Each of the five adventurers found themselves heading north for various reasons. Merric, the halfling, had heard tales that an earth genasi named Miraj Vizann (who had stolen from him) had been last seen heading towards the Dessarin Valley. Bilkka, a dwarf, had been gifted with a map to an ancient dwarven stronghold somewhere in the Valley. Idallo, Bilkka’s best friend and an air genasi, had seen visions of elemental evil, and a snake-haired man in his dreams. Tara, a moon elf and a noble, had been tasked with finding an acquaintance of hers named Savra who’d run away from home. She was last seen near the Feathergale Spire in the Valley. Lastly, D’ari, a dark elf, had also heard rumors of a rather annoying band of mercenaries that had settled along the river.
Each of them met along the road to Red Larch. They decided there was safety in numbers, and so they formed a group. Red Larch was a bustling little city and they were quick to find an Inn. Idallo slipped away to the bath house to meet with his Emerald Enclave faction contact, Haeleeya. D’ari and Merric both decided to sample the bread of Lorren the baker (and also gather some information, as he was also the Zhentarim contact). Bilkka had more important matters to attend to: food. She found a butcher quickly enough and brought an armful of meat back to the poor innkeeper. Kaylessa, the inkeep, tried to explain she was no good at cooking, but she did her best. Once all the adventurers had returned, they feasted on a platter of half-burnt meat, as a flustered Kaylessa looked on.
Through their faction contacts and various rumors, they found there was work to be had around town. Kaylessa offered to pay them to go investigate strange happenings at Lance Rock. She had decided there was definitely evil afoot and she knew for a fact that all of it was to blame on whatever was happening in that cave.
Rested, fed, and with the promise of gold, the party set out to investigate. They found the rock easy enough, and ignored the trespassing signs and the warning of ‘plague.’ Once inside they fought their way past zombies, and finally came upon a gruesome and strange sight: Three zombies – one dressed as a bear and running into walls thanks to the bear head obscuring his view, one in a frilly dress and makeup and a lacy hat, and one dressed as a jester with little bells jingling from his cap. It was then that they realized that they were dealing with someone who wasn’t quite right in the head…