Brevoy is a nation divided. King Noleski Surtova rules from the northern realm of Issia, and noble houses across the kingdom bend the knee to his crown. Not all are happy to do so. Rostland, in the south, remains a hotbed of dissention, as it has since the days of Choral the Conqueror.
Beyond Brevoy’s borders lie the wilds of Iobaria, the outlaw River Kingdoms of the Sellen River delta, and the barbarian tribes of Numeria. Threats from these realms are ever-present, and may be the only thing keeping Brevoy united.
It is against this backdrop that your story begins. Wedged between Rostland and the northernmost River Kingdoms of Pitax and Mivon rests a tractless wilderness called the Stolen Lands – a vast hinterland that has seen its share of failed kingdoms.
Bearing an official charter signed by Restov’s Lord Mayor Ioseph Sellemius, you have been charged with exploring and mapping the Greenbelt – an area of the Stolen Lands rich in timber, gold, and other resources. Your tale begins at the Guild, a gathering place and sparring ground for the Aldori Swordlords, Restov’s famous duelists.
The half-elf Iamandi Aldori, Restov’s most celebrated swordlord, and Florian Orlovsky, a grizzled officer of the Restov Guard and accomplished swordlord in his own right, have just handed each of you the Lord Mayor’s charter.
- Party receives charter to explore the Greenbelt on the 25th of Calistril, 4713 AR.
- PCs chat with Iamandi and Florian, asking what they can expect in the Stolen Lands and so on, then take a few weeks to make their preparations and set out as the snows begin to melt, late in the month of Pharast (March).
- Arrive in the village of Nivatka’s Crossing after a day of travel, where the party meets Maegar Varn and his Varnling Host. The party becomes fast friends with Maegar, who plans to head south from Nivatka’s Crossing to explore the Nomen Heights and Dunsward plain, with a charter similar to the party’s. Maegar tells tales of his childhood in the north, on his family’s estate near Silverhall, and of the adventures of his mercenary company, the Varnling Host. The party’s half-orc member of the Order of the Dragon brings back a brace of coneys after a successful hunt and cooks them up for Maegar and the rest of the Varnling Host.
- The party leaves Nivatka’s Crossing the next morning and arrive late in the day at Fort Serenko, the last bastion before the hinterlands. The party is greeted by commander Vasili Karnov, and are introduced to Hannis Drelev and his wife, Pavetta Stroon-Drelev, who have been charged by the Swordlords to establish a colony near Hooktongue Slough, on the western edge of the Stolen Lands. The party is unimpressed by the dismissive Hannis and his shrewish wife, and bid them well on their endeavours before leaving Fort Serenko in the morning.
- The party narrowly avoids a confrontation with a black bear and her cubs waking from a long wintersleep, and arrives at Oleg’s Trading Post two days later, on the 30th of Pharast. They are greeted by Svetlana Leveton, Oleg’s warm and welcoming wife, and Oleg Leveton himself, who is gruff and reserved. The Leveton’s are dismayed with they find out that the PCs have not been sent to deal with their bandit problem, but are happy when the group offers to help them nonetheless.
- Oleg and Svetlana explain that a group of bandits has arrived at the trading post three times over the past three months, demanding furs and trade goods. They expect the bandits again the day after next. Although the PCs were not sent to deal with the Leveton’s bandit problem, they do not take long to promise to assist the Levetons. Oleg gives his grudging respect, while Svetlana shows her appreciation by granting the party free room and board at the trading post.
- The party takes a day to prepare an ambush against the bandits. Some assist Oleg with repairs to the trading post, while the half-orc goes hunting.
- The PCs sring their ambush on the unsuspecting bandits, five of them, the next morning. One of the bandits is killed by the half-orc, while the other four are captured, including their leader Happs Bydon.
- Through interrogating Happs Bydon, the party learns that the bandits are camped some thirty-six miles to the southwest, on the banks of the Thorn River in the Narlmarches forest. Happs reveals that there are a dozen bandits at the Thorn River camp (including the five that attacked Oleg’s), and that they are led by a hand-axe wielding woman named Kressle. The party retrieves a silver amulet in the shape of a stag from Happs, who says it was given to him by Kressle. He doesn’t know what it signifies, but says that she has one too, and that he suspects she received it from someone else.
- Oleg demands that the bandits be executed and hung from the outer walls of the trading post as an example. Some in the party are hesitant to use such harsh methods. Using divine magic, Alys demands repentance from the prisoners for their crimes, and assurances that they will leave their banditry in the past. Two of the bandits repent, while Happs and the other two stay silent on the matter.