En route to Goldenfields, they came across a band of traveling minstrels who offered them a ride aboard their wagon. After a brief conversation, Ren Ko recognized one of the men from a bounty poster, though he couldn't remember the specifics of the man or his crime. The hefty reward though? One doesn't forget a number that big. And so Ren shot an arrow into the guy, and demanded they hand the criminal over.
Turns out the man was a defector from the Zhentarim. And the minstrels? High ranking members of the Harpers who were escorting him away from Zhentarim land. The encounter ended amicably, though the Harpers declined to assist the group beyond giving them a lift to Goldenfields.
As they passed through the gates into the temple to Chauntea, they noticed one of the shepherds tending the flocks of Goldenfields paying extra close attention to the group.
They first visited the captain of the temple guard in the Tower of Dragons, and found him to be both drunk and lazy. He had been a great war hero once, decades ago, but since then things had been quiet and he had grown complacent. They visited the abbot at the chapel and found the same general attitude from him, though he did make an announcement in the evening service to begin reinforcing the defenses.
While spending some time in the tavern that evening they once again noticed the shepherd from earlier spying on them through the window. Garrus teleported outside to confront him and learned that the man was part of the Zhentarim. His name was Shalvus Matholio, and he explained that the Zhent had an interest in replacing the local town guard, who were members of the Waterdeep guard that were sent there in exchange for food for Waterdeep. He said that Waterdeep only sent their worst officers there, as a form of punishment, since there was so little to do and no motivation to do the job well. If the Zhentarim ran the guard in exchange for pay, they would be motivated to do well. And, since Waterdeep would then have to pay for the food it received, the town would likely prosper economically. In an effort to prove themselves, the Zhent were sending a band of warriors to assist in the defense from the giants, and planned to arrive when the fighting was most fierce so that they could turn the tide.
The following evening, the attack began, well before expected and in secret. A number of bugbears and goblins had secretly climbed the walls and begun hoisting sacks of food and casks of wine over the walls where they were being carried away by bands of goblins. Fortunately, one of the bards, a drunken halfling named Oren, stumbled across a group of bugbears while… relieving himself… in the fields.
A fight ensued, with the adventurers splitting up and joining alongside several locals to defend the town from the bugbears. As they fought, flares went up warning of an attack on the north wall. By the time they arrived, the seige was well underway with several giants, ogres, and dozens of goblins assaulting the walls. After a long fight, the giants were killed or driven off and the town was saved.