I, Tornir Trollslayer, Schepo Cheerfisk, and Hod Facehammer ventured to the north in our first expedition. We were the first adventurers to arrive in Fort Balasar, but we seem to have gained some amount of trust from the locals. We were inspired to go north by a story of Artie's about Galden Mart's exploration of the area, and an old scrap of paper detailing the location of some "gnarled tree."
The first encounter we had was with some of the more brutish inhabitants of the northern plains, two huge boars. The townspeople were right - the animals here are large and vicious. Our group managed to outwit them easily, trapping them both between some trees and pummeling them with hammers and the searing light of Ioun's brilliance until they fell. We had encountered them around six miles out from Fort Balasar, and we finally got to the eastern branch of the Red River after a total of 18 miles of walking. Two bridges cross it: one which has fallen into disrepair, and another of good make a mile upriver from its brother.
As soon as we had crossed the latter bridge, we were ambushed by a band of goblins. Though they outnumbered us two to one, we easily overpowered them, and we managed to capture one. Interestingly enough, they appeared to have scavenged Imperial goods, judging from the white crowns on their armor. We decided to return to the Fort and deliver our captive to Balasar along with the looted armor after spending the night in an old imperial watchtower near the bridge.
Something that bears inspection: during the night, I heard a wail, or some sort of howl. Though nothing came of it, the area may be home to restless spirits. Our journey back was uneventful, and it was simple enough to deliver our friend to Balasar for interrogation. However, he was not quite as eager as us to treat him with mercy, and immediately slit his throat. Our initial foray complete, we spent the night in the One Eyed Hag, ready for another excursion in the near future.