It started as a simple dungeon run…
Parchment, tacked to a signpost in Kipelturn, promising easy treasure with minimal risk. 5 strangers became unlikely allies when they emerged from that dungeon carrying an item of enormous power. The Secret Keeper’s Amulet. A reality beguiling relic from a time beyond memory, that grants you, the Watchers of the Time Stream, a way to alter the fates of the champions who wield it - for good, or ill.
Contact with this mysterious artifact has also thrown Siv, Fahima, James, Uggo, and Lily into an adventure far grander than a mere treasure hunt. The 5 great Wardens of Ain have gone missing. And our team has set about finding them, and freeing them.
In the time following the catastrophic War of Ideas, the realms were protected by these colossal sentinels, ensuring a peace that has lasted for generations. But as the team has discovered, a powerful force has emerged, capturing the Wardens and using them for diabolical purpose.
First it was the Storm Warden, trapped high in a floating castle in the clouds, chained and used to power clockwork mechanisms with its electricity. Then, the Inferno Warden, restrained by an enormous Kraken at the bottom of the sea, its endless heat used to propel harvested corpses through a tunnel carved into the ocean floor. Each time, the amulet bearers managed to overcome incredible odds and free the Wardens, and were transported into a vivid vision of the past - memories locked inside the Wardens’ subconscious, offering clues to the lost history of Ain.
Now the team is on the trail of their third Warden, heading north along the old trade route connecting Winkburgh to the dwarven lands in the Nelrim Mountains. Their search had brought them to Winkburgh, where a shadowy wizard named Kalkata Theed, the Ashen Mage, had taken up residence. Investigating her spelltower, they found clues that she and her assistant, Vargen, had been practicing strange, experimental dark magic. They also found a telescope pointing to a volcano, Skyscorcher Peak, the entrance to which lies in the dwarven city of Dalto Thum.
And so they left Winkburg in the custom travel wagon gifted to them by the Duke. But it wasn’t long before they were attacked on the road by a gang of angry marauders on the backs of giant attack birds. With skill and deft use of the Amulet’s gifts, the team decimated the rampaging menace, only to witness a new threat emerge from the treeline. Wolves. But wolves unlike any they had seen or heard of before. Massive, mutated beasts with bones protruding from their backs and hunger burning in their eyes, able to leap 30 feet and land on the back of their draft animals.
When the team saw the wolfpack rend bone and flesh, and then witnessed one transform into a terrifying wolf/humanoid hybrid before their very eyes, they knew the odds were not in their favor. Lily brilliantly immobilized the pack with her glimmering Hypnotic Pattern, then snapped the vardo into motion. Siv used the Amulet’s magic to reform trees and rock into traversable terrain. And the group escaped into the forest.
When they finally settled for the night, healing their Achaierai and themselves, an argument broke out about collateral damage in the midst of the battle. As their camp fire crackled, tempers flared and James stormed off into the vardo.
Before any resolution could be found or watch established for the night, a growling voice joined their conversation. There, standing in the flickering light of the fire, illuminated in a red-orange glow, was a figure of fur, fangs, and claws. Unmistakable, standing before them. A werewolf.
Its lips parted, and snarling words echoed across the campsite. “Please, don’t kill me” it said.