In the early days of Winter, Last Hearth seems to be in a state of hibernation. The majority of the trade between the Dwarven Hinterlands and the Realm of Bælor that ran through Maekar’s Pass and into Last Hearth has all but ceased. A band of human separatists, led by noble-turned-warlord Devon Royce, have been ambushing trade caravans and raiding nearby settlements, causing many merchants and traders to redirect or cancel commerce between Bælor and the Hinterlands.
As a result, much of Last Hearth’s population has migrated southwest to Oldtown in search of food and work. The garrison stationed at Last Hearth has been reduced by order of the Central Command in Angmar’s Keep. Last Hearth’s sole inn, Maeker’s Mark, has remained open to accommodate travelers and bounty hunters.
On a blustery night in the end of the 10th moon cycle, the adventurers enter Maeker’s Mark with very different reasons for being in Last Hearth. A Dwarf Barbarian by the name of Milton Softrock looking to make a name for himself through investigating the raids in Maeker’s Pass. Milton attempts to distance himself from his family‘s rather docile nature by operating under the moniker “The Flex”. The Flex is an unheralded professional wrestler, utilizing his impressive strength and skill to perform stunts. Kai, a Dwarf Rogue, with questionable motives is in town in search of treasures. She immediately cozies up to Torrhen Hammerskold, a grizzled Dwarven Ranger employed by the Council of Bælor to protect Last Hearth and the surrounding populations from wild animal, and evil humanoid attacks. He is a boisterous figure with a high tolerance for mead, and a penchant for risk-taking. Finally, a Dragonborn Monk, Xanban enters the inn looking for a dry bed and a warm meal. He is hoping to continue his research of scrolls and ancient writings by traversing Maekar’s Pass with the help of willing adventurers.
Our heroes quickly find themselves working on a strategy for combating the raiders and making their way to the Hinterlands. Shortly after the heroes begin planning their adventure, a raiding party besieges Last Hearth. Maeker’s Mark is set ablaze and the four adventurers are ambushed outside the inn. They put up a valiant fight, but are subdued by a potent sleeping agent. After an unknown period of time, Torrhen, The Flex, Kai and Xanban awaken in a windowless chamber in a set of large holding cells. At this moment, our heroes encounter a nameless Druid who has also been captured by the raiding party. The party of five manages to shed their bonds and prepare to fight their way out of the mysterious prison. As the cells are unlocked, the sound of jangling keys is heard from the top of a dark staircase.
What awaits our adventurers at the top of the stairs? Only time will tell.
Tune in for Episode Two: Escape the Mountain.