Chapter 1 - Hunting and Gathering

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Our story begins with the future companions toiling in the hot sun, lugging supplies from newly arrived barges into the hastily erected buildings in the ruins of Blutstein. The battle to clear the ruins is now several days past and all but a meagre cadre of the injured have moved on in pursuit of the remaining monsters who fled to the north. The goblin dead have long been put to the pyre, but there are weeks of hard labour ahead for the freemen and serfs who are expected to rebuild this long-abandoned village.

As the sun passes mid-afternoon and begins the slow descent towards sunset, Kuno the Carpenter comes striding down to the dock, walking with confidence despite his obvious fatigue. Seemingly at random, he reaches out to grab first one, then another, of the younger, more energetic labourers, shepharding them aside to a quiet stretch of riverbank upriver from the toiling masses.

"Look," he says, "These supplies we've brought with us need to be stretched as far as possible. We need to start provisioning ourselves from the surrounding lands. I want you six to scout out the area north of here. It's already been cleared by the army in their pursuit of the goblins, but they wouldn't have had time to search out game, forest fare, and firewood. Follow the river north, but try to be back by nightfall." If you need any supplies, come with me and I'll see what we can loan you, but prepare quickly and set out soon."