A motley crew with haunting pasts are clustered together by mutual goals. Starting in the city of Greenhil, four freelancing adventurers come together to defeat Vardoger, a shape-shifting spirit posing as a priest, and his legion of Burrowing Dead. Claiming Purifier, an ancient Holy weapon of the Empire’s hero Gedrick Averness, as their prize. Now the party sets their eyes on Horizon, the city of Arcana.
On their way to Horizon, Lidda runs into some of her family, which she avoids like the plague. After a scrape with an Owlbear, and many miles later, the party nears the city of Horizon. But before they can take momentary refuge in the city of magic, they must circumvent a recently spawned hellhole, resembling an insect colony. Its droning and buzzing can be heard from miles away and has the power to drive those near it mad.
The party decides to resupply in the out-skirts of Horizon before it tackles the Hellhole. A quick resupply and a chat with a snarky priest later, the adventurers are ready to exploit the Hellhole and find a way to stop it from pestering the locals with its persistent droning.
The Party searches for an entrance and finds many tunnels to choose from. Upon entering, however, the orifice from which they came closes and is impossible to open via force of action or magic. Considering that there was no way to back out at this point, the party ventures onward. Action is not far away. After a particularly thoughtful rogue by the name of Denny triggers an alarm that brings many insect demons their way. After defeating the creatures the party presses further into the depths of the hellhole and comes upon a dark, shrouded yet cavernous room. Inside they hear muffled sounds of struggle and an eerie silence.
The fearless Paladin blindly steps into darkness to investigate if there are those in need of his aid — a true hero. However, he is also taken into the darkness without a sound, except for his muted struggle. Denny decides that it may be wise to acquire a torch in order to illuminate the room before making any more advances and backtracks to find a torch. He returns with the torch and notices the smell of oil and places his flame into the source.
The room is illuminated and to the players horror, they see that it is the den of a Demonic Hive Queen. Mal is covered in what appears to be webbings and is struggling to break free, further on in the den are two more similarly struggling creatures. The members of the party still standing rush into combat eager to defeat the foe that is asphyxiating their comrade. As the fight rages, Mal breaks free from his cocoon, and soon after one of the other cocoons breaks free as well. Covered in webbing a half-Orc struggles to his feat, clearly in rage and rushes to engage the Queen. As the fight rages on, more bugs crawl into the den to defend their mother. Eventually the last trapped adventurer breaks away and reveals a Tiefling in tattered robes, with an aura of chaos about him.
With the aid of the two new adventurers the party makes easy work of the Queen and the rest of her minions. Her death, however, triggers a heavy dark smoke that soon begins to fill the den and forces the adventurers to find a way out. As the smoke creeps along the half-Orc was prey to respiratory distress and drops to the ground. Mal rushes to the aid of the barbarian while the remaining party deals with some newcomers. Three imps are buzzing around crying for help in their demonic tongue. The Tieflings translate and learn that the imps are also trying to leave the treacherous. They know how to open the sealed exit, but need the assistance of someone with thumbs. A frightening display of medical incompetence later, Etumal, the new Chaos Mage, removes a gland containing the required acid from the corpse of a demon-insect. The barbarian is hoisted over the Paladins shoulder and the party presses on as the sickeningly thick smoke inches closer. Etumal unleashes the acid on the orifice and it opens long enough for the party to escape. Just as it is about to close, three imps coming flying out and scurry off into the distance.
After exchanging some words, the two newcomers decide to accompany the party back to Horizon. After having their failure berated by the same snarky priest, the party indulges in various vices to varying degrees at The Dreaming Wizard tavern. Some rumors and events are discussed. The party learns that some petty thieves have been stealing worthless, yet sentimental objects from the citizens of Horizon. They also learn that tomorrow the Bazaar of the Faceless will be in town and that many great artifacts will be on display.
Early the next morning Denny does some investigative work where he finds himself in a shady tavern, The Dirty Flagon, after having his warning be ignored by the town guard. There he meets a half-Orc bartender who suggests he might speak to the tavern dog, Penny, for information. Penny tips him off, after a fair exchange of meat for information, that there will be some kind of distraction that has to do with the thieving in question at the bazaar’s artifact auction.
Denny rushes to inform the party of his findings, and they all head to the bazaar to track down the auction place. Once there, they notice the pricey artifacts and a slight peculiarity — there are way more children here than there should be. Additionally, they notice that there are repeated dull mutters of people claiming petty items to be stolen — such as worthless trinkets and family heirloom, drinking straws, etc. Denny and Lidda climb one of the bazaar’s tents to get a better view of what’s going on. They notice that the thieving is increasing, though they are also noticed by the guards who demand they climb down at once. Denny makes a run for it, which causes the guards to leave Lidda and pursue Denny. Denny and Lidda both eventually mold back into the crown and make a clean get away. The demeanor of the crowd is changing more and more to a riot with every second as more and more people are missing items that once populated their persons. In the climax of the riot the Strings of Aenor, and artifact that can turn chaos into order when tuned to the right circumstances, goes missing. Furthermore, Targ sees a person absorb multiple children into itself and decides to investigate the certain foul play.
Targ grabs a hold of the strange man and notices there is something really strange about his face… it seems to shift to a blackness with fiery red eyes. The rest of the party sees the ruckus occurring away from the epicenter of the riot and leaves to investigate. Denny notices this too and begins to question the demonic creature using a knife for means of motivation. The demon, in return, cackles and spouts some sort of demonic dialect that the Tieflings don’t recognize. Naturally, it would make sense that this situation escalates to Denny carving out the trachea of the beast, causing it to die a quick hemorrhagic death.
In his rage, Denny had forgotten that public murder is generally frowned upon and has garnered the attention of a troupe of guards. They close in for the arrest, and incapacitate all but one party member — Targ, who makes a clean get away.
For the next three weeks Targ enjoys the fruits of life — probably drinking copiously and indulging in other substances — while the rest of the party sits in jail. The group was starting to give up hope in a rescue, or a trial, or in anything when a guard summoned the adventures and brought them to a dingy interrogation room. There they divulged that the body of the man they had killed had gone missing in the morgue leaving only its clothes and other material remnants behind. Within the pocket of his coat was a letter with a seal that could not be opened. The two Tiefling chaos-mages recognized it as a seal known to be used by the Diabolist when communicating with her demons.
This is where being a demon comes in handy — the two break the seal with drops of their blood. Upon reading they learn that the Strings of Aenor was taken through some sort of portal system created by the Diabolist. In addition, the party also learns that one of these portals could be found in a crypt at a nearby graveyard.
With a lot of struggle, and what could be called a completely botched gameplan, the Chaos Mages were able to use a Book of Demonic Travels to navigate through the Diabolist’s portal. However, they did not realize they would end up in an Assassin’s Den in Glitterhaegen that had absolutely nothing to do with the pursuit of the Strings of Aenor. After killing the residents and leaving one unconscious, Lidda heard a noise coming from the closet.Upon investigation, it turned out that a necromancer going by the name Brymar had stowed himself away with his eternal skeletal lover when the fighting broke out.