"Welcome to a realm of incredible splendor, mystical wonder, and in a few places, ages old evil. Here, the pockets of civilization push back against the unbridled wilds with walls and culture although dark shadows of forgotten ruins and deep caverns sprawl across the wilderness with the promise of adventure, glory, and danger. Here the gods are not impersonal, distant ideas to be contemplated and debated upon. Here, the gods take active roles in the shaping of the world through their devotees, weaving the lives of the people together with the threads of fate and destiny. This is the world in which you live. This is Faerun (?). This is your home. And this is where your story begins."
After Kalarel the Vileâ€™s mysterious appearance (and subsequent disappearance), our party was accosted by a man in robes of an elegant purple. The lord, who later introduced himself as Padrig Cousland, dismissed the idea of Kalarelâ€™s existence, much less his strange actions in the tavern. In the lands of Winterhaven, Kalarel the Vile is a mere childrenâ€™s story. The tales speak of a paladin who once lived high in the mountains and who one day went mad with power. His madness claimed many, including his children, his wife, and later, himself. His home, known as the Black Keep, is avoided by villagers and travelers alike, as it is thought to be filled with all manner of monsters.
Soon, the lord returned. Though the villagers had corroborated the partyâ€™s explanation, the lord was still reluctant to let them go. A deal was arranged: if our heroes could clear out the supposedly infested cellar, then they would leave without facing incarceration. The party agreed, and after a night of restful sleep (and Kefâ€™s ineffectual flirting), the party continued their investigation. The innkeeper revealed that two weeks prior to their arrival, he was approached by a cloaked man who referred to himself as Kalarel. The man promised the innkeeper gold for each life that was extinguished in the establishment, with one condition: The bodies were to be Kalarelâ€™s.