The Tale of the Stonehearted
It has been 1,600 years and four generations since Orila, daughter of Bofin Oathkeeper, returned to the Maker’s forge. Some 2,100 years after the Fall of The Golden Mountain, three siblings, great-great-great-great-grandchildren of Marduk Kinslayer, and their allies set out upon an epic quest to right the wrongs of their distant ancestor. Amongst them marches the wielder of the Heart of the Mountain, the last regent of Thorbadin and the bearer of Bofin’s ancient oath.
Volume 1: The Resolute
Chapter 1: The Fallen Prince
What starts out as a routine assault by the forces of Dalarrak threatens to become the dwarven kingdom’s greatest military defeat in a hundred years. Can you foil the plans of the orcish hordes, avert disaster, and retrieve the lost heir of your adopted kingdom? Great danger awaits, but also great opportunity, for the greatest of debts may finally be repaid.
Chapter 2: The Journey Begins
Finally freed of your clan’s centuries-old debt, you are ready to take the first steps on the epic journey to reclaim your lost homeland. But first steps are often the hardest, and the cold peaks of the Ironclaws do not suffer fools lightly. Danger comes in many forms, and sometimes the smallest can prove the most deadly. Can you survive the wilds of the surface world, or will your journey prove a short one?
Chapter 3: Wolf Hunt
Once a sleepy settlement in the backwaters of the Sieward Duchy, the village of Copperpot now finds itself victim to predation from beasts unknown. The village council is floundering, and with winter fast approaching, the situation is turning dire. Huddling in fear, the humans turn to the gods, praying for deliverance.
Now, with your arrival, the villagers believe their prayers have been answered. But Annwn is vast, and filled with troubled humans – their problems need not be yours. Will you answer the villagers’ call?
Chapter 4: The Abode of Abraxas
Desolate and foreboding, a lone monastery stands atop the windswept hills surrounding Copperpot. The monastery is evil, some say – filled with undead, and once the home of a great demon. Yet other stories tell of the vast riches stored within – treasure rooms of the ancient order overflowing with gold and jewels. Few visitors to the monastery live to tell of it, and none yet have delved deep enough to prove the rumours true or false.
Your own quest awaits, and the lonely monastery is not your concern. Yet the promise of treasure is seductive, and the thrill of discovery too great to pass up…
Chapter 5: Welcome to Dummockton
Excitement and unrest walk the streets of Dummockton, former capital of the Sieward Duchy. Since its conquest by the Legion of the Black Eagle, the town has developed a reputation as a hotbed of crime and dissent, harbouring clandestine Ascarian loyalists and base criminals alike.
Your needs in Dummockton are few – provisions and a quiet place to rest on your journey westward. Yet in short order you find yourself swept up in the flow of human affairs once more. Dwarves are not built to be creatures of stealth and espionage, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Can you rise above the threat of Trenton Radley and his criminal syndicate, or will you drown beneath the tides of Dummockton’s humanity?
Chapter 6: The Bull, the Bear, and the Wolf
After a long night of muddy roads and pouring rain, the lights of The Bull And The Bear are a welcoming sight. The inn is a homey place, if a bit out of the way, and you look forward to a peaceful night with a hot meal and a crackling fire to warm your chilled bones.
But there are other creatures on the road this evening who plan to pay the inn a visit, and their idea of a ‘hot meal’ is very different than yours. Your peaceful night is about to get very interesting…
Chapter 7: The Forge of Fury
Two millennia ago, the great dwarf craftsman Durgeddin the Smith built Duraz Tudd, The Stone Tooth, a hidden stronghold for his war of vengeance against the duergar. For years Durgeddin labored and warred, until an unknown catastrophe struck down the smith and all his clan.
Long-lost to dwarven kind, Duraz Tudd has been rediscovered by your band of adventurers. Do you have the skills and fortitude to brave the depths of the Stone Tooth and learn what befell your long-lost kinsman? Or will you succumb to the same darkness which destroyed him?
Chapter 8: Night’s Dark Terror
After months of journeying, your destination finally lies before you – the great range of Grungon Oloraz, “The Forge of the World”, and the Oracle of Dumathoin deep within. But between yourself and the mountains lie the wilds of western Ascaria, the frontier of human civilization. These uncharted tracts conceal horrors to freeze the blood of civilized folks, and bands of goblinoids to give the lustiest of battleragers pause.
But the Stonehearted are adventurers, veterans of many battles, and the call of the wild is strong. Will you answer the call, or succumb to the dark terrors of the night?
Chapter 9: The Pass of Drazan
Before you lies the end of your great journey westward – Grungan Oloraz, the Forge of the World. Within its towering peaks lie the great dwarven kingdom of Karak Grimbaraz, and its gateway to the Underdark. But miles of uncharted wilderness yet lie between you and your goal, as well as one final obstacle – the treacherous Pass of Drazan.
Your journey westward has made you many enemies, and your actions at Sukiskyn have not gone unnoticed. There are those who would stop at nothing to see you falter and fall within sight of your goal. And few places are as dangerous to fall from as the high pass…
Volume 2: The Fathomless
Chapter 1: The Road to Darkness
Ungor Behl – the Underdark. Deep beneath the mountains of Grungon Oloraz lies your entrance to the fabled land of darkness, and in its deepest reaches, the crystalline cavern of the Earth Womb. The oracle within holds the answers you seek, but first you must pass through the dangers of Ungor Rren, gateway to the deeplands. Below your feet, the cold-blooded duergar, bestial trogolodytes, and other darker, more sinister threats await. Do you have the wits and bravery to survive the hazards before you, or will your journey into the Underdark be over before it has begun?
