Likot groans and places a hairy hand on his back, feeling the half-healed wounds from the kobolds’ jabs a few days earlier. The five sit around a circular wooden table at Salvana Wrafton’s Inn, eating their breakfast meal of hard rye bread and dry jerky while they discuss the day’s plans. During Likot’s recovery at the Inn, the group had become acquainted with some of the important personalities around town, and consequently had learned more about their quests and and potential money-making opportunities…
Sister Linora, a middle-aged woman with a serious demeanor but a warm heart, runs Winterhaven’s only place of worship, a small temple primarily devoted to Avandra, goddess of luck and change. Artemis approached the priestess of Avandra the day after they arrived, striding in ahead of the party intent on finding answers and moving on.
Artemis: “Are you the local cleric here?” Sister Linora: “Oh, hello! You must be visitors to Winterhaven, I don’t recognize you.” she says as she squints at the Tiefling, somewhat rare in this part of the world, with a curious look in her eyes. “In answer to your question, I’m not technically a cleric, but I do provide some basic healing and religious services for the community.” Artemis: “Can you tell us anything about a cult?” Her long tail flicks back and forth impatiently. Sister Linora: “The villagers of Winterhaven are good people. You won’t find any evil here, I can assure you of that. I’m sure that if a cult were really operating in the area, I would have heard about it. And I would have taken action in the name of Avandra – of that, you can rest assured.”
Sister Linora makes the sign of Avandra on her foreheard as she speaks her convictions. Aeric, typically the best eye for detecting trickery and ill intent, nods his approval to the rest of the group, indicating he believes her to be trustworthy.
Carff: “Well what about the little red and brown kobolds that attacked on us on our way to the village?” Sister Linora: “The kobolds are a worsening problem of their own lately. They aren’t only striking at targets along the road. They’ve begun to make forays into the distant farms, raiding livestock and attacking homes in the dark of night. I have appealed to Lord Padraig, but he doesn’t have the means to raise a force to fight back.”
Carff’s tapered ears prick up at the sound of opportunity, as though he’d just heard the chink of a few gold coins.
Sister Linora: “I fear that this is only a harbinger of a disaster to come.” Likot: “Don’t worry, lass, you can bet my bushy beard that I’ll be taking care of those pesky kobolds!”
Likot stamps the hilt of his warhammer on a nearby table, grimacing first in resolve then second in pain as the impact from his blow ripples along his sore back. “Whose idea was it to not hire a healer anyway…” he grumbles as the group walks outside to find Lord Padraig, silently agreed to tackle the kobold threat.
“So you’ve encountered the kobolds that have turned the old King’s Road and our outlying farms into their personal hunting grounds?” questions Lord Padraig, a look of concern on his face. “Those beasts vex me sorely. Yet the villagers refuse to recognize the seriousness of the problem! Attacks along the road have become more frequent over the last few months. Something’s stirring the kobolds up.” He paces back and forth across the common room of his manor house. Turning to face the group, he brightens a bit “I don’t suppose you would be interested in taking a commission from me? I promise you, I can pay well for your services.”
Lord Padraig holds up a bag of gold as a indication of the reward. “Oh yeah, I think we can handle that.” Carff can barely conceal a look of excitement at the thought of getting that gold. “Excellent!” Lord Padraig pulls out a map, unrolls it to reveal the area surrounding Winterhaven, and points to a marking southeast of the village. “Rond Kelfem, my guard captain, reports the Kobold Lair to be here. A group of stalwart adventurers who confront the kobolds should have a reasonable chance of dispatching the creatures. If you manage to take care of this problem I’ll happily reward you with 100 gold pieces. Of course, you’re also welcome to whatever loot you find in their lair.”
“Good enough for me!” Skitlezzz bellows, startling Lord Padraig and forcing him to grab the noble’s cap on his head. Artemis opens the door from the Lord’s manor and gestures through the open archway, “Let’s go!”
“Hey wait, weren’t we supposed to be going after a cult or something?” Aeric questions the group, but they are already out the door, conversing excitedly about their upcoming battles.