A large mercenary company that has very recently seized the town of Harken as well as the larger area of Harkenwold and has agents in the varied settlements of the Nentir Vale. This foul band of marauders and bandits are followers of Asmodeus.
Lord Vhennyk and his mysterious Iron Circle mercenaries came to the Nentir Vale from the southern city of Sarthel roughly two months ago. Their mission: Bring the Nentir Vale to hell. Vhennyk decided that overt operations would start in the relatively isolated Barony of Harkenwold, a collection of hamlets scattered over fifty miles of the upper White River valley. He tasked his suborndinate, a brigand captain named Nazin Redthorn, with seizing the region, then hurried on to implement his other plans for the Vale.
Nazin led a large band of Iron Circle mercenaries into Harkenwold in a surprise attack. The brigands have just recently stormed Harken Keep and took Baron Stockmer captive. Iron Circle sweeps and raids have quickly quelled any show of resistance, leaving Harkenwold a conquered land.