As the heroes progressed into the area known as Moonwreck, it was evident that a great cataclysm had come to the area, as they feared. They looked around and saw scorched earth everywhere, seeing nothing but destruction wherever they looked. The quest to save Princess Argenta would not be easy.
Progressing into the countryside, they came across the town of Veldens which once had been a small human community but was left with no life, everyone either having fled or been killed. A small group of unidentified bodies were still smoldering in a pyre, and it appeared as if they were dwarven, adding to the confusion as it was unlikely that dwarves would have attacked humans in such a way.
Kouro Marmari decided to investigate the local temple of Primus while Suriveth Varune searched the local burgermeister’s home for clues. Glaedwin Longclef along with Dracovel Kilvesh and Wolfram Delmanse, watched outside, vigilant for any further attacks.
The clues they had pieced together was that something at the palace of Princess Argenta must have taken place, resulting in the terrible evil that had befallen the area. Unfortunately, there were few other clues. The adventurers pressed on on the road towards Veldens and the palace.
Halfway along the road an ambush set up by derro, evil Underdark dwarves, took them by surprised. It was only when a knight in the service of the Crusader sprung forth from the burnt forest that they were able to repel these forces of evil. The knight, Sir Bellivin, was also able to reveal a little more of what had happened.
While tending to their words Sir Bellivin explained the following:
- The Protectors are a magical race of elves that live in the area and have protected the area from evil for centuries, allowing for the normally lush and beautiful land to thrive and be a home for fantastic and mystical good creatures.
- Recently a ruby the size of an apple was found by dwarven subjects of Princess Argenta. They polished it so bright and gave it to the Princess as a gift, calling it My Lady’s Heart.
- A grand feast was planned to honor the dwarves. Around this time a mysterious stranger rode in riding a white dragon and wearing black armor.
- At midnight, disaster struck with crops dying overnight, foul winds coming through the land and evil creatures flocking to the land, killing everything they could find. An explosion erupted from the castle and a red glow enveloped the area.
- Soldiers from Ironwall are bogged down in a massive fight against gnolls, orcs, and trolls, preventing them from mounting an expedition to the castle to see what had become of Princess Argenta.
- The creature that caused the flame and scorched earth is a red dragon that is trying to make a home somewhere nearby.
Upon reaching Gulluvia, a town of mushroom homes and a settlement for gnomes and faeries, they found that this area, too, was overrun by evil, perhaps the trolls they had seen earlier by the bridge they had crossed.
Staying overnight and hiding in the town’s pavilion, they would likely make it to the palace in the morning. While looking through his items, Glaedwin noticed that he had gotten a response from the Prince of Shadows. Apparently, agents of the Prince had recovered the Chest of Secrets and taken it to Dresda in Foothold. The chest of Una Helta was available to picked up later or abandoned.
However, upon leaving town in the morning they were attacked by redcaps, the most deranged and evil of fey. They were able to fend off the attackers but the savagery and insanity of the creatures reminded them of the dangers that lay ahead.