The elvish scholar-swordsman Vanator Mallyr, in travelling through the Hollow Hills in the kingdom of Freymont, encountered Keskiyo, an Elvish priestess. The two of them ran into a Freyish patrol who suspected them of being spies for the neighbouring kingdom of Casterland. This being so, they were sent into a mine to discover what had become of the miners.
They escaped through a series of underground passages that the mine had broken into, but whilst here they were attacked by ant-like dog creatures, and Keskiyo’s face was badly and permanently scarred. They exited by a waterfall where a subterranean river surfaced, and here met Rib, a Halfling cleric who was searching for the river’s source. Shortly afterwards, they ran into a human adventurer by the name of Saris Mayne.
Together, they travelled to the capital of Casterland, Castermont, and here met up with Luthien, Keskiyo’s sister. They helped Saris foil a plot to bring the two kingdoms to war by assassinating the visiting Duke of Ironstone’s son, and brought the perpetrator to justice. Having helped Saris gain an audience with the Duke, the party left him and went to investigate further disappearances in the Hollow Hills.
At another abandoned mining village, they met Frederick Alsename, a human who was searching for evidence of the ratmen that he was convinced were plotting the downfall of humanity. Searching the mines, they found another entrance to the vast system of underground tunnels and here discovered a race of albino elves, who claimed to be the descendants and rightful successors to the ancient Shining Empire.
Kerekith, a prince of these ‘High Elves’ sent the party on a quest to retrieve the ancient Crown of Hesketh, which would bestow great wisdom on the wearer. They travelled to the Great Forest, and with the aid of the goblin Agglack, the party eventually succeeded in their mission, finding the Crown hidden in the labyrinthine, ghost-haunted tunnels beneath the ruins of an ancient Elvish tower where Agglack’s tribe had made their home. Along with the Crown, they also found several ancient elvish artefacts, including the enchanted Sword of Ashcaelil, and an amulet that glowed and gave off heat in the presence of demons. Luthien’s arm was badly broken.
Suspicious of the High Elves’ motives, the party decided to return to Freymont, but here were intercepted by soldiers who had been given their descriptions, and the crown was confiscated. They once more met Saris Mayne, whom it emerged had encountered the High Elves shortly before meeting Vanator, Keskiyo and Rib.
The Crown was given to Duke of Ironstone, who immediately left to present it to the king. The adventurers were then released. Uncertain of what to do next, they consulted the wizard Carribanus. Upon hearing their tale, Carribanus told them to consult Magellan DiMaggio, head of the High College of Sorcery in Arborland. He also identified the amulet Rib had found as being an amulet of Demon Sensing. Since it had reacted in the presence of the Crown, this caused the adventurers some consternation.
They travelled to Highwatch, but were attacked several times by followers of Ouroch, god of Strength and Ferocity, and Slesh, god of Torture and Murder. They arrived at the High College only to discover that DiMaggio had been replaced with a demon, disguised as DiMaggio. They forced it to retreat, and freed the real DiMaggio, who healed Luthien’s arm as thanks. They stayed for a while in the city, and investigated a cult of Slesh. Here, Fred was killed in a heroic but misjudged charge.
DiMaggio took the group with him to a High Council of the Kingdom, but despite his and their pleas, could not convince the king to any decisive action. Along with Jurgen Wolfsblood, a warrior-priest of Secnest, DiMaggio sent them to discover the whereabouts of the missing Carribanus.
Passing back into Freymont, the adventurers discovered that the High Templars of Auric, the traditional bodyguard of the king, have been declared demon-worshippers and traitors, and either killed or captured.
Following a clue referring to a place called Redpool, the intrepid heroes continued their search for the wizard Carribanus, passng through Freymont and into the Hollow Hills once more. They reached the village of Redpool, abandoned following a massacre, ostensibly by soldiers of Casterland. While here they were passed by a Freyish army marching west into Casterland.
Beneath the hill above Red Pool, they discovered a High Elf fortress, and having fought their way through to the dungeons below it, discovered the imprisoned Carribannus, whom they released. It was during the bitter fighting in the cramped confines of the elvish tunnels that Brother Jurgen was sorely wounded, his right hand hacked from his arm, but he survived to fight on. It was also here that they encountered a powerful demon, summoned inadvertently when blood was spilled on an altar. Having learnt who they were, the demon withdrew in the Void.
Once more at the surface, Carribannus used his magic to teleport himself back to Highwatch, bidding the party of adventurers to return and meet him there.
Travelling back through Freymont, it became obvious that the persecution of the cult of Auric was increasing in intensity. They encountered a messenger who gave them a letter before fleeing from pursuing soldiers. The letter bore the royal seal of Casterland.
The party eventually reached Arborland and Highwatch once more, and were reunited with Carribannus and DiMaggio. Examining the letter, it turned out to be a cry for military aid against Freymont, whose invasion of Casterland was already well under way.
DiMaggio, however, informed the adventurers that no aid would be forthcoming. Arborland itself was under attack, and would be unable to send help to Casterland until this new threat was dealt with. He also took Vanator aside, and suggested that it might be for the good of the kingdom if the indecisive king were to be killed, so that the High Council could take firm action, first against the horde invading the kingdom, and then against the plotting of the elves.
Whilst here, Keskiyo fell ill with a severe fever, and was left bed-ridden for some time. At something of a loose end for the moment, the rest of the party were engaged by a Lady Helmlea to recover a jewellery box. In the process, they connected with a band of organised criminals within Highwatch, referred to as The Right People, and were briefly involved in a gang-war between them and a group of Espadians, based in a fencing school in the city, the leader of whom had received the stolen box.
They fought the Espadians and recovered the jewellery box, only to discover that it had hidden within it a Sleshite text, the Book of a Thousand Torments. Interrogating Lady Helmlea, they discovered the whereabouts of the main Sleshite temple beneath the city, and with the aid of Osric Tensteeds, a templar of Auric, cleansed the temple, in the process slaying another of the albino elves, and retrieving the Sword of Ashcaelil, lost when Fred fell to the Sleshites in their earlier battle.
During the battle, Vanator was separated from the others, who returned to DiMaggio at the High College. He told them that it had been rumoured that they were involved in a plot against the king, and that they should leave the city for a while, asking them to head south, and find out what they could about the leader of the horde of orcs, goblins and gnolls that was invading the kingdom.