Elias Parr, spokesman of the “Adventurer’s Guild” is seen wandering the streets of Acryn, unusually far from the Guild’s now sizable headquarters on Mosia Lane, waving his “~ADVENTURERS WANTED!~” sign in the faces of those who seem like they might have the time to hear his request.
It would seem that a village out to the West of the city has been facing difficulties from some creatures of the Flux, and would like some adventurers who don’t mind a little bit of risk going and trying to find a solution to their troubles. Those who can be enticed by the offered 30 Riel are invited to attend a more detailed briefing back at Mosia Lane later that day.
The party meet Elias for further briefing, where they are told that the chief of the village of Riverbreeze has requested the service of adventurers to find a solution to some concerted attacks from strange creatures from the Flux that have recently begun. Whilst the village has many tales of unusual things in the surrounding area and are used to strange Flux creatures, this is the first time there have been repeated and focused attacks in this manner. Elias sends them along their way, along with a young woman named Cassie in the employ of the Adventurer's Guild who is there to record everything which happens, apparently at the request of the client.
They head out into the streets and run into some thugs who think they might make for an easy mugging, since they have a blind man with them. These are dealt with, though one of them bleeds out. There is some awkwardness and culture shock when Krodd, who not really understanding how mugging works gave them some money and was allowed through returns to eat the body. As Cassie comes running up with some of the Watch to cart the thugs away, Octavian attempts to explain to Krodd that you shouldn't eat people, with limited success.
Leaving the city, the party fight through some wolves and reach the Flux, where some travelling musicians and entertainers who happen to be headed the same way offer to accompany them. Although they are Flux, the party agree and they continue, a couple of the musicians making away with some money and potions that were not sufficiently secure in the party's pockets.
Their new travel companions run ahead to admire some adorable lambs in the savanna ahead, only to be promptly immolated by a large horned sheep that breathes fire. The party clear the sheep and lambs out of the way, and Krodd enjoys a meal of mutton and people. Octavian is slightly concerned that in the distance, the nearest patch of Consensus that he assumes to be the village seems to be moving slightly.
The party move on and encounter strange creatures which look like the vaguely humanoid bastard offspring of a string of Christmas lights and a book of carpet samples. They try to walk around them when the creatures spot them and attack, saying that humans should be purged. They use a strange power which blinds the party with bright lights which suddenly appear around them, and are surprised when this doesn't seem to affect Joshua at all. When defeated, they melt away into a strange goo which quickly dissipates into nothingness.
After fighting a particularly large Flux bee capable of generating shockwaves with its buzzing, the party reach Riverbreeze, where what appears to be the village chief welcomes them and invites them to share in lunch in the city hall. For some reason, something looks slightly off about him to Joshua, though he can't quite place what. He provides them with information on where some of the attacks have been happening. A wandering handyman talks to the party about what they're up to. One man seems somewhat disturbed, claiming that the creatures have been abducting and replacing people, though these claims are passed off as absurd by the village chief and some of the others. The villagers are generally concerned, though, since whilst strange creatures in the Flux are nothing new to them, these strange light creatures have only showed up recent and don't match their stories, and seem to be coming from the Flux to attack them.
The conspiracy theorist invites the party over to his shed to show them his research and his hat made from local rocks which he claims can block the lights with which the creatures replace people. He attempts to run back out at which point finds his way blocked by the village chief and some other villagers who weren't at lunch. They all look slightly off to Joshua, and without any real warning, all suddenly attack the party. Once dropped, they seem to melt away into somewhat familiar forms: the light creatures from earlier. They then dissipate away into nothing. Outside the shed the party find the handyman, having apparently just clocked one of the creatures over the head, who tells them that they suddenly attacked and comments that Joshua may have some special talent since he seemed to be able to tell the fakes apart. Octavian is somewhat perturbed by the fact that the creatures did not seem to be Flux until the fact that they were obviously fakes was revealed. Suddenly another villager runs in and claims that another attack is happening, so the party rush off.
