Long ago, in the far southwestern corner of [continent], sat the peaceful town of Yarsby’s Landing. It was a sleepy, out of the way place frequented mostly by fishermen and people who wanted to get away from the world. It was named after Rynir Yarsby, a carter who supplied the town with salt to cure the fish. Rynir was popular with the townsfolk because he was willing to supply them with credit when the catch was lean. All he asked in return was that someone from the village work the caravan. Many of the parents of the village sent their children to meet this “tithe,” with the children learning a trade in the process.
An earthquake in [year] dramatically increased the flow of the river and the town was slowly flooded. While a small number of people chose to remain, Yarsby stopped coming to the town three years later. As predators were forced into the new wilderness, the last of the settlers were driven out. Now, Yarsby’s Wood is simply the edge of civilization. What was once a moderately forested valley has become a stagnant swamp.
About twenty years after the village disappeared, reports started surfacing that a Keladei Heartsword had been seen by men exploring a newly discovered cave, but they were driven off by giant millipedes.
There are also rumors that the woods are the hideout of the infamous brigand, Rild Firehand, who was declared outlaw for leading a tax revolt. Certainly, almost all of the people one encounters in Yarsby’s Wood are on the run from something.
- Yarsby was actually crime boss and his carting business was simply a front. He arranged for the area to be flooded to hide his wealth.
- Yarsby fathered a child in the village and mentioned the child in his will. His son needs clear ownership of the business before it can be sold and hires the PCs to search for this missing heir.
- There has been an outbreak of blood fever in another part of the country. A tincture made from the venom sacks of the Red Barbed Crocodile reduces the fever.
- The swamp is one of the few places where weeping bell lilies can be found in the wild. These sweet-smelling flowers sell for large amounts of gold. Unfortunately, the flower beds are also home to plant zombies.