Our adventurers met in The White Wolf tavern in the town of Paschuam, a village far south of the core of civilization. What brought them to this backwater was unknown, but they were quickly recruited by the local half-elf militia leader – Lilly van Schwartzen.
Lilly has come to the tavern seeking aid in her search for Ministra – the town crier – who had gone missing several days prior, leaving behind only a single message: “THE CAVE.” With this clue, our heroes ventured to a nearby cave in the side of the bordering Frosneberg Mountains, where they met the shardmind Beryllium.
Inside the cave, our heroes discovered a series of chambers carved into the rock – filled with vicious kobolds, decorated with tapestries of the Ugneta Empire, and adorned with the symbol of the goddess Lolth. In the final chamber, the party found Ministra – and above her, a purple-robed wizard using her life-force to summon an orb of darkness and control a young white dragon.
After a great struggle, the group managed to slay the dragon, but the wizard sacrificed himself to complete the ritual and a drow priestess emerged from the shadow. She mocked the intruders and their attempts to thwart her appearance, knocking Ilikan unconscious with a single blast of magic. She then evaporated into smoke and fled through the walls northward.
Returning to Paschuam and informing the townspeople of what had happened, our adventurers were ordered to pursue the drow woman and warn the northern peoples of the coming danger.
Morksyd and Keegan’s Keep
Along the route north, our party was ambushed by a number of kobolds, all of whom were quickly dispatched save one that our heroes decided to spare. He told them that his name was Joe and that they had been hired by a goblin mercenary chief called Irontooth.
Upon arriving in Morksyd, our adventurers corroborated Joe’s story with the local inhabitants and were contracted by the local ruler – Lord Padrig – to hunt down Irontooth in exchange for better weapons and armor. Although they successfully tracked down and killed Irontooth along with the bulk of his retinue, they found hints of an ever more worrying danger. On Irontooth’s corpse, they found a note from someone named Kalarel, warning the goblin about travelers from the south and stating that “the gate at Keegan’s is almost open.”
Inquiring about the meaning of this message, our group learned of Keegan’s Keep, a nearby castle once inhabited by the great knight Sir Keegan – who went mad and murdered his entire household in a psychotic rampage. Ninaran, an elven huntress, offered to provide more information but ended up being an assassin in the employ of Kalarel.
Descending deep into the underbelly of Keegan’s Keep, our party fought through goblins, zombies, skeletons, and even vampires among other creatures to reach Kalarel’s lair. Along the way, they met and “befriended” Splug – a runty goblin who had been imprisoned in a cell by his comrades and was unwillingly dragged along by our heroes. They also met the magically preserved body of Sir Keegan, who expressed regret for his slaughter and attributed it to some dark magic embedded in the castle. Though unable to help himself, Sir Keegan bestowed his greatsword Aecris upon Ilikan, deeming him to be the most powerful of the heroes.
Entering into Kalarel’s sanctuary, our adventurers found a grim scene: rivers of blood feeding some horrifying ritual to open a massive portal of darkness, through which a tentacled beast was already attempting to pull itself through. The drow priestess stood alongside him, but she promptly left the scene through said portal. In an epic battle with Kalarel and his undead underlings, the dark sorcerer was defeated and thrown down near the portal, whereupon the tendrils reaching out pulled him in. As the portal collapsed behind him without anyone sustaining it, Lilly and Splug chose to pursue the drow woman into the unknown at their own peril.