The party had since been enjoying some “down time” in the town of Fallcrest between adventures, long enough for rumors of their heroism to begin circulating among the locals. They were sought out by Captain Nathan Faringray to investigate a recent attack.
Some months ago, Faren Markelhay, the Lord Warden of Fallcrest, hired a group of six dwarf stonemasons to rebuild a ruined tower to the west. Faringray was assigned to protect them. Faringray and his retinue of six well-trained guards accompanied the dwarves to the tower. Reconstruction efforts were underway and things were moving apace until Faringray was summoned back to Fallcrest to train new warriors for the town guard. He thought he was leaving the tower in capable hands, however.
A group of brigands attacked the tower and overwhelmed the guards and masons. Only Sorik Orvash escaped, one of the dwarf stonemasons from distant Hammerfast (dwarven hold in the eastern Dawnforge Mountains). According to Sorik, some of the brigands were humans clad in leather armor, their faces painted to resemble yellow skulls. The rest were clearly undead skeletons.
The brigands who attacked the tower call themselves the Yellowskulls. They came from the Temple of Yellow Skulls, a ruin located in the Ogrefist Hills to the west. They were sent by their evil masters to retrieve a relic of the temple—-supposedly a crystal skull -—that was stolen years ago and was rumored to lie somewhere below Vanamere’s Tower. After several intense battles, the party was able to defeat the bandit’s leader, a necromancer named Jeras Falack. That was not the end of the party’s problems, though.
Yes, the party was able to defeat the brigands and rescue the dwarf stonemasons. However, they learned too late that one of the earliest rescued hostages was actually a Doppelganger named Celk, disguised as Tarjin Stoneheart, dwarf stonemason and fiancée of Sorik Orvash. The party had unwittingly left Sorik alone with Celk and a few trussed up Yellowskulls back at the tower’s entrance. The real Tarjin, once rescued, was the first to discover Sorik’s slain body. She vowed vengeance on the Yellowskulls, specifically Celk. Tarjin has no love for the party either, partly blaming them for Sorik’s death.