Red Larch, on the Long Road near Waterdeep.
It’s Shieldmeet, so time to head home to catch-up. As is the tradition in Red Larch, a Shieldmeet Carnival and trade show is taking place during Midsummer for a week. You and your friends had agreed before leaving Red Larch that you would all return each Shieldmeet and share with each other stories of your adventures. One agreed to meet, but never left though. Taavi Nelson was heir to Nelson Grange and the 3 Sisters Winery. His future was set, and he was happy to stay on the farm and gradually take over the business from his father. You were very surprised to receive his letter at your inn the evening you arrived in Red Larch.
I need your help. You may not have heard of the tragedy that befell us last fall. Criminals cruelly cut down my father and young Cambriol. We aren’t yet fully recovered at the ‘Grange, and it seems further problems reveal themselves each week that require my attention day and night. Any assistance you could give would earn my gratitude.
I cannot afford to meet in Red Larch as we all promised. Rather, please join me here at once, and we can catch-up, and remember old times.
You decide that Taavi’s offer is a good one, and accepting will get you away from the bed-bugs in your inn anyway. You make your mind to leave the Shieldmeet Carnival behind and set out for Nelson Grange to meet your old friends. You meet with several of them on the road leaving Red Larch, and strike out together, glad to be among old friends to ride through a long summer day.
The plantation is a full day’s ride due east of Red Larch. Its approximately 750 acres cut out of the Fellhorn Woods, and can’t be seen when approaching. It’s dusk when you get there, and once the woods thin a bit and the manor house could be seen, it is clear that there is something very wrong with the building. Scaffolding covers the front of the house, and a large part of the roof and wall are under repair. Mason’s can be seen finishing their work for the day. Black-charred brick is also present near damage and it’s clear there was quite a fire. To the sides of the house, regular farm activities are taking place.
The road that leads up to the manor passes a blackened pile of bones, a burned out cart and some sort of cannon lays broken on the ground. Dried weeds are growing through the bones, wood, and tattered bits of cloth that remain. As the woods and farm start to quiet down with the setting sun, a wolf can be heard howling in the distance. Both you and the masons look to the direction of the sound, and then they quickly redouble their efforts to finish for the day. As you move toward the stable to put up your horses, the front door of the manor opens and out dashes Taavi dressed in hunting garb of green leather armour, strong boots and carrying a crossbow, he rushes in your direction, waving and yelling for you to stay on your horses . . .