Twenty Years have passed since the return of the dragons. The former capital cities of Stormforge and Firechester have fallen. Stormforge is now populated by the evil and crazy King of the dwarfs Neetch and his undead followers. Living dwarfs have become a rare site as they were all destroyed in the fall of Stormforge. A few have migrated from other parts of the world, but not many. Many adventurers have tried to go there none have returned the same. The city of Firechester has become overrun by undead. The former prison is now the home of the slightly unhinged, undead wizard Fitz. Many church leaders have tried to conquer the undead, and all have failed. Only a small portion of the high end portion of the former capital city is untouched by the undead. This is where the famous warrior and entertainer extraordinaire, Zoey lives.
Palderton has become the new capital city of the south. The city of Bellasee is now in ruins after a mysterious army devastated it. Hightop has become a prosperous city due to it having the only safe route through the mountains. The city of Morngram has also become affluent for the same reason. The desert city of Dendros has become the capital city of the north.
As the story opens we see a tavern in Palderton. After a while there is a disturbance in the town square. The innkeeper says that anyone who takes care of the problem will have a free night, meal, and drinks on the house. Gross the narcissistic jerk paladin, Esmerelda the socially awkward rouge with multiple personalities, Falling Leaf the merciless clumsy monk, Jennavecia the music loving bard who has problems keeping her thoughts to herself, Kylux the dragon-born cleric of Tamara who is quite apt at telling tall tales and has a short attention span, and Trefola the very annoying elf barbarian who has an irrational fear of starvation and eats way more than her share making her 30lbs. heavier than a normal elf all went to take care of the threat. Soon after as Sebastion the impatient limp wristed wizard from Dendros came to the inn only to learn of the same problem happening on the other side of town. He too is given the same offer by the innkeeper. As they come back to the inn they notice their belongings missing. In their places are notes from someone named Chi. The notes state that Chi has taken their belongings, and has gone to Firechester. She tells them they are more than welcome to get it from her. Upon reading the notes the make the trek to Firechester, or what is left of it that is not over run by undead.After searching around they come upon the mansion of the famous bard Zoey. Zoey welcomes them in and has them sit down. Chi soon joins them and explains to them that they have heard rumors of the return of an evil wizard they had fought before and thought they had killed. This wizard had tried to bring forth the three evil dragon gods; Tiamat, Garyx, and Falzure into our world. After watching them take care of the minor threat in Palderton she figured that they would work out good enough to take on the new threat that may be forth coming. She asks that they travel to Dendros and find out any information they can about Zanroar or legends about the dragon gods. He used dragons and their wyvern cousins to terrorize people while he tried to accomplish his goals, and currently wyverns have been seen near there terrorizing the town.
As they enter the town of Morngram, it is filled with gnomes, elves, and surprisingly a few dwarfs. They ask around town and find out someone calling themselves Zanroar has been going around recruiting for something and has gotten a few recruits,a half-dragon was roaming around looking for help about a few weeks ago, and a suspicious guy was in town a few weeks ago and left with a few extra people. While doing some shopping Esmerelda comes across an odd gnomish salesman. He sells her a strange looking lock that does not have a key but instead opens when a dial with numbers on it is turned a certain way.
Once they leave and head to Dendros, there’s a chance they will be spotted by a wyvern (75-100 they will be spotted and followed, 74-50 they will be attacked, 49-1 nothing will happen) once they get to Dendros they’ll see that it is in turmoil and very hostile, very few inns and shops are open, gnolls are patrolling the streets of the few people they do find that are helpful they hear rumors about a powerful half-dragon throwing his weight around asking about them ancient temple to the north and how to access it. He is calling himself Zanroar and he is constantly with seven other powerful brutes he calls his generals. At this point Jennavecia makes two bardic knowledge checks Chi, Zoey, and their associates fought a big battle on that temple for a piece of the Rod of Wonder, supposedly there is a temple to the north in the desert. Last time Zanroar had a few powerful generals.
While there they notice a shopkeeper, being bullied by a few gnolls asking for protection money, calling out for help. After defeating the first wave gnolls, 10 more gnolls come in. As the gnolls start to attack, a dark cloud starts forming above the party and the gnolls, once the party is mostly defeated the cloud forms completely and everyone becomes deafened for 30 minutes, and everyone took 6 points of acid damage after a another round they witness lightning bolts come out of the cloud and strike the gnolls, killing them. Once the gnolls are dead a human comes into the shop looking slightly exhausted. He heals everyone. He gives the shopkeeper some platinum for any damages caused by his spell and approaches Kylux and speaks to him in Draconic. He says, “Follower of Tamara, what are you and your companions doing here? This is quite a dangerous place, especially if you are going around asking about Zanroar. He is too powerful of an enemy for you to make. This is not his first time trying to achieve his goal, and this time he is trying to eliminate any resistance to him before they become a bigger threat. Furthermore, where did you hear about him? Only a few people know of his exploits and not so many are talkative to strangers.”
He introduces himself as Marlow. Marlow tells the adventurers of the five gates that if opened would unleash pure chaos upon the world. He informs them of the closest one in the ruins to the north. Once they leave the city limits Marlow takes his true form, a very old gold dragon. He has the party get on his back, some begrudgingly, and he flies them to the ruins to get a head start on Zanroar and his followers.