- The PCs are all graduates of the Great Hope University. The various achievements were:
- After graduation:
- The PCs (lacking Timaeus) went to the Spartan Foothills, found the toy horse, found the dark runes message. They also found some useful Patient Zero information, and followed some clues to more of Alidor’s clan living underground and protected by zombies – apparently, any of the clan that die now become zombies, and they are used to protect against the manaborn. They met an unusual red haired lady named Cecilia.
- The PCs discovered a village about 4 days out from Last Hope; on the outskirts, they found a farm with a manaborn farmer and what they presume was his son, with a dog. They killed the dog, and later killed the manaborn. The village itself was filled with manaborn apparently going about their “daily lives”; the PCs did not investigate closely as their close approach to the “farmer” had triggered an attack.
- After returning to Last Hope, they were told that none of the other graduates had returned. Using Cecilia’s help, they were able to rescue Timaeus but Xenon (bard) and Helena are dead. The fates of Phokas, Zopyrus (sorcerer), and Irene (warlock) are unknown to the PCs, but presumed dead.
- The final group of graduates – Corinna (barbarian), Hagne (druid), and Eustace had gone sailing. The PCs again engaged Cecilia’s help to find and rescue the ladies, and decided to join forces on a sea voyage intended to reach the walled city of Granite, that nothing had been heard from for over a decade.
- The larger group now explored several islands along the way:
- They were attacked by a form of manaborn that are mutated from the undersea dwelling “sahuagin”. Things have gone quite badly for the sahuagin; the details were not clear, but the remaining sahuagin appear to be ruled by some dictatorial individuals that “eat” them. They traded some metal with the normal sahuagin for a much better constructed boat.
- They found “The Island of Fire and Ice”, with a volcano on one side inhabited by a huge red skinned humanoid, and icy floes on the other side over which a huge lizard like reptile was seen flying through the air.
- On another island they met The Guardians of Humanity, a group of Yuan-Ti purebloods. They also fought harpies here. After the PCs had helped the Guardians by killing some Yuan-Ti derived Manaborn, they were given several gifts. However, later events suggested that the Guardians may have all now been destroyed, or at the least they have moved to another location – the PCs found only the broken remains of what appeared to be an attack on the compound after they witnessed a large group of sahuagin manaborn with human manaborn “riders” heading to the island.
- Another island had a Spectre that had tamed Devil Dogs to hunt manaborn; they were all destroyed. The spectre’s home cave was not extensively explored.
- Several islands had members from the Cult of the New Dawn:
- One group (led by Balthazar were experimenting with turning humans into ghouls, and seeing how much of their humanity can be retained or regained. They were feeding the ghouls captured manaborn (since manaborn regenerate). This is the “Lazarus” chapter.
- Another group were turning humans into stone, to extend the time available to find a better solution. Tame basilisks and cockatrices were kept for this purpose; petrified manaborn were used as food. Led by Anthousa, this is the “Stone Brothers” chapter.
- Not yet encountered, but mentioned, were the “Moon” chapter, experimenting with turning humans into lycanthropes. This is apparently led by Achilles on the mainland, and can be found on the Moon Plateau about a week south of Granite.
- The last island also contained a pit with a portal to another realm. There, the PCs encountered another time traveller who closed the portal after they left, but there were many other portals, and one of them appeared to lead to Granite.
- The PCs entered the Granite portal to find a populace that apparently was untouched by the manaborn problem – they didn’t even know what they were. Nor were there any potentials there. However, the PCs discovered they could not leave via the front gate of the city.
What Has Gone Before