I think the desire to avoid standard story tropes and to create something 'totally new' that hasn't been done before, is kind of landing them in a cul de sac with this first act.
Throwing Kagha and Shadowdruids at us right out the gate (literally) makes the whole druid narrative rather less interesting than if the same thing happened a bit further down the line. So the first Druid we meet kills a devil kid for no good reason? OK, I guess so. But you know it just lands a bit different with no prior set up.
I had much the same general impression with pet intellect devourer Us in the prologue. Like legit the very first conversation in the game is going for the gross out angle? Alright. I mean I get it, they don't want to do Candlekeep again and be accused of boring writing, but some of this stuff just feels reaching and kinda off the deep end sophomoric. Like "wouldn't it be cool if we inverted every expectation!" Not really lol
Its just a weird way to pitch D&D, especially to new players. Can you imagine if this shit came out in the 80s? Reaganites would have had a field day, like "Obviously Dungeons and Dragons is Satanic. It starts in Hell, and what about the children?!!!" Well they can just fuck right off and die I guess heheh. I'm in no way opposed to a solid Evil arch for Charname's adventures, but without some nuance and a bit of subtlety it just doesn't land like it might otherwise.
I like the Kagha character, I'd take her in the party as a Faldorn 'feed the worms' alt Druid archetype if that was on offer. Join team shadowdruid and wrap it up in thorns! Sure thing, I'm there. But I just think they're trying to cover too much ground right at the beginning. There's no easing into it, like you'd typically see in a campaign designed for new lvl1 characters.
I wish they'd consider a more mundane start, maybe with a prologue to their current prologue (set in Baldur's Gate with an emphasis on lvl1), so new players could enjoy a bit more of the standard Adventure fair before they get launched out a cannon straight into the dark. If this game had to serve as an introduction or primer to D&D, the way the first Baldur's Gate did for many people, its missing a bunch of tried and true hooks.
ps. I dig her hair cuthttps://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Kagha