Isaac, Iskawan and Radishe arrive by boat from Greenseas to the city of Gondrake, the seat of power (such as it is) of the fledgling country of Meriador. They meet with the chancellor of King Bronmark, who advises them that, despite the terribly depleted manpower (lost at sea from inclement weather and piracy), their original mission stands: escort a company of settlers north to Gryphon Rock, a castle now fallen into disrepair and darkness, to reclaim the area and drive back the wild creatures that inhabit the area. The King also advises the party that Jubei Miramoto, a member of his personal guard, will also be accompanying them.
The party meet Lieutenant Roderick the Green, commander of the six men-at-arms ordered by the king to escort the settlers, who is able to provide some limited information regarding the trip. The cleric finds a modest temple to St Cuthburt in the city and seeks out his own information about their destination.
They set out the next day, escorting the seventy-odd peasants and the men-at-arms on the journey northwards. The trip is largely uneventful, and the party are able to find out that the men-at-arms accompanying them are, for one reason or another, effectively in exile for various indiscretions. They also find out that their destination, Gryphon Rock and the wider Valdan Wilds region, are part of what was one a huge empire, brought to ruin by years of both external and internal strife. The former empire of King Rodan fell into darkness hundreds of years ago, but there remain many remnants of his rule – Gryphon Rock being among them. Also left behind are the ruins of the empire’s theocratic power – temples and gods long forgotten but not entirely gone.
After six days of travel the party comes to the outskirts of the town of Tir Feldar just on twilight. There they find the town under attack from ghostly riders. The party advances, Iskawan using an illusion of Jubei to keep the majority of the raiders occupied while Jubei himself flanked from inside the cottages. The other party members advanced, attacking the riders and eventually succeeding in driving them into retreat when their leader was gravely wounded. One raider was killed, another captured.
The raider – a hobgoblin – had his armour stripped, Iskawan determining that the armour was what gave the attackers their ghostly visage. Isaac discovered the hobgoblin’s mounts were undead, but was unable to effectively interrogate their prisoner due to communication barriers.