|Our Mysterious Benefactor|
A month has passed since you came to Ravengro to attend the funeral of Professor Lorrimor, and as his will requested, the time has come to take his books to Lepidstadt. His daughter, Kendra, has been your charge and hostess for the month and she is saddened to see you go, yet thankful that you have agreed to fulfill her father's final wishes. She prepared quite a feast for you the night before and many toasts were given to the memory of the Professor and to you as the heroes who liberated Harrowstone.
After much discussion, you have chosen your path to Lepidstadt. The distance from Ravengro to Lepidstadt is about 100 miles. No journey in Ustalav is without risk, but the old Mountain Road is generally regarded as the best route. This road follows the southeastern foothills of the Tusk Mountains, passing through the towns of Tamrivena and Courtaud before following the Lesser Moutray River up to Lepidstadt. With luck, you should be there in a little over a week.
You set out with the sun, thin as it is in the early morning mist. As you travel you see less people and more marshes, trees and ruins jutting from the swampy ground here and there. Most of these are no more than walls, but you do occasionally catch a glimpse of structures that appear to be more intact.
Three days out, around later afternoon, you are somewhat surprised to come across a series of brightly colored wagons. Gaudy paint depicts images of garish figures, all performing beneath the banner of "The Crooked Kin— Ustalav’s Greatest Traveling Cabinet of Curiosities!”
You see eyes peering cautiously from the wagons, but no actual people until an albino man with long white hair wearing a tall red hat and bright red jacket with striped pants hops down from the lead wagon. He bows in a very theatrical manner and calls out, "Welcome my fellow travelers! Welcome to Ustalav's finest travelling show! I am Kaleb Hesse, ringmaster of this fine bunch. But, I fear, you have found us at a sad time; one of our fellows is missing!"