Traveling along the road, Akira and Lor came upon a band of mercenaries interrogating a strange purple woman, covered in tattoos. The situation quickly turned violent, and the three adventures made short work of the mercenaries. They learned the woman’s name was Ryzia, and that she was attempting to perform a ritual to summon her half brother DeShon. Searching the bodies, they found the mercenaries all wore black cloaks embroidered with a gray circle.
The duo invited Ryzia to travel with them as the roads appeared less than safe. It wasn’t long before they spot a trail of smoke rising into the sky in the distance. Approaching, they reach a small hamlet. Human brigands and a pair of wolves surround the farmhouse, the humans wearing similar cloaks to the mercenaries from earlier. Carrying torches, the brigands were taunting someone inside the house. A small outbuilding has already been torched, and is the source of the smoke the adventurers spotted earlier. A voice called for help to the adventurers outside, and a fight ensued.
After dispatching their foes, Lor, Akira and Ryzia met the half-elf Ilyana, who informed them of the current state of affairs in Harkenwold. The Iron Circle, a band of mercenaries, and recently moved in to the region. Taking an old fort, the Iron Keep for themselves, they had been using the claim of ‘taxes’ to pillage and steal from the locals.