Our story begins with Arileth, a half-elven paladin of Melora; Coilla, a tiefling warlord, Maqueith, a half-elf circus-brat rogue, and Tuck, a battle-scarred human wizard. Arileth was searching for a sacred grove of silver ash trees, the only place where she could complete the initiation rituals of her sect. On the advice of Ancalaga the Black, head of the Phylos temples, the party journeyed west to the estate of the Grovewarden family, rumored to be the guardians of one such grove. Upon arrival at the estate, the party was set upon by goblin guards, who were easily vanquished. The party entered the estate and was greeted by Lady Grovewarden in a sealed and oppressively warm room with a roaring fire. She told the party that her husband, who was performing a ritual in the cave behind the manor, could direct them to the grove. On the way to the cave, however, Maqueith noticed from outside that one of the windows had been opened while they were leaving, and they re-entered the house. Lady Grovewarden allayed their fears, but they noticed that despite her apparent physical comfort in the oppresive heat, she was in fact sweating profusely and her blankets and thick clothing disguised the fact that she was tied to her chair. At that moment the party was attacked by several more goblins, two zombies, and an imp who seemed to be orchestrating the whole scene. The death of the imp released Lady Grovewarden from her trance, but Lord Grovewarden turned out to be one of the zombies. Lady Grovewarden presented his holy symbol to Arileth as a token of thanks, but sadly informed her that their grove had been burned to the ground long ago. Her only recollection of the takeover was a tall booted man in a spider mask. The party continued to the cave where the imp had attempted to send them, where they confronted the goblin ambush prepared for them. When they mentioned that the “little red man” had been killed, the ambushers fled. Finding booted tracks in the dirt, the party tracked them back to the walls of Phylos where they found plague fires burning and the entire city in an uproar.