After another half day’s ride back toward the crude fortress an enormous lone tower comes into view around a nearby peak. As the adventuring would-be knights ride through a small cluster a farmhouses, a platoon of guards in black armor marches in. The heroes crouch in a pasture filled with animals and listen in horror as the villains beat copper from the women and elders while the men are away working in the field.
One petitions the others as such. “We are but a few men. We cannot breach a fortified gate of our own accord, however. If the men working in these fields knew of the harsh treatment their families endure in addition to their harsh taxes they may be willing to rise up and aid us.”
And so it was that they incited almost a dozen nearby workers to rally at the gate and demand relief from their horrid treatment. They distracted the guards long enough for the heroes to make their way past the gate, but the guards got irritated. They called another few guards from the barracks nearby and slaughtered the workers in cold blood.
The heroes, however, learned not this last atrocity. They had already slipped into the tower. To the right, the stairs led upward: no doubt to the sorcerer’s lofty quarters. To the left, the stairs led into a gloomy prison where the healer maiden was rumored to be kept.
There were but two guards, quickly dealt with before entering… into storerooms. The heroes thought at first that they had made a wrong turn until a maiden’s voice rose from the back of the room. “Get your hands off my you sniveling bloke, you lowborn mutt of a man. You are not worthy of kissing the ground I walk on! GET OUT!” The heroes follow the noise around a corner to see a gorgious woman trying to shove away a beast of a guard. The large guard is quickly dispatches and the woman whisked out of the dreary place.
Back at the top of the stairs the guards have finished clearing away the poor peasants’ bodies and are making their way back into the tower. They cry out in horror “Intruders! The lady has escaped!”
A well-placed arrow sets the portcullis falling shut before the attacking guards as the heroes flee the tower with their prize: the famed healer, the lady Galatina of Perdur.