Episode #1: Into the Woods
With the war between the Republic of Dozelmair and the Dread Lands of Malforia hanging in the balance, a common foot soldier, Corporal Dimitri Xant, is recruited by his commander, Lord Eltron Goldtone, to lead a small troupe on a desperate mission to recover an ancient artifact the Dozelmarians hope will turn the tide in their favor. After a brief meeting with Goldstone and the enigmatic General Sybaris, Xant drafts a party of adventurers to travel to Bale Keep to retrieve a legendary “item of power” from the long-abandoned, ever-shunned Bale Keep. Bound together by signing an enchanted scroll, each sports a magical, blue tattoo on their right, inner forearm. The role call for the Bale Keep expedition:
Warren the Young (Mage)
Gromminique Ruptor (Dwarf Fighter)
Link (Ranger, brother of T.J.))
T.J. (Rogue, brother of Link)
Quincy (Cleric of Croitia, the God of Storms)
Ranger Link leads the crew through the Tangles to the ancient edifice, where curses are said to abound. What exactly they are seeking, they have no idea, only that there is said to be a “godlike device.” With that in mind, they depart civilization, and plunge into the jungle.
Episode #2: Brotherhoods Forged and Torn
After a miserable, wet trek through the dense jungle, the party locates the keep ruins, where it ambushes and subdues a party of White Hand Orks. They befriend an enigmatic wizard, Calvus, who has arrived at the Keep “for study and scholarship.” While holing up for the night to avoid “Hoppers” (raptor-like creatures) and other sundry beasts (which descend on the bound Orks, who are subsequently slaughtered en masse), T.J., a greedy rogue in search of treasure, slips out a window (unbeknownst to the party) and walks right into the lair of a lurker. The party quickly realizes something is amiss, but by the time they locate and drive off the smothering creature, the hapless thief is dead. In the chamber they find what drew T.J.‘s attention — a brilliant, clear crystal containing what appears to be some sort of reddish liquid frozen in its center. Clearly magical, but its nature unknown, the party pockets the fist-sized gem for the time being, then returns to the above ground barracks that forms their current HQ. On the morn, all offer their sentiments over their partner’s burning corpse. The Keep proper awaits, the entray way an ornate door built right into the side of the cliff looming over the ruined battlements. As the party prepares to enter, a new partner arrives, a beastmaster named Loyd, whose origins and motivations are,as yet, unknown. The lone survivor of the Ork slaughter, a stupid, but willing Ork retainer christened Luritz, also joins the group, swearing fealty to the Paladin.
Episode #3: Deadly Portals
Confronted with something of a puzzle of a door, the party’s observations of the strange, glowing, glass Orbs dotting its exterior come to an abrupt end, as The party engages swarms of deadly vermin, thanks to the impulsive actions of just-recruited retainer Luritz. Gromminique yanks Warren out of the fire and plunges him into a puddle. After some bickering and embarrassment, the party gains entrance to the main chamber, where strange, great magics reside.
Episode #4: Deadly Portals, part 2
Once inside the keep, the enigmatic mage’s plans are revealed. The wizard and beastmaster turn on the party, with help from a “possessed” T’enlev. The mage and his minions are violently dispatched, and T’enlev freed from his mystical bondage. In the interim, Dimitriy Xant is treated to a vision of the keep’s past, thanks to the sad spirit of the last cleric of Bale Keep. The party sets about solving the puzzles of the keep, when cleric Quincy, overcome with typical curiosity, discovers — and uses — a teleporter. Fearing for Quincy’s safety, members of the party follow, all save Link, who explores the upper levels alone.
Episode #5: Rings and (Great, Big) Things
The teleported party members are transported to the lower chamber of the keep, where a glowing portal has opened, revealing an aspect of Breddith, Goddess of Pestilence and Disease. An unconscious Quincy is next to her, encased in spiders’ web. The vile creature absorbs an evidently willing T’enlev, revealing its seemingly unstoppable, evil power. But Blue Defender Warren makes the beast corporeal, using a strange set of bracers recovered from the mage. He is transported into the beast, where a cosmic battle is enjoined with the absorbed ‘Tenlev. Meanwhile, on the prime material plane, the battle begins. Empowered by divine strength, Corporal Xant plunges ahead, his faithful companion Gromminique beside him.
As the two warriors take on the beast, Link discovers the secret library of the cleric of Bale Keep, a place out of phase with reality. The priest’s manuscripts reveal the deadly secret of Bale – nothing more than a prison for Breddith’s aspect, which is expected to soon rise. Someone must bring the long dead defenders to life to confront the beast below…
The battle rages on beneath the keep. Xant strikes with righteous, god-like strength, while Gromminique’s swings his great axe (soon to be known as “Necksplitter”). Link bursts in the room, bringing with him the ghostly warriors of Bale to aid the party. The battle between good and evil hangs in the balance – Warren’s enchantment is fading. Soon, the aspect will be untouchable by normal means.
In typical heroic fashion, the heroes bring down the beast, dismissing its foul presence for good…or so they believe.