Campaign of the Month: April 2022

A Rising Darkness

Series Prelude

Goldshire. Once upon a time, a sleepy little farming village, nestled on the road between Corm Orp and Hluthvar, in the foothills of The Sunset Mountains. Unremarkable, except for The Dragon’s Pride Inn.

At least, that’s how it was until a year ago. Whilst burying one of its local Halfling inhabitants, one Poppo Frymore, gold and diamonds were discovered within the grave.

Word of the discovery soon traveled out, spreading throughout The Kingdom of Athenia, and beyond. Gold, silver, and rare gemstones had been discovered, suddenly, and people poured in to the sleepy hamlet seeking to make their fortune.

As word spread, so did people’s greed. Bandits, humanoid tribes, and The Zhentarim out of Darkhold, all took notice of the sleepy village, now booming with people and treasure. A call for protection went out from The Town Council and Mayor, to the King, and a garrison of soldiers, led by the Brave knight, Lady Sorsha Aurelius, were dispatched to ensure the safety of the people and the maintaining of The King’s Peace.

5 weeks ago, a caravan departed from Baldur’s Gate, laden with wagons of goods to sell in the booming village. 10 wagons loaded to bare, 2 more for support (carrying tents, a kitchen, medical supplies, etc.) and a good size guard of 20 with it. The caravan master, a wily Calashite named Majid Ilderim, pushed the caravan hard, and seemingly had a sixth sense for what areas along the route to avoid and what short cuts to take.

Still, there was trouble, and the guard platoons more earned their pay. Two separate times, raiders of goblins (the first led by a one eyed bugbear, the second led by a loathsome looking hobgoblin) attacked the caravan and were slain or chased off, with no loss to the caravan. The third attack, which Majid attributed to Zhentarim out of Darkhold, occurred within 3 days travel of Goldshire.

The ‘Bandits’ were well equipped, all wearing blackened chain mail, and armed with swords and bows. They assaulted the caravan from two directions, with a coordination that could only be arranged through magic. And they had at least one Cleric of Bane with them, for Junius Velthspar, the second in command of the guards, and a paladin of Torm, was struck down by magic that reeked of Bane.

However, only a single wagon’s team of horses and 2 guards (not counting Junius) were slain in the attack. An Athenian patrol, led by Sir Marcus Silverspear, a half-elven Athenian Knight, arrived on the scene of the attack soon after Junius was slain. The guards efforts, enhanced by the dozen soldiers and the knight, made fast work of those forces that remained. No sign of the Banite cleric was found amongst the dead.

Sir Marcus and his men accompanied the Caravan the remainder of its journey to Goldshire, and once there, Majid proceeded to make a fortune, even selling the wagons and horses that he had utilized. All the guards were paid a bonus for their efforts, and friendships created along the road, made friends to share drinks with at The Dragon’s Pride Inn.

However, that was more than two weeks ago, and the gold made on that venture has run out. Majid, is not intending to lead another caravan from the town, instead utilizing his profits to set himself up with a new business, establishing his own Trading Coaster based from the town.

And so, the group, bonded by the friendship and dependence on one another from their journey from Baldurs Gate to Goldshire, find themselves needing income. At a tip from Gwendolyn, the barmaid at The Dragon’s Pride, the group stands before the board that Lady Sorsha, Commander of The Garrison and charged with Goldshire’s defense, has erected outside The Dragon’s Pride, glancing over the various offers of work for pay.





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