The Story So Far

Seven years ago in the small town of Fallcrest, a gang of bandit hobgoblins had essentially shut down safe travel west of town. Lord Markelhay hired Crixus the Blade Whisperer and his old friend Udoros Riverking to track and kill the bandits. Udoros scouted the hobgoblin encampment and discovered that the gang was actually more of a small army and posed significant danger to the existence of the town. Given this information, the Lord raised the gold reward in order to enlist practically every able-bodied adventurer in town. The cousins Heskan and Kun Kneebasher and the sage Jeddin were key in decimating the hobgoblins, and the five men formed a tight-knit group of fast friends. After killing the hobgoblin clan, the five continued to adventure together throughout the wilds of the Nentir Vale for years. Three years ago, the five parted ways to take care of personal business, agreeing to meet again at the Blue Moon Alehouse in Fallcrest in three years' time.

Three years later… The group met up in Fallcrest once again to rehash old story, talk about the glory days, and drink fine ale. Noticeably absent was Udoros, whom had left to see to his people in the Winterbole forest to the north. In Fallcrest, the others were approached to aid a bandit who was going by the name of Keljack. When meeting with him, they realized he was pitting their group and two other groups together in order to find the best one. One group were tieflings led by the famous Char, and the other a band of gnomes led by Flip. After a bar brawl, our heroes proved victorious. Keljack informed them that they his family was cursed, and this adventure beyond the protective walls of Fallcrest would lead them to helping him understand that family curse and hopefully break it.

Our heroes traveled with Keljack and his companion, a large brute named Fool, to the southern swamp. There they inadvertently freed a wizard imprisoned by one of Keljack's ancestors in a large red crystal. There was a fight, it did not go well for our heroes, and the evil wizard got away. This floating bald man wore pure black robes and launched beams of black energy at the party. He easily floated away across the swamp, after defeating the party. However, Keljack's family curse was gone, and he was very grateful to our heroes. He also insisted they start calling him Kellem Jackson, his given name. He vowed to the party that he would give up his banditry, and the party defended Kellem as a changed man to the Lord and populace of Fallcrest. Kellem proved a good friend, and went off with Fool the ogre to help him rescue his clan from slavery to a dragon.

Tracking Bageron to the blood tower and finding death and undeath

Fearing what damage the freed black wizard could do, now that he was on the loose, our heroes returned to Fallcrest to consult with Nimozaran the Green about what he may know in regards to who this wizard was, and why he was imprisoned. Not long after, our heroes were given notice that a strange red tower had risen out of no-where in the lands southwest of Fallcrest. They assumed this was not a coincidence.

Once arriving at the Blood Tower, the party entered through a window sixty feet up. The party found creatures that were the dead bodies of former local farmers. Confused and horrified by this new dark magic, the party found a young man seemingly controlling the dead-but-not-dead creatures. Heskan and Crixus chased the boy down into the woods, eventually catching him and discovering his name was Willas. Kun and Jeddin continued into the tower. They discovered there was a connection to the freed wizard (named Bageron) and this tower. They discovered that this tower's denizens were involved in studying life, death, and undeath. Kun and Jeddin continued to explore the tower without Heskan and Crixus, and they found themselves confronted by a beautiful witch-woman (the mother of Willas). Anefsina the necromancer witch took Jeddin prisoner, while Kun escaped narrowly and jumped out of the tower. Plummeting sixty feet, Kun found Heskan and Crixus and went back in to save Jeddin. Anefsina had been torturing Jeddin with a foul black Necromancer's Dagger. Jeddin was restrained and halfway disemboweled by the dagger. Kun raced through the tower to save Jeddin, and succeeded, but only at the cost of his own heroic life. Anefsina's dark magic had destroyed him. Jeddin, freed and weakened, took the dagger from Anefsina and slowly murdered her with it, getting his revenge. Searching the tower thoroughly, the party found tomes regarding magic rituals exploring the boundaries of life and death. They took their prisoner Willas, the tomes, and Kun's corpse, back to Fallcrest.

They went to Nimozaran again, and he tried the rituals. Nothing happened. Nimozaran believed the ritual to be divine in nature. He suggested the heroes go travel to Hammerfast to speak with the priest Kendred of Ioun. Willas told the party that Bageron was some ancient wizard that had begun his family's necromantic cult hundreds of years ago. Bageron summoned the blood tower out of the very ground just recently, and gave Anefsina tasks to further the necromantic cause as well as magic to creature undeath. Bageron had continued on, leaving Anefsina and Willas to begin building an army of corpses. The heroes had caused all of this destruction, by accidentally freeing Bageron.

Resurrecting Kun and saving the Library of Highforest

The heroes (what was left of them) traveled to Hammerfast, and asked Kendred to perform the ritual to bring Kun back. He did successfully, and Kun was brought back to life. This was the first time such magic was known in the Vale. Kendred also helped describe to them the nature of the body, the soul, and anima (life force). He also suggested that they travel to a remote library/school, the same school Jeddin used to be part of in the forests northwest of Hammerfast. Kendred said that the scholars at the Library of Highforest would know more.

Our heroes traveled to this school, but they discovered it to have been recently destroyed. This was a shock to Jeddin, who spent his youth here. They suspected Bageron might have visited this place too. They investigated, and during this snooping around, the gang discovered that there was a bad seed who delved into forbidden and forgotten magic. This same magic was related to the bloody tower and the freed wizard. Two hundred years ago a scholar named Greldin fell under the influence of some unknown evil and caused havoc to the area, and though he was stopped and slain and his fell knowledge eradicated.. his legacy on the Library was that the sages there became uneasy about sharing any information about darker magics. Jeddin himself delved too deeply into these hidden mysteries and was asked to leave the Library years earlier. The party discovered that Greldin had been a part of Bageron's cult, as had the current scholar and Master of Records, Ulferth. Apparently Ulferth was in contact with creatues in the "Great Deeper Dark" - some strange other place of soul energy and the dead. Ulferth made a bargain for some knowledge and apparently in the exchange, the undead poured into the library and killed the scholars.

The party made their way through the school, where they found that a prominent sentinel of the school (Baelard) had sacrificed himself to temporarily stop Ulferth. Our heroes couldn't help this fellow, but they could finish the job he started by destroying the dark creatures outright. The party put Baelard's spirit and Ulferth to rest permanently, and Kun saved many priceless artifact tomes from destruction in the library. In the process, the party learned about soul-storage from what had been done to Baelard and Ulferth.

The Library of Highforest restored and cleansed of evil, Kendred and fellow Ioun priests began arriving to rebuild the library and save what tomes they could. The party went back to Fallcrest.