At the beginning of summer, 1479 DR, Ruby paused at the outer edge of New Tilverton and took in the view. Stonelands backdrop. Wooden buildings. Dirt roads. A halfway constructed palisade. Three hundred dust covered people. It was a frontier town in its truest form and it brought a single word to the smiling gnome’s mind. Opportunity. With a spring in her step, Ruby made her way down the main dirt road to the center of town. At the center of town was a large, stone encased water well providing the life line of the town. Surrounding it was the town market consisting of a general store, a few traveling merchants with wagons parked, and the local gathering point: The Stone Song Inn.
The two story Inn appeared to be the largest wooden building in town with a large first floor footprint to accommodate a large number of town residents. At the front of the main double door entrance was a message board with a single parchment tacked to the front with an iron nail. The notice showed a crude drawing of a dragon in charcoal and the name of Kavel. Ignoring the strange request, Ruby put up her own message stating “Strong arms and thick skulls needed. See Ruby →” with the arrow pointing towards the Inn. Within, the gnome admired the open floor plan, stone walls and grilling pit at the back. She made her way to the bar where an old grey scaled dragonborn named Meher served her up a mug of something “bubbly”.
Meanwhile, Maxim thanked the farmer who had given him a ride upon his wagon from Arabel. It was a long trip, one of a nearly constant bumpy road and a never ending dissertation on turnips from farmer Hannas. For the first order of business, Maxim proceeded directly to the residence of Ellis Ullman on the east side of town. The retired Purple Dragon officer welcomed Maxim into his home where they discussed a mission of importance for New Tilverton.
Ullman told Maxim of an orc named Rogar the Undying that has recently been plaguing the area with raiding parties. He heard of Maxim’s graduation from military school and decorated first year as an officer in the Purple Dragons and wanted him to help. Ullman implied that being successful would advance Maxim’s career. The young officer accepted and set off into town to look for a few adventurers to help him. His journey brought him to the best place to look; the Stone Song Inn.
In need of some drink and food after a productive morning of work, Cage makes his way down the street to the Stone Song Inn. The stone walls of the inn reflected heat from the indoor grill pit and the smell of smoked meat made Cage smile. He made his way to the bar where he ordered his usual from Meher before settling into his seat at the bar.
Off to his right, he noticed two new patrons also seated at the bar discussing the ability to track a person through the Stonelands. Amused by the conversation, Cage turns in his chair to join in.
The long bumpy road was starting to cause a sore in Jord’s backside. Thankfully, the turnip cart finally came to a start at the center of the town of New Tilverton. Jord hoped off the cart and immediately made his way towards the first welcome sight in leagues; an inn called the Stone Song. Before entering, however, Jord stopped short of the entry due to a message board with two messages on it. The one that grabbed his attention first was the one of a crude drawing of a dragon signed by the name of Kavel. The message was remarkably similar to one he had seen in Arabel about a dragon sighting.
With confirmation of his trip northward, Jord made his way into the Inn with purpose. Within, he found three people discussing quests into the Stonelands. Hoping that it would be in relation to the dragon, Jord made his way to the bar and introduced himself.
As the bold one of the group, Maxim suggested that the group work together to solve the various quests that were needed out in the Stonelands. All though the group were strangers, there was a sense of need to help from the four and all of the agreed to work together. Cage mentions that a friend of his named Kalenthor would join them later as he was currently finishing up some study with books.
The first step was to travel to the shrine of Chauntea were a druid by the name of Raven could usually be found. The hope was to gain some further information regarding the orcs in the area as well as the mysterious dragon poster on the message board. The shrine on the north side of town was a simple pool of water surrounded by natural stones as well as several natural stone pillars. Upon one of the pillars sat a black raven who watched the group enter the shrine and look around. After a few moments of calling out for the druid, the raven flew down from the pillar before shapeshifting into the form of a half-elven woman dressed in dark clothing with a black feather cloak.
The group asked the druid about Kavel and his message about the dragon. Raven informed the group that Kavel was a ranger who was working to try and clear the Stonelands of those that would bring harm. Two months ago, Kavel informed Raven that he had spotted a red colored dragon that he called a descendant of Nalavara, the devil dragon who slew Kind Azoun IV nearly a hundred years ago. Since spotting the dragon, Raven tells the group that Kavel had been acting strangely and erratic as if he was under the effects of some sort of lingering dragon fear. The last she had seen of him, he was out to the northwest in the Stonelands, possibly at a place called the Devil Horns.
With some uncertainty to the situation with the dragon, the group decides to look into a more immediate concern involving a a caravan to the northeast that was recently raided by orcs and the son of Everstone gone missing. After an uneventful trip along the main road, the group finally finds the remains of the caravan. The destruction of the five wagons was obvious with black wood arrows, dead horses, and several dead people.
The group goes about investigating the area, finding a supply manifest under a dead body as well as tracks of orcs and goblins that ambushed the caravan, that led off to the west into the Stonelands. With no further clues, the group decides to head west following the tracks. They do not get more than five minutes from the caravan when Jord yells out “Ambush!” to the group.
A group of four goblins appears out from behind boulders to the left and right of the group. The arrows, however, missed their marks. Jord immediately drew his glaive and descended upon the goblin to his right and scored a solid hit. To their credit, the fast moving fighter did not slow the goblins resolve as they drew and fired another volley of black wood arrows. Maxim took a nick to the arm, but it was the only one to land a hit.
The rest of the group exploded into action, with Maxim shifting to the left and hammering a goblin on the shoulder. Ruby shanked another, while Cage made a solid hit himself to help drop the goblin. Jord then gutted the goblin he was fighting and immediately began shifting to the other side of the field. With two goblins down, the group easily dispatched the last of the goblins.