The party met as part of a caravan bound for the small province of Silverfell, transporting much needed foodstuffs, clothing and other goods. Heavily guarded by mercenaries and would-be heroes, they were bound for the well-known trading village of Scarhearth, deep in the woods of the same name.
The province had fallen under hard times in recent months, with a huge force of Orcs, Goblins and Hobgoblins burning farms and looting villages. Worse, Baron Vortigaunt of Hammerfell had fallen ill and locked himself in the great keep at the centre of the capital. Leaderless, starving and desperate the steward of the city in counsel with the other noble families of Brackenbridge, Borrington and Esterbrook opted to send messengers far and wide begging the great lords of the southern cities for aid. Our heroes were some who answered the call.They awoke to an ambush of goblin raiders, beating them off after a desperate battle. They then followed their retreat, eventually finding an encampment of the raiding party, lead by a savage bugbear. Aided by the mysterious bard Peotyr Stringfellow, the party defeated the remaining enemies and rescued several knights held captive there – but not before their leader was able to summon reinforcements.
The party were chased by warg riders and ogres east, guided by Peotyr to an ancient Elven temple. When the party awoke, Peotyr and the knights had vanished – heading onwards to Scarhearth. There they also encountered a druid ranging from the town of Scarhearth, who temporarily joined their party.
On further investigation of the ruins, the party encountered their guardian; a sentient Owlbear, the wise Bearmungo who granted them the power to enter the temple.
After a gruelling battle with a great, undead serpent guardian at the entryway, the party encountered the young wizard prodigy Alvyn Delmirev, who was investigating the powerful illusory and counter-scrying magics in the place. After a rather brief introduction, Alvyn also joined the party.
The party then investigated the grisly past of the ruins, the name of which was eventually revealed to be ‘The Gate’. It’s inhabitants had been slain in a rampage by a former squire of an order known as the Silver Knights; jilted by Silaqui, a young sorceress and lover of Anathon, the arrogant and callous warden of the complex, he attempted – and failed – a ritual sacred to the Knights known as ‘the joining’. Driven insane by eldritch consequences of his mistake, he butchered many of the inhabitants of the complex. Eventually, he found and was struck down by Silaqui – who suffered mortal wounds from the combat herself. Gerta, the cleric of Selune consecrated her remains in the shrine of the complex, where the party encountered her spectre.
After his death, the Knight’s quarters where Rolan had dwelt were sealed via powerful magics. However, several years later some cataclysm lead the Demon Prince of the undead Orcus to break the wards around the complex, whose spirit was called by the trapped soul of the dead and desparate knight. His rotting remains were brought back and reanimated as a Wight, who murdered the remaining inhabitants of the complex.
The party traced this story through, with fragments of visions being fed to Diero by a powerful Baelnorn they eventually learned was named Rook. Following a climactic battle with Rolan the Wight, they encountered Rook, deep in the bowels of The Gate. They were given a potent – although dormant – magical artefact he had been appointed guardian of for several millenia.
Rook explained the history of the complex, instructing the heroes to seek out the other pieces of the artefact, which were dotted through the province. He told them to seek a Knight where the trees met the sky, far to the north and the east.
Following the rather lengthy monologue, Rook teleported the party a few miles south of the village of Scarhearth to continue their quest.