February 26, 2013
After capturing Brent from Pashin who was on his way north, you seized his equipment including a sinister black mace and interrogated him to find out that the Dark Knights are attempting to re-seize the elven homeland of Silvanesti through an alliance with one of the devil lords of hell itself. The flying creature that you fought while capturing Brent was in fact an imp, and you had witnessed his meeting with an infernal messenger who had given him the mace just before you engaged him.
After debating what to do with him (Adrik wanted to kill him first and foremost) you decided it best to take a detour west and head for the dwarven kingdom of Thoradin and make Brent the king’s problem; surely the king wouldn’t want a deputy of the Dark Knights who cavorts with devils running through his lands! You had to fight your way to the front gates of Thoradin when you ran into ogres who were patrolling the king’s lands. Upon entering the massive dwarven kingdom, you see that it’s a kingdom under reconstruction, but that does nothing to lessen the grandeur of craftsmanship and architectural skill. After waiting for an audience with King Severus Stonehand, you were led into a grand chamber. The king sat on a gilded throne and was surrounded by dwarven warriors.
You quickly learned that the dwarves had reached a tenuous alliance with the Dark Knights whose lands lie on the northern borders of King Severus’s realm. The king is surrounded; Dark Knights are to the north, the hostile ogre kingdom lies to the south and west, and whatsmore the Knights of Solamnia are rumored to be fighting a monstrous army west of Thoradin in Solamnia— an army headed by a vicious half-giant named Ankhar— and many reports claim that ogres have been seen in that army. It’s clear that King Severus is surrounded by conflict amidst his efforts to rebuild.
You showed the black mace to the king who recalled that the mace had been used against the Knights of Solamnia in an attempted ritualistic cleansing 40 years ago by infernal sympathizers—the duergar, or dark dwarves. A particular dark dwark named Zucco was a part of that genocide. The sadistic infernal markings on the mace reflect that terrible story.
The meeting was then interrupted when devils of all kinds teleported into the throne room. A bone devil declared that the alliance between the Dark Knights and the king was broken, and that war had descended on the dwarven kingdom. The king and his elite warriors were quickly summoned to the front gates and there saw a massive army of ogres marching from the west towards Thoradin. The army was backed by flying devils that were setting the mountaintops ablaze with hellish fire.
March 9, 2014
At the gates of Thoradin you helped the dwarves defend the king as wave upon wave of ogres broke upon the doorstep. The king was not ready for a war, and his warriors were slow in arriving to the surface, most being involved in the rebuilding effort up until that moment. You demonstrated a heroic desire to protect King Severus, and whether it was because of an innate altruistic tendency or you knew that the dwarves were in turn protecting you, the king survived. However, the black mace you recovered, of which the king had attached to his belt, was a receiver to the infernal host. Three massive pit fiends teleported to the gates of Thoradin, all of whom carried a long black scepter. The scepters glowed dimly with a dark power, and the pit fiends uttered arcane words. A line of energy shot from one scepter to the other, forming a triangle around you and the embattled king.
When you came to, you stared up at a skyless expanse. A wall in front of you ran as far as the eye could see in both directions. Bone scaffolding dots the wall in various places suggesting constant repair. Behind that wall rises a bronze citadel of immense proportions. King Severus is there, along with two of his warriors, one who dies instantly having succumbed to his battle wounds. You quickly realize that you’ve been transported to the first layer of hell—the city of Avernus and the frontlines of the blood war between devils and demons. But why are you here? Why did hell go through so much trouble to transport Thoradin’s king to the front lines?