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Prologue: Ghosts of War

The Scene

A dimly lit cavern on “neutral” ground beneath the mountains. The cavern was once consecrated to some deity, but has been deserted for many years. The altar of worship has been defaced countless times by brutish hands; it’s bloodied, filthy, and the inscriptions have almost completely been scratched out. Four rickety chairs are drawn around the altar, which is at the end of the cavern. Further off in the gloom, crumbling pews and rotting tapestries give evidence that this place was once a centre of worship. The air is unclean and chill; in the stale torchlight, the four figures seated around the altar appear as little more than shadows.

Timeline: Over 50 years ago, approximately a decade before Theseus was born.

Goal: The four leaders have gathered in a last-ditch attempt to make peace between the warring factions.

Specific objectives:

  1. Terms of “safe passage” deal across each faction’s territory
  2. Limited trade
  3. Missionary entry: Moradin (Ceyx), Gruumsh (Xanthera), Torog (Tharun), Bahamut (Crane). The Obsidian Warrior replaces any god for each of the four participants if he or she falls under the influence of Annatar.
  4. Mutual protection against certain common foes: illithids (mindflayers), etc.

Your knowledge: Sadly, war did break out, earning the area the title of War’s Rage, in part due to the malign influence of a mysterious figure who called himself Annatar, the Lord of Gifts, but who became known to later generations as “The Corruptor.” Somehow, he suborned one or more of the factions, promising them wealth and power if they turned to the worship of a god called the Obsidian Warrior.

Actors
  1. Ceyx (played by Peter): Aged male dwarf leader, dressed in dwarven regalia that has seen better days (fine materials, but the edges of his cloak are frayed). Noble bearing, but betraying signs of physical weakness, whether due to age or some personal trauma.
  2. Xanthera (played by Tasha): Female orc chieftain of medium height but muscular build, scarred on both cheeks from old battle-wounds. Has a dry sense of humour, tinged with an air of fatalism (the lives of orcs are typically cut short). Has a habit of tossing a rusty silver coin in the air when others are talking. Does not look like someone who is easily intimidated or fooled.
  3. Tharun Darklight (played by Arvind): Male duergar clan chief, around whom rumours of slave and sex trafficking swirl. In appearance, as most duergar: dark skin, white hair, many rings on fingers. Surprisingly polite for a duergar, but his words always seem to contain double meanings.
  4. “Lord” Matherson Crane (played by Robb): Former knight of Bahamut (no one knows why he left the church). Tall, clean-shaven man in his mid ‘40s. Piercing eyes and an unctuous, studied manner of speaking.

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