The barge brings letters from Woodhelm to the people working in the logging camp. Marchus and a few others read the letters to their intended recipients. It’s mostly mundane correspondence between friends and family members.
However, Marchus does share some news that he received from Arturo. Woodhelm has been paying tribute to a group of bandits who have set up shop in an abandoned stronghold built into the side of a cliff face not far from the village. The bandits are half-forged: humanoids who hunt down warforged and incorporate their victims’ body parts into their own bodies using surgery and magic. This particular group is lead by a full warforged who claims to have once been human, but has since replaced his entire body with parts taken from his victims.
The tribute has been manageable, but about a week ago, the band started demanding poultry and livestock, as well as gold, gems, jewelry, fine weapons and armor, and other valuable goods. Woodhelm is hard pressed to provide these offerings, but the bandits have hinted that they may start abducting children and youths if the villagers can’t meet their demands.
Marchus explains that the party can earn the gratitude and hospitality of Woodhaven, and by extension New Sharn, if they help deal with the half-forged bandits.