By saving the town from an inferno and uncovering the machinations of Pallas Falorn, our heroes have gained the respect of their neighbors, the enmity of the Falorn clan, and a whole lot of complications.
Beren Anjani might have thought stopping an inferno and saving Mazer Sahmath's children would have earned the admiration of her emotionally distant father. Instead, she returns home to the Anjani estate to find him furious that she has unnecessarily antagonized their family's biggest rivals. To placate the Falorn clan and put an end to the rivalry between the two houses, Beren's father has arranged for her to marry Pallas, a man she loathes.
Hoping for guidance following her confrontation with her father, Beren returns to the Sanctuary of Cyrene, where she first took vows as a Paladin of the Broken Moon. There, her spiritual mentor Admana Kahee provides moral support and guidance on her path as a Paladin. [Beren takes a 2nd level in the Paladin class].
Meanwhile, Eladria returns to the elven enclave outside of town, where her father has learned that she used magic in public. Despite warning her of the dangers magic represents, he presents her with the spellbook he used as a child. It contains a handful of spells, including two new tricks [Eladria takes a 2nd level in the Wizard class]. While practicing her new skills, Eladria discovers she has gained an admirer in the person of Lia, a young elf ranger seeking adventure.
Robin returns home to darker tidings. While searching for her younger brother to make a gift out of some silverware she stole from Mazer Sahmath's house (while saving his children), she learns that he has been bedridden by a fever that has left him delirious. After fetching the local healer, Sulisar Crane, Robin learns her brother has been struck by the Laughing Sickness, a disease that has struck much of Fremont.
The sulisar tells her he is out of anti-toxin, although he has sent word to the capital in hopes that a new batch can be delivered. Unfortunately, it may come too late to save her brother. He's heard that Lord Mayor Harlan Talmot has some longshot plan to deal with the outbreak, and the sulisar advises Robin to speak with him. [Robin takes a 2nd level in the Rogue class]
Eladria and Lia's parents approach to the two of them, and inform them the Lord Mayor has requested their presence as well. At the Sanctuary of Cyrene, Beren receives a similar message.
The four young women gather in the office of Lord Mayor Talmot, together with a strange older woman who Beren and Robin recognize as Mad Agatha, the local witch/wise woman/crazy lady with forty cats.
Mayor Talmot explains to the teenagers that the town is suffering from an outbreak of the Laughing Sickness, which has sickened most of the healthy male population of working age. The outbreak has come at a particularly bad time for Fremont, as it is harvest season and most of the people responsible for gathering the crops are bedridden. If a cure isn't found soon, the entire town could face starvation that winter.
With few other options, Talmot has heeded the advice of Mad Agatha, who has told him a fairy tale about an ancient temple to the Dwarven god of knowledge Golgolah. The cure to the disease can be found in his temple, Agatha says.
Although skeptical, Talmot has already sent one party out in search of this temple. They never returned. With few options remaining, and at Agatha's insistence, he has asked the girls to go in search of the missing party and the temple. Talmot tells the girls they are the town's last hope, as their is no one left even remotely capable of such a task.
Agatha, on the other hand, is insistent that the girls have a special destiny to fulfill. Touching Eladria's cheek, she tells the elf "beware of shadows". As the old woman's hand caresses her face, she sees a flash of images: a man with no face, a tower built of black stone blocks silhouetted against a volcanic landscape, and a strange glyph.
Agatha then hands the girls a scrap of parchment containing a fragment from the "Lay of Luther", which she says contains a clue about the location of the temple. It reads:
"In the Lover's Bed
Between the giant's shoulders
Where demons fall
But no shadow falls
The Eye of Golgolah looks
Down upon his house."
In preparation for their journey, the girls meet with Mordin Ironson, a local dwarf blacksmith. He is familiar with the fragment, but says the first line should be translated as Amarna's bed. Amarna is dwarf goddess of love, and suggests the line is a reference to the ancient River Amarna, which has since dried up. Likewise, he translates the fourth line as "No-shadow Falls", in reference to a waterfall.
The girls also speak to Jaym Raynier, a veteran who fought in the last major war and now makes his living as a farmer on the outskirts of town. He tells the girls to head east along the Severn River if they wish to find the missing party.
After the better part of a day of travel over hilly wilderness, the girls notice they are being watched from a distance by a man dressed in dark clothes that seem to remain undisturbed despite the strong wind. The man disappears as quickly as he appeared, and the girls run into a older man running away from the road.
He tells them he is a traveling merchant, who lost all of his goods when he was ambushed by a group of bandits at a crossing over a chasm ahead. The girls tell the merchant to head toward Fremont, and decide to set a trap for the bandits themselves.
Unfortunately, the bandits prove tougher than expected. In the fighting, the rope bridge is destroyed. Lia and Beren fall into the river below, while Eladria and Robin have been left unconscious and wounded on the near side of the bridge.
As the rapids carry Lia and Beren away from their friends and towards an unknown fate, what new adventures lie ahead for our heroes?