The tale began in the city of Korsgrad, where the adventurers found a town in disorder. There had been an attack on the Duke’s castle and the guard was understaffed. Duke Carias enlisted the party’s help and showed them a captured cultist from the last attack: a follower of Vecna. Using his arcane senses, the dragonborn warlock Agandaur guided the group into the woodland, where they followed a trail of dark magic to a hidden cave. Confronting the undead remains of several city guards, the party found a foul altar and clashed with Vendrika, an evil cleric of uncertain motivation who vanished when the tide of battle turned against her.
Returning to Carias, they revealed that the priestess had carried a mysterious rune, and the Duke graciously allowed them use of his library for research. Before much knowledge could be obtained, however, the cult attacked once again. In the confusion, Vendrika struck from the shadows and stole most of the research, murdering the librarian in her escape. With only a few bare clues and a scrap of poetry to guide them, the party struck southeast to try and determine more.
A day’s journey brought them to Shadowbrooke, where the locals asked for help in removing a group of bandits and robbers. The criminals turned out to be a somewhat misguided group of goblins attempting to create a legitimate business enterprise, and the adventurers were able to negotiate a truce. In the process they acquired a follower in the person of Grumlog, an idealistic and innocently ambitious goblin intent on becoming a hero himself.