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In looking through my Belkzen sourcebook I noticed Heliu's Folly is very close to where Redlake Fort appears to be located. They aren't the same thing I trust, but which would characters encounter first as they travel inland from the River Esk?
Heliu's Folly and Redlake Fort are indeed different locations, though both are remnants of the line of defensive fortifications of the old Sunwall that fell roughly 300 years before the start of the AP. All of these forts are, according to the sourcebook, "placed at intervals of 15 miles" and "the keeps were built to be nearly identical to speed construction and save oncosts".
By carefully reading the location descriptions and comparing various maps of the area, it seems to me that Heliu's Folly comes before Redlake Fort along the river Esk; either 15, 30 or 45 miles east of it depending on if you think there should be other ruined forts in-between them. I created my own map of the region incorporating the various locations mentioned in the Belkzen sourcebook for the sake of fleshing out the adventure.
The fact that all the forts were "nearly identical" means that you even can use the Redlake Fort map as a starting point to design Heliu's Folly as a side quest if desired. :)
Also, I noticed there is a note about a battle site along the River Esk that is manned by a paladin and supported by angels in times of need. I take it the paladin doesn't interrupt river trade and would have no problem with the boat traveling upriver?
Quite right. I described the ruins of Rake Island as having been a massive stone bridge built by the dwarves of lost Koldukar; part of a trackway that linked Koldukar to the Sky Citadel of Janderhoff beyond the Mindspin Mountains to the south-west.
Far from interrupting the progress of the Bloodtusk's river barge, I imagine Amahlia of Steyr eagerly awaits the traders' arrival. She's a lone knight of Ozem living on a deserted island in the middle of a swamp at the center of a nation of orcs. To maintain her vigil she invariably requires periodic resupply of food, equipment and likely correspondence with the outside world. As a neutral and legitimate trader who regularly travels up and down the river Esk, Captain Bloodtusk is ideally suited to the task. I had the barge briefly drop anchor beneath the ruined bridge's overhang so that a delivery of food preserves, kegs of ale, equipment, munitions, letters and small gifts sent to Amahlia by her fellows in the church of Iomedae in Vigil could be conveyed to her via a basket she lowered on a rope. The party had a brief conversation with the legendary Sentinel of the Battle of Lost Hope before the Captain received Amahlia's return letters and weighed anchor once more.
Although not really touched upon in the AP, I've had the barge stopping in predetermined spots to trade with the locals; both in large settlements like Castles Everstand, Firrine and Heliu's Folly, as well as smaller tribal orc settlements along the way. Sometimes the Captain doesn't even drop anchor; merely haggles with lone orcs running along the riverside before both parties agree and toss their wares back and forth. The captain often trades stuff that's hard to get in the area, like refined metals, tools and salt in exchange for furs and hides. More than ferrying passengers, this kind of riverside trading is Bloodtusk's bread and butter.