The busy county of Brais is perturbed by stories of a raid gone awry. Two nights thus a party of Freeholders was intercepted by the local militia and dispersed.
Within this band was a veteran raider, Adler of the Denhold. Narrowly avoiding patrols he has sighted the peaceful village of Arenfel. Exhausted, he decides to make for it, and pretend at least, that he is not with the Northmen.
Elcar, travelling elf, has hidden his nature and poses as a scholar. He awaits dejectedly for another barge to sail downriver at Arenfel. Unfortunately, it is apparent that he has been the victim of a ruse, and has parted with good money for barely a journey.
The local lord, an impoverished knight, Sir Carenval Vaus, returns, wary from chasing raiders. He needs the Scholar to give his opinion on something Odd that has been found a couple of leagues uphill, at the logging camp. He charges Adler with guarding Elcar.
A leisurely trot through winding forest paths to the logging camp ensues, passing many a busy farmstead. Arriving around noon at the camp. Dismounting and being led to where the “queer thing” is. This time following dry fluvial through some undergrowth and a steep climb.
There is indeed something awry.
An ancient burial cairn, open, burst, apparently from within. Further investigation yields several tracks of small creatures and blood sacrifice nearby. With their paltry three man guard now fairly unnerved (their proximity to Witchwood not helping), the party elects to return to the camp, mount and inform the Knight.
Ambushed halfway down to Arenfel by strange half-men with mottled red grey skin, and an Ogre, they lose Calem to an arrow, Braneck to a fall of his horse (he breaks his leg). Adler dismounts through the ensuing hail of missiles. Grabs Braneck and puts him on a horse. Adler keeps up some crossbow fire, and when an opening is found. Fleeing uphill to the woodsmen’s camp.
The creatures pursue and make a frontal assault at the camp. Most being cut down by crossbow fire from the lumberjacks, some falling to Haegler’s (the foreman) axe. An infortune swing from Adler brings Haegler down, whilst Elcar surreptitiously casts spells on his assailants. Though they manage to slay the Ogre and the creatures, casualties are heavy, with the foreman grievously wounded, Braneck with a broken leg, and the remaining loggers and militiamen dead.
They opt to take their chances on horseback, riding down as best they can, and finally breaking through another party of vicious creatures, meet with Lord Vaus who has rallied the local militia and is hunting down all these strange monsters.