It’s a warm spring day, the last snow has finally melted away down in the plains. The days are getting longer, and warm air is filling the countryside. Trees are starting to flush out beautiful hues of green and flowers are blooming everywhere.
North of the Neverwinter woods, travellers of all sorts are making their journeys on a not-so-frequented route between the cities of Blackford Crossing and Longsaddle: the New Road. A small village by the name of Oakhurst stands at the mid-way point on the New Road, and is growing in popularity since the emergence of the new path.
Amongst caravans of merchants, carriers, some guards, peasants and farmers, a few unique adventurers stand out of the masses each heading towards the town of Oakhurst for various reasons…
Each of you is on the road heading to Oakhurst, you kind of end up walking at similar paces, so I will let each character describe themselves and meet each other, feel free to talk about anything and tell me if you are doing any particular activities whilst walking and maybe chatting… You should be only a couple hours away from Oakhurst.
Hef crests a small hill and leans on the butt of his glaive, peering down at the town of Oakhurst. He pats one of the leather pouches on his belt and says, quietly, "Alright, Fel, let's see what kind of trouble you have for me." He makes good time approaching Oakhurst on foot, and keeps an ear out for the buzz of travelers' conversations as he nears the town.
((Edit: Changing Hef's speech color to avoid conflicts with Zak))
As Hef passes a few trees there's a voice behind him.. "Hello." a young female voice by the sounds of it.
She's sitting on the ground against one of the trees, a bit of food in her hand apparently having just been taking a break for something to eat. She's clearly a traveller herself what with the pack by her side, crossbow strapped to it and travellers clothing typical of the area. She's small in stature with shoulder length brown hair and fair skin.
The girl waves at Hef with the three fingers not holding onto the biscuit she was currently eating, "Heading to Oakhurst?"
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"No boom today. Boom tomorrow. There's always a boom tomorrow" "No power in the 'verse can stop me"
The conversation is overheard by a small humanoid who was hiding nearby. "I'm going to Oakhurst too,"he says as he reveals himself. He is a kobold, often seen by adventurers as a nuisance or a threat. But then, most kobolds don't speak such fluent Common. "I heard some interesting rumors I'd like to check up on. Let's go together? Strength in numbers, after all."
Gwenant gives a pleased sigh as she catches her first glimpse of Oakhurst. She's always loved travelling, and while this venture has a clear and defined goal, she isn't the sort to not enjoy the small pleasure of seeing civilization after a long trek. Wearing her mail hauberk, and with a bundle of javelins, an imposing maul, a roundshield, and her pack all strapped to or dangling from her back, she could almost be mistaken for a half-elven pack mule rather than a roving warrior, but in spite of the weight she soldiers on without a care, a whistle on her lips and a trident in one hand.
That's about when she catches sight of an odd little band of people, some of which she recognizes as fellow travelers, all gathering under a nearby tree. Two humans, and a...
She brushes her shoulder-length red hair out of her eyes to make sure she's seeing straight, then a smile comes over her face. The road has blessed her today it seems, this is hardly an everyday occurrence! With a spring in her step, she calls out as she approaches them, "Hail, fellow travelers! Are you Oakhurst bound?"
It seemed the others were surprised, but not hostile. Certainly not the worst reaction Spotty could've received. "Yeah, I'm a kobold"he says with a chuckle. "I'm a good guy, though, I promise. I'm heading to the Sunless Citadel. I heard there's a clan of other kobolds living there... I wanna find out what they're like."
Zak begins his day like any other day, scrumming around Oakhurst's surrounding forests looking for food for the day. He's been living in the wild on the outskirts of the town since about the beginning of winter, and so has been excited to see the warmer weather arrive. He notices the normal types of traffic on the New Road on this day, but the group of folks gathered around the nearby tree has perked his senses.
"Ok... don't screw this up..."
Over the past few weeks, Zak has been working on talking to strangers in an attempt to integrate himself into society. He's had no real social interaction for the majority of his life raised in the Orc camps throughout Faerun, and since his escape he's been trying to talk to more people to improve his life. He overheard the group mentioning Oakhurst and so felt that was the perfect time. He awkwardly walks over to the group and they see a rather tall muscular half-orc, although much more noticeably human looking than orc, stumble over his overly large great sword which is attached to his back say:
"...hello... I'm Zak. Did I hear you all mention you're headed to Oakhurst? I'd be happy to show you around if you are looking for anything in particular."
"A dragon? No, haven't seen one around here... why do you ask?" Spotty curiously tilts his head at Renny, then turns to Zak and smiles, incidentally showing off his sharp teeth."Oh, nice to meet you, mister Zak. My name's Spotty."
Hef smiles as he is called over by Renny. Things move quickly and he's lost in the flood of people an information. It takes him a few moments to process everything and he works on catching up. "I am. Bound for Oakhurst that is. I had an old friend call in a favor. Maybe I'll travel with Spotty here. That'll be a change of pace. It looks like I'll be investigating the Citadel as well."He smiles and nods to Zak. "You know where I can find the local constable?"
((Edit: Changing Hef's speech color to avoid conflicts with Zak))
Gwenant flashes Zak a bright smile and says, "Didn't realized we warranted a welcome party! Hello to you too, Zak, was it? I'm Gwenant Geddings, and I might take you up on that offer." She takes a moment to put names to all of the faces around her, then adds, "What's this about a Sunless Citadel? I heard about a job to track down missing children in the area, but nobody mentioned anything about some fortress or the other."
"Dragons... can't say that I've seen much of any Dragons around these parts." says Zak to Renny as he takes special notice to the slight glimmer of something on her skin. "Likewise Spotty!"Kobolds have never been a bother to Zak - he's known a few around the Orc camps although none of them spoke common even close to as well as Spotty. "Pleased to meet you Hef. I can definitely show you where the constable usually can be found. What are you investigating? Gwenant - I'll be happy to show you around. Shall we go then?"
Zak begins to lead the way as they head to Oakhurst.
(I’ll let the characters chat some more before budding in; I will give a layout of the town when you get closer, and I‘ll let you know when you arrive)
Since you’ve been camping around the town, you have some knowledge about how things work and the layout. The Constable, a read-head woman (never really caught her name) is in charge of a bunch of guards and scouts, and you’re pretty sure they know of your presence in the surrounding wilderness, but they haven’t approached you. She would most likely be at the Barracks or the Jail, but any guard in town would most likely be able to guide anybody asking.
The town also has an Inn, a Village Hall, a GeneralStore, a Blacksmith and a Shrine. But details are a little blurry since you never really entered the town and simply observed from afar. Most of the inhabitants are farmers and the farms are scattered around the town center.
One last thing: you know that guards are posted around the road entering the town, and they seem to be a little more attentive with traffic coming in and out with the town getting more popular for travelers nowadays.
As she follows after the half-orc, Gwenant describes what she heard, "Anyway, yeah, I heard about it from some sellsword who passed through these parts a little while ago. He was pretty light on the details, but he mentioned that a woman in Oakhurst hereabouts was offering a pretty substantial reward for anyone who finds her missing children. And according to him, they've been missing for over a month now, but he didn't want to bother for some reason."She thinks for a moment, then looks to the others and adds, "Missing children, a Citadel, slaughtered cattle, and- Renny, right? Did you say you were looking for a dragon?"The half-elf furrows her brow. Though never the superstitious sort, Gwenant nonetheless has some strong beliefs about the nature of fate and the like, and one of her more fervent beliefs is that nothing is isolated. Her gaze lingers on Renny for a moment as she mulls the situation over...