The adventure starts on New Years Day, with a drunken Sipero urinating into the fountain in the Town Square, shaking himself clean, then stumbling into Calliso and dragging him into the bar. While a crowd forms outside, Sipero, unable to function on his own, uses Mage’s Hand to bring a drink to his mouth, knocking into pretty much everyone sitting at the bar, including a very burly woman named Carl (his first offense). On cue, a bard named Alice enters the scene out of boredom and due to financial frustrations, where is disgusted to find herself caught in the middle of what appears to be a minor bar fight.
After insulting Carl and spilling his drink on her, Sipero is beaten, in one fell blow, by the woman into what appears to be a coma. He is escorted out of the bar by the bartender, Joseph Zia. Joseph has also asked the two most reasonable-looking customers, the monk Zatch and bard Alice, to do something about Sipero’s unconscious body as the fight winds down.
Zatch attempts to resuscitate Sipero, but when met with failure, he and Alice decide to try to take him to the Hutunge Medical Center in order to see if a professional could help. Unable to carry Sipero on their own, Zatch and Alice turn in desperation to a bemused Callisto for help… he refuses to help in any way whatsoever (and also refuses to inform Zatch of his girly-girl name). Offended, this apparently initiates a gentlemen’s duel, a.k.a. fist fight. Joseph sends them outside, leaving Alice to decide what to do with Sipero.
After Calliso has been ripped a new one and taught his damn place, the three (Zatch, Callisto, and Alice) carry Sipero to the hospital and leave him there overnight with the skilled hands of Nurse Valaphia. (the gutter—get your mind out of it)
The next morning, Alice returns to Valaphia to check on Sipero, and Valaphia informs her that when using Mage’s Hand to drink “some strange moonshine”, Sipero has somehow managed to curse himself and has a month to live unless he drinks tea made from a special golden specimen of the otherwise common Silverfish Blossom, which can only be found growing near the Iapapa Shrine in Blackwood… and the only person in the city who can truly be trusted to successfully craft such tea is either Pelenor Midnus (the head of the Mage’s Academy and Sipero’s adopted father), or Joseph, in a pinch. “Sipero is, however, otherwise fine!” Relieved to have pawned this information off on someone else, Valaphia makes haste to tend to other patients as Sipero has sufficiently creeped her out with his unsuccessful sexual advances.
A hysterical Alice tries to tell Sipero of the trouble he’s gotten himself into (she is met with failure; he only manages to make out “something about a flower” and the fact that he needs some tea). Exasperated, Alice tries to remember the faces of the others who were involved in the events of the day before, and makes her way to the monastery to seek Zatch’s help.
After being convinced by the head of the monastery, Master Zook, Zatch decides to pledge to save Sipero’s life and receives the monk’s financial blessing. During this time, Sipero seems to be wandering around the Plaza in a daze, trying to find the bard girl who seemed to be trying so hard to tell him something… and runs into her and Zatch near the monestary.
Conveniently, Callisto is buying fish when they encounter him outside of the monastery. Suspicious, he asks what they want when they approach him, and the party demands his help in “some kind of quest”, which Alice is still having a hard time discussing and of which Sipero is still blissfully unaware. Shocking everyone, the usually obstinate Callisto agrees to help… apparently out of interest in finding out exactly how Sipero managed to curse himself.
After more introductions and preparations have been made, the adventurers head out of Hutungwe, towards Blackwood. Sipero and Callisto trade spells as they head out, and by nightfall, the group has arrives at the Ladwidge Bridge on the Silverfish River. Here, they make camp for the night. Zatch uses his fisherman-monk-ly skills to catch some fish for the party, and goes off to train in the woods with Sipero. By punching trees.
When in the woods, Zatch hears some sounds and spots three halfling rogues in the woods… after a great show of the wizards terrifying the tiny thieves into a stupor by casting magic missiles all over the place and throwing sparks everywhere and whatnot, Zatch officially chases them off by punching a hole through one of their faces. First battle: successful!