Our story begins on the Great Northern Trade Route. Young Salazar, a dragonborn paladin to Avandra, has escaped captivity in the far east. Making his way to the great city of Typhar, in the distant land of Morgalia, Salazar catches a caravan traveling westwards to lands unknown. Trekking for 1700 miles, and many months, the free-spirited paladin reaches the dwarf nation of Braugheir.
Elsewhere, in the nation of Mheg’Galorea, an energetic and determined young dwarf lass named Orora Valek hitches a ride on a far-wandering caravan. Dreams of reclaiming lost glory and avenging old grudges motivate the woman to seek out her ancestral homeland to the north; Kurast Kraghold.
At a grungy trade camp, near the border of Braugheir, a newly avowed slayer sets out to seek his doom and redeem himself in the eyes of Moradin. The barbaric dwarf, wielding an enormous war pick, crosses paths with a convoy to the dangerous north and tags along for the ride.
The caravan, travels a league into the north lands of Braugheir and is ambushed by a group of goblin sappers. The goblins are surprised in the act of planting explosives on bridge which connects trade routes leading to the northern dwarf lands. Orora, Salazar and the dwarf slayer Gerhardt, quickly route the goblins and disable the bombs on the bridge. Evidence found at the site seems to suggest other goblin saboteurs have similar plans for the key bridges in the north lands. The PCs make it a point to report the event to the authorities when they finally reach an appropriate location.
As the convoy moves north it is evident some foul disease is running rampant in the trade camps along the convoy route. The PCs press on with their convoy until reaching the dwarf frontier settlement of Fort Dirge. The fort is little more than a way point along the Great Northern Trade Route, and a first line defense against invaders from across the sea. Upon arrival, the PCs see numerous sick and dead camped outside the fort and are refused admittance for fear the plague would spread to the settlement. The PCs camp outside for the night and are aroused from a deep sleep by screams of panic and death. Those dying from the plague were rising again as zombies. The PCs do battle with the undead outside the walls of Fort Dirge, killing all foul creatures shambling their way, and then finish the job by burning all the putrid bodies. In the distance Salazar and Gerhardt notice a strange greenish glow and figure moving away in the distance.
The settlement commander, Hold Captain Olaf Steelbeard, sees the prowess of the PCs and agrees to allow them into the fort. After a meeting at the local tavern, “The Gelded Orc”, the captain explains the situation at the fort to the PCs over a few well earned beers. The captain offers to hire the PCs since he is so shorthanded on personnel during the normal military duties expected of the forts garrison. The PCs describe the eerie green glow to the captain and head off to see the fort chaplain; a priest to Moradin named Snorri Brittlebeard. Snorri provides the PCs with a map of the burial barrows in the direction of the green light, and the PCs depart the next morning to investigate.
The PCs head to the burial barrows, and find the tombs being desecrated and opened by a teeming group of goblins. The lead goblin is using foul magic to raise the deceased as shambling zombies. The PCs are noticed immediately, and attacked en masse by a large host of goblins and zombies. After a hard fought battle, in which Gerhardt nearly finds his doom, the enemy is defeated. The PCs bury the dead and return to the fort for their pay. Snorri Brittlebeard departs the fort with a couple guards to re-sanctify the barrows. As the PCs head outside, they are met by a strange dwarf carrying all manner of exploration gear. The dwarf is pleased to see the PCs and proceeds to begin introductions….