Wind in the High Country
The village of Gallia Nova rests in a high valley beside Lake Ember. It is a destination for miners coming from the southeast in hopes of finding their fortune in the High Country. Gallia Nova is the last stop on the way into the mysterious heights. It is the closest piece of civilization, the place where miners return when they want to sell their etheric silver and buy more supplies.
It is also where you make your home.
Last year, several miners came out of the high country with an amazing weight of etheric silver. No one had seen the Sable Company miners for years, so far had they climbed into the mountains. When they returned, they became rich overnight. Nearly as quickly, the number of miners in Gallia Nova doubled, then tripled, then tripled again. As the news spread southward, more and more lowlanders came north to find wealth.
You moved to Gallia Nova to enjoy the solitude of the High Country. Now the town is busting at the seams. Real estate and supply prices are at a premium, crime is up, and the saloon never closes.
In the year since the Sable Company struck it rich, its miners brought in three more massive hauls. However, the other miners in town haven’t achieved success like that. Gallia Nova is no longer an easy place to live, given the price of food and the difficulty of foraging; many of the town’s miners—new and old—have gone back south with their dreams in tatters. Other miners have turned their frustration against the Sable Company, threatening their workers. Someone even hurled a brick through the window of the company’s office at the edge of town but by then, the Sable Company had abandoned the building, moving their entire operation to some mysterious location in the heights.
It is now late summer, the warmest weather that Gallia Nova will see all year. The ice on Lake Ember is fully melted and the Sable Company’s next haul has yet to come in. They are long overdue and there are no signs of their miners anywhere in the heights. Worse still, there are rumors of mysterious figures on the trails, people no one in Gallia Nova has seen. Several of the old timers have reported columns of humanoids moving along the trails on distant peeks, walking the byways thought too dangerous for exploration.
In this atmosphere of worry, Mayor Tollhouse has decided to send you and some other locals around Lake Ember to the homestead of Colonel Taper, one of the town’s founders. The man is intimately familiar with the routes through the heights, and the mayor wants the Colonel to return and lead a scouting expedition to discover the whereabouts of the Sable Company and the nature of the mysterious figures seen on the distant trails.