The party comes across a nice hermit in the woods. He gives them food and lodging for the night. They awaken to his terrified screams. "East! It's east! Stop it! It'll kill us all!" The poor horror-stricken hermit dies thrashing in agony, one boney arm outstretched, his finger pointing to the east.
A certain patch of forest is well known for causing anyone who ventures into it to suddenly go blind. Once they leave the area their vision returns. Rumors of treasure hidden within.
A circus is in town and while parading down the main street the animals suddenly break free from the cages. After surviving and assisting during the breakout the PCs are hired to help with the investigation. Who did this and why?