Hello stranger and welcome to Ripewood. Make yourself at home. As you can see we're getting ready for the great Spring festival. Every year it's the same thing , we get behind schedule, you know how it is.

Anyway, pull up a chair, sit yourself down at the table and make the most of this fine evening and the good company. I've got the best wine, the best beer and the best roast pig in the entire region! If you want a room, that will cost you 3 silver pieces a day ( meals included)

Here we're on good terms with all our neighbours . You'll see, soon the elves and the dwarves will be arriving for the festivities. Make the most of it my boy, during the winter things are boring, nothing but the same old routine day after day. Sometimes you can spend days at a time just sitting in an old armchair next to a roaring fire smoking a good pipe.

If you head north you might just run into the elves. However you will almost certainly come across the dwarves. And I'm talking about tough dwarves. They mine those mountains like madmen, it's incredible. And tough, why you have to see it to believe it. And anti-social and bad tempered on top of all that. But they’re brave, valiant warriors, always ready to defend their brother dwarves. It will be a lucky day for you if you meet up with them.

On the other hand, once you get into the mountains keep your eyes open for Drows ( Dark Elves) and those evil smelly little goblins. They don't come down here. In fact everything is pretty calm here , we hunt a bit and fish a bit and we cultivate our fields. From time to time a convoy of dwarves pass through on their way to visit the elves or headed who knows where but, due to the lie of the land, not many strangers drop in on us. So you are doubly welcome.

You want to know more? Ok , in that case I'd better take the weight off my feet.

I remember when I was younger, things were different. There was lots of tension between the various races. You know, problems. But now all that's calmed down, we've rebuilt the roads, the houses have been repainted and we've plenty of water in the river. Everyone grows their own vegetables and most raise their own livestock. That's what lets us welcome strangers like you in this grand manner. As for me, I have never set foot in the mountains so I can’t describe the dwarven townships. But it is said that the heat there is unbearable. I wouldn't like that at all. On the other hand, I once met an elf in the forest when I had lost my way. It was like this, I was out gathering mushrooms for the restaurant ; Anyway I got lost and suddenly I saw an elf that I had met during the Spring Festival the previous year. To say that he was very handsome is an understatement. So, as we passed by, I caught a glimpse of his village, up there in the trees. It was really something. Everything is built around the trees themselves, it's all hung up with ropes and you get the impression that they never stop singing. Because when they sing time seems to stand still. I love elves. They are my friends. I'm looking forward to their arrival and I can tell you I'm not the only one. Everyone is waiting for them.

I think this year we might have a small contingent of Hobbits at the Spring festival so hang on to your money if you know what I mean.

Anyway I must be getting back to the ovens. Stay as long as you like my friend. Farewell for now!