The Haunting of Winterbole Forest

“My cousin lives in Nenlast, a tiny village up by Lake Nen,” says the flighty, loquacious woman who joins you and Valthrun at your table in the Blue Moon. “There’s probably not more than 100 or so people in the whole village, which was bigger before the Bloodspear War. But then, what wasn’t? Anyway, my cousin’s in trouble, and that’s why I wanted to talk to you.” As she says this, she gestures to the barkeep for another round for your table.

“Nenlast is just south of the Winterbole Forest on the east side of Lake Nen, and they fish there. It’s not at all exciting, and I don’t know why the poor man stays. He wrote that something in the forest has been active, and that strange noises and cries echo out of the woods every few nights. Probably a lot of drink in those noises, because what else do you do at night in a remote place like that. But then again, it might be true. I’d like you to go there and take a look for me. He is my cousin, after all, and what kind of a relative would I be to ignore his plea for help.”

“More to the point,” continues Valthrun, once Dame Tallstag has departed, “We know that the Cartographers’ Society as a whole – and myself in particular – are anxious to learn more about the threat posed by Shadraxil. We would like you to seek after the well-being of a retired adventurer, Alton Rustmantle, who might know more about shadow dragons than any man in the Serpent Vale.
“He lives in Nenlast, of course, and we would like you to convince him to come out of retirement and rejoin civilization. The Vale is in such a state these days that there is simply no reliable, safe route to Nenlast this close to winter, so you are our best hope of seeking the man out before Snowmelt next spring when the fishing trade opens up again.
“It is a perilous journey, and time is not on your side; but my auguries tell me this man is important to our cause, and I worry next spring might be too late to hear his counsel."

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