When questioned, Captain Faringray imparts the following information:
✦ 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.
✦ The day before yesterday, a group of brigands attacked the tower and overwhelmed the guards and masons. Only Sorik escaped. Some of the brigands were humans clad in leather armor, their faces painted to resemble yellow skulls. The rest were clearly undead skeletons.
✦ In generations past, the tower was key to the town’s defense, watching over the Cloak Wood to the north, the Witchlight Fens to the south, and the Ogrefist Hills farther west. Thirty-odd years ago, a legion of goblins and hill giants advanced
from the Ogrefist Hills and attacked the tower, which had but one defender: a powerful elf wizard named Vanamere. No one knows what happened exactly, but when the battle was over, the giants were dead, the goblins were driven off, and Vanamere’s tower was destroyed.
✦ For years, Fallcrest lacked the funds and the incentive to rebuild the tower. However, the growing threat of monsters prompted its reconstruction.
✦ Although he’s not a skilled combatant, Sorik knows the fastest way to the tower and is willing to escort the characters there, provided they keep him out of harm’s way.
Faringray would prefer to return to the tower and clean up his own mess, but his orders are clear: He must remain in Fallcrest to complete the training of the new recruits. Therefore, he asks the characters to investigate the tower, look for survivors, and deal with the mysterious brigands.