Our adventures begin in Sharn, The City of Towers. A city that is considered the melting pot of Khorvaire, it is home to people and cultures of every kind imaginable. Humans comprise roughly one third of the population, though every race is represented in this vast city. Even members of those races deemed unfit for polite society are welcome in Sharn, though welcome is, perhaps, a strong word. These shunned races find their homes in the underbelly of the city, below the majesty of Sharn’s lofty towers, in the shadows of the The Depths and The Cogs.
Our intrepid adventurers meet in a tavern near Morgrave University.
Matina Cotton (and by proxy, her brother Argesh) is playing a dicey game of dice when she discovers one of the low-life’s she playing with is cheating. She grabs the ruffian by the back of the neck and loudly declares that the scum is a cheater, thus drawing the attention of Justice Belle, Tempest, and Vered the Feard. After a short scuffle, the ruffian is punished and the group discovers that they all have a fondness for justice (and general ass-kicking) and decide to meet again the next evening for pints and storytelling (aka, reliving past escapades).
The next evening, during a lively re-telling of the circumstances that brought Justice Belle and Tempest together, the group overhears a local academic-type complaining of the disappearances near the Tain Foundry. In a rather tipsy state, the Morgrave instructor goes on to tell them of a kruthik infestation in the Cogs. Our heroes get the feeling that despite the fact that people are disappearing, their acadmic friend is far more interested in the accounts of flying kruthiks coming from the Cogs. She believes that these kruthiks are the result of an adaptation caused by the Syrania manifest zone on which Sharn is situated and that they could be evolving in such a way as to become an even bigger threat to the city. Though she can’t pay them, the instructor asks for a sample, a kruthik egg, should the heroes decide to pursue the kruthik threat. The directs them to the Tain Foundry in the Cogs.
Outside the tavern, one of Matina’s dicing acquaintances informs the group of a request by the publisher of the Sharn Inquisitive. He has heard of the kruthik slayings and wants to cash on the hype. All the publisher needs is juicy kruthik story of death and destruction to publish on the front page of his newspaper. He, too, points them to the Tain Foundry and offers 100 gold for a good tale.
Justice Belle then finds a city guard and asks if there has been any word of kruthik slayings in the city. The guard points the group to a posting for “Brave Warriors willing to Face and Eliminate a Kruthik Infestation in the Cogs.” The post directs them to Foreman Molric Torranol at the Tain Foundry. It offers 50 gold to each adventurer who returns from eliminating the kruthik threat.
Feeling that their destiny just might lie in the Tain Foundry, the party heads towards the Cogs, the Tain Foundry, and Molric Torranol.
After a trip through the Lower City, along a series of tunnels and shafts bypassing Sharn’s Depths, and a short way into the Cogs, our heroes arrive at the Tain Foundry. Here they meet Molric Torranol, a bad-tempered dwarf, and Olaakki, an affable hobgoblin. Molric, an ex-soldier, has been losing workers to kruthik attacks and complains of the pressure he’s feeling from his superiors to eliminate the kruthik threat. They want the problem corrected immediately. Olaakki, a humble priest, has lost members of his flock to the kruthiks and offered to combine efforts with Molric. Molric agreed only because Olaakki offered to help pay for mercenaries. The group can sense the tension between Molric and Olaakki. Olaakki is cleary more intelligent, though Molric is more dominant.
Olaakki knows the general area where the kruthiks are originating (supposedly in a forgotten tomb). He provides the group with a map to the kruthik hive.