The party resides in Celestial Hills, a small farming community in the middle of the Reach, a Wasteland kingdom that has risen over the last few centuries following the devastation of the Night of Fire. Bored and in search of adventure, the party sets out to purge a nearby cult of heretics, located a few days by foot on the other side of a spur of mountains.
En route to the coven’s hiding place, the party encounters a man they recognize as a professional monster-slayer, a Witch-Finder, identified by the pair of sanctified swords across his back. Accompanying the warrior-priest is a teenaged girl, obviously a tribal by her attire, who seems to speak not a word of Low Gothic. The Witch-Finder introduces himself as Seyan Carterius, and the girl as Lorelei, “his witch”. Continuing on, the party encounters a stretch of highway where a row of impaled bandits has been erected, disappearing into the Wastelands.
Drawing near to the suspected coven of heretics, the party is alarmed to discover that these heretics are, in fact, members of the Brotherhood of Steel, a militant faction of the Cult of the Machine God. Lacking both the numbers and the firepower to deal with the power-armored soldiers, the party turns tail and returns to Celestial Hills, sharing the road with the Witch-Finder and his prisoner.
Once they return, the hour is late, and Carterius and Lorelei must stay outside of town until the next morning. Once the next day dawns,they enter town, Carterius serene as if he expected that reception, Lorelei grumbling in her own language. Once there, Carterius makes his way to the local brothel. Some priest he seems to be! Lorelei tags along, having nowhere else to go, though she seems less than thrilled by the idea, and has been eying one of the locals who they met on the road, a local waif by the name of Tsac.
Not long afterwards, a crowd gathers outside the brothel, demanding that the witch be cast out, for it is known that they bring ruin and desolation wherever they go. Carterius addresses the crowd and, in an impassioned speech to the crowd, convinces them that he is a priest of the Saint Inanna As’Ishtar, Beloved of the God-Emperor, and that, under his protection, the witch is of no danger to the crowd. Swayed by the fervor of his oratory, the crowd disperses.
Elsewhere, the town Arbiters are dispatched to one of the local farms to investigate what the Sheriff suspects is a mass killing. Forming a posse with a few townsfolk, the Arbiters ride out and find the farm deserted, with most of the building ransacked and showing signs of forced evacuation. In the root-cellar of the main farmhouse, a grisly scene is discovered: the ranch-owner, his family and all of the ranch-hands brutally murdered in a ritual manner, the signs of Chaos obvious.