I suppose it isn't that odd for a family of halflings to spontaneously up and trot off on an adventure. By nature, the little folk have a bit of wanderlust about them. It isn't necessarily odd that the Sharver family of Deren (Deren being a small farming village on the southeastern edge of Wickham Thicket, composed almost entirely of halflings) just up and vanished one day, it is the conditions surrounding their disappearance that make it odd.
Surely even the most impulsive of halflings wouldn't leave until he had finished his dinner. When it was discovered that the Sharvers were unaccounted for, their dinning table was still full of uneaten food. The goblets were full of wine. The plates had been heaped full of food, but not consumed. On the stove, a pan of potatoes was still keeping warm and pot of porridge was bubbling over. The idea of the Sharvers leaving this deliciousness was downright uncanny!
"Deren business is Deren business" as the locals like to say. Deren is famous for an incredibly fertile soil. There is little explanation as to why the soil is so rich, but it can yield up to three times the crop when compared to similar sized farming communities in Homestead. Throughout history, many have tried to annex or lay claim to parts of Deren causing the community to become quite introverted and very leery of strangers.
Because "Deren business is Deren business" they turned to their budding investigator Fenrick Dale. If Litias half-elven boy couldn't solve The Curios Case of The Sharvers of Deren…who could?