“No carts, wagons, or porters. No travelers, minstrels, or mendicants. No Speakers Guild communiqués, nor Couriers Guild messengers, nor Transportation Guild caravans. Not a damn thing has come from Winterhaven in over a month!” thundered the Lord Warden Markelhay.
The silence was dreadful. Two months ago he had dispatched an odd group of adventurers to Winterhaven to follow up on a disturbing lead. The adventurers, a motley collection of Darguun sellswords, had taken up a bounty for kobold ears and cleared out a nearby nest. In doing so they discovered a letter darkly hinting that someone in the region of Winterhaven was attempting to rally the kobold tribes in the area. The party has not been heard from since. Nor have the two riders Markelhay dispatched to Winterhaven after them.
The troublesome kobolds had already staunched much of the trade along the Old King’s Road between Winterhaven and Fallcrest, forcing travelers to move in protected caravans. But in the past month, even that had ceased.
“And now this? Nothing from the elves of the Shimmering Vale?” Markelhay clutched at the report. It noted that the monthly trade barge sent down river by the elves hadn’t arrived.
The Lord Warden felt very tired. He hadn’t slept well in weeks – the nights seemed exceptionally cold to him for this time of year, and disturbing dreams prevented him from resting well. He rubbed his face in both his hands before coming to a decision.
“Summon the prognosticator from the wizards’ tower immediately. I want readings of omens. Send a patrol to the northern farmsteads. Ready a messenger to travel to Wroat, I will have a letter shortly. And send a man ‘round the taverns, see if any more sellswords have arrived looking for kobold bounties – I may have other need of their services.”