At the Church
Reverend Harrison Gungrave is tasked by his superior to investigate the matter of a noble child having violent, scary nightmares. Assuming the nightmares are obviously caused by witches, he goes to investigate.
At the Villa
Maria, the only daughter of a local Baron is scared. Miss Belladonna, her nanny is attempting to calm her down when she hears a knock at the door. It is Gungrave.
After a short stand off about appropriate armaments in front of Maria, the reverend searches the house. He finds some of the religious icons in the house have been altered to be more “witchy,” but those are wards set in Maria’s protection.
Later that night, as Maria attempts to sleep, she is disturbed by another nightmare. Gungrave and Belladonna manage to detect that the nightmares are being caused by something A.) likely demonic, B.) from a distance, and C.) having something to do with a laughing tombstone. Belladonna calls in a favor to find someone to watch Maria and the two head into town to investigate.
Gungrave and Belladonna search in town for clues. During a point where they are searching separately, a stranger sidles up to Bella and tells her that information could be found at the Crimson Blade Tavern.
Ernest Cain is eating roast potatoes at the tavern. At his side is a strange sword. When Gungrave and Bella investigate the tavern, Gungrave immediately detects that the sword is very definitely, maliciously, not innocent.
Gungrave grabs the sword and attempts to take it to the church. Each time he attempts to turn towards the church, he is led back to the tavern. Cain and Gungrave settle down in the tavern to decide what to do next when the door slams open.
Ash Hill, covered in soot and eyes like embers, walks directly from the door to a small stage where a group of musicians are just leaving. He begins performing a sad song, full of feelings of hopelessness. A patron at the tavern, hood up to be unrecognizable, bolts when he hears the song.
The four follow.
Into the Woods
The path leads outside the town and to a one-room cottage. No one is there. Ash is so incensed that he lights the place on fire. There are tracks leading away from the back and out to the deeper woods. The group passes a tree radiating maliciousness. Dug into the bark is the picture of a smiling face on a tombstone.