The Shadowdale Four arise feeling quite energetic and impatient to begin the Northward journey and deduce what evil is harassing the nature of Border Forest. As they exit the shrine they see that the sun is shining and that the snow from the blizzard 2 days past has now nearly completely melted and all share a smile at their good fortune.
They set off following the trail which meanders northwards over knee high grasslands. The skies are blue with pure white, slightly translucent, wispy clouds. There is a faint breeze at their neck which combined with the strange temperature for Hammer is quite soothing.
Around mid-afternoon on the first day of travel Condar catches sight of, thick black smoke rising from behind small hills about 2-3 hours walk to the North West off the trail.
The four decide to investigate in case anyone is in need of help. As they approach the sun is beginning to set and they all begin to feel uneasy. Hairs on the back of their necks all seem to stand on end. Borloff states that he is beginning to think that they are being followed.
Borloff whispers for the others to keep walking ahead slowly but make no noise while he attempts to use his acute hearing to detect what it is following them.
They now know for certain that they are being stalked, but not by what.
They continue on warily and arrive at the top of a hill looking down into a valley and can now see where the smoke came from.
In the valley is what looks like a small human settlement. There is a farm, a field of pigs and poultry, a barn, some buildings that look like pantry’s and there are a ring of cottages which surround an orchard. In the centre of the village, there is a building bigger than the rest. It looks like it is a hall of some sort and just to the north of this there are the remains of a stone tower.
It is noticed eventually by all, but Merthan is the first to spot that as well as the humans working the fields and orchard, there are an equal amount of half-elves also labouring away.
Just as they take in the sights they witness a pair of middle aged villagers walking casually towards them. One is half-elven and female and the other is a human male. They do not appear armed or armoured and both have a smile upon their warm faces.
“Greetings adventurers, I am Fiona Danthor and this is my brother Josh Danthor and a warm welcome we extend to you from all of us at Anathar’s Dell.”
The PC’s introduce themselves;
“Pardon me for asking” Josh inquires “but have you stayed here before? As I don’t seem to recall your faces, which is something I am usually rather good at.”
“Josh worries he’s getting old and senile” Fiona explains.
The Shadowdale Four confirm that they have never stayed here before and until now where oblivious to its existence.
“Well [[Anathar’s Dell]] is our home and it is what we call this little settlement,” states Josh. “We have cosy and comfortable lodging if you require, at a reasonable price of 2 GP per head, per night.”
“This cost includes private guesthouses with a hand-pump filled bath large enough to share with a lounging partner” after saying this Fiona glances at Ultyr and then the three male members of the party.. “All drinks, meals, stabling and even bedside care if required is also included.”
After a few minutes of private deliberation the party decide to agree and withdraws the required coins from their belt pouches.
Josh accepts the coins and hands over the keys to 4 guesthouses by the orchard. “Food and drink can be had at all hours by wandering over to Anathar’s Hall and feel free to help yourself to the delicious apples in the orchard.”
The party are then shown their guesthouses, it is then when Borloff asks if they know anything about what creatures inhabit this area as they thought they were being stalked on their way here.
The Danthor family share a small smile and Fiona say’s “not to worry they were just the Fang’s, which were making sure you weren’t here to cause us harm.”
At that the Shadowdale Four are left to rest.
The rest of the night passes uneventfully, the party all head to Anathar’s Hall to get some food and Condar finds out some of the history of this place before they turn in and get a good nights rest.