, he instead fled the capital by bribing a guard, and headed to the temple of Cernnuna a little way outside the city. Here he told the High Priestess about DiMaggio’s plotting. She promised to warn the king for him, and find out about his friends. Vanator stayed in the temple for a day, before receiving word that the rest of the party was heading southwards. He followed them, and was in time to see them being captured. He managed to infiltrate the camp and rescue his comrades, along with Agglack the goblin.
In attempting to complete their mission, they entered Kurdesh’s tent, to find the warlord, a powerful human warrior, awake and ready for them. They talked, and Kurdesh told them that he would spare them so that they could take a message to the king of Arborland, and spread word of the size and might of Kurdesh’s army. However, he decided to kill Agglack for his treachery and desertion. Jurgen challenged Kurdesh to a trial of strength for the goblin’s life, and miraculously won. Kurdesh begrudgingly allowed them to leave, and they returned to Highwatch.
Here, they found King Leodan wracked with paranoia and indecision, and the High College of Sorcery under siege by the king’s forces. Brother Jurgen gained a private audience with the king, and in front of the two Templars who were guarding him, including their former ally Sir Osric Tensteeds, Jurgen murdered Leodan. In a rage, the templars attacked. Unresisting, Jurgen was killed on the spot, taking his motives for the assasination with him.
The High Council assumed control of the kingdom until Leodan’s young son comes of age, and DiMaggio was granted a temporary reprieve until the current crisis was at an end. Shortly after, Kurdesh’s host arrived and laid siege to the city. An initial assault was repulsed, and Kurdesh fell to building powerful siege engines. Using the hidden tunnel built to allow the king and other dignitaries to flee the city in times of need, DiMaggio sent the comrades, along with the Casterish mercenary Konrad Fucius, who had arrived in the city with a request for aid from the beleagured Casterish armies, out to sneak into the camp and destroy the enemy engines. They succeeded in destroying two thirds of Kurdesh’s machines, but while they were fighting the guards, Luthien fell, slain by a single blow from an orcish axe. Konrad, Rib and Vanator managed to escape the encampment.