The story of the Vallenhas family is a woeful one. The misguided actions of a desperate man have doomed a good and prominent lineage. This tragedy has engulfed hundreds of innocent souls, now on the brink of damnation. Will you heed the call and help to save them all?
Baldric and the Backstory
Young Baldric Vallenhas married the love of his life, Crissa Falkender. Together, they took good care of the people who lived on his vast estate. Under the protection of the Vallenhas guards, the little village outside the stronghold grew to a bustling town. The family fortune grew and Lady Crissa gave birth to their first son, Alric. These were the prosperous times.
Unfortunately, a blight came to Vallenhas. The streams dried up and crops withered. The town was in trouble and many of the people fell ill including Lady Crissa, who carried their second child.
Baldric spared no expense trying to find a solution, but the Vallenhas fortune only dwindled while Lady Crissa became deathly ill. Baldric locked himself away to summon any manner of spiritual assistance.
After Baldric's long and worrisome seclusion, he emerged strangely calm and confident. Within a matter of days, water began to flow, fields grew back and the sick, including Lady Crissa, were miraculously healed. The people rejoiced as prosperity returned. Baldric claimed his prayers had been answered.
Lady Crissa gave birth to their son Berion. Tragically, she died soon after childbirth devastating Lord Baldric. He withdrew from his sons, mourning his beloved wife and throwing himself into running his estate. Berion and Alric were raised primarily by the family healer Gaerwen Veil, schooled by Etrien the Bard and trained by Rayns, the loyal captain of the guard.
Alric – No Stone Unturned
Suspecting his father of making some sort of devil's deal. Alric trained to be a Paladin. At 16 years old, he left in search of a way to save his father's soul. Over the next ten years, Alric worked his way through the darkest corners of the Faerun, from Ebon Downs to the jungles of Chult. He engaged in dealings with the most evil of creatures, manipulating and killing whoever he needed to, to solve the mystery. He lost touch with his brother, questioned his faith and was in danger of becoming part of the evil he was fighting.
Berion - Heir of Vallenhas
Back home, Baldric moved steadily deeper into madness. Though he made sure his people were taken care of, he became paranoid and obsessed with showing power and strength. He hired more guard, fortified the stronghold and among other extravagant projects, built a system of glyphs that allowed him to teleport from his keep to all corners of his land. Nothing seemed to satisfy him and he spend fewer hours in his court and more and more time in his bed.
Berion in the meantime, was becoming a brilliant young man with a noble desire to take care of people less fortunate as him. Enlisting the guard to help, he personally delivered food and supplies to local homesteads and shelters and assigned his entourage to any odd work that needed to be done there.
Sadly, Lord Baldric eventually fell to illness and passed away. With first born Alric unavailable, Berion inherited the Vallenhas Estate and Stronghold. Soon after his father’s burial, an impossibly black orb appeared in the sky above the keep, and it started to grow.
The Stronghold’s Doom
The people of Vallenhas were bewildered and frightened of this ominous portent and they were ready to flee. Lord Barion tried to keep his people calm and safe. He gathered his wisest council of clerics and mages. They were baffled with no idea where the black sphere had come from or how to dispel it. Lord Berion sent out a plea for help to Lord Neverember. Etrien set out to look for Alric.
Within a fortnight, the mysterious dark sphere grew to encompass the entire Vallenhas Estate. Suddenly, everything and everyone within the orb was hanging in suspension above Avernus, the first layer of the Nine Hells of Baator.
The land shook and broke apart as people ran as fast as they could to the protection of the stronghold. Under fiery red skies, fiends of all kinds appeared and attacked the stronghold. In the chaos, Lord Berion ordered the borders around the keep secured. The council of clerics and mages devised a magical barrier to temporarily keep anything from entering but it cannot last forever.
There are still villagers trapped in their homes and shops. Devils have taken hold of the ruins to the west. Demons gather to the east. All of them are intent on consuming the souls of Vallenhas. They hang in the balance, on the brink of damnation. Will help arrive to save them in time?