Population: about 450 people
It is the year 1349 DR, in the month of Deepwinter. You have been on the road for nearly two months now, and snow hangs thick on the trees as you make your way towards the town of Orlbar, at the foot of the Greypeak Mountains. The Greypeaks are known throughout Faerun for their silver and iron mines, but it is a different type of metal that brought you here: gold. While you were in Neverwinter you overheard rumors of a large horde of treasure within an abandoned goblin keep. Even tavern rumors prove to be fruitful sometimes and having been without a purpose for some months, you departed immediately for the Grey Vale.
When you reach Orlbar, the air is brisk and the town is busy. Carts carry all manner of goods: timber, wool bales, grain, and animals from the surrounding country. Some of these goods would be bound for Waterdeep or Neverwinter, others for the nearby city of Loudwater. Hungry and thirsty after many days on the road, you enter the first tavern you see, The Woodsman’s Retreat, and satisfy your cravings. Bread, cheese and a hot mulled wine do the trick nicely. You then enquire from the barkeep about accommodation. Your bones ache and rest is essential. The mountains can wait one or two days while you rest and replenish your supplies in town. The barkeep tells you that a very respectable inn, the Silver Flask, is just nearby. Toting your backpack, you walk down the street to the Silver Flask and pay for a room. The innkeeper is a jolly woman who is glad to have your business, and she lights a cozy fire in your room. You bathe, then lie down to rest and soon fall into a deep sleep; it’s been a while since your travel-hardened self has had clean sheets and a roof overhead!
You are woken later that night by noise from the next room. You can hear a woman openly sobbing on the other side of the wall. The sound is gut-wrenching. Every now and then a male voice says something as if trying to comfort her. You tolerate this for a while, but eventually, it becomes evident that sleep is going to be impossible. You look about your adventuring group, the other three people you have been with for quite a few months now. For whatever reason, you four have stuck together. It seems all your companions had been awakened by the cries from the next room just like you have.