Two Years Ago

An army of hobgoblins and dragons marched on the Nentir Vale, under the banner of the Red Hand. Winterhaven was razed, and the army laid siege to Fallcrest, who stood alone against the threat. Alone, but for a ragtag band of bumbling misfits.

In the end, there were four left: retired soldier Storm, tiefling master tactician, called out of an unprofitable working retirement as a farmer; the archer Vaus, an elf from the Winterbole woods, and the erstwhile gardener of Lord Padraig; the capricious swordmage Altharion Valanway, long-lost brother of the heroic eladrin knight Ithriel; and the lecherous wizard Corum Unsung, a dapper hedonist from Sarthel to the South.

For saving the Vale, the heroes were rewarded with the ruined fief of Winterhaven, which would be rebuilt, starting with the old Keep on the Shadowfell. Corum named the new settlement Unsung Keep, and because no one else came up with any better ideas, the name stuck.

It was Ithriel Valanway, paladin of Corellon and late of Mithrendain, who sacrificed himself closing the trap in Winterhaven. A conflagration of alchemical fire burnt the village to the ground, and bought the heroes time enough to fortify Fallcrest. An honourable way to go, but Corum felt a lingering sense of guilt— after all, the alchemy for the trap had been his. What if Ithriel hadn’t died to hobgoblin swords, but rather to a friendly fire? The question ate at Corum, even as he gathered bright young ‘apprentices’ to his tower in the Keep.


A lifetime devotee of Ioun, goddess of magic, Corum asked of her one question in his ritual divinations, time and again: what happened to Ithriel? Did he yet live? Finally, one day, Corellon told Sehanine and Sehanine told Melora and Melora told Avandra and Avandra told Erathis and Erathis told Ioun— Ithriel was alive. His trail was cool, but Corellon had felt the paladin’s presence, living, but somehow removed from Corellon’s grace. Corum received this knowledge in a midnight vision from his goddess.

In the Keep’s Great Hall the very next morning, Corum gathered with Altharion, Vaus, and Storm. By the time toast was buttered, it was decided: they would mount a rescue mission, across the Fey Wild of Arborea, to find Ithriel and bring him safely home.

Planescape - Factor of Primes

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