You are citizens of Triboar, a large town with a population of 2,500, on the junction of the Long Road and Evermoor Way, due west of Yartar. Over the centuries, Triboar has been the assembly point for human armies in response to the orc hordes from the mountains in the north along the Surbrin.
Triboar operates a defense militia called “The Twelve” which consists of a dozen mounted patrols that rotate their routes in a tenday cycle. Following the recent loss of a patrol, you and your friends became new members of the militia. Each remaining patrol moved up in the rankings and became part of the newly-formed 12th Patrol, the least senior group in the militia.
Recent unrest has raised tensions in the Sword Coast region. The Lords Alliance, in response to a dangerous surge in goblinoid populations, provided a grant to better equip the armies of member cities. With this comes a system of bounties awarded for expanding the range and influence of such militias to better protect roadways for merchant caravans. One of the Twelve’s patrol routes is the “Triboar Trail.” This road runs west from Triboar through Conberry, between the Sword Mountains and Neverwinter Wood, to intersect with the High Road. The High Road is the large north-south coastal route that connects the major cities of the Lord’s Alliance.
This morning, your patrol (the 12th), is summoned to attend Darathra Shendrel, the lord protector of Triboar, at the Lion’s Share. This store is owned by the Lionshield Coster, a merchant company based out of Triboar’s rival city, Yartar. The lord protector allows this trade outpost on condition that the merchant company does not sell weapons to anyone that might be a threat to the town.
You find that your meeting is to be not just with Darathra, but also with Alaestra Ulgar and Narth Tezrin, the proprietors of the store. They complain that one of their smaller trade missions has gone missing on the Triboar Trail. The group was led by Gundren Rockseeker (a veteran merchant) and protected by several mercenaries led by Sildar Hallwinter, a member of the Yartaran army. The proprietors of the Lion’s Share have demanded that Darathra authorize one of the Lord’s Alliance’s promised bounty chests for a patrol to find Gundren Rockseeker and bring him safely to Yartar or Triboar. In addition to this reward, the Lionshield Coster agrees to award a “trade option” to the party, a fancy certificate that allows the bearer to trade with the Lionshield Coster (at any of its outposts) under “prefered terms” (a.ka. standard, uninflated prices and exchange rates).
Darathra assigns this mission to your group but, after the meeting, she takes you aside to provide additional information. Darathra suspects that the Lionshield Coster diverted an arms shipment so that it would be purposefully “lost” as part of a covert deal to sell weapons to Triboar’s enemies. Darathra wants you to find out what happened to the weapon shipment. She suspects that if the Lionshield Coster lost any of its members, it was part of a deal gone bad. Finding the weapon shipment is your first priority. If you find the “missing” merchant but not the weapons, Darathra says that she will not immunize your bounty against the local taxes, a promise that would reduce your reward considerably.
Triboar is a large market-region for horses and the militia has ready access to mounts. For this mission, the player characters will each be loaned a pony or riding horse, each with bit and bridle, riding saddle, and saddlebags.