Scott RHoD

Arrival at Drellin's Ferry, Day 1

After searching the hobgoblin encampment and taking a short rest, you continue the journey along the Dawn Way toward Drellin’s Ferry…the last piece of civilization before entering The Witchwood on the way to Vrath’s Keep.

Map of Drellin’s Ferry

Drellin’s Ferry sits on the banks of the Elsir River. It used to be named Dwarfbridge; years ago, the Elsir was spanned by a sturdy dwarf-built bridge at this spot, but it washed out during a flood a hundred years ago. Shortly thereafter, a man named Drellin built a horse-drawn ferry to serve as a river crossing and this town eventually grew up around his enterprise.

Six stone piers are still visible in the slow-moving river, marking the location of the old bridge. Now, a pair of enormous ropes cross the river, each secured to a large, flat-bottomed ferryboat. Orchards and grain fields surround the town.

As you approach the city, a group of four armed militia serve as sentries on the road. They tersely ask for your names and business in town, but accept most any answer you give. It is hot (over 90 deg), muggy, they are in scale armor, don’t have any shade to stand in, and none of you are goblins. They really are not all that interested in a conversation.

They will point you toward either The Green Apple (a fair inn) or The Old Bridge (a good inn) as places where most travelers stop for the evening.

A couple of hours after you arrive, you are approached by tall, older man and an armored swordswoman.

“Sorry to bother you, travelers, but if I may have a few minutes of your time. My name is Wiston, and I’m the Town Speaker for Drellin’s Ferry. This is our guard captain, Soranna. I’ll get right to the point: We’re in a lot of trouble, and I was hoping I could persuade you to help us out.

“Our town is under attack. Hobgoblin raiders have been harrying our lands for several days now. They’ve attacked and killed people in the outlaying homesteads, and they’ve been waylaying travelers along the Dawn Way.”

Soranna adds, “We’ve had trouble with them before, a quick raid every now and then on homesteads to the west of the river, but this is different. It looks like a large, aggressive tribe has moved in from the Wyrmsmoke Mountains. They may have enough numbers to sack the town if they tried.”

Wiston continues, “Beyond the immediate threat to our homes and families, the Dawn Way is our lifeblood. If the hobgoblins make the Dawn Way impassible, travelers will not come this way and we’ll be ruined. We not only need to repel the marauders from the town, but we’ve got to keep the road open.

“You seem a capable group of adventurers. Can you help us?”

Comments

Ginn Soo “I hate to be the one who has to ask this,” Ginn says as she looks over the others in the group speculatively. “But what’s in it for us? Prestige is nice and all, but prestige doesn’t keep me fed.” Posted 94 days ago

Artex Artex looks up from his mug of ale. “It seems the problem might be bigger than you think. We got jumped heading into Town from the East. You are saying the problem is coming from the West? Have you sent word to your Lord for assistance?”

Hearing the response from Ginn, “now Ginn, the Speaker is concerned with his Village and their safety.”

Taking a sip and turning back, “Now you think there are enough hobgoblins to sack the Town and you want us to go out and thin their numbers or maybe lead them away from the Town? That appears to be a very dangerous task. Why just the small band that jumped us, banged us up pretty badly. That is an awful lot of risk for a small group like ours. I am sure, he will take that into consideration if we agree to help out.” Posted 94 days ago

Jason Grumbling at Artex’s reply, Ginn looked away and idly patted the sword slung from her hip. Her lips move but nary a sound emerged. After a moment she looked back at Artex.

“Whatever you say,” she muttered.

Isak Isak watched as a drop of water slid down the ice cold glass of wine she had before her. She lifted her dark eyes and looked at Wiston, “They were also very well organized and led .. by a priest .. a priest of Tiamat. Unusual, don’t you think? Perhaps you or someone else in town could shed a little more light on this? Why would a town such as yours draw such attention? Have there been other unusual occurrences recently?” Her gaze traveled from the Speaker past the Captain to Ginn and then on to Artex and once more back to the Speaker. “Indeed, there is much to consider here for a small adventuring party such as ourselves.” She selected a strawberry from the bowl in front of her and bit off the tip. One could not help but notice her long fingers were tipped with nails the color of red..blood red. Posted 94 days ago

Scott Wiston responds, “The towns within the Vale are all independent. While I have no doubt Lord Jarmaath in Brindol and his Lion Guard soldiers could easily dispatch any band of hobgoblins, we pay him no taxes and he owes us no protection. Appealing to him for help would be a political process that could take weeks. Nevermind Brindol is a hundred miles away and just sending the appropriate entourage to appeal for aid would take another week.

