City of Reign
Heroic Adventures and a peaceful world rarely coexist. When the companions of Gorion’s Ward undertook to insure that the dead God of Murder, Bhaal, remained dead, they had no idea that success would unleash a far more dangerous menace: the Worldwound.
Approximately fifty years ago, Bhaal, the God of Murder, was slain attempting to pass by Torm, God of Guardians, as he fulfilled his duty to block the passage of any God into the Celestial Temple. Torm required the soul energy of an entire city of worshippers to stop the God of Murder, but he succeeded and Bhaal was destroyed. Bhaal had anticipated this possibility, however, and he seeded the world with his spawn, each carrying a ‘Tear of Bhaal’, an essence of divine power that could combine with other tears to eventually restore Bhaal to life. Gorion’s Ward was one such ‘Bhaalspawn’.
When the sage Gorion rescued his ward, and the child Imoen, from a Temple of Bhaal, he had no idea they were both Bhaalspawn. As they reached adulthood, however, their identity became clear to him. He knew they would be hunted by the followers of Bhaal and other Bhaalspawn, eager to acquire their ‘Tears’. Gorion gathered together noble adventurers in his home in Alexandria and laid out a path forward for them. If the Tear could be cast into the Darkwell (where the endless Abyss came closest to the world), the essence of Bhaal could be forever barred from reuniting and resurrecting the God of Murder. Accordingly, the heroes set out: Imoen the sorceress and adopted sister of the Ward, unaware of her own nature as a Bhaalspawn; Jaheira the Druidess, Khalid her Fighter husband; Minsc the Mighty Ranger; Aerie the flying elf Wizard; Kheldorn Firecam, paladin of Alexandria; Amoen, cleric of Torm; and Valgyar, the hunter-thief. The companions fought their way to the Darkwell
and battled Imellysan, High Priestess of Bhaal at the threshold.
While they were victorious, the dark energy in Imoen revealed itself in the final battle and a demonic avatar of Bhaal, the Slayer, emerged from Gorion’s Ward.
Defeating the Slayer, Imoen tore open the gateway to the Abyss, inadvertently transforming herself into an Alu-Fiend and establishing the Worldwound, a permanent open gateway to the Abyss.
While Bhaal was destroyed forever, the Worldwound was open and demons began pouring through. Kheldorn and Valgyar were sent back to Alexandria to bring help to stop the horde and succeeded. The others, however, battled to hold the line and all but Aerie fell before relief arrived.
One of the Prelates of the Most Noble Order of the Radiant Heart, Sir Wayne the Bruce, felt called to take up the Crusade to seal the Worldwound. He won over his colleagues and devoted his immense wealth to outfitting a new chivalric order, the Crusaders, who would rise up and beat back the Abyss itself.
While the Crusade has been ongoing for almost 15 years, the Worldwound remains open. It has seen victories (the seizure of the Stormbreak, the Great Charge of Prince Odo, and the sealing of the Southlands) and it has seen defeats (Falcor’s Fall, the Third Siege of the Stormlands, and the Final Flight of the Avariel).
Despite the ongoing struggle, the support for the Crusade has only grown. Tales of glory and valor undreamt of in the ordinary lives of the people, as well as the open recruiting drive for Crusaders, has meant that the Crusade has become a well-oiled human machine turning raw recruits into battle-hardened veterans.
Unfortunately, it is no closer to being won. From the headquarters of Stormbreak Keep, a location kept hidden from all but the commanders of the Crusade,
Prelate Sir Wayne hopes for a breakthrough, the secret to sealing the Worldwound. He suspects it lurks in the heart of Imoen but his men have been unsuccessful in locating the mighty Sorceress who, alone, knows the spells cast at the destruction of the Slayer and the creation of the Worldwound.