A caravan from Verbobonc is travelling south through Hommlet. Five people (Ariana, Eland, Grognak, Kes and Lossa) had joined for the trip between Verbobonc as either guards or guests purely for the stretch to Hommlet. Each had heard of increased bandit activity around Hommlet, and fears that the Temple of Elemental Evil was once again active, and sought opportunities for glory, justice or money. Talking around the campfire at night, the five realised they were all heading to Hommlet for similar reasons and agreed to work together.
On the last day of the trip, the caravan is attacked by bandits. The five help run off the bandits, and manage to take two captive. They question the bandits, who reveal that they have only recenlty come to town after hearing the area was “easy pickin’s.” They also learn that the group had been threatened by a “pretty boy,” who warned them to limit their activities to at least half a day’s journey outside of Hommlet.
Upon arriving at Hommlet, the five left the caravan and made their way to Captain Grant, the captain of the town militia. They handed over the bandits, and were tehn directed to speak with Jaroo Ashstaff and Burne about the bandit activity. From them, they learn that there is an old Moat House that was once an outpost of the Temple, and they suspect the bandits may be based there. However, the resources it would take to confirm this would leave the village vulnerable, and if they were wrong, the bandits would be able to destroy the village.
The party arranges room at the Inn of the Welcome Wench. There, they speak with some of the patrons, including Furnok of Ferd. As it is early morning, they decide to make their way to the mouthouse and scout it.
After a two-hour journey through dense overgrowth, they arrive at the Moat House, only to be attacked by a handful of giant frogs. Defeating the frogs, they enter the Mout House and explor the large tower near the main gates. Upon entering, they are attacked by a giant spider and, though they defeat it, they decide to head back to town and recover afterwards.