The trouble in Westfall became swiftly apparent as he came across the first farm. The crops were lying rotting in their fields, picked over by scavengers: avian, canid, and human. He pressed on a little further, to a farmhouse that was occupied, though only by an old woman who didn’t look like she could do many farm chores by herself. So, Ezran helped her out, asking what had happened as he did.
She only said that the war effort on the Broken Isles had taken many of their menfolk and even some of the women able to carry a sword. She then swiftly advised him to stop asking questions. That was how people got killed around these parts, she advised.
On the whole it sounded like something that could never — or should never — happen in the Alliance. Still, Ezran knew the value of keeping his mouth shut and his head down until he got to the bottom of things. He stayed only a night at the farmhouse, before moving on.
The guards at Sentinel’s Hill seemed more regimented, and Ezran even experienced a little trouble getting in, until he offered them all bribes. Inside the fortifications, he kept his head down. The place seemed like a recently emptied military camp, with archery targets still set up in the yard and the litter of tents improperly put away blowing across the lane. The villagers left skulked about with mournful unease, as if they were expecting bad news or an attack any day.
As Ezran passed the central tower, the Light symbol at his throat flashed. He paused, letting it guide him to a corner of the room on the tower’s first floor. The faint spicy scent of fel met his nostrils. Some kind of demon had been here.
One of the passing guards interrupted Ezran’s thoughts, telling him gruffly that if he was interested in work, he should leave for Redridge.
Without looking up, Ezran asked politely, “Why Redridge? After all, it seems this place could use the help of some more able-bodied men. All those I’m seeing around are either too old or too young to handle a plow.”
The guard looked at him in surprise, as if questioning how Ezran could be so cheeky. Ezran just smiled pleasantly, and the holy symbol of the Light gleamed at his throat.
The man’s eyes widened more on catching the light from the symbol, and, glancing around, he whispered at Ezran to meet outside the Furlbrows. When Ezran asked where that was, it turned out it was one the first farms he had passed. The Furlbrows had been murdered, the guard quickly explained, and though the official claimed it was dark-hearted bandits who had done the deed, the farmers were suspicious. He then tapped his ear and gave Ezran a wink, before moving off on his patrol.