Weird Tales of Cold Blooded Sword and Sorcery
Prepare yourselves for adventures of untamed savagery and insidious sorcery!
In an age long past, wise wyrms taught the many peoples of the islands wisdom and wizardry under the watchful gaze of Io, the Concordant One. Great cities were raised from jungle and swamp, in the glory of Arkhosia; all lived in peace under the twin suns.
To guide the people of the islands, the Concordant One bestowed a gift upon the dragons that served him and so were born creatures that were part dragon but much like the people of the islands. These creatures were called the dragonborn, and became warrior priests of the islands serving to enact the will of Io and be living examples of ambition, duty, glory, honor, justice, and greed that all peoples of the islands: kobolds, lizardfolk, sahuagin, troglodytes, and yuanti might know virtue. The dragonborn ran the great civilization of Arkhosia, enforcing the dictates of their dragon overlords, to protect and steward the lesser races under their care…
The Rise of Ulban
But alas all good things must end, and so the time of wisdom ended with the arrival of the dread star Ulban. The star appeared suddenly in the heavens and in its blinding Light was revealed terrible monsters that ravaged the islands of the green sea. Those that dared sleep in the Light of Ulban suffered too. The dreams of sleeping hatchlings were devoured by the herald of Acamar that stalked the Dreamlands, and so their dreams were replaced by the phantom chorus of the alien entities that push on the walls between dimensions. The voices whispered promises of quick and easy power and soon many of the young began to gather in cults dedicated to the worship of the twisted aberrations that had been revealed by the Light of Ulban. The cults forged forbidden covenants with the squamous eldritch beasts and soon more terrible horrors were birthed. The warrior priests of the Concordant One began rounding up the cultists and with the help of their god they made headway suppressing the mad influence of the Far Realm but were no match for the terrible oozing creatures that the cults worshiped. The cults struck back and desecrated many temples of Io.
Io Battles the Dread Star
Finally, the Concordant One had enough of these blasphemies and dove down from the high heavens to do battle with the dread star. For seven times seven days, the two mighty entities did battle while with each blow the skies grew darker: and were filled with roars of thunder, and rains of foul ichor. In the end the Concordant One was deathly wounded, his massive dying body fell into the sea, and it is said that from his corpse hatched many lesser gods.
Thankfully all was not lost. For though Io had fallen, the star Ulban was diminished such that its mad Light shone dimly and could barely even be seen by night. Without its strange Light to sustain them, many of the terrible farspawned monstrosities faded away, leaving strange glowing shells as the only sign that they had ever existed at all. The fall of Io’s corpse into the sea also triggered terrible storms and tidal waves that rocked the islands. Many millions died or were simply washed away in the wake of the storms.
In the middle of all this madness the remaining wyrms gathered what people they could and retreated to the far corners of the island chain seeking refuge in underground sanctuaries until the storms and tremors subsided. Tales recall that not all the monsters faded with the dreaded star, what few had survived ruthlessly attacked the retreating dragons and the people that they had sworn to protect. The remaining warrior priests swore an oaths to remain behind to distract and stall the onslaught of the farspawn…in the hope that their noble sacrifice would provide sufficient time to secure an escape for the others…
You time has come…
You are a champion of such a hidden sanctuary, and you have been called by the green scaled dragon Razecorex to return to the surface and make it ready for the rest of the people that she rescued now that the storms have finally subsided. Many decades have past since the Cataclysm and it has been years since the quakes finally stilled. Supplies grow thin, and so the time has come to emerge from the sanctuary beneath Twin Tree river.
Go to her now and meet the other champions that will accompany you on your quest.
The expedition left the hidden sanctuary and traveled along an underground river, through a Beholder hive, and finally reached the surface in a scabrous and toxic jungle infested with the horrors of the Far Realm. Braving cultists and worse, the expedition found and freed slaves from the nearby village of Sarnath. Travelling there they found a small village led by a circle of druids and with the help of the Sarnathi giant spider riding barbarians surprised and took temporary control of the nearby village of Sisruk Gug, descending beneath the village they discovered an ancient tomb that was protected by a secret order of Ionian acolytes who had kept a reliquary containing droplets of Io’s blood. After swearing an oath and joining the secret order, the expedition was entrusted with safeguaring the reliquary and preventing the cult of Sisruk Gug and a Black Priest from Slime Pit from finding the Lost Temple of Io/The temple of the Sacred Flame that was hidden somewhere in the toxic jungle of the Foulgrove, trapped inside the shifting lands of the dimensional cyst, a side effect of a failed attempt to open a portal to the Far Realm.
Travelling first to consult the drunken wizard Gazzaud the Iceclaw, the expedition discovered that in his youth, the wizard had found the lost temple and memorized the ancient teleportation circle that led there. Thus he was able to tear open a temporary bridge to the Lost Temple in the Foulgrove.