You are Soldiers of Nimbral1 (once known as the Sea Haven), and island nation deep in the Trackless Sea- last known to be SW of Lantan. Each of your 5 party members were recruited in a short span during the same year. Drawn together by the Nimral recruiters from towns, hamlets and taverns- you came to the recruiters for reasons known to you alone (unless now shared), finding them through the call of bards, faint notices on signposts and in alleyways- or through intuition. It was a chance to escape the plain and ordinary life you could see stretched before you by staying there- and to become something ‘more’ – a point of light in the darkened lands.
Since your fateful day of recruitment, you have seen much. You have trained in the arts of your chosen ‘profession’- utilizing your innate talents and skills from your prior life- and honing them to a razors edge. Your team knows each other well- all being fairly young, and being recruited at around the same time- you have all been placed into the same squad for many a scouting run to find- and gather more willing ‘points of light’ to bring together in Nimbral so that Nimbral may cast off it’s secrecy and light the world with the radiance and power of thousands of heroes.
That –was- the plan.
Now things have changed however. You and your friends are now drawn deep into a blossoming threat. Your airship having been sabotaged, crashing brutally (through no fault of your own) into a tower of imprisonment on the coast of the Dalelands2 . The tower you have since learned was formerly a focal point built to keep Orcus- Lord of the Undead- barred from escaping the Abyss itself, and entering the Realms.
Your party (save for Randy’s character) was found by several of the leading members of the Council that rules the area- Staven Gemanson (a elderly seeming politician of great wealth and influence)and Arken Smetborn (A mage with indiscernible features, and great power). They tended your wounds, and brought you back to the city of Harrowdale..
In Harrowdale, you were found responsible for the destruction of the tower- and tasked to be of aid to the Realms by attempting to stop the revival of Orcus- and the certain cataclysm that it could bring to the fragile Realms. There in Harrowdale- you proved your skills in the carnival festivities, as well as by assisting in defending the town against mounted flying cultists of Bane (who you have been informed have been lied to for centuries- believing that the tower you destroyed – and the rituals needed to be performed in the gathering point in Thay- would resurrect Bane) , as well as by saving a nearby farmstead.
After your heroics there, your group was sent to speak with the one known as Elminster- an immortal, who in exchange for a great sum of mindmoss from the other side of a feywild portal (which you retrieved- with interest- nearly dying at the hands of a green dragon)- revealed to you all the amount of time remaining before the ritual, as well as the paths your group would be of best use to take- and gifting you with his pipe..
Your group debated the options you were pointed towards, and nearly all led to the newly reclaimed land of Thay. You could all have headed there to ask from them to help reunite you with your fellow Nimbral army fellows- and warn them of the threat- recruiting them to assist (thus having a superior army to fight the forces of the Hand of Fate and their allies). Your group could also ask the Red Mages to aid you in seeking and destroying more of the parts of Orcus (one of which your team intercepted along the way to find Elminster) (thereby weakening Orcus when he resurrects dramatically). You also debated hunting down the 7 champions of Orcus3 which many know as the Dark Council (also known as the Shroud Council or Dark Scions); figures of power in the Hidden hand of Fate (which would weaken their army dramatically).. .. Your group thought of going to the Dread Rings of Thay- and seeing if you could disrupt the ritual there (which would either halt the resurrection, or cause Orcus to be further weakened).. After debating- and unsure of which you were going to persue- you returned to the Harrowdale Council, and informed them of much of what you found. There you were given aid in reaching Thay quickly- for all roads seemed to point there.
You sailed with a broad shouldered minotaur captain- Harbis Ironhorn, on the ship Citadel Rose. He dropped you there at the mouth of a wide river that poured down from a valley that reached upwards into the Thayan plateau. The small port city there “Mage Reach” holds about 2000 or so inhabitants- it’s stony defensive walls and docks lined with the heads of Szass Tam, his Zulkir Council- and many of the Dread Legions. The slave markets and ships are gone- having been changed over the last few years into places of beauty and wonder. The magic of the renewed Red Mages having transformed those places into verdant gardens to assist the freed living in the area- as well as to entice adventurers into staying awhile to help quell the remaining pockets of Szass Tam loyalists who would seek to resurrect him- and to once again shatter the Red Mages renewed order.
What were once tax stations to catch slaves are now used to protect the fragile newfound peace of Thay- their steep taxes used to shelter the now common caravans & to help rebuild what was lost in their still too recent uprising against the former slave country. Thay is still thought in some ways to still be macabre and immoral- though they have banned slavery, they still give prisoners or indentured servants the option to reduce and remove their time owed, or even profit as well- through subjecting to experimentation instead of the back breaking, or soul draining options.. Though many die in this way- it is seen as a mark of honor to have gone through the process to some. Now that the Lotus and Red Mage academies once again function here, many mages of many persuasions come to this land seeking to study or coming for insight. The goal of the Red Mages, according to the whispers of the soldiers on the boat you recieved travel from- is of course to eventually have their land entirely peopled by Mages.
Looking up the plateau, you know that according to your judgment- by the time you reach the citadel atop Thay- you will have 92 days remaining before the rise of Orcus, and Choices to make that could shape the future of the Forgotten Realms themselves…
1.)Page 163 of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.
2.) Page 108 of the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting.
3.)Information per Elminster: The Dark Scions – In four groups they ride- Venmons Santage and Beksern Marnot ride in the first group- heading to or coming from the Dalelands and Beastlands, Wulfenite Hisodic and Fourragere Aitto ride in the second- heading to (or coming from) Icewind Dale and the Tortured Lands, Then the third pair- Lowlander Ghautpug and Olefines Dalles ride to find the Fount of Creation in the Beastlands, and finally The one known as the Devourer- he heads for the Great Glacier..