The first Savage Tide has already touched the mortal world, yet none who live today recall this time of red ruin. Unleashed from the cruel heart of a fell seed known as a Shadow Pearl. This savage tide swept over an ancient city perched atop the crown of a remote island. The tide transformed beggar and noble, merchant and thief, resident and visitor into feral ravenous fiends. The fruits of centuries of labor came crumbling down in a matter of days, and when the survivors tried to stem the tide by destroying the pearl, the resulting blast of power sunk the city into a boiling lake of death. Through it all, the abyssal architect of the savage tide watched, taking pride in the ruin. When the tides final ripples had faded, what was left became known as the Isle of Dread.
Now after a thousand years, the true masters of the Isle of Dread look upon new targets, new cities beyond the horizon, compelled by the hateful will of their demonic lord Demogorgon to prepare for the coming glory. This time, the doom will not be limited to one hapless city. This time, all of civilization waits unknowingly on the shore, blissfully ignorant of what the tide brings in.Sassarine
The city of Sasserine is still finding its feet after emerging from a century of oppressive rule during which the traditional thieves guilds were destroyed. Dozens of minor guilds now squabble for control of the city’s underworld. One guild in particular has risen above the infighting, and is now poised to become a major player in city politics. This is the Lotus Dragons, a band of murderers, burglars and smugglers led by a charismatic and ambitious woman – a woman who just happens to be the daughter of one of the city’s noble families. When she enters an alliance with the scion of another noble family, the final piece of her plans fall into place and she prepares to seize control of the city’s sea trade.
Yet for all her scheming and plotting, this woman’s capacity for evil and cruelty pales in comparison to that of her new lover. In an attempt to prove his value and worth to the Lotus Dragons (and impress his new guild mistress), he recently committed a horrendous crime. Knowing the elder Vanderboren’s had just purchased a new ship and were planning on taking a relaxing trip up the coast, he smuggled a dozen barrels of alcemist’s fire into the the ship’s hold and arranged for an “accident.” The resulting fire burned the ship to the waterline and left the crew and the elder Vanderboren’s dead.
A reading of the will revealed that the estate was to be passed along entirely to the eldest daughter, Lavina. The aspiring new Lotus Dragon took advantage of the family’s grief and robbed the family vault before she could claim the riches. He was able to make off with enough money to ensure his place in the guild – and after he abandoned the competition in a series of undead-haunted smuggler’s tunnels, his position high in the Lotus Dragon’s ranks was ensured.
Now the Lotus Dragons are ready to act on their nefarious plans. The only thing they aren’t counting on is Lavinia Vanderboren’s concern for her missing brother.There is No Honor
It is a sweltering summer day in Sasserine, just like any other. The sky is clear and bright, yet off in the distance, over the disquiet sea, large storm clouds loom. The cries of vendors, sea gulls, exotic birds and animals cascade into a crescendo of noise. The wind carries with it a plethora of smells of delectable spices, garbage and most of all, the stink, or is it a sweet smell, of the backwaters.
This strange and exotic city, the place you call home, is still finding its feet after being liberated from years of oppression under the sea princes. The air seems to hum with the new found sense of freedom. But with freedom comes chaos, as has been aptly shown by the sighting of bloated dead bodies found floating in the canals; resultant of the ongoing power struggle in the seedy underbelly of Sasserine.
You are going about your normal day when a messenger, a wizened halfling woman, approaches you and hands you a letter with the Vanderboren crest, a stylized V that looks like two rapiers with a hippogriff crouched inside the V. You open the message and begin to read it.Greetings, and I trust this missive finds you in good health!
My name is Lavinia Vanderboren and I humbly request your attendance at a dinner at my estate on Festival Street and Blue Skink Lane tomorrow evening. I think that I can present you with an opportunity uniquely suited to your skills. Please inform the carrier of this letter of your response to this invitation, and I hope to be speaking to you soon!