Ah, Redbridge. You can practically taste the scent of apples in the air this time of year. I’ve lived here thirty years, been Mayor for twenty, and every fall, the smell from the apple harvest covers everything else. You’d think people would get sick of it. Then again a few tumblers of Redbridge’s apple-Brandy, or a couple pints of cider (or both if its a good night) and you can’t help but appreciate it.
Maybe that’s why I retired here, years ago. Something about this town made me want to stay. Maybe it could have been any town. We were certainly tired of the constant traveling. Well, most of us were anyway.
Kristen asks me every now and then, “Rask, why here?” I always tell her its no good to be too far away from the best brandy in the Kingdoms. She also asks how I managed to get her to stay as well. To that one I just smile and say, “Just smart business between friends.” But she knows as well as I do. I mean, I bought out her half for the Sheep years ago. She could leave anytime she wanted.
Something about this town draws people here I think. Take the dwarf, Bemnar. This afternoon, I saw him standing near the inn, taking a bite out every apple in a barrel, “testing for freshness”. A brewer from the Dwarven stronghold miles and miles to the north. He’s come a long way from home just to brew beer. My sources tell me that he brews a sleeping drought for the halfling priestess. She was in the square this afternoon as well, over on the steps of the temple reading a book like usual. The two of them are friends with that Gnome naturist that’s always passing through town. And the half-elf, Jack. He was standing there eating pastries with one of Jin’s students. Word is that they have been talking about being adventurers. If they are brave enough, I wish them luck. I also hope they don’t get themselves killed.
I myself was standing on the porch of the Gilded Sheep, enjoying my pipe and a pint, when the boy came running into town. Folk tend to be more nosy than is good for them, gathering around the boy so as I couldn’t tell what the commotion was at first. Someone yelled out that he was hurt though and that definitely drew my attention.
By the time I was able to push my way through, the priestess, Xiri, was tending his wounds. I knew he was from one of the orchards to the east and that gash on his brow didn’t look good. He said it was kobolds and they had taken hostages. As it would happen, our newest would-be adventurers were all nearby. If there was a time to prove their worth, now would be it.
While they ran off to the orchard, I gathered the village council and waited, hoping they would return with both themselves and our people unscathed. For a moment, I feared the worst when only three of them came to the courthouse just over an hour later. Thankfully, the news wasn’t as bad as I though.
As they told it, they found half a dozen kobolds guarding four of our people. The gnome, Fan, caused a distraction and drew half of them away while the others came around from the other direction. Smart move. Looks like these kids DO have the makings of adventurers. Anyway, they were able to make short work of the kobolds, though Jin’s Student, Jalanna apparently got hit right in the face with a rotten apple from a sling!
Then the bad news. It seems most of the kobolds took a number of our people, mostly women and children, off into the Fangwood. Surprisingly, Bemnar, of all people, speaks Draconic and said the kobolds seemed to think they were getting “revenge” for something. After the fight, Fan and Jalanna went to follow the path while Bemnar, Jack, and Xiri escorted those they rescued back here to Redbridge.
I offered them gold to go after the kobolds, rescue our people, and hopefully uncover what has stirred up the little pests. As a last note though, I did feel it necessary to warn Bemnar – the adventurers that came through town last week who turned down my job offer also went into the Fangwood, talking of some “greater threat”. They never returned.