The session began where the Prologue left off, with some of our adventurers answering a summons from Whispin, the Royal Wizard. He proceeds to show them a large, stone ring that was excavated from an ancient site on the fringes of the empire. After much research, he discovered the ring was a portal and figured out how to activate it. While demonstrating the portal, the city is attacked by Hadran’s troops and the laboratory is stormed, Whispin sends the Royal Seekers through for their protection, hoping he himself is too valuable to kill. He vows to keep studying the portal and hopes he can help them soon.
With that, our adventurers step through the portal and find themselves in an old temple. Besides the gate, there is also a skeleton propped up against a wall. Upon examining the body, they notice part of the skull is missing, yet there is no signs of blunt force trauma. They also find a leather gauntlet and an old map on the body.
The party also notes that at the base of the stone ring is glyphs matching the ones that Whispin pressed to activate the portal in his laboratory.
Our heroes discover the gauntlet activates some kind of transport to an unknown location, perhaps under the temple, that contains living quarters. They find seven sets of remains in a locked room and an elongated red crystal in another.
Using the map, the party heads for the marked town. Traveling a day through heavy woods, they eventually come across farmland and the town of Hillshollow Crest. The village has several hundred people and is ran by Count Byron Eyrewell. The party spends some time in the Hearthflame Inn talking to Caldur One-Eye, the only dwarf in town, and then go to see the Count.
Count Eyrewell informs them his daughter, Lilya is missing and presumed kidnapped by bandits. He offers them free lodging and use of his library while they look for her. The party eventually finds the bandits at some ruins hidden in the thick forest. It turns out the bandits are Kenku and indeed were holding Lilya. The adventurers defeat the Kenku and free Lilya. Before leaving, the party decides to investigate one last building in the ruins and come across a harpy. The party grievously injures the harpy, Kremkina, in an opening salvo and she begs for her life. She gives the party all the baubles the Kenku left for her in exchange for her life. All she wants is to continue living in the ruins and is actually glad the Kenku are gone. The party agrees and suggests they may visit her from time to time, with trinkets in tow.
The party takes Lilya back to Hillshollow Crest and Count Byron Eyrewell.
Through their library research the party learns they are on Astil, a continent just north of Tammerland’s. The area they are in is simply known as The Wilds. It is an area that is not densely populated and is littered with the ruins of an ancient people known as the Tuath.
The Tuath were human magic wielders who subjugated the other races in the area Ages ago. Their civilization is thought to have been brought low by their own magical experimentation. Something went wrong and large swaths of territory were leveled. The Tuath were no more, though humans in the area like to think they are the direct descendants. All that is left of the Tuath now are their ruins that litter the landscape.
The lore seems to indicate that there are more of these stone rings out there, and especially so in this area. It is presumed the Tuath were the original creators, even though there appears to be no magical aura to the portals.