Inside the town of Torch two adventures, Ezrik Londo the Warpriest (played by Jason McDonald) and Trelane Gothos the Barbarian (played by Chris Beemer), meet up in the local tavern and strike up a conversation. Both seem to have a lot of similar interests, a love for battle and deep hatred of the Technic League. Trelane was quite distressed, as his friend and mentor Khonnir Baine recently went missing trying to reignite the flame. Ezrik, who is always up for battle and the chance to destroy infernal mindless machines, decides to join up with Trelane to look for his missing mentor.
The two heroes head over to meet with the town council, but all they find is the old dwarf Dolga Freddert; the rest of Torch’s council is busy dealing with a town in chaos, as the town’s sole means of income has been extinguished. Dolga is encouraged to see another group attempting to help the town, but she informs Ezrik and Trelane that since the flame went out eight days ago, four groups have gone into the new tunnels that Khonnir discovered below the town but only one — Khonnir’s — had returned.
When Khonnir first returned, he spoke at length with the council, telling bizarre stories: a cavern filled with enormous vermin and other scavengers, strange humanoids who had the ability to blend into the shadows of the cave walls, and a nest of gremlins. Yet of more immediate interest was his discovery of a wall of solid metal deep in the caves. A wall made of skymetal alloy called glaucite. He said it was like the kind mined from the hills and surrounding plains, but formed into a structure with doors. It was near one of these doors that Khonnir found a broken automaton that he brought back after his first expedition.
Two groups had gone into the underground labyrinth before Khonnir — a group of halfling adventurers, and a group of local thugs. After Khonnir’s first trip, a small adventuring party devoted to the worship of Brigh from out of town. Khonnir then launched a fifth expedition under Black Hill, and it was on the fifth expedition that he went missing.
Dolga informs the heroes they will receive a reward of 4,000 gp plus the town’s scroll of resurrection if Khonnir can be brought back alive; otherwise, the gold would still be awarded, but the scroll will be used to bring him back. There is another reward of 4,000 gp awaiting those who can reignite the torch atop Black Hill, but for the moment, the council is more interested in getting Khonnir back home safe and sound.
Finally Dolga suggests that the heroes visit Khonnir’s home to find any notes or hints as to what he might have found under the Hill. Khonnir’s daughter Val Baine will help them as well in any way possible to bring back her father.
After visiting Dolga, the heroes head over to Khonnir’s home where they immediately hear a terrifying scream of help. Bursting into the home they find Khonnir’s daughter Val Baine hiding from a malfunctioning automaton in the process of destroying the house. Ezrik easily obliterates the Drone with one mighty swing when a strange tube drops from the wreckage. Cautiously they touch the tube, and they are suddenly transported to a new time and place. From their mind’s eye, a naked human appears to be born on the spot and calls himself Nim (played by Bob Markee) … and calls both Ezrik and Trelane “father”. Ezrik and Trelane were unsure of Nim’s intentions or background, but he appeared to be completely harmless, and had some useful skills. He joins the team, but whether he will be an equal contributor, a mascot, a problem to be solved remains to be seen.
Val informs the heroes that the automaton was inert when Khonnir brought it back from the caves a few days ago, but it suddenly came to life and started to trash the house. Val has no further insight as to why it reactivated, but thanks the heroes for saving her and gives the heroes Khonnir’s notes as well as a place to stay during their downtime. The notes are a bit cryptic and confirm the earlier stories they heard from the council. Lacking any other solid leads, the heroes decide to finally descend into the caves and see what’s going on for themselves.
The heroes work their way down the edge of the Weeping Pond, which carries the bitter stink of sulfur and other chemicals, enough to make the eyes water after spending too much time on the shore. Steeling themselves against the polluted water, the three plunge into the lake to search for the recently discovered caves.
After fumbling around, and Nim becoming sick by drinking some of the tainted water, they manage to find the cave. Immediately the heroes are slammed with the pungent air within the caves—bitter with the stink of mold and vinegar. After getting their bearings, they view a cavern filled with stony, soot-scarred sand, and an unnatural glow coming from cracks within the cavern walls. Suddenly the party is attacked by Fire Beetles pouring from cracks within the walls.
However the heroes are unfazed and quickly disposed the beetles. Looking around the cavern they notice ledge sporting several stalagmites and climb the bank and wander through the stalagmite forest and soon discover the fate of the second expedition. Within the forest they find a local female half-orc named Parda, a popular brawler in town who fell in with the wrong crowd. Almost everyone in Torch called her a friend, and many felt that her falling in with the thugs was going to be her end — and it turned out they were right. The heroes decide to return her body to town when they head out later; in the meantime, they continue with their exploration of the cave.
At the end of the forest of stalagmites, the heroes find a placid pool and stream. Suddenly a frog-like creature with glowing white eyes emerges from the water and flashes the heroes with an explosion of light from its enormous eyes. Luckily the party manages to keep their vision intact, only to be torn with the creature’s claws and enormous maw. Somehow the party manages to dispatch the creature … but just barely.
Stumbling around the pool they manage to find a man’s body … mostly eaten. Just minutes after entering the caves the heroes look ragged and beaten … perhaps they too have bitten off more than they can chew!