The wizard Dedius had heard of an opportunity out in the East March. A village known as Malforten was seeking help from adventurers in exchange for a boutny. The village was at the edge of the new empire, a region prone to raiders and bandits, and not a place that an unprotected wizard to travel to alone.
A barbarian woman by the name of Sandahl had saved Dedius from a broken nose in a recent tavern misunderstanding, and was hungry for adventure and glory – so an obvious companion to take to dangerous lands.
A scholarly associate of Dedius, Doug of Toth, also chose to accompany him. He found his studies were stifled in such civilized regions where Toth was little recognized, and a life nearer the wilds would bring him closer to those things that his god revered in – magic and death.
Finally, a mysterious wanderer, Hiro, joined them on the road. Although unclear what his motives were, his desire to walk the land lead them to join in arms, a gesture that would soon yield a fast reward….
As they trod the West Way, a dirt track that lead through small vilages and out to Malforten, they spoke to a few hunters and trappers, some returning to sell there furs, and all whom reported little or no trouble on the road way. So it was with some surprise that the group walked into a goblin ambush futrher on down the way.
The greenskinned creatures demanded money, but two of them fell into a deep coma as Dedius conjured words of magic. Hiro charged the other two but was rewarded with a deep cut intohis torso as a goblin axe met it’s mark. Sandahl joined Hiro in taking on the two standing goblins, empowered by blessings from Doug of Toth which helped Hiro’s blade slice sharply across, cutting on of their foes in two. As the spellcasters finsihed off the sleeping goblins, the remaining enemy, already wounded from Sandahl’s mace, turned to run and was rewarded with a slice from Hiro’s sword, dropping him to the group with a soft gurgle.
This was the only encounter that delayed there arrival in Malforten, where they were treated with modest suspicion as they arrived, a bell peeling out to warn the village of strangers. They were soon met by the unofficial leader, Eryl the Hoskin, who along with Amanda Rhyan the Paish ushered the group into the Empty Flagon tavern to discuss business.
The village council spoke to the party. Eryl, clearly a gruff warrior of a little renown, seemed reluctant to have the group present, citing previous raids where the village had fought off the attacks well. Amanda and Griffry the Hat, the local spiritual leaders, offered a more balanced welcome and mentioned that these raids had been too well-organized and heavy in number to stop with a village militia. As the final member of the council arrived, Blodwyn Lycharn a local mage, she explained that the village had been allowing the raiders tribute in exchange for their lives and to avoid massacre.
The raids were being carried out by a Gnoll named Gritznak the Bold, who along with goblin raiders had been resonposible for the sudden organization of the usually scattered forces. Eryl also confided that it was believed a spy was amongst the villagers, although he could not imagine who, but it seemed Gritznak knew there every move, and was probably even aware of the bounty out on his head.
The party spent the evening in the tavern, buying the local farm folk a few drinks. In chat they heard how farmers had lost a large number of cattle to the raids and tribute, and were struggling to make ends meet. Another tipsy farmer lent in and told them of a strange spirit of great evil who lurks in the waters of the neighboring Drunderry river and only awaits a full moon to come out and take people back to its watery hole.
After a night’s rest in the inn, the group decided to head straight out and explore along the river, hoping to stumble upon the raiders who had so far eluded the people of Malforten. They found a group of tracks that followed the river, crossing after a few miles, and continued along the river on what seemed to be a long abandoned road, large sections of it missing, eroded and lost by time, but small parts revealing themselves every mile or so. By the middle of the day, they had lost the tracks, confused by other native creatures movements and by evening simply found themselves following the river North. Night came, and they made camp – so far undisturbed in this wild land. Sandahl ensured they had good shelther for the night, being more accustomed to life in the wilderness, and they awoke to a new day.
- 25xp – roleplaying bonus
- 9xp – defeating the goblin band