Krys Runs: The Emerald Spire
Welcome to Fort Inevitable, traveler. People come to the River Kingdoms for a lot of reasons. Some want to start new lives, forge new villages and get a fresh start. Its people are filled with rugged settlers, brave adventurers and stout-hearted villagers who will build entire kingdoms from the ground up with their noble toils.
That’s not the case in Echo Woods.
You may have heard rumors that the woods are haunted? Let me assure you, you are right. Ancient spells that have yet to dissipate still linger in those dark, twisted corridors of wood and undergrowth. Even the most skilled of rangers will tell you that they have gotten lost in those woods… the paths they take shifting of their own accords and undergrowth consuming trails as a wolf would consume a rabbit. The echos of vicious roars wild beasts make twist in the cursed branches and wind to chime as cries for help, drawing the noble or unwary into the maws of the forest’s more malicious denizens.
To say nothing of the new, peculiar undead that have appeared of late…
What’s that? You feel our laws are stringent and our taxes burdensome? Perhaps you’d rather go to Thornkeep. There you can enjoy being stabbed in the back while you sleep by the innkeeper you just paid to keep you safe. Make no mistake, these woods are overrun by banditry and lawlessness and Thornkeep is the nexus of it all. The roads weren’t just “unsafe” before we arrived. Walking the crusader road was almost a guarantee for your caravan to be waylaid. They care not if their victims are noble crusaders traveling to nobly battle at the worldwound or supply caravans going to the same. There was no mercy, law or order in these woods before we arrived. Be thankful we have walls you can rest your head behind.
The Emerald Spire, you say? We lost good men to that cursed labyrinth. They say it’s so deep no one has been able to reach the bottom. You’d be wiser to turn back. We have a constant stream of foolhardy adventurers going into that place. If the dungeon doesn’t kill you, the bandits who prey on injured groups trying to leave will.
I can see you’re undeterred. That’s fine. The Emerald Spire does not fall under our purview. Of course, if you go adventuring out in the Echo Woods remember that you will need a license from our fort and spoils are subject to our taxes just as anyone else who’s profession is plied under our protection. What? Of course you need a license. Adventurers who slay people and take their things are barely indistinguishable from bandits otherwise.