The story began at the small town of Belkel, in the Republic of Theadras. Located along the Belfrost river, Belkel was a common stop for ships traveling up or downstream. However, a recent storm had left the river blockaded by debris, and only smaller vessels could pass, stranding three unlikely heroes in a town that faced uprising.
For many years, the peasants had been frustrated by the local magistrate, Therem Shopman, who refused to provide economic sanctions to protect the town’s farmers, and made no effort to root out the bandits that occasionally marauded the farmlands outside of town. Eventually, riots broke out, and Aurin, Vaedrik and Ezriel, who had little to do until the river was cleared, were paid by Shopman to finally put an end to the threats in the fields, as well as hear the terms of negotiation by the uprising’s leader, Karr Ironfletch.
They found goblins raiding the farmlands outside of town, and after slaying a raiding party, managed to find their hideout, an abandoned mine in the foothills nearby. There, they found Sonia, an elven wizard who had been captured by the goblins and awaited certain death. After defeating the goblins and their hobgoblin master, they interrogated him to discover that they had been paid to specifically attack this town—by none other than Shopman himself.
They rushed back to town to find that the troops of the Consul had already arrived to put down the riots. These heavy infantry had occupied the town, but were willing to allow the group back in to discuss business with Shopman. That night, they relayed what they knew to Shopman and his Factor, Killearn, but when Shopman went to retrieve their payment, he never returned. They found him dead in his office, his secretary fleeing towards the docks,
After capturing Glemilia, the captain of the Consulate troops, Douldry, asked the group for their services. Unable to leave just yet himself, he paid them to 1) seek out Glemilia’s accomplice who had already fled downstream and 2) bring word of what had happened, along with evidence, to the Consul in Arali. They agreed, and Vaedrik and Ezriel’s ship, known as Ferris’ Folly, set sail the next day.
Archibald was the name of the accomplice, a roughnecked sailor who had spent many months aboard Ferris’ ship. They caught up with him outside the hamlet of Greenhill and captured him after he slew a merchant. After returning their borrowed horses, they continued on foot to Rosck, intending to rendezvous with the Folly in Paleos. But passing through Rosck was not so easy…
They found the town being locked down, all citizens rushing into the city walls and filling the inns. A monster had been sited outside of town, large enough to crush a cow to pulp and leave it’s owner in shock. They met a strange man, calling himself Guy Greenvalley, who seemed intent on persuing the menace behind this monster. Together, they slipped out of town and found an ogre at the affected farmstead. After quickly dealing with it, they followed its tracks into the nearby woods, where a mysterious ruin called MorBek lay in wait.
Guy revealed the true nature of their target—Alston, a rogue member of the winter court of faeries, a cait-sith who could control others like marionettes and a capable magician. He also revaeled his own nature—A satyr, independent of the courts, but working for Summer as a bounty hunter. Alston’s bounty would net Guy a fair title of his own, and the heroes would be welcomed to his magical items.
After a brief run-in with fey wolves, they were granted a blessing to aid them in their battle. Guy, using his pipes, put most of the ogres to sleep, allowing the group to slip into the ruins and attack Alston and his bodyguard, a strong ogre named Grevaine. Both were slain—but Alston was not the sorcerer they’d seen, but the cat familiar that had spoken for him. There was a brief chase, and Alston was captured and put in a sack. Guy thanked the group for their help, but also told them that Alston would have needed assistance from the human side in order to open the portal to faerie through which he and his ogres came.
From there, the party was celebrated back in Rosck, and the day after, traveled to the port of Paleos, where they met with Captain Ferris and his Folly again. They rode the ship to Arali, finally able to complete their job by Captain Doldry in Bel Kel. But in the sealed letter that they gave the Factor, Eldin, Doldry had included a message regarding Sonia, who had been spotted using magic in Bel Kel. The party was arrested and prepared for an inquisition by Inquisitor Tiassa.
Thankfully, by agreeing to aide a local thieve’s guild known as the Night Watch, the group was set free and pardoned, much to Tiassa’s ire. They did receive a letter from the Magistrate, Arc Ravenquill, asking to meet with them and discuss the dangerous content of their letter. He told them there had been a wave of assassinations and uprisings across the country in the last few weeks. He also told them of his own plans to run for Consul in the near future, and how unearthing whatever conspiracy they had discovered would guarantee his victory. He asked the players for their assistance, in order to keep the business on the minds of as few individuals as possible. Offering them a grandiose amount of coin, he asked them to return to Rosck and find Alston’s conspirator.
Additionally, they were asked to smuggle illicit materials into Rosck by the Night Watch as payment for their release. They agreed.
But what awaits them in the old mining town? The ogres might have been dealt with, but there could be more dangerous creatures afoot in the warrens of the abandoned mines…