It Started With a Kidnapped Pig...
Red Larch rumours
Minny, from Mhandyvver’s Poultry (14) said her daughter had a frightening encounter with a ghost near a long forgotten tomb a short distance outside of town. Minny ordered the girl to stay away, but everyone thinks someone ought to make sure its safe.
The town elders sometimes don’t get along with the town constable, I reckon usually when their business interests or family are affected. The elders don’t have a leader but if they did it would be Elak Dornen of Dornen Finestone (12). He’s a cold, arrogant, inflexible man. Aerego Bethendur of Bethendur’s Storage (20) is the best of them, at least he has a heart. Ulhro Luruth of Luruth’s Tannery (19) is an elder, but he’s a fool and talks too much. Stay away from ‘em, they all say they have Red Larch’s interests at heart, but only so far as it benefits them.
Quarry workers used to cut marble and slate by torchlight when they were behind in their orders, but they no longer do so, shunning the quarries by night. They are spooked by rumours of dark robed figures in stone masks lurking in the darkness beyond the torchlight. Dangerous times are at hand, mark my words!
We’ve had a many folk come to Red Larch in the last few months looking for friends and relatives who disappeared after reaching our town. One of them complained his sister went missing, she apparently had an abundance of red hair. I remember seeing her, but next day she was gone. Just thought she was passing through, but apparently went missing. Maybe those bandits you sorted out got her? Or that necromancer in the cave? Something wrong in the land hereabouts. I hope someone can sort it out.
Zhentarim mercenaries are working hard to make sure they are the best (and only) merchant caravan guards money can buy. I bet once they get the monopoly on providing guards their prices will shoot up. They’ve got their work cut out for them. There’s been a lot of banditry and monster attacks lately. It’s not safe to travel.
When you’re ordering fish for dinner, make sure you know what you’re ordering. Considered a delicacy throughout the North, the silver shalass is a much tastier fish than the smaller brown lout, which also makes its home in the Dessarin River.
Some shepherds around Red Larch have seen strange figures watching them from distant hillsides in the wild fields east of town where they have traditionally grazed their flocks. So far they ain’t done nothin’ except watch. Downright unnatural if you ask me. What do they want?
There’s a bunch of artisans working around the clock to restore and renovate old Riverguard Keep. There is also a mercenary company there who claim to be protecting the trade along the river from monsters and bandits.
Knights out of Waterdeep who love flying mounts are staying at Feathergale Spire. They’ve started coming there in the past few months, you can see them sometimes on their griffons and giant birds high in the sky. What a lazy lot. Still, they don’t hassle anyone who goes past their tower which is more than you can say for some folk.
There’s a bunch of wild druids at Scarlet Moon Hall, located deep in the Sumber Hills, where the worst monsters are. No one used to go near the place. Now you can see bonfires burning on the hills around it. Anyway these druids apparently have a weird fire ceremony called the Rite of the Wicker Giant, which they claim can restore nature’s balance in our troubled region.
There’s a vicious and wicked manticore that attacks travellers in the Sumber Hills sometimes. It’s an evil thing, fires spikes from its tail, it does. Run if you see it, although by then it will be too late.
Some travellers complained that they tried to seek shelter from a storm at what they thought were old ruins but turned out to be now populated with a bunch of monks who want to be left alone. The monks refused entry to the travellers, who had to endure a miserable night in the wind and rain. I thought monks were supposed to be nice and charitable.
The Sumber Hills has become far more dangerous in the last six months. No one goes into the hills berry picking any more. No one goes hare hunting either, there are monsters like ogres and bugbears – and worse! – everywhere, not to mention bandits and robbers.
The weather around Red Larch had been strange – strange hot breezes coming down from the hills, bolts of lightning arcing from the sky without any accompanying storm, small earthquakes, fog banks that refuse to dissipate when hit by the morning sun.
A talented half elf bard called Windharrow came through Red Larch some months ago and spent a bit of time at The Helm at Highsun. He was always looking for those who have any kind of musical talent to join his band called the Wyndwards. His band must have a high turnover of musicians. Anyway he said he was going to be performing at Feathergale Spire, where those stupid flying nobles ponce around on giant birds and flying beasts.
Jed is a survivor of a bandit raid on a small merchant caravan travelling by barge on the Dessarin River. He survived the raid by playing dead and later wandered for a while before joining another group heading for Red Larch. He is staying at Mother Yalantha’s but can also be found at The Helm at Highsun. If asked about his experience he mentions stated that he overheard that bandits report to someone named Grimjaw in a place called Riverguard Keep.
Borin is a dwarf and a survivor of a robbery claimed that he the merchant caravan he travelled on along the Larch Path was beset by bandits led by a spellcaster with deep brown skin (earth genasi although may not know thats what race he was) calling himself “The Mud Sorcerer”. The genasi killed several bystanders in a callous manner using spells that caused a fountain of earth and rocks to kill everyone within an area. The spellcaster and his minions who appeared to have stone armour then picked through the remains of the shattered wagons looking for valuables which is when Borin and other survivors made their escape and made it to Red Larch. Borin is staying at the Swinging Sword.