It started as a simple dungeon run…
A group of 5 adventurers who stumbled upon an item trapped in crystal. To identify it, they made contact with a member of the Natural Order, a conclave of wizards investigating the disappearance of Ain’s ancient protectors, the Wardens. This wizard, Torvalt the Timid, broke the item from its crystalline shell and explained that it was, in fact, The Secret Keeper’s Amulet, a relic of incredible chaos magic that could poke through the fabric of realities and grant you, the Watchers of the Time Stream, the means to affect this world, to help shape the lives of the characters within it.
But the Amulet is even more than that. It is also a key, tied to the Wardens, those 100 foot tall elementals the Natural Order has been searching for. Using the power of the Amulet, our team set about finding and freeing the captured titans, growing more confident and more experienced along the way. With good deeds and courageous acts, their abilities expanded, and they earned themselves the title The Heroes of Bingle. And each time they freed a Warden, the Amulet rewarded the team with visions of a lost history. A look into the time before the great War of Ideas, to the very origins of the Wardens themselves.
Now the Heroes of Bingle are on the trail of their third Warden, which they believe is being held inside the volcano called Skyscorcher Peak. They found clues pointing them in this direction when they searched the spelltower of Kalkata Theed, a mysterious and powerful spellcaster known as the Ashen Mage. But the only way in to Skyscorcher Peak is through the dwarven city of Dalto Thum. A city that has been engaged in major conflict with the Orcs of Ook Duun for decades. Now, that conflict threatens to explode into all-out war as the Orcs advance on the city, armed with massive artillery cannons.
No one is more aware of this fact than Uggo, whose long standing acrimony with the dwarves makes dealing with them difficult. On their way to Dalto Thum, the team came across two dwarves caught in the raging rapids of the Golden River. Even convincing them to cooperate long enough to be rescued was a challenge with an Orc on the team. But pulling the two dwarves, Homrian and Donk, out of the rushing water proved quite useful to their quest. They learned valuable information about the growing tides of war, and were able to persuade the young runaways - self described conscientious objectors - to guide them to the very gates of the city.
Along the way, the thunderous ka-koom of a firing cannon rang out through the mountains, the ominous sound of Orcish bombardment. As they got closer, they chose to abandon their custom travel wagon, and the huge Achaierai birds that were pulling it, leaving them hidden and well fed to take a narrower, less conspicuous path up the mountain.
Passing marching armies of well-armored dwarves, the team finally arrived at the gates of Dalto Thum, the towering, austere bronze doors built into the crack of the Nelrim mountains. With a waterfall gushing before them and dwarven guards patrolling the entrance, the team attempted a risky gambit, posing as refugees seeking asylum inside the city. Lily disguised herself as her own grandmother and with the amulet’s help, managed a titanic feat of persuasion, convincing the gruff, war-hardened dwarvish field commander to bring the team to Dondo Karigina, the paladin they had been told to seek out inside.
With Uggo, Homrian, and Donk all invisible, they and the rest of the team made it through the massive doors of Dalto Thum, past the cavernous entrance to the mountain, and into the bustling city of the Cragborn Clan. What they found inside was a society bracing for war. Joyless preparation, hard work, and compulsive weapon making punctuated by periodic blasts from cannonfire, rocking the entire mountain. A city under siege.
Winding their way past dark windows and dour faces, they soon arrived at the small, nondescript abode of Dondo Karigina - a shiny metal door set against stone. When it opened, they saw a stout, older dwarf in pale robes. A gleaming, golden ankh hanging around his neck. The devotional symbol of The Candle Queen, the goddess of truth, knowledge, and good fortune. He beckoned them inside, retrieved a gleaming silver sword from a chest, and cast an uneven, glowing circle upon the ground. Looking up at them, he said, “If you wish to converse with me, you must do it inside the Zone of Truth”