At the North-West edge of the village they find another couple of villagers being attacked by the creatures, so they deal with those and ensure the villagers are safe. They then head out of the village in that direction, so it seems to be from where most of the attacks have been coming, following a patrol some of the other villagers went on earlier.
The party pass an area scorched by a Symbol of Calamity where Tuireann's influence was manifested through a person and then through a ritual during the events of Misery Loves Company, leaving the area with a minor Draconic incursion. The party are attacked by snakes formed from vines, and after a while of trying to hold their ground realise that they should probably move on out of the area quickly. In the process, Christian and Katrina fall and are somewhat ensnared by vines, and Krodd attempts to eat some of them. All three feel the Ancient Forest surrounding them as they fight back something assaulting their minds. Katrina and Krodd are successful in fending this off, but Christian is overcome and feels a sense of hatred towards humans and their civilisations, coming and destroying the forest in order to build their cities. He is left with a lingering thought: “Serve the Forest”.
The party find the patrol up ahead as well as some of the creatures on the approach, though some of the villagers in it are not what they seem and also turn on their apparent allies, turning out to be the creatures when dropped. The one surviving member of the patrol travels with them, telling them that they faced some of the creatures before but were able to drive them off despite their light tricks, or so they thought. They're unsure of when the others might have been replaced.
Moving on, the party save for Joshua is blinded by bright lights, whilst they are staggering around Joshua sees some of the creatures appear and mingle among them. When the party can see again, they see some of the creatures around them but not all is as it seems, and after some confusion during the ensuing fight it turns out that some of the party are attacking their own allies, believing them to be the creatures. Eventually all of the things are downed, but this leaves some of the party uncertain as to what to believe and Joshua and Octavian need to persuade Krodd not to try to eat the other two party members, who are unconscious at this point.
Discussing the nature of what they are fighting and with Octavian designating them as Unknown Light Forms, or ULFs for short, the party press on and see a cave up ahead with some of the creatures going into it. Wary of a trap, they eventually follow, fighting through a mixture of the creatures and some normal local Flux creatures until they reach a large one of the creatures, which splits off parts of itself to attack them. The village chief is here, this time the real one, along with some other villagers, apparently having been kidnapped some time ago.
Taking full advantage of Joshua's immunity to the creatures' trickery, the party fight through all of the creatures and finally destroy the big one which seems to be their boss, and are left in the heart of the cave, slightly confused about the whole affair.
The village chief tells them that he was kidnapped about a month ago and that the creatures seemed intent on replacing him, but can offer no explanations as to why. The party are particularly perplexed by the fact that it seems to have been the fake village chief that arranged for them to be hired, as opposed to the real one. They figure that maybe they were trying to get adventurers to come and replace them instead, but can't really come up with a decent possible motive for wanting to do this.
They return to the village, where they find the handyman wearing a blindfold. He mentions that this is because the conspiracy theorist seemed to have been right and that people who could see the creature's lights could be tricked by them into seeing other things, and with some discussion the party come to the conclusion that the creatures must have been using some sort of trick involving light to make people see illusions, which didn't work on Joshua because he sees through some other means. Still with many questions left unanswered, they return to Acryn, with the handyman accompanying them since he says it's time for him to move on and he doesn't have a Wayfinder.
Back in Acryn the party go to the Adventurer's Guild and report in, explaining what happened and the limited extent of what they understand was going on. Elias tells them that since there have been no more attacks on the village by the creatures, they seem to have done a satisfactory job, and gives them the promised 30 Riel each. They remain perplexed, but take it, as well as providing the Guild with their contact details so that they may be notified of adventures which may be of interest to them. Most of them then leave, except for Krodd who has fallen asleep.