Wiston gets a bit fidgety at Ginn’s question. “Understand, you would be helping a lot of people. A LOT of people….

“And the hobgoblins have been raiding at least some merchants lately. Anything you recover from them likely has no living person to claim ownership.

[awkward pause]

“But I suppose I could appeal to the council. We could cancel all our civic projects and delay maintenance on the Ferry. We would probably have to freeze the pay of the militia. Actually, if you indeed drove off all the hobgoblins, we could probably even lay off a few militia. I think we could pull together 2000 gp if that is what it would take. And I can also have Sertieren and Brother Derney provide any magical assistance you may need for just the cost of materials.”

Wiston pauses and fidgets with his neatly trimmed beard for a moment. Then he turns to Isak.

“I’m sorry, a priest of who? Forgive me, but I am a businessman, not a sage in the subject of hobgoblin religion. Perhaps Brother Derney would know more; he has studied religion. Or maybe Ms. Zann. She used to adventure and probably saw a bunch of weird stuff back in her youth.”

Soranna jumps in at the next question. “What do they want? Our lives, our gold, our lands, or maybe just our dead bodies laying in the street. They are hobgoblins. They would rather murder and steal than earn an honest living.”

“As for anything else unusual, I can’t really recall anything. We have had occasional problems with merchants being attacked shortly after leaving Drellin’s Ferry, but it is not like the countryside throughout the Vale is the safest place to travel anyway. We always figured it was one of the bands of human or halfling highwaymen we never can seem to catch. But maybe it was goblins all along….”

responds, "The towns within the Vale are all independent. While I have no doubt [B]Lord Jarmaath[/B] in [B]Brindol[/B] and his [B]Lion Guard[/B] soldiers could easily dispatch any band of hobgoblins, we pay him no taxes and he owes us no protection. Appealing to him for help would be a political process that could take weeks. Nevermind Brindol is a hundred miles away and just sending the appropriate entourage to appeal for aid would take another week. Wiston gets a bit fidgety at Ginn's question. "Understand, you would be helping a lot of people. A LOT of people.... "And the hobgoblins have been raiding at least some merchants lately. Anything you recover from them likely has no living person to claim ownership. [awkward pause] "But I suppose I could appeal to the council. We could cancel all our civic projects and delay maintenance on the Ferry. We would probably have to freeze the pay of the militia. Actually, if you indeed drove off all the hobgoblins, we could probably even lay off a few militia. I think we could pull together 2000 gp if that is what it would take. And I can also have [B]Sertieren[/B] and [B]Brother Derney[/B] provide any magical assistance you may need for just the cost of materials." Wiston pauses and fidgets with his neatly trimmed beard for a moment. Then he turns to Isak. "I'm sorry, a priest of who? Forgive me, but I am a businessman, not a sage in the subject of hobgoblin religion. Perhaps Brother Derney would know more; he has studied religion. Or maybe [B]Ms. Zann[/B]. She used to adventure and probably saw a bunch of weird stuff back in her youth." Soranna jumps in at the next question. "What do they want? Our lives, our gold, our lands, or maybe just our dead bodies laying in the street. They are hobgoblins. They would rather murder and steal than earn an honest living." "As for anything else unusual, I can't really recall anything. We have had occasional problems with merchants being attacked shortly after leaving Drellin's Ferry, but it is not like the countryside throughout the Vale is the safest place to travel anyway. We always figured it was one of the bands of human or halfling highwaymen we never can seem to catch. But maybe it was goblins all along...."

stoloc Elendil smiles at Wiston, waving in a nonchalant way and says “Cancelling civic projects?... Dismissing hardworking guardsmen who’ve done nae wrong??? Perish the very idea. We can look after your goblins without it coming to that I’m sure”

Pointedly looking at Gin and then back to Wiston.

“And if any here be so mercenary that they feel the need to extort a reward I’ll agree to pay against the first 400 gold we collect from the goblins- of course I’d have to charge said person for any aid they required from me during the trip”

“Assistance from the town would be most appreciated as would some monetary reward to go with right of salvage to treasure seized but I don’t see a reason to make paupers of the whole town”

“And besides” thinks Elendil to himself “The goal is to Sheer the sheep not slaughter them at the outset”

Scott Wiston visibly relaxes a bit. “I can appreciate your elven associate’s stance. I am a businessman after all. While charity and civic duty make excellent extracurricular activities, they don’t pay the bills. It sounds as if you are at least interested, so I think we can reach an agreement that will serve your needs without totally emptying the town coffers.

