IC Thread 1: Ch. 1, Stolen Land
16:00, Oathday, 31 Pharast, 4710 AR, Age of Lost Omens
South Rostland Road, near the southern border of Brevoy, approaching Oleg's Trading Post
Since leaving Restov, you've spent the last week on the road. You have not known each other for very long, your only common ground being your selection for exploring the Greenbelt, a region of the notorious Stolen Lands, under a royal charter issued by the Swordlords of Restov.
Travel has been far from comfortable. Two of you can sit at the driver's bench on the sturdy wagon you purchased with your pooled remaining wealth, the other two sitting on boxes, chests, and assorted makeshift seating in the back of the wagon with your traveling supplies. While you have encountered no danger on the South Rostland Road, the plains have offered little in the way of shelter, and the dank wetness of early spring makes for clammy mornings, brisk afternoons, and cold nights. On the third day of travel a lightning storm delayed progress as you sought shelter in what few trees were to be found. Everything had just started to finally dry out when, on this last day of travel before you reach Oleg's Trading Post, a steady rain began.
Your two loyal mules plod through the mud resolutely, but you are all soaked to the bone. Your important possessions that must remain dry are safe enough in their protective cases or oil-lined sacks, but there is only so much your traveling cloaks can do for you. The afternoon is gray, cold, and unpleasant.
Finally, emerging from the rainy haze perhaps a quarter mile down the road, you can see a sizable wooden palisade, with stout 20 foot tall square towers at each corner. This must be Oleg's Trading Post, a repurposed fort that marks the most extreme borders of civilized territory. South and West of this area begins the Greenbelt, split roughly in half by a large forest known as the Narlmarches, and a rugged sprawl of hills known as the Kamelands. Although modern maps are outdated, a large body of water called the Tuskwater serves as a nexus for most of the major rivers and streams in the area, most notably the Shrike River.
What few travelers you've met on the road (mostly trappers, hunters, and rangers) have told you about Oleg's establishment. Apparently a rather surly man, Oleg lives with his pretty wife Svetlana in near-total isolation. Some of these travelers have mentioned that Oleg has been having trouble with bandits in the lawless region. As you get nearer to the palisade, you see the soaked shapes of four catapults, one on each of the corner towers, each in a state of disrepair. The gate leading inside the fort is open, although there doesn't appear to be much activity inside, save for a plume of smoke rising from a chimney.