The heroes chose to stay at an inn called the Painted Bird, and a poor choice indeed that turned out to be! Awoken in the middle of the night by drums and the smell of smoke, they swiftly discover that the inn is on fire and fiercely burning. After gathering their meager belongings and heading for the stairs, they hear the groans and screams of old wood under too much stress and with a deafening crash they collapse through the floor and into the common room.
Shaking the dust, grit, and plants off of themselves, the heroes rise to see a small band of hideously scarred and pierced humans waiting with a malicious intent. Their faces and arms are a mass of swirling tattoos and piercings, and they wield wicked looking blades. With battle cries and shouts of rage the two sides collide there in the common room, dealing to the poor in whatever damage the fire may have spared. In the end, the twisted attackers aren’t able to match the skill (or luck) of the party members and all are defeated.
Later on the sun rises over a city dotted with burnt buildings and towers of smoke. A quick chat with the bartender, who somehow survived the night, reveals that the attackers are men called ‘Ravagers’, nasty cannibalistic self-mutilators with a bounty in T’ern. The local militia will pay 100 gold coins for each Ravager killed, though the bartender assures the party that it will be money hard-earned.
During the morning the party meets up with Captain Leonas at the barracks, who had heard of their skill (or, once again, luck) and has conscripted the party to complete various tasks of some import. They will be “paid well”. After agreeing to help, Leonas mentions that during the night several barbarian tribes have formed an army and surrounded the city. All roads are blocked and they have chained the river north and south from the city, effectively cutting off any chance of escape.