The snow thaws as spring begins to wrap Mardrun in its warm embrace. As people begin to mill about and trade routes begin again the well of news and rumors bursts free and spreads gossip over the continent.
Rumors swirl of another brutal raid on a small colonist farmstead, this time along the Yurnai River south of Daven’s Hold. Again there was no trace left by the raiders that could give any idea of their identity, but their violence was extreme. No one escaped the slaughter and much like the last raid, several people were left with their heads on pikes. Some people question the legitimacy of these claims and instead tell stories of people trying to whip up some sort of panic to take eyes off the alleged lies of Celestial Arragones.
A rumor has been making the rounds through the tavern circuit that seems far too fantastical to be true. Someone claims to have been privy to a secret research group that found a way to construct new, powerful magic items for the first time since the skill was lost during the fall of the Syndar Kingdoms of Faedrun. Before long drunken lips are spilling this ‘secret’ all over Mardrun. The majority of people toss aside the notion as nothing more than alcohol-fueled delirium, but enough people believe it to carry the rumor on to their next watering hole and soon the buzz has swept over Mardrun.
Tales sweep in from the taverns and ale houses of the City State of Newhope of another couple murders. This murder seems to have happened in the deep of winter, however the bodies are being found now due to the thaw allowing travel between settlements and the smell eminating from the households. The first house belonged to a small family of five that were found arranged in odd grotesque positions. The second was similar to the first, but instead there was a message left in the flesh of the family of three, “Blood flows faster, yet none answer. Will you listen?”
With trails opening up many stories swap with the previously snow locked northern territories. One such tale is that of an animal of abnormal size. A merchant caravan from Ironmound speaks of seeing a bear that came out of hibernation that was the size of a fully loaded wagon and probably could have swatted them like flies. They knew that the creature was watching them for some time before they saw it, due to that feeling a person gets on the back of their neck as if something is just behind them. They only saw the beast by sheer luck as they rushed through the pass to a break in the tree line. According to one of the caravan guards the creature was running full tilt towards the caravan, and they were only able to avoid being eaten alive due thanks to the oxen pulling their cart tearing down the trail as though The Great Wolf himself were nipping at their heals. So if you travel through the Pass of the Great Wolf Hackles, beware of a massive bear that could do more than just make off with your food stores.