What has gone before…
You sit in the partially ruined carriage house watching a tower. This sixty-foot-diameter gray stone tower is missing the bulk of its upper floors-some terrific force smashed its upper sections away, creating huge mound of rubble north of the building and leaving the tower now a mere stump with a jagged top. The Tower of Estrod served Kenabres for decades as library and research laboratory owned by the city. You are here because of a letter found earlier that suggested it has secretly served as a Templar of the Ivory Labyrinth safe house. The cultists may have used the tower's resources to keep track of crusader accomplishments and strengths while appearing to merely be cataloging a history of the war effort. In any event it is the third of the reported safe houses you have visited. The others were abandoned, but there has been some coming and going reported here by Anevia Tirabade, an injured survivor who you rescued and wife of the female Paladin Irabeth. Now that Anevia’s leg is somewhat mended she has taken up her former profession as a scout once more. Now you await the appointed time to strike. You look out over the rubble covered, blood stained streets and can’t help but contemplate the events of the last few days. The world seems turned upside down. The earthy smells of broken walls, the sharp sulfurous tang of demon ichor and the coppery bite of blood hang in the still air and elicit memories that hover at the edge of awareness like ghostly spirits lurking around a graveyard.
Armasse officially began at noon, with the blessing of the festival by Lord Huirun himself, ruler of Kenabres. The crowd gathered in Clydwell Plaza quieted as the aged inquisitor took the stage, clad in shining, resplendent armor. He cleared his throat, but just as he was about to speak, a bright light shone from the west, as if the sun were rising from the wrong direction. Hulrun's shadow fell huge and distorted across the cathedral's facade. A moment later, the sound of a thunderous explosion ripped through the air and earth, along with a violent tremor. To the west, the fortress known as the Kite-the location of Kenabres's wardstone- had vanished. In its place, a brilliant plume of red fire, lightning, and smoke erupted into the heavens.
A moment later, a powerful roar accompanied a welcome sight rising from the crowd-Kenabres's greatest guardian, the ancient silver dragon Terendelev, who had until that moment been attending the opening ceremony disguised as a human. Above, another form appeared, as nightmarish as the Dragon was breathtaking. A humanoid shape three times the size of a human, with skin coated in fire and lightning, gripped a flaming sword and whip. The creature's identity was immediately obvious: Khorramzadeh, the Storm King of the Worldwound, had come to Kenabres. As the ground continued to shake and disgorge demons into the streets, the Dragon and the Balor Lord clashed above. The fight was over in a few harrowing moments, as the Balor cut deep into Terendelev's body, swooping in to strike the Dragon and arresting her charge. A few more blows, and the titanic duo spiraled downward toward the crowd.
The sight of the dragon smashing into the facade of the Cathedral of St. Clydwell is one no witness would ever forget. At that moment, a titanic demon erupted at the far end of the plaza, reducing several buildings to ruins as it smashed into this world. The rift i t created shot across the plaza, and this time there was no escape-it opened below you r feet, angling away into darkness. Even as you fell, the dragon noticed your plight. Though she saw death standing over her, she seized this final chance to save a few more souls. After she uttered a few arcane words and stretched out a bleeding talon, you felt her magic take hold of you, slowing your plummet into the darkness as if you were feathers falling into a pit. Yet the fall remained as inexorable, and as you drifted downward into the depths, the last thing you saw was the Storm King standing before the ancient silver dragon, his sword lashing out and cleaving full through her neck. As her severed head fell, the rift above you slammed shut, and the light of the world above was gone.
