The party was given a mission: to find their way to a house in the forest outside Silbertal, and to remove from said house a large painting. Anyone encountered in the house was to be returned to Management alive.
The party undertook a fact-finding mission in Silbertal to learn more about this house and its resident. They discovered him to be an unpleasant potion seller named Mayfield (Old Mayfield, “Mad” Mayfield, depending on who was telling the story). A local shopkeeper related a particular story involving his having refused Mayfield’s shoddy goods, and later discovering Mayfield attempting to burn down the shopkeeper’s building. Other accounts reported that Mayfield had not been seen for months, and that the last time he had he was accompanied by a mysterious hooded man wearing Soramian robes.
Content that they knew who was in the woods, the party took a careful, stealthy route through the forest to the location of the house – and discovered no house at all, just an unusual tangle of trees and root mass. Upon throwing rocks at the mess to judge the safety of it, Lolth managed to discover an opening through the overgrowth, which led to an underground hollow containing the house, which had apparently been violently pulled underground by massive tree roots. The husks of giant insects were littered everywhere, including an enormous cow-sized hercules beetle just inside the front door.
The party investigated the house, discovering an unusual book in the ruined library, and eventually making their way to the second floor where the painting was discovered. Upon examining the painting, a voice called out to them from a strange bell jar in the room, claiming to be Mayfield, and offering the party a rich reward if they would instead do his bidding. The party opted to consider the offer later, taking the bell jar and painting with them – but upon removing the painting from the wall, the dead insects became reanimated by a faintly glowing purple mist, and attacked.
Upon killing the giant hercules beetle (by pulling its head off with a grappling hook), the insects fell silent. The party headed for the front door, and as the painting crossed the threshhold, there was a loud noise and a fat, disheveled man materialized and fell backwards into the house. The tree roots came to life, pulling the remaining load-bearing walls down, and the house began to fall. Lusus attempted to rescue Mayfield, but was ultimately crushed under the falling rubble – the party pulled Lusus to safety (where his significant wounds were tended to by Barabal), but were unable to save Mayfield. They found a strange device worn on a cord around his neck, which seemed to correspond to the unusual book found in the library.