Octavian contacts the East Empire Company, telling of his experiences and asking if anybody in the company has any explanation as to what could have been going on, especially with the more irregular aspects of the situation. One of the more experienced Wayfinders in the company responds, telling him that his description of the sense of a patch of distance Consensus seeming to move around was consistent with something they'd experienced before, where it had turned out to be because somebody had destabilised the edge of that patch of Consensus, causing the apparent edge to move further away. Octavian reports this to Joshua, Katrina and Christian, who agree that it lends some credibility to the theory that the creatures were the work of a rogue Wayfinder.
Still somewhat dissatisfied, Octavian takes them to Hugh Branch's East Empire Company office, where he is currently having some sort of meeting with a woman none of them recognise. Octavian talks about what happened and Hugh suggests that it sounds like it could be the work of the “Octothreat” (the Pivot of the World). The woman introduces herself as Mina Hatcher, saying that she has some interest in Wayfinding matters, though she is with neither the Company or the Guild. They discuss the Octothreat, and pointedly mention that someone one day will emerge to deal with the problem. The party members leave.
Outside, the conversation continues and Octavian discusses the Octothreat, saying pointedly to Joshua that if he ever encouters the Octothreat that he should just run, and that he absolutely shouldn't try to be a hero. Joshua agrees, and they carry on their way. Shortly afterwards, Octavian falls down a manhole which he was quite sure wasn't there before. It doesn't even seem to go anywhere. It's quite embarrassing, and he picks himself up, climbs out and is left wondering where it came from. They continue to discuss what happened and their confusion, though none of them have any leads to follow any more.
They go their separate ways. Katrina returns to her temple and informs them of what has happened. Octavian tries to investigate what was up with the manhole, only to find no records of any work being done there, and no manhole when he next looks. Joshua, meanwhile, returns to find his home empty. There is no immediate sign of violence or any kind of struggle, and so he just assumes they must be out. He waits, but they do not return. Eventually he gets concerned, and asks at his wife's church, who say that they haven't seen her since the day before the party returned, which was the last time they were expecting to. Joshua goes to the Watch. The desk officers seem somewhat dismissive as it's only been a couple of days, saying that a trip to the zoo could take that long to see everything, since they apparently have a lion now. They are confused by the 14 children the couple have, since Joshua does not point out that they are orphans, and assume that it must be a religious thing. They say they'll look into the matter, but Joshua isn't convinced.
He seeks out other party members for help, and goes with Octavian to see Hugh again. Hugh expresses some concern over the fact that Joshua's family has gone missing, and says that he'll get people to investigate. He tells Octavian that he has no idea about the manhole, but suggests that the Pivot of the World could have been responsible, since this is just the sort of silly rewriting of reality that he might do.
The party members leave, and Hugh returns to his ship's brig, where a disguised Tabitha Terrec and a hitherto unseen woman are waiting. The Tender priest and her children in the brig are getting somewhat agitated and unruly, and Tabitha is frantically running around trying to come up with ways to calm them down and making plans to perform miracles and rituals to keep things under control. It's for the good of the city, after all.
The mysterious woman seems somewhat annoyed, and says that this isn't quite what she had in mind and that this is not quite what Plan B was supposed to be. She says that she thinks they should have been more open and got them on board instead of just blatantly kidnapping them, but that she has done her part, sewn the seeds and created the possibilities, and that the rest of the matter is in their hands now, before promptly disappearing into a wall.
Meanwhile, back in the city, Joshua stalks the streets at night, a masked vigilante, beating up anybody who looks even slightly dodgy and asking them where his family is. Octavian remains confused about a sudden manhole that appeared from nowhere. Katrina goes back to life at the temple. The words “Serve the Forest” lingering in his mind, Christian mulls over the idea of moving somewhere more rural. And in a small office somewhere in the Adventurer's Guild, Krodd is prodded awake. He asks if they'll inform him of any more adventures which may allow him to encounter “great shaman”. The clerk tells him that the Guild are always happy to try to make arrangements for adventurers, but asks him to leave as he can't stay there. When Krodd slides a pile of money over and asks “Now?”, they rearrange their meeting for another room, and arrange for some files and books to be laid out into a makeshift bed and leave him to get on with his business.