After making contact through an intermediary, Andreas met at the old stone cabin with the party. He presented a fairly full picture of the current situation with Lord Marshall Beaumont, how he rose to power, and how Andreas’ small resistance hoped to harry and weaken the Lord Marshall’s position until he could be unseated.
The northerners hatched plans to spend the winter selling the idea that vast wealth awaits in the north, in hopes of enticing Beaumont to send troops to get rich — troops that would have to deal with Northern troubles to get to wealth. To this end, Gustavus and Marsk would spend lavishly on drink and comforts in the city, while talking up the wealth in the dwarves’ holds at Vorn Uhlum.
While those two pushed the deceptions in town, Adara would lend aid to local farmers to gain their sympathy and support for the resistance. At present, Andreas commands ~100 men, focused mostly on self-preservation and shielding the weakest of the populace from Beaumont’s predatory taxes and brutal regime. They use hit-and-run tactics in an attempt to weaken Beaumont’s support and defend the weak.
Andreas said he could spare some men for help in the North, but not without some key help from the party. He presented several pressing needs that the resistance faced, which the party would be uniquely capable of helping meet. First, he asked the group to expand their hiding place in the woods to accommodate some of Andreas’ troops and offer some training to those troops in wilderness survival to get them through the winter.
Second and more immediately, three of Andreas’ most trusted lieutenants are being held in captivity in the Beaumont’s dungeons. Unbeknownst to Beaumont, there are escape tunnels beneath the former council hall dungeons, but those tunnels have lately been taken over by a gang of thieves that strike at the city’s merchants. This gang is led by a man named Khozagh, said to be untouchable in a fight and responsible for the deaths of several members of the town watch.
The party agreed to rescue the lieutenants. One of Andreas’ men guided them on a long circuitous route around the city walls, to a small grated tunnel emptying into a stream on the south of town. Picking the lock on the grate, the group ventured into the tunnels. After a brief battle with sentries (one of whom was sent deeper into the tunnel to inform Khozagh of the party’s desire to parlay), the group waited…and waited. Eventually surmising that their messenger had made his escape and that Khozagh wasn’t coming out to meet them, they proceeded inward. They saw crates and barrels of trade goods, bearing a variety of merchants’ marks. The tunnels eventually led them to a room with furnishings much grander than the others, where a man they surmised was Khozagh sat upon a makeshift thone, flanked by guards.
Though the group attempted to reason with Khozagh for access to the hidden dungeon escape (a feature of his tunnels about which he knew nothing), negotiations — as they are wont to do with northerners — broke down. Khozagh lept from his throne with astonishing speed, wielding a narrow-bladed short sword and dagger. As the battle was joined, Khozagh’s features warped and twisted into a snarling, rat-like visage…pointed teeth, elongated snout, whiskers, and solid black eyes. Undeterred, the party fought on, but blows that would have felled most men barely seemed to affect Khozagh. Ultimately, the magical power of Adara and Tarmo proved a match for Khozagh, and he fell, his appearance returning to normal.
After a moment to gather both their thoughts and whatever valuables they could carry, the group unlocked the hidden door into the dungeon and freed not only Andreas’ lieutenants, but a few townsfolk imprisoned for a variety of petty offenses. Returning to their hideout, they informed Andreas and Thrasek about the goods left behind in the tunnels, so that Andreas could claim the supplies for the resistance.