As one of the bold and the best in Fallcrest, you attend the meeting in the square at Moonstone Keep. When you arrive, you find many other heroes of the town, heads of all the households, as well as all the notable business owners, church leaders, and scholars.
Markelhay steps up on a platform in front of the crowd. Another man is with him. The man is a stranger to you, but you can tell by his clothing that he is a nobleman of some sort—probably a wealthy business owner or a Lord.
“People of Fallcrest,” Markelhay begins, “For those of you who have not met him, this is Lord Earnest Padraig of Winterhaven. He has come to us today to ask for our assistance in solving a mystery and aiding his village. I will ask Lord Padraig to tell the tale.” He gestures to Padraig who steps forward. You know Winterhaven is a small village more than a day’s journey north of Fallcrest.
“Thank you Lord Markelhay,” he says as he bows. “Two years ago reptilian bandits started appearing on the King’s Road raiding caravans that bring our goods down to market here in Fallcrest. At first it was only one raid a month, but recently almost every traveler on the road is accosted and robbed. This bandit activity is very costly both in terms of the goods that we ship and in terms of the guards that we must employ to ensure the safe passage of our goods. Last week at the end of the harvest, a most terrible event occurred. Two farms were attacked and all within were killed. All the harvested food was taken along with the livestock.”
“This raid was much bigger than anything that we have seen before. Walls were ripped off the barns and the livestock was removed without evidence of a large wagon to carry them off. What is more peculiar is that the farm folk were found frozen where they stood. Our wizard, Valthrun the Prescient, was unable to determine the nature of the magic that might have caused this.” He looks out over the crowd, allowing the impact of his words to sink in. You have heard the name Valthrun the Prescient before, but you do not know much about him.
He continues: “I come to you, people of Fallcrest, to seek adventurers who would be willing to find these bandits and solve the mystery of the frozen farmers. Winterhaven is a village of simple farming folks. We do not have the expertise to take on an endeavour of this magnitude. My fear is that these attacks are only the beginning. I fear that this points to a threat both to the lives of those in Winterhaven, and the supply of goods to the city of Fallcrest. Winter is coming, and neither Fallcrest nor Winterhaven can risk being without sufficient provisions.”
Lord Markelhay steps forward and raises his right arm over the crowd. “Are there any here who would volunteer to rid the roads of these bandits and discover the mystery of the dreadful attacks on the family farms?”
Lord Padraig continues, “Lord Markelhay and I have raised 1000gp from farmers and merchants as well as municipal coffers to reward anyone that can complete this quest.”