The days leading up to the fall market in Green Hope are busier and livelier than any other time of the year. Crops are harvested in all of the surrounding farms and brought into town where king’s men take their taxes and merchant inspect and buy their wares.
The Attwater, Green Hope’s only watering hole, is overflowing with patrons. Revelers dance to music in the streets and the town bursts with merchants, entertainers, and neighboring townsfolk. Cows, pigs, and other livestock add to the already overpowering noise and smell.
The crowd this year is also more heavily armed than in recent memory. The eastern byway has been plagued of late by bandits. Even river traffic has been affected. Mercenaries and soldiers move through the crowd with a precision at odds with the jovial atmosphere. Another new element this year are the refugees.
All manner of travelers from the eastern freeholds, as far as the fringes of the distant Amarian Empire, have found their way into the kingdom. A tiefling preacher stands on a box, telling all who would listen of the coming apocalypse.
A cry goes up from eastern gate of the wooden palisade that makes up the wall surrounding Green Hope as a particularly retched group of Amarian refugees limps into town. Bloody and beaten, they look to be the latest victims of the bandits.
A group of young men, mostly from surrounding farms, crowd the town’s bulletin board outside of Attwater’s. Constable Clifton is nailing a new proclamation to it while two of his deputies look disinterested.
This mostly goes unnoticed as the famed bard, Garnet the Red, is gracing the village green with his presence. A throng of well-wishers and admirers surround him as he holds court.
- Paz had just lost his beloved river boat in a high stakes card game to an all-around scoundrel and cheat named Errol Beck. Errol strode out of the game with his boat and his crew, who were more than happy to work with the newly minted Captain Beck.
- Zinon Remos approached the Amarian refugees who were led by a merchant named Arnal Roose. Arnal relayed that they were ambushed by goblins several hours east of Green Hope and that the goblins approached from the south. One of the refugees speaks goblin and said a boat was mentioned.
- Ser Archibald Stoneshield was asked by Ser Preston Ironheart and Baron Ashworth to look into the problem for the good of the realm.
- The party was set to venture out in search of the goblins the following morning. Before dawn, Htaed was found by a frantic mother, Masha Tanner, who said her boys set out with their friends to find and slay the goblins for the posted reward of 200 gold crowns. The party set out after them quickly.
The group quickly found the trail left by the boys, soon coming upon Billy Stone – injured and near death from a goblin arrow. The boy was patched up and sent back to town. They continued tracking the boys until they came to a small copse of trees. Suspended from a snare was another one of the boys – Gregory Smith. A pair of hungry wolves were nipping at his fingers. Htaed mindlessly charged in to help the boy, but missed a bear trap. The trap snapped around his foot and was immediately followed by two quick goblin arrows. The goblin arrows dropped the barbarian, but quick actions by Zenon and Ser Stoneshield were able to save him and dispatch the goblins.
The wolves were scared off and the boy freed. He told the group that the rest of the boys were captured and taken down a gully. The party moved down into the gully and saw a campfire. A hobgoblin sat by the fire with half a dozen goblins and the three captured boys. The hobgoblin said he was willing to negotiate, but Htaed wanted nothing to do with it. The half-orc charged and killed a goblin in a blood rage.
Ah-Zhi cast a sleep spell that immediately put the majority of the goblins out of commission. Ser Stoneshield charged the hobgoblin, who immediately realized he was overmatched, dropped his gear, disengaged from the knight, and dove into the murky water. One goblin escaped during the melee. The rest save one were slaughtered, the last one left for questioning.
The goblin was questioned briefly and let go, despite Htaed’s protests. The hobgoblin, Nezzar, had a note from someone named Kainis. Kainis was demanding sacrifices, either from raids or from the Undermarket. A goblin named Glep owes Kainis a debt, and Nezzar should make use of him to acquire the sacrifices.
The party returned to Green Hope to rest and then acquired a small river boat from the Baron to explore the river in search of the goblins. The group traveled for three days without incident before arriving in the trading town of Neth.
The group met the Mayor and Constable of the town before finding themselves in the Provision Shop, in search of a trapper named Joseph Forester. Joseph was able to pinpoint the location of several goblin camps for the party.
The next morning, the group set off south into the marshy forest of Carlinwood.
XP: All characters advance to level 2.