Your travels have led you to a temporary home in the trading town of Brandywood along the road between Waterdeep and Silverymoon.
During your stay, you observe a rather distressed friar entering the Drunken Knuckle Tavern, a very popular watering hole in the town’s square. Sitting down next to him, you overhear his conversation with the inn keep. You try to blend in, but the inn keep is a clever man and after some time, sizes you up as muscle for hire.
He takes a chance and pulls you into his conversation with Brother Teldon. You learn that Brother Teldon’s church has been expecting the arrival of an emissary from another church in Silverymoon by the name of Lydia. Teldon is worried that she he is running overdue and given the dangers along the road, fears the worse.
He is willing to offer his services in return for your help. He asks that you set out and look for her along the road and, if something ill has beset her, help her if you can. He provides you with a leather satchel embroidered with his initials and a note to help in identifying yourselves to Lydia should you find her. He expects she will be on her guard and traveling with protection, specifically a bodyguard by the name of Patrick.
Finally, as a token of good faith, he supplies you with some very valuable elixirs, said to provide healing and stamina in times of need.
Accepting his offer, he presses you to set out that afternoon, worried that whatever may have befallen her, time is likely of the essence.
After traveling along the road for a half-day, you camp. The night is uneventful, perhaps because you are still relatively close to Brandywood. Just before dawn, you break camp and continue down the road. A couple hours into your walk, you come across a gruesome scene. A small camp off the side of the road appears to have been ambushed. The cart they were traveling with is covered in blood and the horses are not to be found. Signs of battle can be found all around the site and the foul smell of rotting flesh lingers in the air, although you have yet to lay eyes on a corpse.
Aside from the sound of chirping birds welcoming the morning sun and the leaves rustling in the gentle spring breeze, you do not hear a sound. You fear the worse for Lydia, and are about to investigate …