After banding together in the village of Groth to solve a murder mystery with far-reaching implications, our heroes traveled across Anatar in search of clues as to the abrupt desertion of several neighboring villages.
In the town of Vaerhaven they uncovered the House of Autumn, a collection of free-thinkers and magic-users devoted to the preservation of knowledge. There, they learned of an arcane affliction caused by the resurgence of magical energies lying long-dormant in the land since the Flood. The enigmatic “forest spirits” worshiped by Groth and their neighbors are revealed to be the Eladrin, fey beings who have taken it upon themselves to “quarantine” those they deem to be “infected” by this arcane disease.
Tasked by the House of Autumn to recover a replacement focusing lens for an ancient planar scrying device of Bal-Shanaari design, the party has trekked north along the crumbling remnants of the High Road, with a remote observatory in the dreaded Mountains of Madness as their destination. Along the way they’ve fought crafty goblins, malicious fey, brutal centaur tribes and even a young blue dragon, among other worthy foes. Adding to their peril is the looming threat of a winter the likes of which Anatar has never seen, and the snow has just begun to fall…
Our heroes’ travels have brought them to the walled fortress-city of Vargheim, just south of the soaring Mountains of Might, and the last human settlement before the long journey through those jagged peaks to the legendary dwarven strongholds of Zarak-Thrum. It is here that they’ve learned of the grim circumstances that await them in Zarak-Thrum: a king gone mad, broken oaths, and a bloody civil war. Ontop of this, the party got more than it bargained for when they agreed to liberate a nearby temple of Pelor from the clutches of a fiendish gnoll tribe. Murphy the halfling rogue was lost to them in the lower levels of the caverns beneath the temple, slain by a ruin-touched gnoll monstrosity in a dank, dark pit.
Managing to return to Vargheim, the party (Hammerfell Company, as they have become known) mourns the loss of their comrade while recovering their strength, nearly ready to set out once more on their quest.