The Story So Far…
“I thought I’d managed to start a new life, wipe the slate clean. But when Amelie walked through the gate of Winterhaven, her light step trampled my foolish notions and her sweet, sad smile sent a chill down my spine. There is no escaping a past like mine.” – From the diary of Sedgeley Bleake
The year is 11 AE, the dawn of a new empire under a new god. The grand city of Bastion stands at the center of a proud new regime, promising hope and prosperity to the surrounding lands which have wallowed too long in the mire of a Dark Age. The Sanctified Council has swept away the last remnants of the stagnant and corrupt Nerathian Empire, and bring hope in the form of the Covenant of Erathis.
On the northern fringes of this new empire, in the small town of Winterhaven, a young woman is accused of a crime she did not commit. The town’s leader, Lord Padraig, is to have her hanged. But at the last moment, the town’s resident wizard, Valthrun, advocates the release of the accused. Amelie has her death sentence suspended, and is sent to deliver a message to Bastion.
The message, addressed to the Erathian Church authorities, speaks of a mysterious cult and other evils brewing in the region. Unexpectedly, the message is answered by none other than High Inquisitor Balthazar himself. He sends his promising new initiate Aldris Mortlock to investigate. Accompanying the young inquisitor is a small contingent of temple guard, a rowdy and reckless young paladin named Keridyea and Amelie who is to return with them to Winterhaven as their guide.
“My rescue was a hazy affair, and the fact that I’d been stuffed inside a hessian sack did not help my clarity on the matter. I do know the fight was over swiftly. There was some clash of steel and the shriek of drakes, but what ended the fight was the chilling voice of Inquisitor Mortlock, instructing Agrid to lay down arms. The gnome knew what was good for him – he obeyed.” – From the diary of Sedgeley Bleake
Upon return to the Nentir Vale, they find that the area is under increased threat from kobolds, goblins and other undesireables. Inquisitor Mortlock immediately sets out to uncover the corruption and evil that plague the lands around Winterhaven.
Amelie discovers that her mentor, Douven Staul, has gone missing under mysterious circumstances. With Mortlock’s help, she is able to rescue him from Agrid, a petty gnomish criminal. It is here that Amelie discovers one of the Gems of Accord, excavated from the grave of a long-dead dragon.
With the help of Douven Staul, the captured Agrid and the wizard Valthrun, the Inquisitor and his entourage track down one of the main sources of the town’s ills. This source is Irontooth, a hobgoblin, who they defeat in a horrifyingly close battle.
Within the lair, they discover a statue which turns out to be a petrified tiefling named Lamp. Lamp is a member of the Sisterhood of the Silent Veil, an organization which vanished over 2 centuries ago. Thanks to Staul’s magics, they restore her to life. Despite being overwhelmed by the enormity of time that has passed, she agrees to accompany them in the hope that she might still complete the mission she was assigned 216 years ago.
Barely have they left the lair of the hobgoblin when they are confronted by Lord Padraig and 20 of his men. They are told to lay down arms and surrender, though Padraig has no intention of leaving any of them alive. Seeing through this, Inquisitor Mortlock leads his allies into battle against Padraig, and they prevail against the corrupt Lord. Before he dies, Padraig reveals to them that he is a member of the Viridian League, and promises that his murderers will be hunted down and eliminated.
Into the Waiting Maw
“I could not accompany them into the keep, but when they did not return after the first night, the next thing I expected to see coming over that hill was legions of the hungering dead.” – From the diary of Sedgeley Bleake
Returning to town, the party learns more of the evil cult and their plan to re-open a rift into the Shadowfell, bringing legions of undead into the world of the living. Furthermore, confirmation is found that the leader of the cult is in fact Kalarel, a former Inquisitor, who had undergone exactly the same training as Mortlock. Without further delay, the party presses on towards the ruined keep to the north, hoping to foil the cult’s plan and avert catastrophe.
Venturing deep below the ruins, Amelie, Lamp, Keridyea and the Inquisitor find that their arrival has been anticipated…