Month of Harvest on the 390th Year of the King
Pelsday, 19th day of Harvest
In the small village of Dryden, the yearly take of the local crops is much less than expected. The skilled hobbits that once were able to reap two solid crops in a single year could put up with the racial prejudice no more. Taking their knowledge with them, they left with a contingent of dwarves and elves to seek the fabled valley of Pel Brolenon, where a free city is rumoured to exist. A land where all are able to live in peace, despite their racial stock.
The mood is dour in Dryden, and particularly so in the Bubbling Brook tavern. For, due to the reduced harvest, the kegs of ale are far from bubbling. A few locals are here, and the characters in our story count themselves among them. Gambit, Grimfayne, Asher, and Ryder sit among themselves, contemplating their lot. Most of them being of demi-human stock are not allowed to sit at the large table known as the ‘round’. Instead, they find themselves sitting on the cold wooden floors like dogs.
It is here that the group meet Yar, a local man from Dryden that has attached himself to them of late. With an excited flair for adventure, Yar convinces the group to follow the migration path of halflings out of Dryden south into the fabled land of Pel Brolenon.
Lured by the promise of treasure left behind by waylaid travellers, the group wastes no time in gathering their belongings and leaving Dryden.
After an hour of plodding travel, the group finally reaches the Crondor Scrubs. This tangled nest of wildlife is known in popular children tales as a place that is not safe to play. The small tangled shrubs unfortunately are too small to offer any protection against the child wind. A few birds scatter from the tress as the party approaches.
After another 30 minutes of slogging through the mud, they spy several stationary objects on the trail ahead. The wreckage of several carts, along with smashed crates, barrels and boxes litters the ground. Among the debris are the bloated, arrow-riddled bodies of several dead halflings, presumably migrants and their guards. More arrows protrude from, or lie on, the ground.
Investigating the wreckage, the party discovers that they were attacked by some kind of small humanoids. Yar recalls tails of Kobolds in the area. Some of the arrows are recovered, but little else.
Into the Woods
The group continues south. The scrubs are eerily quiet here. Each step forward seems to make too much noise as dead branches on the ground crunch loudly underfoot. Despite the coolness of the day, beads of sweat still drip from the brows of the adventurers, born of anticipation rather than heat. they suddenly come across the remains of an abandoned two-wheeled wagon. It has been left uncovered in front of a large out-cropping of rocks, apparently impossible to navigate in such terrain. It is empty and uncovered, but seems to be in good shape.
While the adventurers are distracted, the group is beset by a pack of hungry wolves!