Reeling from the death of their companion, the campaign begins in media res as the team takes out the giant wolf spiders that killed Fizzlebottom. The creatures die quickly and the grieving begins. The party recovers the lost treasure of Langley Longfellow and reverently build a funeral pyre for their poor friend. The paladin performs a moving service and the body is consumed by flame. As the time has gotten late, a camp has to be made for the night.
It is a strange night. An ominous fog rolls in. When it clears in the morning, the trees are different. The party awakens to an overcast unfamiliar land. Nearby a road runs east and west.
Bewildered, they follow the road a short way to the east and come to a stationary fog bank crossing the path. Pushing forward, the fog has detrimental effects and some of the team's breathing begins to become labored as their strength starts to wane. They turn back and encounter a skeletal horse and skeletal rider, both clad in chainmail. It drops a book and heads on, paying no heed to the party's attempts to parlay. Following it proved futile as well. Turning back and heading west, strangely, they encounter the rider again. This time it drops a perfume mister and they contact the creature telepathically. All it says is, "Use the items, defeat Strahd". It then rides away.
The heroes walk for hours. Eventually, spying a raven, Xenaphia casts Speak with Animals. The raven turns out to be intelligent and asks to meet them a mile up the road.