A massive and unusual earthquake causes cave-ins throughout the city, and our heroes are temporarily trapped in one. After encountering strange beasts living in the underground catacombs, they escape, and are interrogated by Warrick Eldrin, one of the town councilman and the wealthiest man in the city about what happened. Impressed with their competence in escaping, he mentions a job opportunity.
Warrick explains that he semi-regularly sent caravans west through a pass in the Carpathian mountains that only he knew about. Always hazardous, five years ago the caravans simply stopped completely. His last one, sent with extra guards had only one survivor. Now he will pay the adventurers to travel the route, and defeat whatever has been attacking the caravans. They are to escort Warrick’s friend and ally Adrian Mures, who will confirm that they actually accomplish the task.
The adventurers interview the survivor, learning that he didn’t recognize the attacker, but that it was a swarm of some type. They decided to build superior armor, and after some discussions about supplies, they began traveling into the wilderness.
Heading into the wilderness, they have a brief (although not as brief as they might like) enounter with farmer Boris Chornovil, an old single man who really likes the sound of his own voice.
A few days later, they are attacked by the raiders they had been warned of. They drive the first group off easily, only to realize it’s a diversion, as a second group sneaks out and heads for their mule, grabbing Adrian and much of the group’s supplies.