It is the year 1369 DR in the Silver Marches, a region nestled in the north-western region of Faerun. For the last two years, a calm has come over the region as Citadel Felbarr (formerly the Citadel of Many-Arrows) was reclaimed and with it the routing of the Orcs back north to Dark Arrow Keep. Led by the ferocious warlord, Obould, it was not a matter of if – but when – the peace settling in would come crumbling down. As Goblin and Orc raiding parties make their way down into the areas of Mithral Hall, Nesme, Mirabar, and other settlements in the Silver Marches region, the drums of war beat once again.
Spring, 1369 DR
Hailing from the eastern edge of the Silver Marches region, two Shield Dwarves – cousins Horst Farflung and Cronk “The Destroyer” Thunderfist – find themselves heading west towards the city of Mirabar as both had heard of the mining opportunities that were booming there. After all, a good pay is a good pay and after years of low wage jobs, they were tired of it. As they were coming up to within a days travel to Nesme from the east, the two entered into a lightly forested area that wasn’t very large but the path they were on diverted through it. Heading past the first row of trees, Horst picked up the sound of a branch breaking and as he jerked his head to look over to his right, the whistling sound of an arrow flew over his head.
“Duck, cousin!”, the Ranger yelled as his hands swung to his hip, slipping the crossbow from his belt. He quickly yanked a bolt from the quiver over his back and sunk it into the firing chamber. Aiming down sight, he shot into the dark of a tree roughly 40 feet away – about a foot above the branch – and suddenly a Goblin came crashing to the ground with a splat. At this moment in time, Cronk had realized the situation they found themselves in as a few other Goblins had begun running up the road at them. A grin crept onto the face of the Barbarian as he ran towards the oncoming foes, screaming at them.
One fell, two fell, and before either had a clear second to think, six Goblins lay dead around them; two from trees, and four from those at the road. The two looked at each other before heading down towards the town of Nesme. They stayed the night in the Sundered Shield Tavern, the only place in the town that offered a tavern and a room under the same roof. In the morning, they set out back along the road that connected to the Long Road, the main path south of Mirabar.
Far to the south in the east most city on the Lake of Steam – Innarlith – a ship was preparing to set sail for the City of Splendors, otherwise known as Waterdeep. The travel would take months but goods were needing to be transported and passengers sought safe passage to a new place. As the crates were loaded onto the ship, a loud whistle went out giving notice to the passengers that they needed to begin loading.
As the whistle sound in the distance blew, Scarlett’s gaze lifted from her Wizard’s book to the direction of the sharp noise piercing her ears. She snapped the book shut before strapping it to her belt. Once secured, she dusted off her revealing robes and began to wander her way over to the boat taking each step slowly to gauge her surroundings. She noticed a little up the road a female Dwarf and she quickly assumed her a native of the region given the golden/brown hue to her skin. After all, most of the Dwarves that Scarlett had encountered were known as “Shield” Dwarves, often very pale of skin.
The female Gold Dwarf Ermgra looked up sharply, stirred from the slumber she had found herself in having been waiting for so long. She grumbled quietly to herself adjusting the metal helmet atop her head so she could better see her surroundings. Adjusting her eyes to the brightness of the sun, she held one shut as she peered up and down the road beside the dock. With her gaze looking down the road, she noticed an interesting person approaching: a female with waving robes in the wind. As the woman came closer, Ermgra rolled her eyes seeing the swaying hips of the Tiefling with the tail slinking behind her.
Noticing the gold Dwarf eyeing her, Scarlett merely smirked in passing as she made her way up the ramp and onto the ship. Soon, she disappeared below decks to her room where she would remain for most of the trip. Ermgra, having seen the Tiefling board the ship, grumbled again, complaining about the presence of “horned lasses”. Grudgingly, she grabbed her bag and wandered up the plank ramp and to her own room as well.
Nearly two and a half months would pass as they continued sailing towards Waterdeep, entering into the spring months of the year. One day, as Ermgra and Scarlett sat in their own rooms, they felt the ship suddenly rocked with a powerful blast. Several doors swung open as crew ran from their rooms to the top deck with a single yell being heard: “WE’RE UNDER ATTACK!” Ermgra exited her room and Scarlett as well shortly after, both darting up the stairs to the deck as well. With their gaze now on the open sea, they both peered behind them as rain came crashing down, the sky itself a pitch dark being night. In the distance, however, they could see the glow of lanterns as another sound of thunder cracked with the firing of cannons coming from a ship approaching their port side.
Several crew members were blown simply blown off the top of the deck as a few cannons obliterated strips of boards and smashed through the rails. Their eyes fell to the crew that attempted to fight back but they were outmatched and out skilled by their opponent; pirates were known to wander these waters keeping an eye out for easy prey. Without much warning, another round of cannon fire came blasting towards the ship Ermgra and Scarlett found themselves on causing a blast of massive magnitude sending the Gold Dwarf and the Tiefling nearly a hundred feet crashing down into the cold open waters. Both were knocked unconscious during the blast.
Emgra began to stir slowly, outstretching her hands as they easily combed through whatever she was laying on. Her eyes began to adjust to the bright sun shining down from above and slowly she lifted her head, eyes scanning her horizon. She found herself looking at a small beach cove, extending back roughly 100 feet and not much more than 200 feet wide. She continued looking around, noticing the rocky escarpment that led down into the area. Pushing herself to her feet, she dusted off the sand from her still damp clothes.
Just as she began to take a step forward, she glanced down the beach to see another body in the sand. She quickly made her way over in case the individual was another survivor and upon coming within 20 feet of the body, she furrowed her brows seeing the tail of the Tiefling poking up from her behind. “Ye have got ta be kiddin’ meh…”, she muttered to herself before wandering over, bending down to shake the Tiefling for any signs of life. With her hand coming down to the back of the woman, she gave several small pushes to move her.
“Oi, wake up… lass,” she says, glancing up for a moment. When looking back down, she felt the body move beneath her as Scarlett rolled onto her back, roughing up a bit of water that she spat to the side. Swiftly lifting her arm to shield her eyes from the light of the sun, she noticed the small frame of the Dwarf. “Help me up,” she demanded, raising a hand to the Dwarf. Ermgra eyed the hand, warily taking it to help the Tiefling to her feet. The two talked and decided it would be best for both to travel together for sake of living more than anything. They climbed the escarpment and began their way north ward. In passing the first caravan willing to take them up, they found out they were just south of Waterdeep by about a days travel by cart.
A few days were spent in the city as they acquired some new gear for themselves. However, both realized the City of Splendors is no more than a murderous den of thieves and corruption – much to the delight of Scarlett – yet they decided to continue travelling on as Ermgra was rather keen on visiting the Dwarven strongholds of the region: Citadel Adbar, the newly reclaimed Citadel Felbarr, and the glorious Mithral Hall. She had heard many tales but wished to see it for herself.
Departing northward with aim to get to the Long Road before taking it north to Mirabar, the two made their way over a week to the road before doing just that.