It all started with a party. Ryko was holding court at the Laughing Dragon.
As the evening wore on, Dorn stepped outside for a breath of fresh air. Instead of the brisk, refreshingly clear night he expected, he found himself surrounded by a dense fog that blocked all vision beyond a few feet away and almost seemed to stick to his flesh. He went back inside to get Fox to inspect it. He was engaged in a spirited discussion with Ryko, with Karina and Ryota standing nearby in their own conversation.
When the five stepped into the night, the silence that greeted them was almost complete. The noise from inside was quieted even before the door finished closing. The fog even hid all trace of the glow from the lamp across the street. They stepped into the road, their footfalls muted, so see at what point the light would become visible. They had crossed almost all the way to where the lantern should hang before realizing that they were moving across damp earth, rather than the flagstones that made up the city street. Turning back, they sought out the tavern, to no avail. Even Karina had lost all sense of direction and was unable to find the tracks they had just left.
Eventually, the fog cleared enough the cold glow of the moon visible, even if the orb itself was not. The Blades could see, now, that they were standing on a road running through a heavy, dark forest. Inspecting their surroundings, they discovered flowers that none of them recognized — not even Karina, who had ranged further than the others.
Without any other real option, they began to walk along the road. After a mile or so, they came to a great wall set with an ancient, damaged gate. Passing through this gate felt significant in a way the five could not quite articulate, but shortly after passing through, they found evidence of wolves attacking a man on the road and dragging him away, except that the wolf prints were huge — many times the size of any wolf they'd ever seen. As they discussed their options, they heard a wolf howl in the distance and decided they need to find shelter, soon.
The woods stretched on for another mile, or so, breaking into poorly maintained farmland, with almost as many weeds as choked, irregular crops. Yet another mile, and they came to a town. Much like the farmland, the town was poorly maintained and looked as though the live had been bled from it. As they approached town, they could faintly hear a woman's wailing and sobbing in the distance. They entered the town, with Ryota hoping to at least find an inn where they could assess the situation.
They passed a series of sad, battered houses, uncertain about which were in use, until they came upon two forlorn children standing outside what must have once been a fine mansion. When asked, the children said they were outside because of the monster inside and asked if the travelers would save their baby brother, in the attic. There was little discussion about whether to save the baby. As the five approached the front door, they could feel the fog tightening around them, again, in an almost sentient embrace.
Climbing the stairs in the main hall, the group found that the first two floors were in pristine condition; well-lit and clean. Upon reaching the third floor, however, it was found to be filled with dust and cobwebs, with no sign of any use in years, if not decades. At this point, Ryko expressed concern that things were very much not as they seemed and the group started debating whether to continue to investigate the attic or to step back and be more cautious.