On the orders of King Mardin himself, I have been south of the kingdoms of Albright on mission to gain information on the new lands now collected within our realm. I left in the company of an entire brigade as well as a collection of tax collectors, map makers, and census takers (a waste of a saddle this lot, none of them worth their rations). Our retinue travelled south along the King’s road for several days until we reached the Nentir Vale.
The Nentir Vale is a lush, vibrant kindom. A lush gem in our king’s new crown. The ruler of Nentir is Lord Warden of Markelhelm, Ruler of Fallcrest. It is said that he personally held the line in the Bloodspear wars. So a man to be respected. In Fallcrest, I was introduced to two Greencloaks. Apparently, these green cloaks are rural scouts and sheriffs of sorts, and police the borders of the Nentir Vale. One, a human elf named Alista, who apparently was born in the Harkenwoods, has invited me to go on patrol with her and her comrade, a somewhat brooding human druid with, named Shagg. An object of concern is Shagg’s pet, which appears to be a wolf. Both look to be formidable opponents and it is clear why they have been chosen as scouts.
Learning to know more about my King’s new kingdom, I have decided to go with them.
A few days south we have come across a burned out Steading along the King’s Road. Alista and Shagg are quick to search the ground for tracks. And though I can see only wagon ruts, they swear they have found the footsteps of these murderers. In one of the burned out dwellings, there are burned remains of the farming family who owned this steading. My blood runs hot thinking on what kind of creature would do this to an innocent family.
Following along the road, we come across a few more burned out farms. Alista and Shagg think that these villians are few day past us. They think they might cut through the Harkenwoods, the Elves call them Songwood’s I’m told, and can cut these men off in Harken. Though I am far from my original mission, I decide to go with them.
We traveled through the forest, a silent and brooding affair, no sign of these mysterious elves though I swear I was being watched, and make it to Rook’s Nest. On the horizon, we can see signs of black smoke. We rode hard and found another burned out shelter. We keep riding and luckily catch these bandits in the attack of burning down another farm. Alista, Shagg, and I come to the rescue. In truth, I hadn’t felt this alive since the Bloodspear Wars, running down Worg riders. The bandits had a wolf, and wore banded armor with a sigil of an iron band. They had the complexion of Southlanders. When we dispatched them, we found hiding inside the fort a half-elf farming lady by the name of Illyana and her two boys.
I was shocked to discover from her that Harkenwold has come under attack and has been taken by these bandits calling themselves the Iron Circle. Baron Stockmer is said to be held captive and both sons are dead. Illyana tells us that there is an underground resistance still, but that they have not the man power to resist in full. She recommends that we travel to the city of Albridge, and find the resistance, or meet up with a old sage by the name of Reithan in a grove to the south of here. Apparently, this sage is known for her great wisdom and could assist us.
I have decided to leave my comrades and travel north. The king must here of this invasion. They in turn are going to meet with this old witch Reithan on the advice of Illyana.