Having dealt with the kobold situation, the group decides to investigate the disappearance of Marv, a local merchant who had gone missing. They left the town and begun the half-day trip over to Bushmeadows, a small mining village through a mountain pass to the south of New Millie.
A short ways through the pass they notice a small goat trail that looked like it had been used recently. Taking a detour, they climbed the steep path until it opened up to a ledge, with a large nest with eggs the size of dogs in it. And that was when the mother returned.
A large, bronze colored eagle, that looked like some sort of off-breed of a Roc landed between the party and the nest. That was when they decided to retreat back down the path. And they ran into Jack, who calmed down the large bird and explained to them that Rose, as he affectionately called the animal, was his and the source of his signature giant omelets he served in his restaurant in New Millie. He too was worried about Marv, but told them he had never seen the merchant use this path, which, as far as he knew, was the only way to get to and from Bushmeadows.
The group continued on towards Bushmeadows, and when they got there, they saw a small village in a bowl of the mountains, with the walls of the bowl dotted with caves which had dwarves going in and out with various mining tools. In the center of the town was a bulletin board with different postings, mostly job availabilities to those comfortable being underground for long periods of time. But the most prominent one was a depiction of a mid-aged human with “Marv – Missing – Contact Sarah with any information you may have.” underneath.
After asking a passing dwarf who and where Sarah was, they knocked on the door of Marv’s house, where the dwarf said Sarah, Marv’s wife, would be. A small girl answered the door first, with her mother following shortly after. Once Sarah heard they were investigating Marv’s disappearance, Sarah invited the group in and sent her daughter off to play.
She told them of how Marv’s business, Marv’s Messaging Service, was run solely by Marv, who bought gems and other resources from the mining companies and shipped them over the narrow pass to New Millie, where outside merchants and the people of New Millie would purchase them, and he would stock up on food that New Millie grew and outside goods from the other merchants and sell them back in Bushmeadows.
She started breaking down while explaining how she and Marv always argued how his business was that of a merchant, not a messenger. The group assured her that they would get to the bottom of her husband’s disappearance.
They split up, with Uncas and Cyrus going to the mines to see if the miners knew anything, and Balin and Davaik went to see if they could follow the three-day old trail and find Marv. The dwarves in the mines knew nothing, but following his trail revealed that he left the main pass and went into an old mine.
They gathered up Uncas and Cyrus and explored the cave, following the tracks that Marv had made with his horse and cart over hundreds of trips. They came to a section where the cave started branching off but they just followed Marv’s trail.
And ran into kobolds. After dispatching of them, they continued on, and found Marv, with his wagon and horse. Killed, and the wagon was looted bare.
They retrieved the body and continued on through to where the cave let out: a field only a few miles away from New Millie. They continued onwards and as they passed farms and houses and shops on their way to Ssearth, they gathered a growing crowd. When they reached the center, Searth was already there, waiting. He directed the party to leave the body, and that the villagers would make sure it got to Sarah.