(This full text will be shortly released as audio - just posting this here for folks who prefer to read.)
(0) The story opens with an introduction to its first main characters, Kagan the fighter, Umura the magic user, Soli the dwarf and Gyrios the cleric. They begin the tale as prisoners of some goblin slavers and are being forced marched to some point of sale. On the way, the group is attacked by a young ogre, who kills or drives off the goblin captors. Although the ogre kills 2 of the prisoners, the rest of the group manages to survive when Aradine, a thief, slips her bonds and – before taking off into the woods alone - leaves behind a dagger with which they cut themselves free.
(1) The party tries to put some distance between themselves and the ogre. Before they get too far, they are attacked by 3 giant spiders, but luck is on their side and they kill all of the spiders before any of them are poisoned. The party presses on and, just before nightfall, discovers a river.
(2) From the river, they spot and then investigate a ruined tower. Soli discovers a secret trap door concealed under a pile of rotting lumber.
(3) Under the trap door is a passage leading under the ruined tower. The party follows it and discovers a pair of goblins and a human wizard. A battle ensues in which Kagan is magically blinded and nearly killed & in which Umura falls under the thrall of the enemy wizard and tries to murder Gyrios. But the group manages to prevail.
(4) Next, the party investigates a room under the tower and tends to their wounds. Their investigation is interrupted by a knocking from behind a very small door set into the stone wall. Upon opening the door, the party finds none other than the girl who had abandoned them to fend for themselves with the ogre. Her name, is Aradine. Gyrios convinces the party to release her and to take her into their custody until they can all safely escape the dangers of the forest. Unbeknownst to the party, their presence has been detected. The master of the house is aware of their presence.
(5) Next, we met Raphinfel, the Adored. He has been using the ruined tower in the Kingswood as a secret laboratory. Raphinfel has the spell ESP, which allows him to magically read the thoughts of others, even through stones, and so he has learned what the party is done so far. He decides to leave them a nasty surprise, and then escape. To this end, he speaks to his “angels”, warning them that the time has come to defend against approaching demons.
Meanwhile, the party has discovered Dermund’s humble living quarters. Umura finds Dermund’s spellbook concealed under his study desk. The party searches beyond the first room, and finds a storage room with another trapdoor.
(6) The party next finds a root cellar. But there is a second set of stairs leading down from the root cellar and deeper into the earth to a destroyed laboratory. They hear some disturbing sounds and Soli seems especially anxious to move forward. The source of the noises turns out to be a trio of Raphinfel’s Angels, zombie-like creatures who attack the party on sight.
(7) Soli falls in battle with the Angels. Their maker has fled already fled, leaving no real clues as to his identity. The party spends the night in the dungeon, mourning the loss of their friend and licking their wounds.
(8) The four survivors depart the underground laboratory and, using a rough map that Kagan found on one of the dead goblins, make their way out of the forest. The trek goes smoothly until they run into a group of giant rats. Aradine narrowly escapes the encounter with her life, but the party finally manages to reach the road. Following the road, they reach the outskirts of the Township of Burke.
(9) The next day, the party is summoned from their inn to speak with Marlock, the Sherriff of Burke and Aradine is introduced under a false name, to the surprise of both Kagan and Gyrios. Marlock explained that Burke’s up-and-comer status is being threatened by recent goblin raids, and questions the party about their recent experiences. Kagan cuts a deal, trading the map he found for a tentative job offer as a guide. The rest of the party signs on as well. The party is outfitted with some basic equipment and Aradine comes came clean about her criminal past. Later, the party returns to the inn and runs into a man they know to be from the laboratory.
(10) The party tries to get the jump on the man later that evening, but when Kagan breaks down the door to his room, he is long gone. Somehow, it seems, he knew they were coming. The next morning, the party joins the Scouting Expedition led by the gruff Captain Tor. The expedition makes their way up the South Road and then follows the goblin map, moving west into the Kingswood. When they determine that they have reached the spot indicated on the map, they search the area. One of the men discovers the body of a giant wolf with its head missing.
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