With the Sentinels of the woods mysteriously absent, the bandits have grown bold in the last few days. Four drifters, brought by chance to Heldren’s tavern on the same evening, were suddenly united as they swiftly dealt with an immediate bandit threat to the townspeople.
The unlikely allies carried a disparate set of skills, but their diversity allowed them to handily dispatch the bandits, and even drive off a man-eating lizard — rare in these woods, to be sure.
On the merry band’s way back to Heldren, a shock-wave of cold and frost rocked the landscape, emanating from deep within the Border Woods. When they arrived back in town, the townspeople were all gathered in the tavern, discussing the unsettling event. The group met an amiable monk, and the four became five. They heard strange rumors of a noblewoman’s caravan overdue in town, and farmers complained of an unnatural frost creeping onto their fields — unheard of, for this time of year. A town meeting was called for the day after next.
The band of misfits set out on the road to see what they could learn of the strange cold blast, and to find any sign of the lady’s caravan. They encountered Dryden, a local woodsman and hunter who appeared to be on a weasel hunt, but the group was unable to find any clues or shed any light on what was going on in the Border Woods. They returned to town, empty-handed.
During the town hall meeting, it was revealed that the Sentinels had not reported in yet. There was a general consensus among the townsfolk that something had gone wrong, and the strange cold blast from deep within the Border Woods was at the heart of the matter. Farmers murmured over news of frost-ruined crops, and worried over the Sentinels’ absence, as well as the noblewoman’s overdue caravan.
The merry band volunteered to investigate, and a grateful town council clued them in to additional information about the missing caravan. Ambushed on the road, a sole survivor from the caravan had made his way to Heldren, and was recovering at the apothecary’s shop. He told the group of how his caravan had been ambushed by bandits along the road. With a dozen armed guards, he thought they had the situation under control, but they were suddenly overwhelmed by frozen fae beasts aiding the bandits. After dispatching the caravan guards, the icy beasts and bandits captured the noblewoman and made off. The caravan guard could not say what they wanted with the lady, or where they had taken her, but if the frozen witches of the north country were involved, they had surely taken her for some nefarious purpose.
Based on the caravan guard’s description of events, and with help from Dryden, a map was drawn up with the ambush site marked on the road and the Sentinel base camp marked in the Border Woods. The group gathered some cold weather supplies, and set out in the morning to investigate the ambush site. They arrived after a few hours of travel, and approached the carnage carefully. The headstrong young druid threw open the doors to the lone standing carriage, releasing a nasty surprise — two zombified caravan guards! After the ensuing battle ended, many treasures and even some masterwork weapons were found. The caravan guard’s captain stood frozen like a statue, further evidence of an icy evil in the woods.
The group followed the trail the bandits had left further into the woods, apparently en route to the Sentinel outpost. The further into the woods they ventured, the colder it became, and the more snow built up, impeding their progress. They found a cache with more loot left behind by the bandits, and encountered a serpentine frost creature, some lesser form of wyrm. After dealing with the beast, the somewhat battle-fatigued group discussed making preparations to rest for the day, before making their push to the Sentinel camp.