Amid the carnage created by our band of adventurers and upon the bloody corpse of the Goblin Hexxor leading the assault on Riverstead, Scragg retrieved a rolled up scroll and handed it to Jonbon Jovvy.
The letter was foul in look and writ upon with fetid blood from some hapless victim:
This map will guide you to the town called Riverstead. Retrieve the Hammer Totem from Garwin’s shop near the south well. Use the alchemist’s fire to break through the city wall.
Do not fail me or I shall sacrifice all of you.
Garwin was the very person the MotU had been on their way to see when the brouhaha started. As the city militia finally began to arrive on the scene, at this point only to tend to carting off the dead, our adventurers made way to Garwin’s shop for information, passing by a large black dog pacing now pacing around the store frontage.
On entering Garwin’s Curios, it appeared at first to be empty, but Jonbon’s keen eye noticed the proprietor peering out from the storeroom door and called for him to come out now that the goblin threat was put to rest. Scragg hurried to point out that they had crushed the insignificant goblin marauders and saved Garwin’s merchandise. Somewhat shaken by the attack, Garwin cautiously began conversation with Jonbon but quickly warmed up to his charismatic presence. When shown the note taken from Sizzlefizit, a questioning look came over Garwin’s face as he studied the map that the goblins had used to find their way to Riverstead. Garwin noted the goblins seemed to have come by way of a dwarven campsite that was known to him.
Garwin began to explain that several weeks ago, a dwarf by the name of Durnog Blackquartz arrived in Riverstead with a score of dwarven prospectors accompanying him. Durnog, came to the area seeking to find ore in the mountains and had bartered for equipment and local maps with Garwin. Garwin had also decided to partly back the expedition in exchange for a share of the find. After gathering supplies, the dwarven crew headed into the hills north of the city.
About three weeks ago, one of the dwarves in the Durnog’s exploration party, a red-bearded dwarf by the name of Grinshnick, returned to town. He gave the impression that all was well at the campsite and that he was just needing to pick up a few sharpening stones and odds and ends. He sold Garwin a small totem in the shape of a hammer while he was in town. That was the last anyone had heard from the dwarves. Garwin had previously put out notice to try and gather a band of explorers to journey with a druid tracker, Tre Hoogar, he had hired to head up to the dwarven campsite to deliver some ale and see what was going on. With the startling note taken from the dead goblin, Garwin enlisted the aid of the MotU to investigate the situation and return the hammer totem to Grinshnick since he doesn’t take kindly to holding on to wares in his shop that have ‘strings attached’.
As they were finishing negotiations, a shady looking figure staggered into the room, swayed, caught his balance and announced that he was fit for Garwin’s task. Jonbon suspected for a moment that he might know the fellow. Or was it just that every roguish character armed to the teeth along the riverports had a familiar presence about them? Not knowing what other threats the road might hold, the newcomer named Zanne was added provisionally to the team.
Before leaving town, the heroes decided to pay the lord of Riverstead, Lord Paeleon a visit to claim reward for singlehandedly protecting the town. However, they were thwarted audience with the lord by the prickish Chamberlain Dicktor, despite Jonbon’s glib tongue. Using a tactic that had produced much success in bar situations, Scragg lifted the chamberlain by his collar and demanded to be seen now. Seeing the building guards suddenly become edgy, Tim Frostbucket suggest that his companion, “Chill.”
The druid led our adventurers into the mountain and the camped their first night in the ominous shadow of the unnatural Witch’s Tree. The unease was put to rest, however, by a marvelous campsite ritual that the druid performed, much to the protest of Mr. Frostbucket who felt that such lavishness would behold him in some way to the druid. The night passed without event.