Meeting along the crowded merchant roads heading south from Kislav, three intrepid adventurers came together by chance. Nicolai Czarka, a nobleman of Kislav on the run, Isaac, a healer fleeing with his sick companion from a broken Delanor City, and Belgin, a dwarven beast master seeking fame and fortune far away from his besieged homeland. Although different, this motley group came together in companionship, hoping to gain protection in their journey.
Arriving at the trading hub of Gelner, the party of adventurers quickly found use of their skills. A local band of orcish outriders had been raiding trade caravans leaving the city and the Guard Captain was offering a sizable reward for their heads. Traveling to the nearby Grizzly Woods, the party waited in ambush for the orcs and was able to successfully engage the band of fiendish humanoids.
Although they defeated the orcs and their worg mounts in the first skirmish, many escaped. Foreseeing that those who fled might return for revenge, Belgin set forth an idea for ambush. Using spears and pikes, the party propped up the fallen bodies of the dead orcs around a large campfire and set an ambush in the tall grass of the plains outside the Grizzly Woods. Belgin’s foresight proved to be correct and a returning band of orcs fell for the trap. This time the orcs had neither the numbers nor the luck to escape. With all the orcs killed or captured save several of their intelligent worg mounts, who were able to beat a hasty retreat, the party rejoiced.
Thanks to a bit of magic, Nicolai was able to convince one of the orcs, named Morgash, to show the party the location of the orc lair. Finding the lair to contain some treasure, the party returned to the city wealthier men. However, upon the prying of Isaac, it became increasingly clear that the orcs had been operating under the secret command of some leader who apparently issued orders via notes of charcoal left on tanned hide. Although Morgash did not know who the leader was, he recalled that his leader would often travel to an old tower in the woods to gather orders. Unfortunately, the location of the tower was a closely held secret.
After resting and investigating the mysterious tanned hides for a day, the party was approached by a farmer from the outskirts of the city. Having heard news that they were the ones who had helped slay the orcs, he asked if the group would help him solve a problem of his own. The night before a group of savage worgs raided his farm and forced him and his family to flee, leaving their farm and all their possessions behind. In return for the party saving his farm, he agreed to share any information on the secret tower the party sought.
Riding to the farm, the party dispatched of the last of the worgs, only a couple managing to escape. The farmer’s homestead freed, the man informed the party that the tower they sought once belonged to an old wizard who died many years ago. Since his death, the tower had fallen into disrepair and had been left alone; for fear that it might contain magical traps.
With this information, the party sought out the tower. Once there, they were way-laid by a Voadkyn, or forest giant. Bringing the giant of the forest down with little difficulty, the party discovered several hides on the giant, proof that it had been he who had been commanding the orcs, as well as an Amulet of Madness, a cursed item that had no doubt lead the normally peaceful Voadkyn so such daring acts. With the giant dead, the party went on to explore the ruined tower.
Although a few traps gave the adventurers some shocks, they were able to loot the tower for many valuables and several magic items. Seeing the potential the tower had, being isolated yet sturdy as it was, Isaac and Belgin agreed that it would make an excellent base of operations for them in the area. With Nicolai having already rented a house in the city with which to build an altar to his God, Isaac and Belgin were able to procure several magic items to repair the tower and return it to operating condition.
Despite their good fortune, a bit of worry runs through the party, however. Whilst searching the tower, deep in the basement the group found a covered hole deep in the earth. Within this hole was a buried and sealed iron casket, with only an obscured and strangely frozen over porthole with which to view into. Wishing to find out its contents, the party used its magic to weaken the iron, cracking it open. Immediately a gush of freezing wind rushed from the capsule, forcing the party back. Seconds later, a strange and life like mist emerged, snaking its way past the party and into the woods, leaving no trace of his existence. Baffled, yet unharmed, the long imprisoned mist could entail trouble for group and the small principality of Gelner.