The group has crash-landed on the Western coast of Volanthia at the edge of an unassuming farming town named Osk. After unsuccessfully searching for a temple to find a place of refuge for the night, the group locates what appears to be the only place in this small town at the edge of the sea where the townsfolk are gathered; a tavern called the Deacon & Frog.
Upon entering the tavern everyone seems horrified by the emaciated and unkempt group that stands before them interrupting their merrymaking. After speaking with the owner and barkeep, the group is invited to select a member to partake in a friendly bar fight for some food and coin against their present champion Boleo, a young farm hand of considerable size and strength.
Having very few options, the group reluctantly agrees and then stacks the deck in their favor with a few minor spells and buffs. After winning the fight, the group is approached and congratulated by a man of noble birth named Lythys “The Sorrow” Blackstone. In a flash of anger he knocks the teeth out of Boleo’s mouth and then commands Boleo be taken to the center of town along with his ailing father for some late-night target practice with his favorite bow. He politely apologizes to the group for the unsightly scene and offers them a job, citing his being impressed with their skills and obvious abilities to win a fight after some considerable difficult days.
The group politely declines but secretly discusses working for him. During this time, Lythys finishes slaying Boleo and his father, sets their farm to the torch including all the animals. After a troubled, but much needed night’s rest, the group sets out to search for some means of gaining some coin to improve their situation when the old woman cleaning glasses at the tavern last night mentions to them that she noticed them casting a spell during the fight.
She identifies herself as Ella and eagerly invites the group to her home for a proper breakfast and a proposition. Her home is filled with wondrous things from years past. Weapons, scrolls, armor, religious artifacts line the walls. There is certainly more than meets the eye about this kindly, old tavern crone. After some discussion she mentions that she used to be the head of a religious order, but society does not tolerate religious devotees like it once used to, so now she keeps her business to herself.
She asks the group to help a friend of hers, a priest of Ilmater named Doland who is the head of a temple nearly two days ride South of Osk. He sent word to her just yesterday that one of his acolytes disappeared looking for a religious artifact in their temple catacombs and he is gravely concerned for his well-being. The group accepts the job and she outfits everyone with ample weaponry and gear.
Before their departure the group spends a night in her home and she very clearly has taking some kind of liking to Ver’gath.
The group took an easy journey on a southern road away from Osk towards the intended temple. After finding the dilapidated temple, and speaking with Master Doland he was gravely concerned for the safety of his acolyte Karsus who had recently become obsessed with finding this artifact called “The Holynnder” which through your search in the temple library revealed to be some kind of artifact of the Halfling God of trickery.
Also in the temple library the group encountered a battered and horribly scarred half-orc woman named Vaspa who seems to serve as the temple custodian. She was very hesitant to discuss her scars, and refused healing when offered. She was very apprehensive to discuss anything about herself personally but was exceedingly helpful in fetching books, food, or answering any questions the group had about the temple itself, Karsus, or Master Doland.
Once the group had completed their research, they began to make preparations to enter the catacombs when Doland made some passing comment to them about Vaspa being a filthy whore.