A messenger from the Countess D'Orlon arrives at the main temple of Zorica the Fallen, God of Knowledge and Hidden Things, seeking an investigator to find out what is happening in one of her villages – Northamlet. There have been increasing attacks around it, and the villagers were behaving strangely.
The Abbot bequests the Lay Priest, Jon, recently returned from a 5 year fact finding mission, to carry out this task as he sees fit, with no renumeration from the Temple. And frankly, the Abbot was quite put out to be asked at that time. Nevertheless, Jon sought out those whom he knew could be trusted to protect him in these uncertain times – first seeking out the Consulting Mage, Lilliastre (Lilly to her friends) who was at that time training Dessima the Drider in the Dark Arts, and also the use of pastels. Lilly was flummoxed on the knowlege about the county of D'Orlon and also wished further combat expertise and sent for her friend Elgar, the Elf Duelist.
The county of D'Orlon was once attacked by a lizardfolk army over 100 years ago. The Count lost his life against the Lizard King, but his daughter won the day. The current Countess is the descendant of the daughter.
Making their way to the county, Jon scouts ahead and discovers and ancient Gryxx tree, useful for healing cuts.
When entering the county, diligent scouting and navigation enables them to ambush some bandits, who were themselves intent on ambushing those using the main thoroughfares. One bandit is captured [feel free to wax lyrical on the combat for everyone here]. The bandit was keen to forsake the others anyway, and soon reveals their leader is Grigor the Viper, there are in total 50 bandits, but they're usually taking turns raiding and ambushing, and the main base is 3 days journey (by foot, not on any road) in the Weird Dragon(1) direction from Northamlet. The bandits were employed by the Cult of the Sleeper to waylay folk around the area.
Consulting the Unaussprechlichen Kulten, she happened to be carrying (2nd edition, with etchings), Lilly relays that this cult believes that the Sleeping One will awaken and lead them in victory over all the lands.