South of the Great Swamp of Darmass, where the bog turns to temperate forest, a pair of travelers – a female Elven cleric and a Halfling paladin both devoted to their Gods – set up camp for the evening. They came across a few tents, a roaring fire and a timid Half-Elf tradesman named Beren. After introductions (her Ellia, and he Vio) they learned he was headed to Cardiss in the West to sell his wares. He then admitted he was actually the second to make camp there, after baying of wolves had convinced him to stop for the evening.
Suddenly, out of the brush, an enormous wolf did in fact appear. Beside him was an equally enormous Half-Orc.
“What are you doing here?! Lo’Gar will tear you apart.”
Beren, lips quivering, explained that he had merely stopped to make camp, and that it looked as if there would be room for another and if it would please the good Orc, that he be allowed to stay.
“Just don’t get in my way. I’m tracking something important to me, and my clan.”
The conversation, now more stressed than before, continued. Balgur sold his day’s kills – three wolf pelts – to Beren. Ellia and Vio tried to maintain an air of civility, but the Orc made it difficult.
Meanwhile, a half-Drow witch from the swamp spotted the group while foraging ingredients and reagents. Interesting. I wonder what they’re doing here.
Stepping from the darkness she made herself known, startling Beren further and reducing him to a stammering pile of jelly. Balgur called out to her, and threatened to send his wolf at her. She laughed while looking at the beast; it looked back, ventured over for a sniff, received a pat on the head, and returned to lounging by the fire. She introduced herself as Veraline (with a slight hiss to boot) and just as introductions went round again, the group paused. Crackling leaves and snapping twigs could be heard from beyond a small wall north of the camp.
Vio attended to the whimpering tradesman as the others snuck up to the wall. Goblins. It was Goblins, planning an attack, and not exactly stealthily. Balgur hoisted the group up the wall and then climbed it himself. The ambushers were ambushed, and dispatched handily.
Upon returning to the campsite, Beren was discovered missing, along with Balgur’s prized handaxe (a dangerous weapon intricately carved from bone, that was also a gift from a friend) and his store of gold. Lo’Gar had the scent (which was headed not to Cardiss, but to Mosstone in the East), but the group decided to rest – the tracking could wait, and certainly Beren was not dangerous. Right?