I incorporated this story into my campaign but my players became very quickly bored. I agree that free-range campaign style is good, but these guys appear to need to be led by the nose from encounter to encounter. Its all very well that huge complexities are taking place behind the scenes, but if the Acolytes are just wandering from town to town, there is very little information on how to clue them in on what to investigate. I would have liked a more linear option.
Even a sidebar with a list of possible "free-roaming" encounter examples, so when things slowed to a crawl I had something to throw them.
I've come across a few, but they're buried deep in the text. Things like "raiders attack a land-train carrying grain". Ok, but why are the Acolytes on the land-train? etc
Linear campaigns string events together for you in a credible way. This free-roaming thing has seemed to mean that the Acolytes kind of stumble from town to town and stand around waiting for something to happen in front of them.