The party receives their first assignment from their new patron, Bann Nicola. The mission is to travel to the village of Sothmere, to the south in the Ferelden Hinterlands, and procure some ryott grain for her orphanage kitchens. After a long journey, the party arrives at Sothmere in time for the Groundbreaking Festival, celebrating the construction of a new fort near the village. The party enjoys the festivities, and encounters a new member, Kattrin An Cathal O Stormhold, an Avvar doing business with the townsfolk. The party members also encounters prominent figures in local affairs, including Ser Vilem, commander of the fort, Sherrif Milo, burgomaster, and the sherrif’s daughter Wanda.
During the community dinner that evening, the sound of Chasind stalkers rocks the valley. Soon the tent is attacked by three hulking stalkers with a strange yellow jaundice. One of the raiders wounds the sherrif’s daughter, but the attackers are repelled. As the heroes fight their way through the rest of the village, Phoenix and Ser Blathe are wounded. The heroes save many villagers, although several are wounded, and unfortunately some are killed. When the weapons of the stalkers are examined, they are founded to be coated in a strange amber poison. As the fighting draws to a close, Sherrif Milo calls a meeting in the town hall.