Most everyone in the region recalls the spring solstice celebration 5 years ago. Shortly after midnight as many were heading home after the celebrations, a strange star appeared in the night sky. Few noticed at first, but shortly others began to watch as the star, or so they thought grew in size. The new moon making it all the more visible.
Little more than the head of a nail, it glowed like an ember amongst the stars everyone knew. Inevitably, many suggested it was a sign. However, opinions varied. “Good harvests” were speculated by some; “evil tidings” others.
The brilliant star remained visible in the night sky for the next 3 days and then began to dwindle to nothing. After a week from the new moon, many falling stars were seen in the night sky. The starfall peaked on the third night when even lager falling stars were seen streaking to the west. In particular there were a few so large and bright they lit the sky like it was daylight. Again there was speculation as to omens.
The following year was uneventful. Neither significantly good nor evil.
Over time news spreads through the realm. Dwarves from the Western Mountains tell tale that the larger starfalls fell deep within their mountain ranges to the northern fringes.
Rangers have passed word to one another that orc tribes in the last 3 years have become more active. (this is noted as the orcs have been fairly passive in the last decade since the last culling that occurred 12 years ago).
The first game session revealed:
Linvar (Ian) and Raelaynn (Nathaly) discussed what they had heard from their communications with other rangers. One consistent point of note: the orc tribes are behaving differently than they have in the past. Historically, they would either raid in hit and run fashion, retreating to their territory, or they would form up into massive war parties to push out and expand their territories. In the last 3 years, their raids have hit and run, however, they appear to be pushing further past their target and not returning to their territories.
While discussing these events in a small tavern inn in the hamlet of Rashtan, the innkeeper Korec approached them to inquire if they would be interested in seeking a missing friend. Harold the Hedge Wizard had been missing for three weeks. No one had heard from him including his niece who lives in Rashtan. The niece Lora offers to pay for their assistance to investigate his cottage in the nearby woods. Linvar, Raelaynn and Thuvane (Jamie) band together to see if they can locate and retrieve Harold.
Before they leave town, they visit Minter’s Marvellous Map Shop and purchase some maps of a mine nearby Harold’s cottage (where Harold has been known to harvest materials for his potions). They also copy a rough map of the route to the forest and route to Harold’s cottage and the mines.
The path to the forest is uneventful. Even with Thuvane’s vigilant observation revealed no suspicious activity. Upon approaching the forest, Linvar notices claw prints of stirges. The group approaches the forest entrance with extra caution, weapons drawn are ready.
A swarm of 6 stirges swoop down towards the party. Linvar and Raelaynn loose their bows and immediately drop two stirges from the sky. Thuvane rushed to the tree line to sneak through the bushes and undergrowth. Again the rangers loose arrows, but this time both narrowly miss their targets. Two stirges were not deceived and flew straight at Thuvane: one latching onto his head and sucking his life blood from his face, the other grappling onto his arm, but could not find purchase. The other two flying on towards the rangers.
The rangers chose to draw swords and assist Thuvane. Thuvane wounded pulled out the healing potion he purchased and drank it down. Raelaynn took swings and was able to kill one of the stirges attacking the rogue. The second stirge instinctively counter attacks but is unable to get purchase on her armour. Linvar holds the other stirges at bay. One flies straight at Linvar and directly into his paired short swords amputating its wings and falling dead to the ground. Thuvane is able to slice the stirge from his head and Linvar dispatches the last stirge.
After binding their wounds and taking a short rest, they move on till they decide to make camp off the trail to the east in the woods. Thuvane rests and trances while the rangers setup camp. After a short meal, Thuvane and Raelaynn rest while Linvar takes an uneventful first watch. Raelaynn’s watch however is interrupted by noises of large foot falls.
After waking the others, Linvar recognized the language as a variant of giant common speech. 3 ogres were seen walking down the path (opposite direction that the party had been traveling). Quietly hiding and listening, the ogres appear to be arguing about lost food and directing their anger to the smallest of the group. The smaller ogre is kicked and clubbed and sent back the way they had come. The other two telling him he cannot return without finding their food.
The party decides to move to the other side of the path and quietly as possible follow the lone ogre. (in hopes that the ‘lost food’ may be Harold).