The Only Constant

The Rising Tide

The tale begins as few stories do, with its heroes already dead. And not just dead, but long gone, forgotten by the world for nearly a hundred years. Over the last century, everything has changed. The Weave is gone, its death throes triggering the terrible Spellplague whose effects continue to linger even now. Nations have vanished, incinerated by blue flame, ground under by natural disaster or hurled out of the plane by magic. Ancient and alien kingdoms have arisen from the ashes, some to reclaim their lost heritage and others to forge new empires. Through all of this, the heroes have slumbered, the memory of their deeds worn away like sand in a storm.

Not everyone has forgotten them, however, and loyalties of the past rise once more to save them. The group is reawakened, released from their prison by a familiar face: Kiree Amikier. Although she seems rushed, she gives a cursory explanation of their situation—how long they have been gone, some of what has happened to the world and why she is there.

Time or imprisonment has changed the heroes. Adar, previously a cleric of the god Shaundakul, no longer feels His presence, instead finding himself haunted (and aided) by the spirits of those whom he has killed over his life. Death seems to have maintained some of its grip on Patryn, and he returns only half alive, with fragments of his memories and new shapeshifting abilities. Jey, formerly dangerously insane at times, has kept some of his lunacy, but seems almost… at peace. Castor is missing entirely.

Kiree implores the group to hurry, although she does not have the time to explain to explain the reason for her haste. Her suggestion is punctuated by the appearance of a dragon (who turns out to be an ally of Kiree’s), followed by creatures much more horrid. Lacking the power they possessed in their prior lives, Jey, Adar and Patryn follow Kiree’s advice and flee up the tunnel to which she points. Not a moment too soon either, it turns out, as an explosion brings the tunnel crashing down behind them.

They find themselves in an unfamiliar cave, a quick exploration of which yields some equipment from the bodies of another (even deader) adventuring party. The caves, as Kiree mentioned before their departure, are the home to kobolds, and the group has their first encounter with the diminutive folk, leaving a half dozen bodies in their wake. Obviously there are some things that have not changed.

Further into the cave system, they battle their way past another choke point set up by the kobolds. In the process, they rescue an orc by the name of Theork. Surprisingly (and quite the opposite of their previous experiences with orcs), he states that he owes them a debt of honor, and ends up agreeing to help them make their way to the surface.

He steers them away from the main entrance to the kobold warrens, instead taking them down a foul smelling passage to a chamber reeking of garbage and filth. After sliding down to the bottom, they find a field of giant puffball mushrooms. Adar investigates them and determines that they are linked together, sensitive to touch, and very, very toxic. And they thought bypassing the kobold’s main gate would be easy…

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