A Darkening in the North

Prologue

A Darkening in the North

Theo and Huxley Banmarden have long dreamed of the vast world beyond the walls of their provincial home, the borderland citadel of Adamki.

Since they were old enough to listen, their imaginations had been set alight by the fireside tales of the caravan masters who stayed in their home after doing business with their father, the town’s foremost merchant. It happened sometimes that a shipment of particular value would be guarded by hired adventurers – exotic people from faraway places. These were special nights, as the boys would stay up late hearing tales of glorious cities, deep forests, dark ruins and fell beasts. It wasn’t long before they began to dream of seeing these things for themselves.

Theirs was a privileged upbringing, and they were tutored from an early age by retired sage and swordmage named Douven Staul. Douven taught them to read and write, taught the use of a blade, and taught them about his patron deity, Ioun. If they were one day to leave the confines of these walls, he would make sure they were prepared.

As the years passed, Douven became friend as well as teacher. Now he has gone missing, having failed to return from an expedition to the east, and the boys, young men now, see this as their call to venture into the wider world.

A Journey East

They will travel to Winterhaven, a village at the western edge of a broad swath of land commonly referred to as the Nentir Vale, where Douven told his wife he planned to travel. The elder Banmarden insisted that his sons hire a guide for the journey, and this turned out to be a young gnome bard named Ellyjole Glimwicket, whom they met in the Sundial Tavern. Having equipped themselves and prepared for the journey, the three young travelers set out southward from Adamki, toward the old King’s Road.

As our story begins, we find the travelers on the road, four days east of Erstlin, and still a day away from Winterhaven. Where it will take them from here, time will tell.

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