“This world is a mess, and let me tell you… it’s not getting any better. We have the fairfolk kissing swords in the West, before crashing them against the short peoples of Gardens of Ile. Then you got the Dwarvish Republic slamming heads with the Kings of Nine. I heard just last week that the entire town of Quiet Mill was thrown into a globe of darkness, and not but screams have been heard. This world is breaking apart… every square inch of it is bleeding in suffering and heart ache. Don’t care if you come from bum-hells no-where Lin Town, or in the heart of that Melari Empire. Heard from those magicslingers over in Bronze Square that it’s not just our world… it’s all of them. Though, that ain’t nothing new, said it’s been like this for all time… things might get straightened out, but in the end, we’re always given the big pike.” - Somber words spoken by Ulender the Bard, Jester and Performer of King Dereck of the Tri Circles of Bath.
The world is a place of disaster, catastrophe, paradox, and constant setback. Kingdoms rise and fall as quickly as breathe comes from the body, each new man claims fame and glory just in the instant that a creature of perversion slaughters an entire town in some dark ritual that sets free it’s host upon the world. The world is immense, but in every corner of the world there is the feeling of uselessness and horror.
In the darkness, one always finds light.
In a world of hate, deprivation, and collosul fear… people will find each other. You have each traveled this world, gaining knowledge, power, fame, scorn, wickedness… but you have always been alone. Whether you have traveled with parties before, you have watched them slaughtered or leave for unknown reasons. Yet, you have pushed on… you have chased the light in front of you.
That is what has lead you to the Cracked Flagon in the town of Barley in the Empire of Hun. For weeks you have felt your body growing weaker and weaker, til some mornings you spewed blood on the floor. Despite what healing you can find, it gets worse and worse the further you travel… until you found a direction where each day you took a step forward, you felt strong. Empowered. Hopeful. As you walk the paths that lead you to Barely, you had dreams of darkness.
In these dreams you always saw four other people, draped in cloaks of black with stars twinkling in the folds. A single column of light encompassing you all. In the center a shadow stands… his body translucent and without form… his eyes distant and scared. Each day you move towards Barley, when the dream comes.. his eyes become stronger, light with fire.
As you reach Barley you feel your feet guided to the Cracked Flagon, and you know that something has changed forever.