The first thing that the party sees is an argument between a fat man and a skinny man over a dog. The dog has a fresh red scar around its neck, where the head of a large black dog seems to have been grafted onto the body of a smaller yellow dog. Refusing to sell the beast, the men agree to pay the party 500 gp to retrieve the other half of their dogs—alive—and to find out who would commit such a bizarre crime.
They also notice a man selling small songbirds.
The party visits a huge cheese emporium where they purchase a couple of rounds of the famous Beltain soft cheese from the proprietor, Haskin. They learn of a recent miracle where a baby was born of a split tree on the fires of the charcoal burners’ pit. They decide to visit, but are attacked by grippli (frog people) along the way. The grippli are also looking for the baby.
Back in Mossport, the party is healed by a friendly cleric of Sehanine, Ambrenna looking for her lost boyfriend, Joran. Joran used to send messages once a month, but hasn’t been heard from in the last three months. Joran is a professor at Hellstrike, the wizards’ college.
The party pays to see the mysterious baby and is shuffled into a crowd, which they promptly rob of great deals of money. They convince Berek, the leader of the charcoal burners, to take them to the pit where the baby was born. Investigating the tree, the party discovers that the charcoal burners have killed a pregnant dryad. The child did not burn in the flames because its father was an azer (think fire dwarf). They also discover the location where the tree was taken and consult with Melthanie, a dryad there. She tells them the azer’s name is Ayaki, and shows them where the azer live, in the hills about a week’s journey away.
The party manages to kill most of the charcoal burners in a fit of rage. They are currently at the fire pit near the charcoal burners’ encampment, surrounded by five corpses.