In the time of the Nerath Empire, one center of learning and magic rose as a bright light of civilization, a symbol of scientific and magical advancement to lift up the peoples of Ralidus and work toward the betterment of all. This city was called Ostra and was home to the greatest wizards and sages of that age.
With power, however, comes corruption. Some of the great wizards grew with hubris, and schemed against one another. The harmony of the great city fractured with political in-fighting. Some of the wizards left to start schools in far reaches of Ralidus, taking some of the most powerful artifacts of the city with them.
Some years later, the entire empire of Nerath fell, for a number of reasons, to threats both within and without. The wizards, obsessed with their own politics, could not see the signs until it was far too late. Perhaps they could have prevented the death of an empire, if only they had the will to hold to their purpose.
Now darkness fills the world between the points of light that are the rebuilt cities. The knowledge and magic of Ostra have been scattered across Ralidus and beyond. Many great men still look to their own purposes rather than the care of their fellows. Few are those with the vision to restore Ralidus to its former glory.
The Keepers of Ostra is a network of wizards, sages, artificers and historians spread across the world seeking out lost knowledge and magics, new rituals and techniques that can be used to better the lives of commoners, unite the disparate cities and towns, and reclaim some of the greatness that was lost those many years ago.
The keepers are not without allies in their quest. They often can find help with the churches of Erathis and Ioun. The magical universities can, at times, be willing to trade information. And, adventurers and heroes can sometimes be found, willing to brave the hazards of the world to fulfill the Keepers’ quest, as well as increase their own power, wealth or glory.
You are such heroes, equipped with magics, artifacts, equipment, ship and crew by the Keepers. Your party assembled in Thoril, the great port city in eastern Ralidus and journeyed to Sarta, an outpost on the largest of the Mandrassi Islands. Ancient ruins have been found on the main island, signs of a civilization that may have possessed useful magics. Some of those ruins have already been explored by other adventuring parties over the past few years. Some of the other islands may have such ruins as well, as yet untouched.
Additionally, records suggest that a powerful wizard, a Tiefling named Valzad, who once lived in Ostra, had a falling-out with other members of the ruling council. Afterward, he journeyed to a chain of islands south of Ralidus. It is likely that he eventually died there. His equipment, spellbooks, and the like may be there still. In particular, he was known to have possessed The Winterseed, which may also be on one of the islands:
Your mission is to look for information about the ancient civilization that made the ruins in the Mandrassi Islands, recover any magic items or relics you find therein and, if possible, find the remains of Valzad and recover the Winterseed.