Ripening 2, 7:30 p.m.
Each of you is a fresh face to the adventuring scene, eager to make a name for yourself and begin down the road to amassing fame and wealth. You have been recruited by either Taegan the fighter or Aleena the Cleric to participate in a manhunt for a dangerous fugitive named Bargle. You laugh at this man’s name, but not at his crimes: He is a murderous highwayman with the ability to cast incantations that twist men’s minds!
Each of you is promised 50 gp to investigate a ruined castle a few days from the town of Larm and report back what you find. 50 gp sure beats slaying rats in basements for shopkeepers, so you agree to meet at the Gold Dragon Inn in Larm on Ripening 2 for the evening meal.
You have gathered around a dinner table in the Gold Dragon Inn (located in the center of town) to receive information and discuss your plans. The Inn is busy, filled with ruddy-faced townsfolk and other adventurers who are eating, drinking, laughing, and having a splendid time! Your employers seem to be on good terms with the Innkeeper who has granted you a table a bit out of the way from the rest of the ruckus.
By this point you have all heard the backstory of why your employers are seeking Bargle, but are curious as to how this “ruined castle” comes into play. Aleena explains:
“Many years ago, this part of the Known Lands was ruled by a magic-user named Gygar, a man of great and mysterious powers. He ruled these lands from his mighty castle Mistamere, located at the foot of the mountains to the north.”
“Gygar died after a long and peaceful rule, but no successor was named. Over the years, the unclaimed castle fell into ruins. Now, centuries later, the outline of the broken towers can still be seen from the highest points in town, ever beckoning to seekers of danger, fame, and fortune.”
“We have received information stating that a man matching Bargle’s description was spotted ‘marching north with several tall cloaked men’ in the direction of the ruins. However, we also have several other Bargle sightings that we feel are more reliable that we must personally attend to. As such, we’re asking for you to follow up this lead for us.”
“One special note: the town rulers have recently posted a reward of 1,000 gp for the capture of Bargle! While I don’t recommend engaging him if he turns up…if you do find him, try to bring him back alive!”
Taegan interjects at this point to discuss your payment from the Bank of Gond.
“Depending on how long you are gone for, and depending on our other leads, we may not still be here when you return. We have made an agreement with the local bank to hold your payment until you return. I am handing each of you a Promissory Note that can be used to collect payment. In addition, each of you should fill out a Bank Will such that the payment may be delivered to your next of kin if you should not return from your journey. Make sure you do that before you leave town!”
After this, your employers bid you good luck and take their leave. The Innkeep informs you that your dinner and rooms for the night are bought and paid for, so you may retire when you are ready.