Our story begins with The Wayfinder, a pub built into the hulk of a wrecked galleon. Badly run-down and rapidly going out of business, on that seemingly-innocent night the pub was quiet. Only four patrons were in. Wilgold Fletcher, half-elf archer with delusions of heroism, sat quietly. Elrry Mineshadow, overweight human thief, sat behind the door staring dully into his pint. Mirrin Lightfoot, a halfling of many talents, was silent as she sat thoughtfully, and Prosnorkulus, a dwarf thirsty for blood as well as beer, loudly pounded the bar for another drink. The four didn’t know each other at all, but when the door burst open and three thugs emerged, demanding protection money from the landlord, all four had the same idea. With the thugs violently dead and the bar trashed, the landlord decided enough was enough. Angrily throwing the deed to The Wayfinder at the group, he slammed the door shut behind him, never to return.
So four strangers became a party, and a quest to fix up a broken old pub began. Resolving that their first priority was money, the group planned a daring raid. In the poorest part of the city, the Smoke, the Beggar King was gathering huge piles of gold in a tower, and our party planned to help themselves to some of that cash. Well, we say ‘planned’, they more strolled over with the intention of figuring it out as they went along. Met with a sturdy door, Elrry stepped forward, arrogantly proclaiming that he had this covered. Botching his attempt at lock-picking, he found the lock itself clamped down on his arm and poisoned him. This largely set the tone, really.
Several poisonings, epic fights against Dragonborn and a giant tentacle monster, and the gaining – and immediate loss – of a new party member soon followed. Finally, our heroes found themselves outside an apparently innocuous barn. Forcing an entry, they were confronted by six diseased and helpless men. While deciding what to do, a crossbow bolt shot out from the darkness of the rafters. In the ensuing fight, Elrry was struck so hard he fell and was knocked out cold, while Wilgold and Prosnorkulus showed no mercy. Their victim was Black Shet, a much-loved noble thief known for her skin-tight leather catsuit, which Wilgold claimed for himself and wore unashamedly for the rest of the raid.
After much trouble, and Mirrin twice being cursed for her curiosity, the party finally fought their way to the roof of the great tower, and found the Beggar King himself in the midst of a ritual, surrounded by mounds of gold beyond their wildest dreams. Beating him down with their shields, the final blow was delivered by Mirrin, and it proved to be the last the others saw of her. At the spilling of the Beggar King’s blood, a mighty explosion rocked the tower, sending our heroes flying in various directions, raining down gold upon the poorest part of the city and releasing a drake which flew off towards the mountains. Unfortunately, the well-known catsuit of Black Shet was what caught the eye of the Smoke’s inhabitants, and it was she who gained the credit for spreading wealth among those who needed it most. Remembering that Prosnorkulus had left the real Black Shet very
very dead, this would lead to an interesting problem later on.
Regrouping and recuperating, Wilgold, Prosnorkulus and Elrry planned their next move with more care. They resolved to head out of town, to a small fort where goblins were rumoured to be gathering, hoping to recover the missing section of the Wayfinder’s sign. Fighting their way briskly through the tunnels beneath the fort, the trio found themselves at the grave of a long-dead hero, Sir Kevan the Bold. The spirit warned them of tampering with a mysterious ‘Rift’, insisting that it must not be opened. Swearing that they had no intention of opening any such rift (which was easy as our clueless heroes had never heard of such a thing!), they convinced the ghost to trust them, and in return Elrry received the ghost’s heroic blade, Arsus. A holy symbol and living weapon, the blade could talk directly into the thief’s mind, and would continue to judge whether or not he was worthy of wielding it based on his actions. Managing to activate a Warforged named Pedro, the party made their way through the remaining difficult traps, eventually stumbling upon the goblins’ leader, and uncovering his plans to invade Silvercrest with the Hulk, a gigantic ship crammed with evil ready to be unleashed upon the city. Recovering the missing sword from their pub’s sign, the group then rushed back to Silvercrest, to work out how best to deal with this impending threat, leaving the Rift and its possible dangers for another day.
Back in Silvercrest, the party repaired their pub’s sign while they worked out what to do. However, upon completing the symbol they found the pub’s timbers quaking beneath their feet, and with a terrible noise the entire ship tore itself away from its foundations and rose into the air, leaving the lower deck behind. Under its own direction, the ship flew out above the sea, and found the Hulk all by itself, apparently set on sending its new ‘crew’ down to settle the matter. Again an object was determined to push our heroes towards actual heroism, rather than just serving their own needs for a change, but eventually the group did head down to the colossal ship.
