The fat baron, one Malthor Snidet, sits on his lavish throne as the four adventurers approach his throne, following the special summons he made for them. From here, he explains a dire situation that has developed: two days prior, a monastery near the outskirts of Detoc was invaded by a band of hobgoblins. No contact has been made with the monastery since, and the town guard does not have the numbers nor the experience to mount an attack on the monastery itself. Thus, the Baron has to turn to the leading band of adventurers in town, only to find that they left for the capital a fortnight ago. This leaves him to his last plan: form his own mercenary squad, deputize them, and send them into battle in place of sacrificing the protection of the town.
Accepting the plan readily the four adventurers set out, consisting of a half-orc barbarian, a elven wizard, a halfling rogue, and a human fighter, for the two day journey to the northwest to reach the monastery. Whilst traveling, they were attacked by a startled bear, running from some unseen threat, which inflicted severe lacerations to the barbarian and the fighter. After slaying the beast, the band set up camp, skinned and gutted the bear (eating him in some stew), and kept the pelt for the fighter’s idea of a new fashion trend.
Two more days follow after there campfire roast before the catch their first sight of the monastery. Its dark gothic architecture was evenly balanced with a surprising amount of light wood and bright stained glass windows along the side of the building, creating an aura of neutrality that eminated from it, a place where good and evil lived in harmony, rather than at conflicts like the rest of the world. Though, forces of evil did invade the sanctum, resulting in a hobgoblin sentry on the balcony above the main front doors that spotted the party as the round the last stretch of road.
After a brief scuffle between the sentry, and the three buddies he summoned on the downstairs to assist him, the party was now free to investigate the monastery in depth. Inside, each room, besides the two storerooms to the side, they found destroyed, with every book and scroll in sight ripped open and torn to shreds. The few hobgoblins inside the rooms were more busy trying to follow their orders and search through the shelves of books then they were to actually fight off the mercenaries. As a result, the monsters lay dead at there feet within an hour of entry, all except for anyone in the main hall, and the second floor, as both were yet to be explored.
By the time the heroes made their way up the wrought iron spiral staircase, the hobgoblins on the second floor, which consisted of only one large library stretching to the ceiling and a small enclosed office, had time to prepare and set up a hasty barricade of podiums and lecterns facing the staircase. Before the battle was won, both sides suffered quite a few casualities, as a few of the adventurers sailed close to the sea of death whilst hobgoblin after hobgoblin was slain in a fit of rage by the rest of the party.
Quickly, the party entered the small enclosed space expecting more hobgoblins but found, much to their surprise, a bugbear, gripping the throat of a monk who survived. After a bit of negotiating, the rogue agreed to do the bugbear a favor, that of getting his lieutenant, a hobgoblin the the main hall downstairs, up in exchange for the release of the prisoner.
As she was doing that, she questioned the few hobgoblins that survived what their plans were and what they were searching for, while the busied themselves with chopping up little chunks of the corpses of acolytes and put them in a stew pot. They told her that they were looking for a book of evil, and the rogue, unknowingly, pointed out a room that was magically shielded from sight to those of ill intent. Running the length of the wall, one of the hobgoblins found the book of evil, along with the book of good, and the three hobgoblins tried to leave the bugbear behind to please their master.
Trying to keep the book, the rogue attempted to ambush the three from behind, missing and resulting in a scuffle as two of her friends tied a rope to the banister and climbed down to assist her. Once the battle was finished, and unknowingly corrupted to the books sinister charms, they realized that they had to hide the body and proceeded to chop it up and pour it into the stew pot. Afterwards, they attempted to con the bugbear into thinking he had the book of evil but instead give him the book of good, while having the wizard hide in a storeroom with the actual book of evil.
Needless to say, the bugbear failed to buy into their ruse, and felt the good emanating from the book instead of the evil that he was looking for. Possibly tainted by this good, he agreed to meet the group downstairs and leave his hostage upstairs while they showed him where the actual book was.
As he entered the store room, the wizard, along with the others, ambushed him and decimated him, along with more injuries inflicted onto the party themselves. With the monastery cleared, they traveled back upstairs to question the man, whose name is Mancar Loxley, about the books and the hobgoblins. He informed that the books, after a century of religious conflict resulting in the creation and use of the two books, were trusted onto the creator of the monastery’s care, as he was a major general in the war who fought under the banner of Boccob. Trying to stay neutral throughout the conflict held its benefits, as the monastery was fitted with a number of enchantments as more mundane securities on the books themselves (such as locks that can only be opened by the keys guarded by the Paladins of Heironeous).
The party, wary of the monk’s belief that he could continue to keep the books safe after centuries of magical decay and combative deterioration, issued him an ultimatum: the books shall be separated and guarded by two of the three major kingdoms of the realm. The fighter, with his bloodline tying back to King Olphus the Wise, pushed that the humans should get this book as well as the elves. After much debate, with Mancar included as well, the group settled that the Elven Consulship of Aldoreni and the Dwarven United Halls should possess the books, as they were far older and wiser than the human governments, which are constantly shifting about.
After this, the heroes set their eyes away from their home in Detoc, and towards their destination…