The world has never been a safe place. Bastions of civilization populate a dark, menacing world—islands of order and reason exist in a land otherwise overrun by dark cults, vile monsters, creatures from the dark edges of the imagination, and worse. As deadly as the world is on a normal day, something has begun to stir on the fringes of the civilized Elsir Vale. Formerly the site of an attack by an army known as the Red Hand, the Vale has known several years of peace since brave adventurers stormed into the teeth of the approaching Hand and sent them scurrying back into the darkness. The epicenter of this attack was the town of Brindol, where the new story begins.
The morning has begun early today in Brindol, with most townsfolk preparing for the upcoming Festival of Heroes. Should you be walking the streets, you might see halflings offloading their barges with extra foodstuffs for the feast, farmers carting in their produce to sell in market square, the smell of bread wafting through the streets as the bakers work to meet the days needs, covered wagons bringing in supplies to set up for the events and many more sights and smells. The air is electric with anticipation on this clear summer day. Everyone seems to be looking forward to the celebration; small problems being figured out decisively; arguments being settled quickly; you get the impression that nothing can blemish this special day.
What could go wrong?