We begin this adventure in the Human city of Dunholm, home of Lord Augustus Krieger. We meet Gilly Jones, a young and naive Dwarc, as she arrives at the city via small boat for the first time with her adopted father Robert Jones.
Being left to her own devices while Jones sees to his business, Gilly quickly stumbles into trouble with several drunks outside of the Rusty Anchor tavern down at the docks. She succumbs to her ‘act first, think later’ instincts and finds herself in a fight, one that escalates rapidly with the appearance of a large force of armed pirates who spill out of the tavern. Even the appearance of Jones, who has caught wind of the impending brawl and rushed to protect his daughter, is unable to diffuse the powder keg created by the appearance of the Dwarc amongst humans. Vastly outnumbered, Gilly and her father do their best to defend themselves against the assault lead by the Dwarf Pirate Captain Garosh, who has an obvious bone to pick against Jones.
The altercation is monitored by two bystanders: Knights of the Citadel and disciples of the Temples of Light and Shadow, Kalina and Hapblaques Trench have only just arrived in the harbor on an official summons from Lord Krieger. They are on their way to the Lord’s keep when they see the fight spilling from the tavern into the harbor. Uncertain of the exact nature of their mission and wary of making a poor impression on their first visit to the city, they hesitantly come to Gilly and Jones’ aid once it becomes apparent that the pair stands no chance against the thugs. They charge in with weapons drawn, but their strength has suffered from their voyage; they are unable to prevent the men from incapacitating Jones and stealing him away from the battle. Gilly, Kalina, and Hapblaques hold their ground against the remaining pirates, whittling away at their numbers, until they suddenly flee. The trio has little time to recuperate though. In the next moment the city guards have arrived to investigate the commotion. Gilly, being the instigator of the fight and a target of prejudice through no fault of her own, is swiftly apprehended. Kalina and Hapblaques reveal their identities and their reason for being in the city; they are not treated unfavorably for their role in attempting to stop the fight, but they are escorted to the keep with the guards and Gilly.
Upon reaching the keep of Lord Krieger, Gilly is lead away, presumably to the dungeons to await her sentence. Kalina and Hapblaques are lead onward to meet with Lord Augustus by a young soldier; they do not get far before this man reveals himself to be Sir Ehren Krieger, Augustus’ son and heir. Sir Ehren is unhappy with the presence of the Citadel in his city and makes no point of hiding his displeasure. He succinctly informs Kalina and Hapblaques that while he tolerates them for the sake of his father, they are unwelcome guests and need to be careful while in Dunholm. With this ominous proclamation, the pair goes to meet Lord Augustus, wondering what mission will be laid before them, and what the fates of the young Dwarc and her kidnapped father might be…