A brief summary of the story so far.
Starting out is the marketplace of a small town, the party defended themselves against a gnoll assault, and were recruited shortly thereafter to rescue the captured villagers. They left that evening to attack the gnolls at their hideout, and were able to save all but one of the captives. They spent the next couple days getting some much-needed rest and recuperation at the town’s inn. Theodore renegotiated with the town’s baron, and Ileain helped out at the temple to aid the wounded. The party then received an anonymous message from the nearby city of Durnholme, being invited to the city for a job, with lodging paid for.
Upon arriving at the city, they took a few minutes to settle in before Ileain discovered their mysterious benefactor in her room, obviously disguised through magic. Introducing herself as an Imperial Investigator, she laid out the terms of the job – the party was to neutralize a thieves’ guild operating within the city by any means necessary, violent or not. In return, they would be paid with gold, a minor magic item, and a good word with the city’s viscount. She also introduced Elsweyr, a rogue, to the party. After doing some research, they discovered that they had a hideout beneath an old church in a poor district of town. While getting Elsweyr inducted into the guild, they discovered upon his initiation that the thieves stole from the rich and not the poor, and to benefit not only themselves but also the poor and downtrodden. They offered to disperse for a while if the party were willing to lie to the investigator. Conflicted, Theodore went back to the investigator to warn her of the rest of the party’s plans to possibly betray her. After a brief discussion, he led her back to the old church.
There, they met the rest of the party, where the investigator revealed her true form – an elf woman, Iriel Amari – and described her reasons for leading the party astray. She was being blackmailed by the viscount, who was holding her brother captive, into taking care of the thieves, but they knew who she was – hence the need for outside help. She appeared to be ready to kill the party, but only reluctantly, and Marsala was able to talk her down. The party, believing that Iriel had been wronged, decided to try to break her brother free, but first needed to find out a way to destroy a cursed amulet that Iriel was forced to wear: it granted her protection and some measure of power, but tracked her movements against her will.
Their plan was quickly upended when the investigator was arrested. The party quickly scrambled to get in contact with the thieves once again, explaining the situation and asking for their help. They agreed reluctantly, and broke into the castle’s basement with the party through a hidden escape tunnel. Before they could find the investigator, however, the group stumbled upon something they did not expect: a ritual in a sub-basement, of which the viscount was a part. After Theodore interrupted the ritual, they were caught in a magical explosion and felt as if they were falling into blackness.
Waking up in the castle basement, they found that it was starting to collapse. Believing that this was due to the explosion, they quickly tried to make their way out, but stumbled upon Iriel, who was obviously subjected to some form of corruption. She revealed that two years had passed and the world was in shambles, having been invaded by a corrupted army, first led by the viscount and then by a pit fiend who had killed him and taken his place. After freeing her from the cell, she helped the party escape, but not before they fought off a powerful demon. As the party jumped through the portal, the future form of Iriel was killed, barely closing off the portal in time before more demons could come through.
Back in the ritual chamber in their own time, the party killed the viscount, who was revealed to be a barbed devil. After dispatching it, they quickly made their way to the prison to free Iriel, though they could not help her brother as he had been killed during the ritual. With Iriel in tow, the party escaped the city aboard a train.
Having gone south as far as they could aboard the train, the party disembarked and made their way east on a seven day’s journey on foot. On the fifth day, they were forced into a cave due to adverse weather, immediately finding the the cave was already inhabited. Theodore and Elsweyr went further into the cave, while Marsala and Ileain were reluctant to do so, and Iriel was keeping watch over the camp. Inside the cave, the two men found an ancient temple of some kind, which they quickly decided to explore.
Inside the temple, they found Eryn Silvershield, a mysterious historian investigating the ruined temple. The party delved deeper into the ruins, with Iriel remaining behind to stand guard. After a brief encounter with a mimic, the party faced off against a banshee before entering a large chamber with four braziers. A magical item of some sort was keeping elementals sealed in the braziers, two of which had already been freed when wards in the temple were dispelled. Removing the magical item, which turned out to be a cloak of elvenkind, freed the remaining elementals, and the party returned to the surface.
Eryn expressed her thanks and asked to accompany the party to the sanctuary where, upon arrival, she would part from them. However, upon learning their story, she revealed that she was a warlock of several hundred years’ age, having dedicated her life to the pursuit of knowledge and the protection of all from evil. Discussing this, the party soon decided to dedicate themselves to preventing the terrible future they had seen from coming to pass, and vowed to form an organization for this purpose, as well as providing any member of any faith safe haven to worship in peace. They set out to the elven sanctuary, intent on building a base of operations to start the long journey ahead of them…