Like all great stories, this story begins in a tavern: the Empty Mug to be exact. The PCs met within the tavern for unrelated reasons. After hearing Ernie Tallfoot, wealthy rancher of Kitan, lament the imminent doom of the town due to the Sunshield’s weakening, Hunter the Warforged is determined to protect the town. A mysterious Eladrin, Xhaian, offers his aid, calling himself a deedsman. Ernie is willing to pay 200 gp to anyone who finds the heroes that were supposed to renew the shield, so Flingen, a Tiefling Rogue, steps in for the bounty. Meanwhile, Alfonso, a gnome paladin of the Raven Queen and Gravekeeper, decides to follow Hunter simply to see what it is like for a Warforged to die. Ernie offers them four horses to get to the Horizon Shrine, which is about three days’ travel from the Village. Meanwhile, the barkeep interests both Xhaian and Flingen in a wrestling match. The whole town turns out for it, and is extremely impressed at how close the fight is. Hunter accidentally starts a riot with Alfonso, and the entire town gets in on the brawl. The PCs escape, but not before Flingen collects his prize money for winning.
The next morning, the PCs gather at Ernie’s ranch, and they receive riding horses. The Woodsman shows Hunter to the Shaman’s Tree, and Naka Ooka the Shaman gives them the ingredients to renew the Sunshield. Also, Naka Ooka asks that the PCs plant a certain seed whenever they find special soil that glows in moonlight. He says he will be able to help the PCs out if they do. The PCs ride their horses, spending a day traveling. By nightfall, they reach the crossroads. They stay with the innkeeper there, but in the middle of the night, the house is ambushed by goblins and kobold dragonshields. The PCs come out on top, and the alarmed innkeeper informs them that orcs have been moving and stirring up revolts as of late. He takes his own horse and rides away to Kitan, urging the PCs to leave this place. The PCs go east toward the Horizon Shrine and stop to rest, hiding in a nearby gully. As they sleep, Xhaian senses marching and stays alert the entire night.