Two weeks after the PCs rescued the noblemens’ children, Ahren asked the PCs for help escorting a merchant to the river town of Artonsbrueck. While such a menial task would normally be beneath those of the PCs’ stature, Ahren explains that the city is experiencing a shortage of caravan guards and that the city’s soldiers can’t fill in due to concerns about strange occurrences happening north of the city. As a result, Ahren asks the PCs to escort the Bakluni merchant Amira to Artonsbrueck and back. The PCs agree, hoping to earn more favors from Ahren.
The next morning they head to the Northhaven Tavern where they meet Amira. An attractive middle-aged Bakluni woman, Amira’s no-nonsense attitude and organizational skills quickly have her wagon loaded, horses in their traces, and the group on the road south.
Despite the road being fairly well-patrolled, the group was attacked as they slept after their first night on the road by a group of orcs led by a human archer named Zarishen. After defeating the orcs and their leader, the PCs were surprised to learn that they, not Amira, were the bandits’ targets for Zarishen possessed a note from someone known as The Eye which instructed the bandit to kill the PCs and included their descriptions.
After securing their prisoner, the human leader, the group continued to Artonsbrueck, arriving without further incident. Once there, the PCs quickly met the town’s military leader, Captain Holt, and dropped off their prisoner so that he could be tried for banditry. The PCs then spent the remainder of the day exploring the small trading town. During their explorations, they met Argus Pieper, owner of the Shallow Draft, and enjoyed some entertainment in said tavern. However, the evening’s entertainment wasn’t very entertaining as the comedian, a halfling of sharp wit named Kormick, heckled his own audience.
After the PCs had retired to their rooms, Lireal and Deacon Ash both decided to go on midnight strolls. While Deacon Ash enjoyed a peaceful walk, Lireal watched a man walk off the end of a pier, almost as if he were sleep-walking or attempting to commit suicide. When Lireal jumped into the water to save the man, she was attacked by a formerly invisible imp. Alone in the water, only Lireal’s cries for help saved her from drowning as a group of Rhennee from a nearby barge come to her aid. Unfortunately, the unknown man drowned, his body later recovered. Examination revealed the man, the town’s jailer, had been stung by the imp, the poison making him too weak to swim. Upon her return to the PCs’ rooms, Lireal received a stern lecturing from the other members of the party about wandering off alone.
When Captain Holt investigated further, he discovered that the prisoner, Zarishen, had escaped. The next morning, Holt enlisted the PCs’ aid in an attempt to locate the missing prisoner. Deacon Ash’s tracking skills led to the realization that Zarishen had fled to the home of Tyderius, a man who was knew to the town. When Captain Holt and the PCs confronted Tyderius at his home, Tyderius slammed the door in their faces and spoke mystic words in a variety of odd, planar languages. A moment later, over a dozen man-sized elementals of various types burst out of the house and began attacking the town.