Six weeks before the group had arrived in Harkenwold, a large band of Iron Circle attacked the region. The brigands stormed Harken Keep and took Baron Stockmer, the rightful ruler, captive. Iron Circle sweeps and raids soon quelled any resistance, leaving Harkenwold a captured land.
The bandit “authorities” pillaged Harkenwold through tolls and confiscations, harshly punishing anyone who resisted.
A secret rebellion worked to liberate the region, but it struggled until the party arrived in Harkenwold. By destroying an Iron CIrcle caravan, killing patrols of Iron CIrcle soldiers, eliminating the Circle’s allies, helping the rebellion win in the Battle of Albridge, and killing the leader of the Circle, the party helped tremendously in the effort to stamp out the Iron Circle.
The Iron Circle exists now only as splintered groups of mercenaries wandering the outskirts of Harkenwold.