<u>Important NPCs:</u>( in Greenvale, population : 2000)
Guisseppi Panaloni- toymaker, his wife, Estelle, and his 5 year old daughter, Giselle
Lazarus( Laz) Elmwood- baker , his wife Vera
Owen Bender- owner of the Silent Shield tavern/inn
Obadiah Shane- sheriff of Greenvale
John Grueder- farmer in the North Hills
Madam Hilde- halfing gypsy mystic
Father Mathias- bishop of Vanshar
Kethra Pentalldrin receives a letter from her daughter , Clea, about a late shipment of toys from Greenvale to Winecrest. She asks Kethra if she woudl consider getting the local toymaker to explain himself. Kethra and her friends meet up with the toymaker as he is having a spat with the baker who lives next door. Samuel arrives as well and aids in getting the two of them to calm down. It seems that Guiseppi and Laz are in vehement disagreement as to why the toymaker's missing ledger is in the baker's trash, and why the Baker's dogs will not stop their incessant barking whenever Guiseppi comes outside. Nimbles notices Giselle, the 5 year old daughter of the toymaker , is playing with her dolls ,but the prince and princess are not living happily ever after ,but rather they are being tied up and eaten by some wooden goblyns. Furthermore, she is singing quietly to herself a goblyn rhyme that Nimbles has never heard in the common tongue. This singing garners the attention of Samuel as he takes Guiseppi aside and Sir Damryn does the same to the baker. Samuel discovers that the toymaker has had a rash of bad luck recently including an apparent arson involving his warehouse and his recent shipment of toys. The baker is incensed that Guiseppi is blaiming him as they both share the trash.
The others , lead by Kethra, talk to the girl who tells them she heard the song from her new friends, the Boggles. She says she met them while playing in the woods. Guiseppi confirms that she had been lost for a few hours a few weeks back ,but luckily, Farmer Grueder found her near his property before anything horrible could happen to her. Rumors of goblyn raiders and the possiblity of the return of "Bloody Maw" ( a bullette attack that had occured some 10 years earlier) made the search for the young girl quite frantic. Being ever vigilant to dark deeds and strange occurences, the adventurers ask the toymaker about the "Boggles". He says that she claims they are her friends who gave her a quite intricate puzzle box which she found in the woods. He claims that it is nothing ,but her vivid imagination and sends her daughter back inside. Kethra then brings up the issue of his toy shipment and after some negotation, the group agrees to ride guard for the caravan to Winecrest the very next morning.
A visit to one of the more established watering holes, The Silent Shield, introduced the group to a few unique folks. First the bar keep is a large balding man named Owen Bender. He is a towering giant of a man who seems to be gruff ,but kind. He keeps all manner of strange fetishes ( garlic strings, wolvesbane, pickled bird's feet in a jar, goofer dust, etc)hanging around his establishment as well as his trusty greatsword above the mantle of the bar. It turns out he is the last descendent of Mad Mary Bender, a local legend who was most assuredly a witch ,but disappeared mysteriously in her home in a hidden copse of woods on the outskirts of the norhtern farmlands. Rumor has it that Owen is a bit touched due to the upbringing with his aunite ,but he more than proved his value to the community when he single handedly slew the great land shark, Bloody Maw , some ten years back. Though loathe to talk about his aunt and her occult connections, Owen will reagle any listeners of his encounter with the bulette and the limp it left him .
The group also met Alaine Gunther, an apparent recruiter for the Order of the Transcendent Blade, but most recently a student of the battle technique of Warding Stances hailing from the Jade Palladium School of Martial Arts. Alaine has been spending his time showing off , or "illustrating" the superiorty of his fighting technique to some of the local young men. Though a friendly sort, his arrogance shines through. This did not sit well with either Jacob or Sir Damryn and to the delight of the crowd a small debate of fighting technique broke out. The situation did not escalate into combat ,but it was clear that the two battle companions had no love for the recruiter. Kethra showed a small interest in the impressive physique of the Jade PAlladium's representative ,but his unsubtle advances towards her left him with a cold bed for the evening.
Meanwhile, Nimbles had snuck off to talk with Madam Hilde about the toymaker's daughter's puzzle box, During his evening walk to the gypsy camp, Nimbles was stalked by a fearsome Worg. Using his speed and guile, he managed to get to the safety of the gypsies' campfire before the beast could strike. Madam Hilde ascertained that the puzzle box was in fact an Unseelie Rune Box. It was created to sow discontent and chaos in the world of man. No good could come of its opening and the young girl and all of Greenvale were likely in grave trouble unless the Gremlins that had been contained in the box were safely sealed back inside.
The next morning the group met on the way to Guiseppi's home ,but were again startled by the site of Sheriff Obidiah Shane and several town guardsmen seemingly about to arrest Guiseppi and LAz ( the baker). It seemed that someone or something had horribly massacred Laz's two rotweiller-sized dogs and left the remains on his door step. Guiseppe and Laz had clearly fought over who was to blaimed as each man had numerous bruises and blood stains as they clung to their respective mates. The sheriff was quite glad to see the War veterans show up and explained the situation to Sir Damryn and his friends. Obidiah was going to take Guiseppi into custody and get a statement from Laz. There were bloody footprints leading to one of the windows( Giselle's room actually) of the toymaker's home. However, Obidiah doubted Guiseppi had much to do with it because the footprints were 2.5 times the size of a man's boot. He would calm the two families down and quite likely release them on their own word later that evening as long as neither left town. Sheriff Shane asked the group to look into another problem out at Farmer Grueder's place. He was missing cattle and the Sheriff feared what all the other folk in town did..a return of a land shark like Bloody Maw.
Once the guards took the toymaker and the baker away, Kethra led the group to see Giselle. After getting permission from her mother, Kethra talked to Giselle about her friends the Boggles and discovered that she in fact knew their names: Tidel , Tadel, and Todel. Giselle showed Sir Damryn her room and her new puzzle box. He asked he if her could borrow it for a while . The girl agreed ,but wondered aloud if her new friends might be angry when they found out the box was gone. Shortly thereafter they made their way to FArmer Gruder's place.
Luck was finally on their side as the the missing cattle had been taken by a colony of ant-like creatures called Ankhegs. Samuel led the group to the edge of Bender's Creek where the "anthills" were located. Their they fought and defeated 3 small Ankhegs and 2 horse-sized ones. The fight was scary ,but the battle hardened group dispatched the animals with precision. Both Jacob and Samuel took some nasty wounds ,but thanks to the timely ministrations of both Kethra and Sir Damryn they were healed. Before leaving, Kethra searched one of the anthills and discovered a tiny wooden goblyn toy soldier along with the grisly remains of one of farmer Grueder's cows.
That evening, the group convened with Father Mathias in the temple. It turned out that he and Madame Hilde knew each other and were already working together to find a way to defeat the Gremlins. Madame Hilde told the companions that the gremlins could only be seen at night( and then only if they didn't wish to remain invisible), they would need to be captured using the Ruen Box itself, the group would have to take the little girl Giselle to where she first found the box( Old Mad Mary Bender's house), and then perform a ritual using the little girl as the gremlin's connection to this worldand a focus to force them back into the Unseelie Rune Box. They should expect the gremlins to use all manner of trickery and deceit as well as their own formidable powers to try to stop this from happening. The group would need to protect the girl while battling the gremlins sorcery in the abode of a former witch. All in a day's work for the new heroes of Greenvale…..