It was here that Prosnorkulus showed his true colours. Having fought through numerous goblins, the party found themselves at a market aboard the ship, filled with hundreds of women and children. Goblins all, they were still innocents, but Prosnorkulus showed no remorse after unwittingly releasing a Gelatinous Cube which began devouring the helpless market-goers en-masse. Horrified at Elrry’s refusal to help, Arsus went dormant in his hand, the holy blade becoming merely a hunk of metal. After a well-thrown lantern directly into the powder kegs caused a massive explosion, in which several dozen more innocents were killed (trapped slaves this time), the party retreated to their ship, congratulating themselves on a job sort-of well done. On the ride home Pedro was sent down to retrieve more booze from below-deck, and plunged into the sea, leaving the remaining heroes a very long and sober ride home.
Looking to boost their armoury, the trio headed for the Seven-Pillared Hall, where they hoped to receive reward for their valour from the Lady Under the Mountain, and where Elrry hoped to accomplish something to appease Arsus. The Lady turned out to be another pub, but in the labyrinth beneath the Hall there was much to be done. Heading down into its depths, the group fought their way through the Temple of Eyes, where another legendary blade slumbered. Souldrinker, pulled from a statue by Prosnorkulus, began to drink more than just the souls of his victims, having disastrous consequences upon the dwarf as it began turning him into a vampire. To save their friend, the trio delved deeper into the labyrinth, fighting through numerous vampires to a mighty chamber wherein was sealed a Lich. No longer in full control of himself, Prosnorkulus inadvertently woke the monster, and received the ‘gift’ of full vampirism. Confronted by their former party member and forced to fight for the Lich’s entertainment, Elrry and Wilgold defeated the transformed Prosnorkulus, the final thrust from Arsus turning him into dust. Still faced with a Lich and two full-blood vampires and certain their own ends were nigh, Elrry received a choice. Surrender Arsus, and he and Wilgold would be allowed to go free. Having viewed the blade as nothing but a pain for weeks, in the last few days Elrry had begun to truly connect with the holy weapon, finding a confidence he’d never known before and realising that he would rather die for their mistakes than surrender his weapon. However, he also knew that unless they could escape and bring warning to Silvercrest, the city would fall. The Seven-Pillared Hall could not be saved, but their home could be, and for the first time in his life Elrry made the decision for others over his own interests. Arsus’ death scream reverberated in the thief’s mind and he and Wilgold fled, and deep within Elrry something changed. A burning desire for revenge formed. He wouldn’t just save Silvercrest from the monster they’d unleashed, he’d tear the Lich apart himself for what it had forced him to give up, and for the ignoble end Arsus had received because it had been entrusted to one such as him.
Returning to Silvercrest, the pair knew that without reinforcements and re-armament their cause was doomed. Wilgold formed the Order of the Golden Dragon Slayers, using his mis-placed fame as the assumed true identity of Black Shet, and recruited his faithful bard Geoff to begin training new members to form an army. With the cleric Orsov joining their cause, the party set off aboard the Wayfinder, seeking the Forge of Kings and the holy weapons it could craft. After the long trek deep into the cursed Forge, the group faced many perils. An undead ogre, a griffin-rider, a rush down a tremendous water trap, a flight from a horde of goblins (whose loot had been pilfered from beneath their very noses), leaping to safety from the flames of a terrifying drake and a horde of fire bugs bursting forth from their own bag of holding, all manner of trials lay ahead of our heroes.
With the loss of their food supplies, the group were forced to eat a goblin scholar, and Wilgold very nearly perished twice, while Orsov’s arm was brutally maimed. Reinforcements from the Order arrived, and together with new companion Lynx the party recovered from their wounds and fought off a powerful group of skeletons, claiming their magical rings and the many powers thereof. Battling through to the forge itself, the party took losses but were joined by more reinforcements, a new Warforged named Melek and a halfling who looked strangely similar to the missing Mirrin, but called herself Marline. Finally mounting an attack on the demon possessing the forge, with its defeat the forge was freed, as were the souls of an army of dwarves, who pledged to come to the group’s aid when called. Using the forge, three new weapons were created, each more powerful than Arsus before them, with which hope of fighting the Lich finally began to blossom. Wilgold took the longsword Dragontooth, for Orsov the mace Dawnstar, and for Elrry the shortsword Lifebalance. With these and an assortment of powerful jewels, the group claimed the purified forge for their own, creating the fortress from which their Order could begin to truly rally.
Now the party prepare themselves for their return to Silvercrest, to seek an alliance between their growing order and the city’s own defences. Divided they cannot hope to stand against the impending attack of the Lich, but together, hope still remains. In particular hope that it can all be achieved without Wilgold donning that skintight leather catsuit again! Nevertheless, the delusional archer has found himself the leader of an ever-growing group of followers, and with his loyal party members by his side, perhaps the good fight can actually be won.