Just over two years ago, a group of adventurers banded together to stop an evil from overwhelming the small border-town of Winterhaven. They were told of a monster that had been terrorizing the outlying farms and investigated on behalf of the local Lord. Sorely outmatched by the evil they found there, the heroes barely managed to stop a ritual designed to open a portal to an alien, unknowable realm of horror.
Seven adventurers walked into the ruins of Denethan Keep, but only six walked out and many of the survivors were sorely wounded. They agreed to go their separate ways after the disaster in Winterhaven, some deciding to retire from adventuring altogether and others making the decision to walk their path alone for a time.
So it was quite surprising to all of them when they found themselves once again fighting on the same battlefield, seemingly by random chance, over two years later. Each of them had come to the city of Fallcrest for a different, but all had reason to attend the Goldenleaf Festival held every year outside the city walls. On the outskirts of the festival, each had a run-in with Old Gurdy, an ancient Harrow card fortune teller with seemingly Celestial ties.
Amid the multitude of brightly-colored tents, booths and buildings, screams ripped through the fun and excitement that the Goldenleaf Festival brings with it. As flocks of people fled the central market square, the heroes being who they are closed in on the source of the disturbance: a small army of bulldog-sized rats and three ratlings (wererats), one dressed in the clothes of a nobleman or wealthy merchant. The ratlings were leaving the civilians alone and focusing their attacks on the city watch— and slew over a dozen of them in the course of the fight. The heroes responded in kind, slaying all the giant and dire rats and three of the four ratlings. Only the leader escaped, but as he did he hissed a challenge to the party revealing a pair of tentacles with tiny toothed mouths where his tongue should be!!
The heroes were hired by Lieutenant Shella Ashford to investigate the ratling disturbance due to the fact that a majority of the force she would have used had just been slain in the attack. The heroes reunited and pursued the mystery. After much investigation and questioning of townsfolk, they discovered that the rat attack was likely linked to a series of mysterious disturbances— wealthy transient merchants disappearing from or near a brothel/tavern/inn called The Stony Gaze. They also discovered a series of grisly, brutal murders in the warehouse district that appear to be unconnected to the disappearances near The Stony Gaze.
Amid their investigation, the heroes inquired of Allustan Bleakstone, a local sage and wizard of no small repute. He filled int he pieces that the Merchants Guild was unhappy with the ruler of Fallcrest, Lord Duncan Karstellan, and could possibly be making a power play to oust or nullify Karstellan’s Power. After all, an attack focused on the City Guard severely dulls the edge of any retribution Karstellan can bring to bear should the Merchants Guild make a move.
Enroute to follow another lead, the heroes are ambushed by a group of fledgling ratlings, only to be caught between them and a death squad of snake-features, poison-wielding assassins!! It is unknown at this time if the snake-men have any connection to the rest of the investigation. During the fight, a green-cloaked, iron-masked spellcaster of great power assaulted the PCs as well. His teleportation and mind-control abilities made him a dangerous opponent before he disengaged seemingly of his own volition.
At the home of Teldorthan Ironhews, “Old Tel”, the heroes discover a young human disciple of Sarai— The Primal Urge, Wavemistress, Lady of Seasons is also inquiring along the same lines as their investigation. Old Tel suggests the heroes check out the site of a great many disturbances in West Hill— the house of Valdegan’s apprentice and his grisly, seemingly-impossible suicide.
Outside the townhouse, the party is ambushed by a gigantic, wormlike monster with beaklike mouth and multiple tentacles— a wyste! The wyste slithered through a breach between our world and some other, alien dimension— a portal that only closed upon the beast’s death. From the window of the apprentice’s apartment, the PCs saw the same spellcaster who attacked them in the street— masked in iron and dark green velvet— watching the fight with great interest. They pursued him after a brief investigation of the apartment down into the city sewers where a massive battle ensued with cultists, carrion crawlers, acolytes of a dark entity known as Bel Shalor, and the heroes all did battle. The fight was almost deadly for Aenghus MacGregor, but in the end the heroes prevailed, and returned to the Church of the Wall to collapse victoriously into their beds.
Sleep is the realm of dreams…and nightmares. The heroes are about to find out if the old wives’ tale is true… if you die in a nightmare, does the body die with it?
Finally, the heroes