Chapter 2: The Ship of Night
Deep within Ungol Rren, your party has allied with the outcast dwarf Jhornim on his quest to rediscover the ancient outpost of Rikkaz Mighdal, the Hammerkeep. The scruffy warrior is handy with an axe, and has given his word to guide you to Embla once Hammerkeep is found. But can you trust your new comrade’s word, or his sanity? And what of the “Ship of Night” of which the dwarf mutters in his sleep? The answers may lie in Hammerkeep, where an engineering marvel awaits you, as does a legion of murderous assassins.
Chapter 3: Into the Abyss
A harried flight from pursuing derro leads deep into the wilds of Ungol Rren, uncovering a realm rarely glimpsed by outsiders. The Midnight Garden is a hidden paradise offering sanctuary and respite from your troubles, but a dark secret festers within the garden’s heart. Can your group uncover the myconids’ secret before the rot spreads to consume you all?
Chapter 4: The Scorched Earth
The Burning Lands – in all Ungol Rren, there is no place more inhospitable, more alien to life. It is a land so broken and barren that nothing survives within its parched tunnels. And yet, deep within the blistering stone, twin threats await the unwary: an ageless evil clings on, thirsting for fresh blood, while a new evil rises, carving out its place with fire and steel. Both may yet spell your end, but the gravest danger burns within your own hearts…
Chapter 5: Sailing the Firesea
At last, weeks of travel through the Underdark have led you to the fabled Firesea, subterranean abode of giants, efreet, and other fantastic creatures. But its fiery shores are not welcoming ones – between an army of duergar and the giant fortress of Muspellsheimr, your way forward looks bleak. A bargain with the enigmatic azer sets you upon the waves of the Firesea itself, but an assault on a fire giant stronghold is no mean task. Do you have what it takes to brave its hazards and return?
Chapter 6: The Shining City
Embla, the Shining City. Home to the noble deep dwarves, it is an island of refuge in the swirling sea of danger that is the underdark. Or so you thought.
Even behind the mighty gates of Embla, it seems that trouble has a way of finding the Stonehearted. Surprises await you within its walls, both old friends thought lost and unexpected new adversaries. Force alone will not be enough to overcome the obstacles ahead – both resolve and cunning will be necessary to secure the dwarves’ assistance, for clan politics can be trickier to navigate than any dungeon. Does your party possess enough of both to prevail?
Chapter 7: To the Heart of the World
Some ten miles below the surface of Annwn, in the darkest depths of Ungol Behl lies the mysterious Earth Womb. Few dwarves have entered this land of ever shifting crystal and survived. Fewer sill have plumbed its depths and set eyes upon its greatest treasure.
At long last, your journey draws to a close. Deep in the heart of the world lies the fabled Oracle of Dumathoin, and the answers you seek. But danger and loss await you as well, and the cost of your answers may be heavier than you can bear.
Volume 3: The Lost
Chapter 1: Shifting Sands
Emerging from the Underdark, your party begins a desperate race for the soul of your lost king before it disappears forever in the realm of shadow. Your path leads you on a clandestine journey through the xenophobic desert kingdom of Khamarhan. From the burning expanse of the Sand Sea to the ruins of Temeret, city of the dead, new allies and new dangers both await in this exotic land. Will you rise to its challenges, or will the shifting sands of the Great Desert bury you forever?
Chapter 2: Crypt of the Marru Kings
For millennia, the marru pharaohs ruled the fertile lands of Khemtet with an iron fist, warring amongst themselves and building monuments to their eternal glory. The Godswar ended their rule in a single night, their lands devastated and the marru erased as a people by the Great Cataclysm.
Now, only the vestiges of their once mighty empire endure within the wastes of the Great Desert. Monuments and funerary complexes dot the burning sands, filled both with deadly traps and the marru’s undying servants, but also with unimaginable wealth. For centuries, this allure has lured adventurers to the resting places of the ancient pharaohs.
The ancient funerary temple of Temeret is no different, though home to creatures far more dangerous than mere undead. Yet you find yourself within its walls seeking not plunder, but the Path of the Sun, an ancient gateway west through the impassable mountains of Morradin’s Anvil. You hold no ill will to the ancient pharaohs, nor any desire to disturb their eternal slumber. But do mummies understand the concept of “just passing through?”
Chapter 3: Dark Heart
Sombre and forlorn, the Bone Tower of the necromancers has stood on a windswept corner of Helios since time immemorial. Within its walls, the dark priests of Hela offer a path to your lost king. But every bargain has its price, and every door needs its key.
The necromancers’ offer sends you to into the foul Maliente Fen, in search of the ruins of Sonobra and the the fabled thessalhydra laired there. Its heart holds the key to your king’s return, but a hydra is no easy prey. And the Maliente holds dangers of its own…
Chapter 3: Dark Heart
The Shadowlands. The thin line between life and death. At long last, the Stonehearted have reached the Plane of Shadow, in hopes their lost king still tarries within this colourless realm of dark shadows and lost souls.
From the banks of the River of Souls to the legendary city of Dusk, the Stonehearted’s search will lead them across the breadth the Shadowlands, only to face the specters of their own past. Will the greatest danger prove the denizens of this grim realm, or a threat long-forgotten?