The Day of Mourning: The war is in full swing, and shows no signs of ever stopping. Today, desperate Cyran forces strive to defend their western border against the Invading Brelish. Armies of freshly-built Cyran Warforged clash against the strong formation of the Brelish Regular Army, supplemented by powerful Brelish War-Wizards. High above this battle, a small tower stands atop Sentry Hill on the border line. Once of strategic importance, the tower long ago fell into disuse, and became irrelevant and forgotten. Until today.
Three groups now converge on the tower, seeking what it contains – six souls in all who, unknowingly, embark on an important journey this day.
First, two Brelish soldiers pulled from regular duty on the frontlines below to complete a special task in the Tower. These pair are: -The dwarf Fargrim, who has lost his ancestral weapons and, as penance, wields the hated Bow and Arrow forsworn by all honest dwarves until he can recover them. Despite his heritage, he wields his bow with deadly ability, and earth magics make his every arrow laden with poison and death. -The Warforged known as Zwolf-7, built to assassinate, and trained by a legendary archer. Now Zwolf-7 serves in the Brelish Army, naturally drawn to the order and structure of a soldier’s life, and the opportunity to unsling his massive Greatbow, and deliver deadly shots to all who are unfortunate enough to be his targets.
Second, two mercenaries who have accepted a well-paying mission to rescue an important man from the tower. They are: -“Kado”, the Halfling Barbarian from the Talenta plains. Though short for a human, he is enormous for a halfling, and his fearsome war cries herald the death of his enemies as surely as the shriek of a hunting Clawfoot. -The mysterious man known only as Versifer. A human with very strange features, he wields a spear with graceful efficiency but seldom deigns to unsling it. Instead, his enemies find themselves blundering in a mad haze to their deaths, and his allies find their minds soothed and their pain ignored when Versifer speaks a few quiet words. Even those lying on their deathbeds might suddenly stand and take arms when the Versifer speaks it.
Third, two agents of the Dark Lanterns of Breland. These agents of the crown are on a special assignment to ensure that where grunts and mercenaries fail, specialists will prevail. -The strange Eladrin Hadari, a man of few words who has a remarkable blend of martial and arcane talents. Those he protects will Find Hadari by their side at all times, standing between them and harm. Those he chooses to kill will face a master swordsman whose strange form of magic will provide one deadly surprise after another… -An Eladrin scoundrel named Gaius, whose roguish manner and sckullduggery are offset by his regal bearing, impeccable manners, and coldly aristocratic sense of honor and propriety. Who can say what strange past has produced this man who is at once a vicious thug and a perfect gentleman? All that is certain is that one should avoid the point of his rapier, for it knows just how to pierce and sever in the most awful way.
All six of these individuals have a similar goal: Save the kidnapped Kundarak banking scion Darok D’Kundarak, a dwarf with friends in very high places. So high, in fact, that the Brelish government is sending military forces to rescue him pro bono, simply to curry favour with the Kundarak bankers who fund their army.
These groups met while fending off a sudden swarm of Kruthik hatchling maggots that burst from the soil and began to attempt to devour them – a threat easily dispatched by the band. Approaching the Tower, they decided that as their goals did not conflict, they would assist one another in rescuing Darok. When Gaius snuck inside the tower to see what manner of resistance they might face, he discovered to his horror that Darok’s captors were a pair of Dolgrims – foul goblinoid abominations spawned by the mad Flesh-Shaping Daelkyr many eons ago.
Facing the fact that these beasts were reality and not myth, the band pressed the attack. With furious speed they rent their enemies to pieces with their combined assault – knocking one beast into a nearby bonfire, where it was incinerated, and then tearing the other to shreds like a pack of wolves with each person contributing their own brand of violence.
Having rescued and aided the Dwarf captive, who had been badly abused by his captors, they took stock of the situation. The keen eyes of Hadari spotted an enemy force approaching – servants of the Emerald Claw, an order of Undeath-Worshipping soldiers who are nominally in the service of Karnnath. A band of zombies, thugs, and a powerful necromancer advanced on the group. Finding their patience tested, the six newfound allies came together to reduce their enemies to flayed heaps in little time – cleaving a path of carnage through their would-be killers.
They won this battle just in time to witness the great blast of magical death that was the Mourning engulfing what was once the great and beautiful nation of Cyre, and reducing it to a hideous, death-haunted misty ruin forever. Had then been a few hundred yards east, they too would now lie in the fields of the Mournland forever, never decomposing, occasionally rising again to continue their endless war.
The heroes noticed two odd details.
1. The Dolgrims they killed each had pouches containing a huge amount of freshly-minted Brelish coins – minted, specifically, in Sharn. Such a concentration of fresh coins would be unheard-of normally – which says a great deal about where the beasts might have gotten the coins.
2. The Emerald Claw Necromancer carried a strange signet ring among her effects. Versifer was able to recognize it from his time haunting the shady bars of lower Sharn, but could not place the family to which it belongs.
A grateful Darok D’Kundarak thanked his rescuers profusely, and noted their names and occupations that he might one day reward them properly. That was the last time most of the heroes saw him.
The massive magical disaster that was the Mourning was a shocking horror that accomplished what nothing else could: it ended the war. Two years later the war came to a close, and many soldiers searched out new occupations. Two years after that, the war was an unpleasant memory in the minds of everyone, casting a shadow onto an awkward present, as swords must be beat into plowshares.
Now it is four years after that day, and our six heroes find themselves in a middle district of the City of Towers. Fate conspires to bring them together.