The town of Westhaven, seat of the Barony of Cadrius in the Border States. A wandering Dragonborn known as Medrinn arrived, hoping one day to lead a mighty army, but for now hoping merely to eat by finding work for a sellsword. He sought out the Lord Cadrius at his manor, where they were joined by the Eladrin Chiral, a ranger who patrolled the woods of this land. Together they were contracted to rid the town of a local tribe of kobolds which had grown both stronger and bolder. The local mage and eccentric, a Dragonborn warlock known as Aronac, had a relic which could aid their journey; but before it could be given, it was stolen from under their noses by a young Eladrin rogue, Ewna. When she was apprehended, it was revealed that she was blackmailed by a shadowy figure into exchanging the relic for her kidnapped brother.
The four traveled into the nearby forest, following a stream to the kobold stronghold. Defeating the guard forces, our heroes entered the cave only to be walled in by a magical force field and attacked in darkness by a pair of Blackscale Lizardfolk. Defeating the massive creatures, our heroes ventured into the cave to find a dragonborn, clad in black armor, standing before an altar of darkness and claiming to be champion of the kobolds. He was defeated, and the relic was used to purge the shrine of evil. However, Ewna’s brother was nowhere to be found, and a dying kobold revealed they had sold their slaves to “the dark man from the west”.
The party returned to Westhaven and was rewarded well for their valor. Ewna was leaving immediately to search for her brother; though each had his own reasons for doing so, the three other adventurers agreed that they would join her.
Their journey west took a detour through the mountains to the Shrine of Eleven Gates, one gate for each deity, where supposedly there was kept a similar primal relic to dispel evil. However, the party found themselves fighting their way through a strangely numerous and well-organized skirmish group of goblins, which had, for some reason, ransacked the tiny mountain town and shrine. Our heroes won several hard-fought battles against deadly mercenaries, who had made references to their employer only by his mocking nickname – “Ox-Face” – and eventually retrieved the relic, which seemed to be the goal of the attacking goblins.
The adventurers continued down through the foothills and into the marshes of Dunmerrow, where they encountered a tribe of Halflings who seemed to be under a strange curse. They attacked our heroes in a daze, driven like slaves by Dark Creepers. A Halfling Paladin known as Haldor was the only one to escape the foul malady; when our adventurers arrived, he thought they had come to exterminate his people, and attacked. When he realized his error, he offered to join forces with our heroes. Reinforced by the paladin, the heroes continued on to an ancient tower which had been re-occupied for the sinister purpose of making these curse-slaves. Battling cultists, Shadar-Kai warriors, and Haldor’s warlock brother for the key to the basement, the party descended into the depths to find a young Black Dragon, fueled by a dark crystal containing the souls of those he had enslaved.
While Haldor and the two Dragonborn battled the dragon amongst the shadows, the two Eladrin climbed the bloody chain to attack the dark crystal. Chiral struck the final blow, shattering the crystal and depriving the dragon of his power source; however, the darkness within it backfired into the hand that struck the blow, turning it black as a shadow. Our party battled on; the dragon suddenly lunged at Ewna for a killing blow, but Haldor leapt in front of her, and he instead was eviscerated in the dragon’s jaws. Ewna struck the killing blow in revenge, and the dragon collapsed, but the damage was done. Haldor died of his wounds; but before he ascended to Bahamut’s palace, he passed on his ancient magic amulet to Medrinn, as it had been passed on through generations of Bahamut’s warriors. Ewna realized that, though her brother was dead, she had saved his soul from a fate a thousand times worse than death, and took some small comfort in this.
Our heroes left this place of darkness and began the process of recovery. Soon after, the Raven Queen came to Chiral in a dream, telling him that he had only defeated the first tentative probes of a vast shadow that hungered to consume her world. She also warned him of another, more imminent threat that loomed over his own world, and that he had actually encountered it when he fought goblins at the mountain pass. The Queen told Chiral that he must seek out the hobgoblin fortress of Ironholm, in the mountains of the southwest, and that he would find the beginning of the answer there.
Our heroes journey south, the heavy burden of fate upon them …