Five adventurers were heading back home from completing a quest, and their travels led them through a boggy area that was filled with land bridges, moss hanging from trees, and will-o-the-wisps.
The will-o-the-wisps call to the adventurers, and lead them to a village, where a woman was wailing with grief. Her children had gone missing, and she was hysterical. Three other children went missing a few weeks before, and had not been recovered. Joey’s character said he had stolen the children. The mother attacked him, and failed. The other characters pledged to help look for the lost children, further toward the bog there was a hair found.
Will-o-the-wisps are all around the adventurers, whispering. Along the bank are tracks of two children running, and on the bank are boat marks. Once traveling in the bog, the adventurers notice an abandoned looking shack on a land bridge in the fog.
Upon knocking and calling out, a duergar answers the door, grumpily. The adventurers notice that he is a dark dwarf, from the Underdark. Having an overconfidence and haughty attitude, the Duergar admits to having taken the children and he won’t be giving them back.
Suddenly, 11 more duergar appear from the grass behind the hut. Combat ensues. At the end of the battle, the last remaining duergar jumps to the roof and sounds a bugle to signal someone. The duergar is shortly killed.
The children are found inside the hut, tied up, and frightened. They tell the adventurers that the duergars were going to take them away, but so were the men with the long white hair and frightening faces. The adventurers deduce that there are drow, probably not far off. In the hut is also found a list of the 12 duergar, their names, and what looks like a quota to fill. It appears that the duergars and the drow are on a raid to gather humans and other creatures for their thriving slave trade in the Underdark. Maps and other lists are also found, with a letter of orders signed in elvish “Alec”.
The adventurers bring the children back to the mother, and they find the Mayor, Galef, there with her. When approached for compensation for their daring and courage in retrieving the children from such foes, the Mayor says he can provide them a stay at the inn and drinks on him, but nothing more. He discourages their fear-mongering, and is sure that they are making more of this than what it really is. He is uncomfortable and seems to be wanting to hide something. He also dismisses that there are drow coming, or that his village is in any danger.
The adventurers play along, sensing there is something very wrong. As they go into the village, and to the tavern, while Joey’s character wants to find the Mayor’s house. He notices that there are gargoyles, on all the eves of the houses, the inn, and the stables, and on every house. A spell shows that there is a hex on the town, an intelligence hex, giving everyone living in the town a -4 to intelligence.
Joey’s character gets shatters a gargoyle, and gets himself in trouble and gets locked up in the stocks for and defacing property. He shortly gets out using another spell. Eventually he realizes that the gothic castle is the Mayor’s house, and goes to tell the others.
Eventually the adventurers get reunited, and while Immeral is drinking with the Mayor (he seems very unsuspecting at this moment) and the rest of the adventurers use this time to try to break into the castle. They try the backdoor, where two old women are cooking can be seen through a window. Joey’s character pretends to be the milk boy, and gets inside the house along with Alissa’s character. The old woman is totally unaware of any children going missing weeks before, or since.
Alissa’s character says she needs a mug for the Mayor to drink from, his special mug, so she is escorted to the library/office area. There are many books on bloodletting, magic, and science, and upon inspection she sees body parts in jars and eerie looking paraphernalia. They found the mug, and at the bottom of it, there is dried blood.
The adventurers take the mug back to the Mayor, and “go to bed”, sneaking out to do more investigating. The old woman at the backdoor is told by Sam’s character that he is a scientist, and the old woman assumes that he will want to go down the basement then, and the Mayor will be glad to see him.