The adventure begins in the city of Brindol in the Elsir Vale.
Fred wakes up in the Antler & Thistle tavern underneath a table when the early morning sun comes streaming through one the few windows. Fred can’t remember how he got there, why he’s there or who he is. He has a foggy memory of someone calling him “Fred” but can’t be sure if that is his real name. Deciding he’s really hungover Fred rolls over and goes back to sleep.
Shortly after Fred rolls over Umaga enters the Antler & Thistle looking for breakfast, beer and a job. The tavern owner obliges Umaga with beer and breakfast but tells him there is little work to be had. While waiting for breakfast to be served Umaga hears snoring coming from somewhere toward the rear of the tavern. Seeking out the source of the noise Umaga discovers a sleeping halfling, reeking of alcohol, under a table. Umaga wakes him up and asks him what he is doing under there. Fred explains he can’t remember anything and thinks his name is “Fred”. Umaga then invites Fred to join him for breakfast. During breakfast Umaga tells Fred to stick with him for 24 hours while he tries to remember who he is and maybe they can find work together.
Mid morning finds Malchediel in the Brindol Academy seeking knowledge of the ancient library in Arkhosia. Not having enough funds to make the necessary donation to the Academy, Malchediel sets out to find work and get some money. His efforts yield nothing and Malchediel enters the Antler & Thistle at the same time Dayereth, looking for a place to ply his trade as a bard, enters. They take a spot at the bar near an odd pair, a goliath and a halfling. Umaga seeing a Dragonborn and an Eladrin seated near him ask them to join him and Fred for drinks. The Antler & Thistle Social Club is born.
The foursome then set off in the afternoon to search the city for work. Finding nothing in the working class sections of the city the four decide to see if the upper class shops need help. The Club encounters an doorman that will not let them enter a particular shop saying only that it’s not for them. With their feelings hurt the Club heads back to the Antler & Thistle.
While the Club drowns there sorrows at the Antler & Thistle they hear screams coming from outside. A moment later a group of hobgoblins break down the door and begin to attack the tavern. The Club springs into action. Malchediel first to react belches a breath of fire and incinerates the first four hobgoblins. More hobgoblins and a couple of goblins attack the tavern. The Club drives them out and defeats the small horde in the street.
The Club then learns from a wounded city guard that Brindol is under attack by a horde of hobgoblins and goblins. No sooner than when the Club decides to help defend the city they are attacked by an ogre throwing lit casks of pitch and pulling a cart with two hobgoblin archers. As the Club defends the tavern again a Tiefling steps out of the darkness drunkenly shouting “They killed my daughter!” and proceeds to launch silvery bolts at the ogre. After a lengthy fight the Club and the Tiefling dispatch the ogre and hobgoblins. The Club thank the Tiefling for his help and he introduces himself as the wizard Ekemon. The Club ask Ekemon to join them and membership grows. Soon more guards show up and tell the Club that the attackers have been driven back to one of the bridges that lead into the city. The Club race to the bridge but by the time they arrive the attackers have retreated.
The next day the Club enjoys some local notoriety for their exploits during the attack. After walking the city the Club is approached by a guard who tells them that Councilmemeber Eoffram Troyas seeks an audience. The Club make their way to the councilmember’s office and learn more of the previous night’s events. The hobgoblins that attacked seemed to be bent only on general destruction but the Hall Of Great Valor was robbed and seven people were abducted. The people that were taken were Kartenix, captain of the guard, his son Thurann, Jalissa an acolyte of Ioun, Sertanian the castellan of the Hall Of Great Valor, Mirtala a cook at the Brindol Academy, Zerriksa a reputed witch, and Adronsius a dwarven alchemist. The items stole from the Hall Of Great Valor were non-magical artifacts from the war against the Red Hand. The artifacts were an Ornate, gilded dragoncrest helm, a ceremonial platinum longsword, a set of three shields with the Red Hand insignia, each with a charred hole near the center, a Set of iron gauntlets with extensive filigree, and Heraldic battle standard depicting two hands clasped in a handshake. Troyas hires the Club to rescue the abducties and recover the items stolen from the Hall Of Great Valor. The Club also learn that the attackers were wearing Red Hand insignias but that they were upside down. Councilmember Troyas tell the Club that a hobgoblin had been captured and was being held in stocks near the courthouse.
When the Club reaches the courthouse Malchediel and Ekemon play the original good cop, bad cop while interrogating the hobgoblin. After a while the hobgoblin tells the Club that the raid was led by a hobgoblin named Sinruth and that he is claiming to be descended from the original Red Hand leaders. Sinruth is raising an army and is using the catacombs underneath the ruins of Castle Rivenroar. The hobgoblin explains that he and the others were ordered to take prisoners to give to the undead horrors that guard part of their lair. He then draws a crude map to Rivenroar and gives it to the Club. At the bridge out of the city the Club is met by a dwarven cleric of Moradin by the name of Rangrim. He tells the club that Councilmember Troyas ask him to join their quest. The Club accepts his petition for membership and set off to Rivenroar.