Red Larch has been an important stop on the Long
Road for two centuries now. Named for a distinctive
stand of red larch trees that were cut down when the
hamlet was founded, Red Larch became a settlement
in the first place thanks to a drinkable spring that fed
a sizable pond ideal for watering horses, oxen, and
An east-west trail meets the Long Road at the pond,
running west to the logging community of Kheldell
and east to Bargewright Inn and eventually Secomber.
Another trail leads to quarries in the Sumber Hills and
to ruins of stone keeps long ago left to monsters and
In recent years, new quarries have been opened on the
northwestern edge of town. So far these have yielded
up great slabs of marble much prized in Waterdeep for
facing large new buildings and repairing older edifices.
Red Larch is also a center for stonecutters quarrying
slate on the fringes ofthe Sumber Hills.
While Red Larch remains prosperous, dark omens
are appearing. The heart ofthe Sumber Hills has
become far more dangerous, with monsters lurking
seemingly everywhere (no one goes into the hills berrypicking
or hare-hunting these days, though Red Larcher
children traditionally did so daily in summer and fall).
Banditry is on the rise, and the weather seems to be
getting more severe and more unpredictable. Several
Red Larcher shepherds have seen strange figures
watching them from distant hillsides in the wild fields
east of town where they have traditionally grazed
their flocks. Quarry workers used to cut by torchlight
when orders were backing up but do so no longer,
shunning the pits by night. They are spooked by rumors
of dark-robed figures in stone masks lurking in the
darkness beyond the torchlight. The townsfolk fear that
dangerous times are at hand, but no one seems to know
what to do about it.