Date: 25TH Day of Fifthmonth, 1,102nd Year After the Founding of Nerath
The heroes return from Ryjum pass to find the Hawkguard, led by Lord Commander Hawkins of Winecrest, camped at the keep. They discover that a Black Fleet has allied with the various Guilds of Eastport to launch an attack against Westport, an ally of Winecrest. The Lord Commander believes the Black Fleet’s next target will be Winecrest, and so he is recruiting men from the Southland to bolster the Hawkguard against a possible invasion. He takes most of the men of the keep, including Lord Warden Grafire, and promotes Alexander Hawkins to acting Lord Warden of the Keep. He also charges Alex with finding the legendary Flame Imperishable, which he believes to be hidden somewhere near the keep.
As the new Lord Warden struggles to keep up with the demands of his office, strange tremors begin to shake the keep and the surrounding lands. Arcane advisor Thenval learns the quakes are originating from Ryjum Pass, but don’t seem to be magical in nature. One particulary strong quake reveals a hidden passage below the keep, within which lies a strange magical vault. Clues on the vault lead the heroes of the keep to seek out the vault’s creator, the archmage Andirus – the last Prime Magus of the Southland Tower of the Conclave of Magi. Through intense research, using information gleaned from the Orb of Osmosis found in the Lost Library, they manage to discover the secret location of the tower, in a place called the Golden Valley.
The heroes depart for the Golden Valley, but along the way they discover gnolls in the frontier village Crow’s End. The townsfolk have been slaughtered and sacrificed in an apparent multipart, mega-ritual that the gnoll warlord Gnarmak has begun to summon a powerful being, perhaps Yeenoghu, demon lord of gnolls himself. They manage to kills he gnolls responsible for the slaughter, but too late to stop their work in this part of the ritual. They do learn that the ritual requires 10 such sacrifices in places where ley lines intersect and that the next one will be in the town of Greenvale. The group send the only survivor of Crow’s End back to the keep to have Threnval warn Greenvale of the threat.
Continuing on to the Golden Valley, the heroes dispatch hungry wolves and enter the valley. They find a wonderous place where islands of earth float randomly about. The Southland tower is gone, only a crater remains where it stood. Two of the four guard towers still stand and the heroes investigate these in hopes of finding information on Andirus and the arcane vault below the keep. At the first tower, they find a breach into the Shadowfell conceals the remains and a lonely spirit of the tower’s security force remains in a perpetual fight against the spectral Soladrin Confessors that haunt him in a nightly reminder of his failure to protect the Magi. He sends the heroes to the other remaining tower to find the Orb of Osmosis, which would have been linked to the Tower Arcanis’ library of knowledge.
The heroes go the this floating tower, manage to climb up to it and fight off ethereal worms that infest the exterior. They search the tower and find that it’s power source has animated into a crystalline golem and taken the Orb to the roof of the tower. They reach the roof and battle the golem, ultimately destroying it and recovering the Orb of Osmosis.
What will they discover upon tapping the orb’s knowledge? Stay tuned to find out…