A spring day in Crossford as the adventurers have all arrived separately (with the exception of the Broadstone brothers) and for differing purposes: Fenrik Levesdun has traveled from far-away Perrenland to seek his fame and fortune; the bladesinger Tulindranadel, having grown up with a merchant family in The Gnarley Forest, is somewhat familiar with Crossford and chose it as the starting point for her new adventuring career; the brothers Baiard Broadstone and Brogate Broadstone have left their homeland of Dumadan in the Abbor-Alz Mountains, the former in disgrace and the latter by loyalty; Sitdun the Thief, simply looking for his next gold coin.
By fate they all arrive at The Aleing Halfling Inn in time for an early lunch. Introductions are made (and a scuffle with locals averted) when a young lady’s scream is heard in the street. Springing to action, the adventurers dash out to see what has happened. They are led to the docks where a body has floated underneath one of the small piers. Bringing the body ashore it is soon discovered that a middle-aged human male has been killed as he sports several jagged slashes on his body. A more thorough inspection seems to reveal that the man was killed by goblin weapons. As the people of the sleepy village begin to grow concerned the mayor asks the adventurers to investigate, promising a reward of 2 gold pieces for every pair of goblin ears brought back to him. The adventurers agree to the these terms and head up river in search of the vile humanoids.
A day’s trek later the party finds clues that lead them west into the edge of The Gnarley Forest. After camping for the night (during which one of the party thinks he heard goblin cries during his watch) the party continues onward at first light. They shortly come across a small cart path that leads them to a small farm. Upon reaching the farm they find a young man (perhaps 17-19 years old) slain in the barn and a middle-aged woman clutching her newborn both murdered in the house. Further investigation leads to a recently beaten-down path that indicates the perpetrators absconded with the farm’s livestock and the adventurers give pursuit. In short order they come across a small goblin encampment, comprised of a small hut, several tents, and a ramshackle pen containing the livestock taken from the murdered farmers. As a discussion of tactics begins, the battlerager bellows a warsong and charges into the camp. The rest of the adventurers quickly follow and a bloody battle ensues. A dozen goblins are slain while the adventurers sustain mild injuries. The bodies and encampment are looted and the adventurers decide to sleep in the former goblin camp for the night. The next morning the party departs, making the two-day trek back to Crossford with their goblin ears and livestock in tow.
Upon arriving back in the village, the townsfolk are abuzz with questions. As the mayor arrives he hastens the adventurers to the town’s meeting hall where they regale him with their exploits. The mayor is concerned by the appearance of goblins so near the village (a rare occurrence) and pays the adventurers their bounty. The mayor balks at Fenrik’s offer to sell him the deceased farmers’ livestock, instead offering to honor Fenrik as his guest for the upcoming Growfest celebration if he donates the animals to the village. Fenrick accepts this proposal, quickly surmising it would be in bad form to attempt such a transaction so quickly after informing the people of Crossford of the grisly demise of the farming family and that many would have considered the animals to bring ill fortune. The mayor informs the party they will be honored during the upcoming festival and asks what their adventuring party is called. This stirs some confusion amongst the adventurers as this was not something that they had considered. As a small argument breaks out the mayor calms the situation by suggesting they discuss it later over a mug of ale. He then sets the party aback by inquiring what they know about trolls…