“Its been almost a hundred years since orcs threatened the valley”, Trov Ironroot, an old dwarven merchant riding with your caravan sighed and looked up at the gathering dusk, “Vosh willing their numbers are small and it’ll be more than a hundred before they show their faces again.” With his long white beard wove into two thick braids tied with copper rings, and grizzled windblown face, Trov looked more than old enough to have seen, and maybe even fought in, the previous invasion.
The conversation had been a welcome diversion from an otherwise uneventful trip from Tandor to Boulorn, a small mining and farming town in route to the great port city of Vallandro. It took the caravan 4 days to travel the distance, and with the bulk of the King’s Army manning the Great Wall, it was a tense journey. The caravan owner, a fat and middle-aged human by the name of Urvic Jondo hired some muscle and magic for protection. His plans were to take the caravan all the way to Vallandro, at least a couple of weeks travel with the slow moving carts. You are a part of the hired protection.
That was the plan anyway. Trov had just finished a bawdy tale about two halflings an a blind orc when a whistling sound passed your ear. Sling stone! Another flew past and hit one of the drivers who yelled out in pain. Then came the arrows as people scrambled for cover.
Goblins! You heard someone yell — and you realized you should have been paying more attention. The route had just passed into a forested hilly area that in retrospect was perfect for an ambush. Along with your fellow mercenaries, you ready your weapon and leap from the cart to fight off the goblins. The battle was short, the goblins were not expecting much resistance and broke quickly. The damage however had been done as flames from burning arrows consumed one cart full of merchandise.
Urvic sat in the back of one of the surviving carts wincing in pain, a large welt on his leg. His plump sweaty palms desperately groping in a burgundy silk bag he carried on his person. Eventually they found a small vial of liquid. Downing it, the minor injury quickly healed and with a sigh he looked relieved. His relief quickly turned to anger.
“You call that protection… you’re all Fired!” He looked up at the men driving the carts. “Driver! You, the one awake, how far are we from Boulorn?”
“‘bout few ’ours I would guess m’lord.”
“Fine.” Urvic struggled momentarily to sit up, helped by his personal bodyguard, a large and over-muscled hobgoblin named Eron, and looked over to you and the rest of the mercenaries, “I will pay you to Boulorn, if you are lucky. But then I better not see your faces again!”
You were about to protest, after all you did fight off the ambush at personal risk, the but the look from Eron made you reconsider.
In town that evening, you and the other newly unemployed henchmen decided to meet for drinks at a local tavern, the Rot Grub. You’re not sure what to do at the moment. You are stuck in a smallish town of a few thousand without a horse or the means to procure one.