Heading south through the Schwarzwald, the wanderers came across a small group of Danish pilgrims bound for the Vatican. In their company was a young girl, Agneta, who bore a special gift. Blind from birth, the girl claimed to be able to see angels. The leader of the pilgrimage, Gregos, asked the wanderers if they might journey together through the forest, as there had been talk of banditry. The heroes agreed, though they were clear they were only heading as far south as the abandoned castle of Baron Von Staler. Once there, they would part ways.
On the afternoon of the third day, the group came across a grizzly site: a wooden plaque draped over skeletal remains of some poor soul, upon which was scrawled: WARNING: KOBOLDS! Those not native to the Empire knew little of such things. But Wilhelm der Grosse and Baldrik, the only one of the pilgrims of Germanic blood, had heard the tales all their lives. Kobolds, they knew, were spirits that often dwelled deep in mines. Malevolent tricksters, they would gladly lead men to painful deaths or worse. Since kobolds could not abide daylight, the group thought it wise to return to an inn they had passed some miles before, and turned back north.
Before they had gone far, they met a man in the road. He introduced himself as the Black Rose and bid them to relinquish their valuables if they knew what was good for him. Wilhelm forced him to eat those words at the edge of his blade as bandits set upon the group. In the chaos of battle, Isabella Montrose lost sight of young Agneta for the briefest moment, and in that speck of time the bandits took her. The heroes gave chase through the wild tangles of the forest.
They tracked the bandits to their campsite by evening. In unusually garish fashion, the bandit’s simple camp was surrounded by torches, banishing all but the briefest shadows from the place. Hiding behind the treeline, the heroes studied the camp until they discovered the tent Agneta was being held in. Then, they moved in to rescue the girl.
The rescue went as planned but for the sheer number of bandits. But as the sun sank beneath the horizon, the bandits did not give chase, and the heroes and pilgrims found themselves alone at night in the kobold infested woods. They hastily decided to make camp and set a bonfire to ward off the evil spirits they knew were even then surrounding them.
All night, the little creatures lay siege to the campsite. Foul illusions and guile were employed, and the disturbing scenes wore on the heroes, as did the weather which quickly turned foul. The steel gray night gave way to cruel winds and snow. With the exception of the briefest forays to the fringes of the firelight to collect firewood for the bonfire, the group kept a tight vigil.
With dawn came the bandits. Keeping quiet and fast, the wanderers outmaneuvered them and resumed their trek south down the road.
The next day, they arrived in Denbrach; a sleepy hamlet in the shadow of the Castle of the Devil.