The story began as a group of adventurers stumbled upon a group of thugs beating a cleric in an alley. The companions hacked the would be assailants into gory pieces in short order. The rescued cleric of St Cuthbert revealed his churches attempts to investigate the disappearance of 4 orphans, and the thugs insistence that they stop.
The adventurers brought the cleric to his temple and spoke to the acting head cleric. The cleric revealed a divine revelation riddle that would help them find the missing children and offered a handsome payment for the group's help.
The party began their investigation at the orphanage which was strongly secured. Speaking with the staff, they learned that the half-orc janitor Patch was actually working for the Last Laugh Thieves Guild, the very thugs that assaulted the cleric.
The thieves had been watching one of the children that was taken.
It was determined that the locks on the orphanage had all been purchased from a local smith, Keygan Ghelve.
The party investigated the locksmith's business to find the stilt-wearing gnome seemed evasive and odd. Pressing him, he attacked the party, and had his fake legs taken out from under him.
It was found that Ghelve had company in the form of a skulk (aka Gary Busey), which was rapidly cut to ribbons. Ghelve then confessed that slavers from the underdark had come up through his home, taken his familiar captive, and demanded skeleton keys to the locks in Cauldron. This was the source of the summer's many disappearances.
The party descended into the subterranean abandoned gnome settlement of Jzadirune to search for the slavers and the missing children.
Almost immediately they were attacked by more skulks and tore through them. They found the area was filled with odd gnomish construction, and many of the hairless slavers.
Exploring an old theater, they discovered another threat; a choker, which nearly killed the paladin Paulus under the stage. After some searching, the group found Ghleve's rat familiar in a cage, resting atop a sentient chest (mimic). They bargained with the creature to retrieve the familiar, and to try to get further information.
They learned that the slavers were "downstairs" but could not learn how to get there. They decided to return the familiar to Ghelve and rest for the evening.