You are both currently standing in the snow about halfway between the Inn and Marcella's house.
-- Fornte, Callasandra, and Kalolel --
[ Fair to assume that Callasandra and Kalolel also agree with the terms? ]
With a nod of her head, Marcella steps aside and swings the door open, waving her hand for you to enter. You walk into a warm, dark room, scattered with the traditional knick-knacks and assorted oddities to be found in a village herbalist's dwelling. Marcella seats you in low, thick wooden chairs and then claims one nearest to the fire for herself. As she tells her story, she interrupts herself with questions about each of you...your pasts, your reasonings for adventuring, where you were born, etc. The questions seem to spawn from a genuine curiosity for things outside of the village, as well as a means of measuring your worth and your chances of tackling this "spirit".
"Since the dawning of the world, my young ones, spirits have roamed all over the lands. Many are amenable to sacrifice, and it is these that I keep at bay. Others can be called upon when there is need by employing the proper rituals. Yet some are perversions of nature, unnatural beings that cannot be controlled except by the greatest of magic workers. The demon-spirit of this village is such a one, and unfortunately my humble talents are not a match for its strong will.
"Every nine winters, during the full moon of each of the three months of cold, the demon-spirit awakens and hunts those who brave the dangers of the night. Having killed, the demon-spirit sleeps until the next full moon. After the demon-spirit has claimed three young men, it is satiated and dreams three years for each of the lives stolen.
"For unknown to many, this spirit seeks to relive the life that it feels was unfairly stolen from it. Killed as a young herdsman, the spirit would not travel on but was determined to live among flesh and blood. And so it hunts young men to give it another chance, though fleeting, at living."
Marcella pauses to look all of you over, then says, "Well, if you're determined to hunt it out, good luck. All I can tell you is that I once sheltered a young girl who had lost her husband to this spirit. She told me that she saw it flying in the direction of the stream, going deeper into the hills up north. Now, spirits often live under pools of water, and this one's horrible enough to have a lake, so you might find it there, but don't blame me if you don't. Despite what some mean folks think, it's not my fault this thing's picked our village. It's just the way of life."
[ DM pause to see what Elgaiar and Niyati are going to be doing... ]