Our adventurers met, as many adventurers do, in a tavern located within the capital city of Beymore. This is not very original, I realize, but the story that followed was far more unique than its origin.
A grey-haired hero approached the fledgling adventurers hoping to retrieve a relic from his past; a sword that belonged to a Beymorian commander who lost his life in the Baatorian War nearly five decades earlier. The aged adventurer believed the relic to be somewhere inside of a burned-out fortress near the Darkwood Forest just West of the Phera’s capital. There was a catch, of course; the fortress had recently become a rather large nest for goblins.
Our adventurers agreed to take on the hero’s assignment in exchange for gold and set off toward the goblin’s nest, post-haste. They were an odd group, to be sure: Krusk the half-orc monk; Quarion Silverkin the half-elf druid; Milo Greenbottle the halfling ranger; Jarl Ramsbottom the halfling rogue; Torgga Unggart the dwarf fighter; and Searos Shipsail the human cleric. They marched out of Beymore, excited to have the potential to write their names in the annals of the Kingdom of Phera’s history. Little did they know just how important they would eventually become.
A day’s march brought our adventurers to the abandoned fortress and the goblins who now made it their home. They events that followed were quick and brutal and the young adventurers thoroughly exterminated the halls of the fallen citadel. They gathered up what coin could be found and tracked down the sword that was at the heart of their first adventure. All told, the quest was too easy and many jokes passed between our adventurers about how quickly they would rise to legendary status amongst Pheran heroes.
On their return to Beymore and their employer the adventures saw smoke rising above the tree-line of Darkwood Forest. Though there was some disagreement, good rose above evil that day and the group quickly made their way toward the black plume.
The horizon resolved into the flames and our heroes met a woman in distress. Her village had been attacked and she was all that remained. She claimed that a group of goblins rushed in and set fire to the shanties while goblin archers fired arrows at the villagers. They mowed down the men and women who tried to defend their homes and stole anything that they could carry: including the children.
Through her sobs the woman indicated where the band of goblins had headed. Our adventurers waded into Darkwood Forest in search of the band of goblins and their nest. Armed with the information from the distraught villager they felt confident that they were on the right track. Without much effort they found the little monsters and dished out a rather large portion of justice. Within the tunnels of the goblin’s nest they found barrels of ale which bore the Beymorian Crest. Someone within the King Bertrand’s Court was paying these pests. Our heroes freed the children who were captured, but were convinced that the issue was much, much bigger.
Returning to Beymore, our adventurers tracked down information and found that the King’s Treasurer, Annis Stallworth, was partially responsible for the attack on the nearby village. Desperately broke, Stallworth got involved with local slave-traders to make ends meet. Our adventurers shook her down and learned that the goblins transported the slaves to a halfway point between Beymore and Greyford; the Forest of Sorrows. From there a band of slavers delivered the goods to Greyford. All of this seemed odd to the adventurers, who knew that Greyford was home to the High Druid—a man renowned for venerating the land of Phera rather than his greed. Surely he would not allow a thriving slave market to exist within the walls of his city. Our adventurers were determined to find out what was going on.
Marching Southwest, our adventurers found themselves in the thick of the Forest of Sorrows with the sports of the recently deceased drifting about them like a heavy fog. Cautiously they searched the forest until they found a hastily built structure. Investigating, they found that the building was indeed used for nefarious purposes. With all of the stealth and cunning they could muster the heroes moved inside, avoiding detecting for as long as possible. They dispatched many of the slavers without raising alarm, but eventually their activities caught up with them.
Our adventurers ran into a powerful Dragonspawn warrior named Arezzel. It became apparent that he was in charge of the operation, it also became apparent that he was not a man to be trifled with. More than one hero almost lost their life that day, but through pure will and some clever use of magic our adventurers came out on top.
With heaving chests, our heroes searched the remainder of the encampment and found the captives as well as a note written to Arezzel. The note was written in an elegant hand and it directed the Dragonspawn to move the slaves into Greyford unnoticed. Once shop was set up, he was to do nothing else to hide his activities. The note assured Arezzel that when he was inevitably captured he would be set free before long and the large debt that was owed would be paid in full. The note was not signed, but it made it clear to our adventurers that there was a plot to damage the High Druid’s credibility. Now they had to find out why.
The adventurers ushered the captives out of the Forest of Sorrows and, those that wished to go, into the city of Greyford. There they informed the High Druid of the plot against him and his city and, with grand ceremony, the adventurers were thanked and rewarded. The celebration lasted well into the evening and our heroes were given room and board in the glorious Druid temple. As the company slept they were unaware of the evil that crept through the streets of Greyford.
Fire and screams brought our adventurers out of their slumber and into the unwelcoming arms of the undead. Zombies shambled through the temple, their blunt teeth tearing at the flesh of screaming guards. Acolytes and patrons ran in terror through the ornate halls of the Druid Temple as the walking dead grabbed after them. Without hesitation, our heroes sprang into action.
The undead were not easy to vanquish, but our heroes battled them back and saved a few lives in the process. They found the cause of the sudden plague of zombies on the roof of the temple; a necromancer was calling forth his undead army and commanding them to attack the temple. Our adventurers charged toward him, but an enormous flesh golem stepped out of the shadows to protect its creator. Needless to say, our band of heroes came to a halt as the stitched-together-man glared down at them.
The pause did not last, however, and soon the necromancer found himself bloodied. Do not mistake my words; our heroes, too, felt the sting of combat. But not so purely as the fiend who brought this plague of undead down on the city of Greyford.
The golem let out a wail of anguish, grieving his fallen creator. With one giant arm, the thing scooped up the necromancer and threw him over his shoulder before leaping off of the temple roof. Our adventurers watched the thing escape, helpless to stop him, knowing that any hope for answers disappeared with the necromancer.
Badly beaten, the party retreated down into the temple to survey the damage. They soon found that the High Druid was badly wounded. A loyal temple guard, and a powerful sorceress, called out for help. Our adventurers rushed to the Druid’s aid, but it was obvious that the extent of the man’s wounds were far beyond their healing capabilities. The guard made a snap decision and quickly opened a portal into the shadow realm to hasten the group’s trek to the only people who could save the Druid; the elves of Baatoria.
The journey should have taken weeks, but through the shadow it took only hours. Our heroes exited the shadow with minor cuts and bruises, but they found themselves in the Wood of Arwel, miles from the elven city and, more troubling, in the middle of a nest of giant spiders.
Our adventurers survived, but their guide was not so lucky.