He motions to the Innkeep. “How does this sound. The Town Council will cover your meals and lodging (he hands a few coins to the Innkeep) any time you are in Drellen’s Ferry for the next, say, two weeks, plus provide provisions for your travels. I can speak with Sertieren and Brother Derney and arrange for you to have a few healing potions and maybe some alchemical supplies if that would be helpful. I’m sure Delora Zann would be willing to loan you some mounts if you do not have your own.

“When you can bring us evidence that the hobgoblins have either been dispatched, chased off, or suitably disorganized, I will take up a voluntary collection from the local landowners. It is their interests you would be protecting, after all. I have faith my fellow townspeople could come up with at least a few hundred gold in thanks for the security and peace of mind of being rid of these hobgoblins.

“Do we have an agreement?”

Wiston visibly relaxes a bit. “I can appreciate your elven associate’s stance. I am a businessman after all. While charity and civic duty make excellent extracurricular activities, they don’t pay the bills. It sounds as if you are at least interested, so I think we can reach an agreement that will serve your needs without totally emptying the town coffers. He motions to the Innkeep. “How does this sound. The Town Council will cover your meals and lodging (he hands a few coins to the Innkeep) any time you are in Drellen’s Ferry for the next, say, two weeks, plus provide provisions for your travels. I can speak with Sertieren and Brother Derney and arrange for you to have a few healing potions and maybe some alchemical supplies if that would be helpful. I’m sure Delora Zann would be willing to loan you some mounts if you do not have your own. “When you can bring us evidence that the hobgoblins have either been dispatched, chased off, or suitably disorganized, I will take up a voluntary collection from the local landowners. It is their interests you would be protecting, after all. I have faith my fellow townspeople could come up with at least a few hundred gold in thanks for the security and peace of mind of being rid of these hobgoblins. “Do we have an agreement?”

stoloc “Seems as if the town’s willin’ ta shoulder a fair share and give the support we’d need to do it right- I’m for it”

Silently, to himself “After my fellow travellers voice their opinions, I’ll have a walk and a quiet word with our budding swordswoman”

Artex Artex nods after staying silent for part of the conversation. He knew he was blunt most of the time, and his wisdom let him know that others were better spent in conversation. “I am willing to help for the modest reward but do you have any information or locals that are willing to act as a guide? We are not from around here and could easily become disoriented if we go chasing after hobgoblins into the hills.”

Ginn Soo Ginn sighed as she looked away from Wiston.

W- I agree with the group,” Ginn said in a manner that spoke volumes to the others around her. “We’ll help you out, as best we can.”

And in the meantime, Ginn thought to herself as she pulls her hair back into a sharp ponytail. This’ll keep the Hounds of Pyongbuk off my back for a little while yet.. Posted 93 days ago

Scott “For information, you probably will not do better than talking with Soranna here. She is the one who led the militia groups into the Witchwood, and she is the one who had to visit each widow after they walked into an ambush.”

Soranna adds, “I don’t know how much I can add. Best I can tell, there are maybe three separate tribes of about 15-20 hobgoblins all operating in much closer proximity to one another than in the past. They are normally quite territorial and one tribe will either avoid another or they will battle it out for regional supremacy.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if they weren’t calling the old ruins of Vrath’s Keep their headquarters right now. Without any more to go on, I would look there first. You might get lucky and find their leader there without too many guards. Without a leader, the tribes may scatter and degenerate into a manageable problem.

“The ruins are visible from the Dawn Way. Just stay on the main road through the Witchwood and you can’t miss it.

“If you want a guide, however, I’m not sure we can help you. Even without the hobgoblins, the Witchwood isn’t the safest place to travel. Spiders, drakes, wolves, owlbears…you can stumble into some nasty stuff if you aren’t careful in there. May not be too bad for a seasoned adventurer such as yourselves, but quite lethal for most of our militiamen.

“There is a hermit foreigner who lives just inside the Witchwood. I believe he goes by Jorr. If anyone knows their way around the Witchwood, it would be him. But I’ll warn you, he is a weird one. He gets along better with beasts than people and is normally not very welcoming. If you want to talk to him, I recommend bringing your best manners.”

Arrival at Drellin's Ferry, Day 1
tafkamhokie

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.