The Good, The Bad, and The Odd

Part One: It Begins

Kobolds, a damsel, and seven strangers meet

As we begin our tale, Arihana the druid, Asa the ranger, and Brie the cleric of Habbakuk are investigating unease in the local forests. Their individual investigations proving frustrating, they have decided to cooperate for the time being, for the sake of the forest.
Meanwhile, another party approaches from the northeast. Coming from the city-state of Callabra, each for their own reasons, Rhohanna the bard, Kamile the rogue, and Mharsh the cleric of the storm travel through the area in the direction of Stormgarde.
Both small groups are drawn by the nearby sounds of distress to find a sizable group of kobolds attacking a local wagon. The driver, a farmer of the area by the name of Roderich, is slumped over at his seat, clearly injured by the initial attack, while his daughter, Sarah, struggles to avoid being taken captive by the kobolds. Their lone defender, the Sorbo-esque Philip, son of Philip, fights valiantly with an enormous battle axe, but numbers are clearly not on his side.
Some seeking reward, others looking perhaps for answers or merely to help, our heroes join the fray. Kamile and Rhohanna move to deal with one group of the creatures, while their half-orc compatriot attacks those still harrying the wagon. A bolt of holy fire from the priest, along with a well-placed arrow from the ranger, Asa, handle those making away with Sarah. Vines sprout from the ground to hold fast the main bulk of attackers, while the armored priestess Brie holds the line with her hammer and healing.
Asa is caught up in a net, Kamile and Rhohanna are almost killed, and Mharsh vaporizes a rooted cluster of the kobolds as Ghrome the gnome makes his entrance with flair. Tumbling underneath the wagon to land a surprise strike to the last of the assailants, the warrior ends the fight.
With Philip’s thanks, and the promise of medical attention and food (and perhaps some mention of reward…?) our brave seven make their way along the road to the nearby hamlet of Northbarley. There, they meet Callum, the dwarven priest who watches over the village along with his adoptive grandchildren.
Though suspicious of the outsiders, Callum offers prayers of healing and barleywine drink to his guests and offers shelter for the night. Listening to their story of the battle, he deduces that whatever forces have emboldened the kobolds to attack so openly must be somehow related to the recent, strange phenomena throughout the nearby forests. He tells the heroes that he, himself is unable to directly investigate much of this, due to the recent arrival of a survey crew from Callabra: a direct danger to Northbarley and its families. He suggests that both parties might help one another, with the new arrivals investigating and suppressing the kobold menace in exchange for some vague and undetermined payment, as well as aid with Callum’s distant allies should those traveling toward Stormgarde choose to continue on afterward.
Upon their acceptance, Callum tells them that he can arrange more permanent shelter for them outside the hamlet, so as not to arouse the immediate attention of the Callabran scouts. He also hints that perhaps a local woodsman named Angelo might know something of the disturbances troubling both forest and town.
On the morrow, the seven heroes accompany Callum’s shadowy yet captivating granddaughter Heather beyond the forest’s edge to Angelo’s cabin. There, they learn that Angelo is, in fact, Heather’s father, and that he has been investigating the same concerns as they have. Unfortunately, he has found out little else, though he promises to keep a careful watch over the woods, and to let them know should he discover anything new.
After a largely fruitless morning spent seeking out Angelo, our group decides to explore their new accommodations: an abandoned structure known ominously as ‘ The Manor’ settled in the low hills. Heather acts again as their guide while all attempts, both collective and individual, to check out the silent-footed rogue’s various attributes and proportions continue to be stymied by her magically shifting cloak. She leads them once more north, veering away from Northbarley into the foothills to where Philip, son of Philip has been investigating the Manor ahead of their arrival.

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Keenan

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