The characters, an un-associated assortment of individuals find themselves in the trading community of Skrap.
As evening draws in the town falls under attack from an army of soldiers bearing the regalia of the Hand of Jehova, a powerful religious faction in this part of the wastes. Flaming pots of oil are hurled over the ramparts by crude catapults.
As the attack commences the characters hear the calls of the Movement Missionary (whose name they have not learned) of the town. He does not address them specifically but is rather calling to whoever will listen to join him in the mission blockhouse, claiming that the attackers are not who they seem and that they are too powerful. Heeding his warning the characters fought or fled to the blockhouse.
Once inside the door is locked but the Movement Missionary is hit in the neck by a lucky musket shot through a loophole. With his dying breath he forces a broken piece of dirty white Arcanum into the hands of one of the characters.
“Please… The key… I… I… Hope!”
The characters and the few survivors flee the burning mission and escape through the secondary gate and flee out into the swamps.
A woman, named Madrid, leads the survivors to a shanty on a small patch of dry ground.
Outside the shack something monstrous is beating on its walls. From inside issue faint cries for help.