You awakened in the dark to find yourself trapped deep below the city with your companions. Anevia, the semi-retired adventurer with her shattered leg. Aravashnial, the Elven Riftwarden, his eyes blinded in the fall, and Horgus Gwerm the arrogant, acerbic nobleman. Together you fought through darkness against vermin, undead and fiends and bested a mad dwarf wizard. You discovered a lost world of deformed crusader children warped by the evil taint of the Worldwound and abandoned to the world below. Now grown into Mongrelmen who still hold the ideals of the crusaders who were their parents. But they reveal that others of the kind have turned to evil following the poor treatment at the hands of crusaders and overzealous inquisitors. A secret war between these rival tribes has been brewing for many years. Worse, evil cultists have allied with the dark tribe of Mongrelmen. The horror of finding out these evil cultists of Baphomet, known to some as the Templars of the Ivory Labyrinth, had infiltrated various mercenary groups and Mongrels, was one thing but proof that at least two had been disguised as Iomedaean crusaders was something else entirely. The urgency to return to the surface and report became ever greater.
You formed an alliance with Chief Sull of the Neathholm Mongrelmen and fought your way through the evil of their kind and battled the Inquisitor of Baphomet, Hosilla, and her devoted tiefling bodyguard, Uziel. It was in her things that you found the letter about the three safe houses.
After days of fighting and struggling you finally emerged from the sewers, to step into a city vastly different from the one they left at the Armasse Celebration. The tremors and demonic attacks had devastated the city, leaving it a smoking, apocalyptic ruin. Deep chasms riddle the city, while the paths of enormous demons have left ruinous trails of rubble extending out from the city's heart. Above, the once-familiar skyline of Kenabres and forever changed-the tower of the Kite and the Cathedral of St. Clydwell having been completely destroyed, while elsewhere plumes of dark smoke still rise from the smoldering remains of burned-down buildings. Fat buzzards wheel above in skies scarred by red smoke and black clouds. The Worldwound had expanded its borders, and now the city of Kenabres was enveloped in it.
There was nothing to do but pray and soldier on. Anevia was reunited with her Paladin wife Irabeth. Aravashnial was returned to his library to find his fellow Riftwardens slain or fled. Horgus found his own manor largely destroyed, but a cache of weapons and supplies remained safely below the wreckage, which he donated to the survivors of this terrible act.
The city had been infiltrated with evil cultists and demons before the attack began. Once the city was plunged into chaos many of the crusaders proved to be more motivated by greed or saving their own skin rather than the holy crusade. They fell to rioting, looting or even joining the opposition.
An island of hope was found. More than 200 of the faithful had gathered at the Inn of the Defender’s Heart. This building was large and fortified and stocked with food and other supplies. Joining the defenders here and surviving members of the city’s Eagle Watch you fought to restore order and rescue others. It soon became clear that the cultists and their demonic allies had taken old Kenabres—the original fortified town within the walls of greater Kenabres. They were there waiting for something. The Paladin Irabeth and the old wizard, Quednys Orlun believed they knew why. A fragment of the city’s wardstone remained and the demons believed they could use an abyssal stone, a Nahyndrian crystal mentioned in cultist documents you found, to take over all the remaining wardstones and turn them against the crusaders. Once again you were called to fight. Issued a powerful magic item called a Rod of Cancellation you worked your way into the heart of Old Kenabres and into the desecrated temple of Iomedae. There you battled demons, undead and evil tiefling cultists of Deskari their leader a half-elven Oracle of Deskari, Jeslyn.
Finally, attaining the innermost room you used the Rod to destroy the fragment. Here your memories become jumbled and confused. A great out-flowing of power came into you overwhelming you at first, but leaving you filled with the divine power of Iomedae. All your previous wounds healed and you were restored as if rested. You would later learn that all along the Worldwound the wardstones were flaring with power and then burning out. A demon attack was underway and the flares of power destroyed demons in the hundreds. The powerful witch Areelu Vorlesh had been watching over the wardstone fragment and sensing its destruction. She tears a rift into this world from the Abyss and a pack of Babaus tumbles in. More powerful demons mass, but are cast back and the rift is sealed by the power of Iomedae. After a fierce battle the Babaus are slain.
It soon becomes clear that the power that once protected the whole of Golorian from the spread of the Worldwound has been lost except for a potent fraction of it now housed in you. And thus you find yourself mopping up pockets of evil in ruined Kenabres as you await the arrival of Queen Galfrey and the Medev army.