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DM Jon
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Champions of the Coast
Prologue
Neverwinter, Flamerule 1489 DR; the Year of Dwarvenkind Reborn.

38 years ago, the city of Nevewinter was beset by all manner of destruction. Mount Hotenow, a nearby volcano, violently erupted, and cast much of Neverwinter into ruin. Thousands were killed, and a great, gaping chasm split the city. Under the controversial leadership of Dagult Neverember, what was a blasted, wounded city just a decade ago is now an exciting, humming place. To support the city’s renewal and to maintain order, Dagult brought in mercenaries from Mintarn. The citizens of Neverwinter resented this and look forward to the day when their own protect the city again.

The heroes, Delg, Baltrex, Balamin and Nym, met in Neverwinter. All came to the city for different reasons, but each was sure that Neverwinter would provide them with opportunities not found elsewhere. They scrounged for work but the work they found proved difficult, filthy and demeaning. In the years following the eruption of Mount Hotenow, Neverwinter has been slowly reclaiming devastated sections by employing hard working folk willing to clean up the mess. The pay was enough to support a modest lifestyle but the constant ridicule from the Mintarn enforcers was humiliating. The heroes knew there had to be something better.

One evening, after a day of more jeering from off-duty Mintarn soldiers, they found themselves in their favorite establishment; the Driftwood Tavern. A renowned half-elven bard named Leararn of Highmoon was entertaining a large and raucous crowd. The heroes became engrossed with the bard’s tales and one story in particular intrigued them; the story of the Lost Citadel. Leararn told of an ancient fortress that was swallowed by the land and was uncovered following the eruption of Mount Hotenow. A few brave adventurers were rumored to have journeyed to the ruins, but none ever returned.

Following Leararn’s performance, the heroes struck up a conversation with the bard and asked him more about the mysterious citadel. The bard said that the story originated in a small village not far from Neverwinter named Oakhurst, but he knew little beyond this. An eavesdropping halfling added “I know for a fact that goblins live in the Lost Citadel and every Midsummer, they emerge with a perfect, ruby red apple that has magical properties! It heals, cures diseases and can even make one young again!” The halfling wandered off and the bard prepared for another performance.

The companions called it a night, except for Delg who wanted to hear more of Leararn’s tales before retiring. The following morning, the heroes decided to visit Oakhurst and see what truth the story of the Lost Citadel held.
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