Lord Kyne was quite impressed with the party’s clearing of the monastery and offered them another job—go collect taxes from a village that had been delinquent. This would come with a reward of a 15% discount in Angelhold shops. Kyne dispatched his mercenaries along with a squad of enforcers to make the village pay up and arrest the village elder. When the party arrived, the elder told them that they had been looted by Kyne’s men only two weeks before, and that they had nothing left except the seed corn and a few goats, barely enough to get them to the next season. As it turns out, Kyne had dispatched his men with standing orders to kill everyone in the village and burn it to the ground if they failed to procure anything. As the screams of women and children sounded forth from the huts, the rest of the party convinced the paladin that the slaughter of oppressed people wasn’t worth saving some cash on fancy new armor. Guildenstern’s icy heart thawed just a bit, enough to engage Kyne’s cavaliers in combat, anyway.
The battle ended with the squad’s commandant escaping on horseback, doubtless to warn Kyne of the party’s treachery. The party found Guildenstern in a small gap between two houses lying lifeless, wisps of smoke rising from his charred skin.
The village elder thanked Glader, Ziggy, and Drizzt for rescuing him and his people. “Although,” he remarked, “if your foolish companion hadn’t deafened his ears with his lust for money, perhaps more of us would have survived. Well, I won’t be worrying about him any more.”
The party explained that they were just passing through, and took the job from Kyne to try to make a little coin.
“Well, since there’ll be a price on your head, I’ll tell you this: Kyne’s no friend of the city, nor of the people in the outskirts. We’re supposedly paying taxes for protection, but these thugs come loot us whenever they please. And the protection is awful! Why, some sort of huge creatures had been stealing our goats at night until just recently. And I’ll wager that Kyne’s ‘protection’ had nothing to do with the end of that problem, either!”
“No, the only person Kyne is a friend of is Morris Thornhide. Those two are as thick as thieves. Or rather, they are thieves. Thornhide runs the only caravan through and along the mountains, and Kyne makes sure he’s got no competition—whether by law or intimidation, it doesn’t matter. And half the time, your goods never make it where they’re supposed to.”
“And have you seen the state of Melora’s temple in Angelhold? It’s a disgrace! The last five regents didn’t appoint a priest, and Kyne’s no different. And the stories are this land was more fertile back in the days when the monastery was properly maintained and the city paid its respects. Can’t hardly grow anything now, just scrub and brush-corn.”
“Look, thanks for saving us, but we’re in a world of trouble now. Fortunately, Kyne’s almost emptied the city’s treasury and can’t field a proper army. But these bands of brigands and pirates he hires as ‘law enforcement’ are no joke. However , if we’ve got advance notice they’re coming, we can muster enough protection from the other villages that they’ll find some convenient excuse to not engage us. It’s not like a common thief considers Kyne someone worth dying for. We’ll make it worth your while if you can sneak back into Angelhold and send us word if something’s happening or find a way to frustrate Kyne’s plans.”
For defeating the enemies and rescuing the villagers instead of murdering them, the surviving members of the party each get 600 XP. You should all be level 10 now.
The party looted 2000 GP from the corpses of the enforcers. And in his haste, the commandant dropped a Bloodthirsty Scythe. This fearsome weapon has the following stats:
Class: Two-Handed Simple Melee (heavy blade)
Enhancement bonus: +3
Damage dice: 2d4
Crit bonus: 3d10 bonus
Special: Gains an additional plus 1/plus 3 attack/damage bonus vs bloodied targets.