Leaving the tomb of Kursk behind, you make for the city of Melvaunt to the south. Along the river you find orcs so you decided to stay to the rise west of the river and make your way south. The faint smell of smoke is in the air as you travel. A good couple hours of travel you find a crevasse in the stone rise and make camp there within a Leomund’s Tiny Hut.
During the night the area has become filled with heavier smoke and as you journey out from your hut, you find a more dense smoke hanging in the air. The smell of burning wood is dominate as you check around. making for the top of the rise you can see out in the distance, which is reduced, smoke filling the air with bellowing stacks to the east and south of you. A faint glow of flame can be seen from time to time. Staying to the west, you move south.
Once again you make for the top of the rise as the smoke has not lessoned. Once there you can see a large group of bipedal creatures moving along the road which is near the river here. Upon closer inspection, you find two groups of approx. 15 orcs each bordering a group of human men, women and children down the road. Deciding to free these humans and destroy the orcs, you plan an attack.
Using you magic and skill you make you ways down the rise and cast strong magics towards the orcs. Burning them and crushing them driving them down. A leader and two stronger individuals try to rally the orc warriors as battle ensues. You masterfully defeat the orcs and find the humans to be farmfolk from the outlying areas of Melvaunt. Some who could understand orcish say they heard talk from the orcs about them being taken to the forces of Shar. To be a sacrifice or offering to the dark one. They are grateful to you for their freedom.
You decided to move south past the vast areasof wild fire spreading across the plains and escort the humans back to their homes. Once you find most a familiar place, the few remaining come with you to Melvaunt and safety. There Starbreaker helps them find shelter and protection. The party finds an inn and rests.
While in Melvaunt, you know your ship has set sail beyond the docks of this city to hide out in the shallows east of here. You also hear stories of orcs. Farms and small villages have been attacked and destroyed by orc attack. It seems the city guard were sent to help those in need as they came upon more orcs bringing fires to life to destroy farms and take prisoners. Many people have vanished. Some who managed to stay hidden tell a horrid tale of watching orcs drag their families away. The city patrol came across a dark temple out in the wilds where they managed to rescue a dozen humans. They tell stories of shadowy figures and areas of darkness within this temple. Some humans say that others were taken deep into this temple and did not return. The strength of the city patrol was enough to survive but none wish to return after seeing shadows come to life and powerful shadow magics being wielded by dark figures.
If more people have been taken into this temple, a force must be sent to bring them back. Rumors of shadow monsters and engulfing shadow magic abound. Talk among the city guard brings dark powers and massing orcs causing these massive fires across the lands. Talk of items of shadowy magic controlled by shaman orcs are on the tongues of many. A feel of shadowy doom is in the air.
You are rested as you awake this morning to find out a city scout has returned with a prisoner and reports of orc bands north of Melvaunt. Before killing the prisoner, the clerics in the city learn about and warn of visions coming to them of a powerful shadow figure wielding a dark stone is coming from the temple the city guard found to the east of Melvaunt. The Shadow Citadel. And beyond that the Monastery of the Ebon Dome which leads to the black rift. Truths of powerful shadow magics and worshippers of Shar have all worried as the prisoners final words were spoken.