It is a time of joy for the small hamlet of Phandalin.
Our party finds itself on its way to Phandalin, each with their own reasons for going there. Some may be attending the annual Midsummer Feast, some may be visiting on their way to South Cape. Whatever their reasons, many of the folk in the region are looking forward to the Midsummer feast, which promises to be the biggest in living memory. The usually small hamlet of 150 has doubled in size from visitors who have come from other small villages nearby to join the festivities.
As your wagon carrying provisions for the feast trundles along the small sleepy forest road from Goldenfield, your party is crammed into the back of the wagon. A surprisingly cheery trader drives the wagon, glad to have company on the long journey. He tells you every last detail about the road, the history of the region and every last detail about his youngest daughter who just turned three. His ranting and raving certainly infuriates some of you in the wagon and he shows little sign of stopping.
But to some the voice of the trader becomes distant, especially among those in the party who are battle trained. The faintest scent of decay carries on the damp and musty air of the deep forest. Looking ahead, you can tell that a clearing is coming up ahead of you.
The trader begins telling the story of how his daughter tried to stow away on his wagon for what seems to be the fifth time already, and all of a sudden he falls silent mid-sentence.
What is that in the clearing ahead? You can already hear the flies buzzing.
This can’t be good.