16 Sarenith, 4713 – Heldren
Individually, the following PCs arrive in the small town of Heldren near the Border Woods on Taldor’s southern border with Qadira,
Hunter – a ranger from Nirmathas who has been recruited to join the High Sentinels; a group of ranger defenders who live and operate within the Zimar Scrublands region in southern Taldor.
Alabastar Pennywhistle – a bookish wizard who is conducting research into the history of magics used during the Grand Campaign.
Ingvar and Svala – a half-elf married couple. He is a fighter and she is a slayer. They are returning from Zimar to Oppara after he was sent for specialized training before seeking work as a body guard in one of the many noble houses in Oppara. She plans on seeking work in the same household but her mother presently works in the House Malassene as an adviser to the Matriarch of the Family.
Aiwendil and Vadoma – the oddest couple, she is a young oracle and he is an elder middle-aged druid. They are not related but have been close to family for the past 15 years as they travel throughout the north Inner Sea region seeking information and guidance about her divine powers.
The first day is spent largely investigating the small town and its citizens and several rumors are heard.
A – The betrothal of Lady Argentea Malassene to her Qadiran fiance has failed and she is heading home to Oppara. She is expected to pass through Heldren tomorrow.
B – Several local farmers and woodsmen are concerned about an unusual cold spell which seems to have popped up in the nearby woods. Some seem to think this is the doing of Qadira as diversionary attack prior to war.
C – Along with the weather is the sighting of some unusual creatures. The ones which specifically catch the most attention is mention of a talking stag and a giant white weasel.
D – The town statue of “The Lady” is rumored to be the petrified body of a witch that betrayed Taldor during the Grand Campaign. However evidence seems to indicate that the statue pre-dates the war.
E – Many town’s people are happy about quiet gossip that Councillor Teppen and the blacksmith may be starting a romantic relationship.
F – There have been no sightings of High Sentinels in town in almost 3 weeks.
17 Sarenith, 4713 – Heldren
The day starts out normal with the typical rural farm community activities. However, when the entourage for Lady Argentea fails to arrive on time, Hunter and Aiwendil decide to investigate. They head south out of town on the road to Zimar for 2 hours but find nothing before heading back to town.
Vadoma visits with Old Mother Theodora and is somewhat comforted that although sometimes misunderstood, that her oracle powers are meant for good in the world.
Ingvar and Svala lead a second investigation in the afternoon going further south to the junction of the road to Demgazi. Still nothing is found and the group heads back to Heldren for the night.
2100 – As the PCs are all sitting at various tables in the Silver Stoat having their evening meal and listening and partaking in conversations, a frost-bitten Ulfen warrior staggers through the door and collapses atop Alabaster, almost crushing him. He stammers something about the “winter-touched are here.” and then passes out.
He is taken to the Church of Erastil for treatment where he passes in and out of consciousness. During that time he is able to relay that the caravan was ambushed by a group of winter-touched fey and other unidentified attackers. He is the only survivor to get away but he does say he saw Lady Argentea being dragged off into the woods and she was still alive.
The PCs try and rouse the militia and although reluctant to raise a commotion so late at night, the commander agrees to do so.
The PCs are asked to report to Councilor Teppen’s house first thing in the morning.