It all began in 1385 with the death of the Goddess of Magic. The Weave became unstable and wild magic ravaged the Forgotten Realms.
The Spellplauge was an apocalyptic event in the history of Faerûn involving destruction and damage on an awesome and catatrophic scale. Huge swaths of the landscape were rent asunder. Entire nations were drowned, and large regions collapsed into the Underdark or were thrust up as spires of stone. Islands of rock called earthmotes drift through the sky. Weird towers and spires of stone jut from the landscape. Spectacular chasms and waterfalls abound.
Faerûn was forever changed.
Portions of Abeir have fused with Toril. The Spellplague raged even beyond planar boundaries, and Toril’s long-lost twin world, cut off for tens of millennia, was also caught up in the maelstrom. Large parts of Faerûn exchanged places with equivalent land masses on Abeir, bringing their populations with them. Across the Trackless Sea, an entire continent of the lost realm reappeared, now called Returned Abeir.
Although the Spellplague has largely run its course, its legacy lingers. Most mutants warped by the Spellplague have since died, but a few, known as the Plaguechanged, survive. Enduring pockets of unrestrained wild magic, known as plaguelands, lie scattered across Faerûn. Those who visit such areas and survive exhibit physical marks known as spellscars and often manifest bizarre abilities.
Faerûn is slowly recovering. Only the gods know what the future may hold.
The Queen of Evil Dragons is a five-headed dragon of enormous size. Each of her five heads matches that of a chromatic dragon, and each head has its own brain and its own intelligence. The five heads do not argue, and they all share the same goals. The only goal of immediate interest to Tiamat is finding a way to escape imprisonment in the Nine Hells.
Tiamat is the patron goddess of chromatic dragons and the embodiment of greed and envy. She takes the form of a five-headed dragon, and each head is a different color. She gave birth to the five primary species of chromatic dragon, each taking the form of one of her heads. Tiamat combines the powers of all of the chromatic dragons. Confined to the Nine Hells by the power of the greater gods, Tiamat longs to escape and wreak havoc upon the world.
In the wake of the Sundering, the gods have stepped back and left their mortal worshipers to govern their own destinies. This has opened the door to Tiamat’s return. Brought together by the cult, the evil dragons forge a powerful alliance. The leaders of the Cult view Tiamat as the unstoppable weapon they need to achieve total dragon supremacy and forge a powerful draconic empire, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in millennia.
LIBERATION TALES is the story of the Firefly Class Freighter LIBERATION owned by Captain Benjamin Clemson. He is a decorated war hero who served on the side of the Independent Army during the Unification War.
Benjamin purchased LIBERATION from a Blackout Zone scrap yard in the outskirts of Persephone City in 2513 and begins to hire a small crew to take various jobs to support himself, while attempting to stay out of the radar of The Alliance.
This is their story.
When Ao the Overgod destroyed the Tablets of Fate at the conclusion of the Time of Troubles, he instigated the Era of Upheaval. The Tablets defined the laws of Realmspace and kept it relatively stable. Without them, chaos ensued and the worlds of Abeir and Toril, separated many thousands of years ago, slowly started to overlap. The Spellplague drastically sped up this process. The Sundering involves the re-separation of those worlds. In addition, Ao will rewrite the Tablets of Fate, and the gods, unsure of what this will do to them and their power, make efforts with their most powerful servants to prepare for that event.
For years, the evil Cult of the Dragon has devoted itself to creating undead dragons in a vain attempt to fulfill an ancient prophecy. However, the cultists were misguided. They misunderstood. But now, under new leadership, the cult believes that the prophecy does not speak of undead dragons, but of a dragon empire that’s been extinct for 25,000 years. Tiamat, the queen of evil dragons, has languished in the Nine Hells for millennia. The cult believes that the time of her return is at hand.
The cult has a new face and a new mission. It seeks to free Tiamat from the Nine Hells and bring her into the Forgotten Realms. To accomplish its goal, the cult needs five ancient dragon masks and the support of evil dragons everywhere. The cult leaders—each one a “dragon whisperer”—have reached out to the evil dragons of the Sword Coast and earned their allegiance.
Meanwhile, evil dragons in partnership with the cult seek to amass a treasure hoard worthy of their dark queen, not by plundering their own hoards (of course) but by stealing money from cities, caravans, good-aligned dragons, merchant ships, and other sources. Their ravenous hunt for treasure throws the Sword Coast into upheaval. Neverwinter, Waterdeep, Baldur’s Gate—no city is safe from their depredations.
The situation is dire. However, the Sword Coast is far from defenseless. Powerful factions are ready to rise up and put an end to the tyranny of dragons. Adventurers throughout the Realms must join forces to face Tiamat, destroy the Cult of the Dragon, and prevent the rise of a new dragon empire. The Harpers have since shared their intelligence with the remaining factions. To combat the Cult of the Dragon, Lord Dagult Neverember of Neverwinter proposes that adventurers representing each of the five factions be sent north to investigate—and to report back with haste.
In their hands, the future lies.
Return: TYRANNY OF DRAGONS
It took 7 days 6 hours 57 minutes and 34 seconds for LIBERATION to find her way back to port at Eavesdown Docks from the Rim’s Dream. It was rainy that day, dark and gloomy. The streets were full of mud, and most of the open air shops were closed. It was normal during the rainy season for business to either head indoors or go underground. Rodents don’t like water.
The Sembians have a saying: “Whoever holds the Gate holds the goods.” Baldur’s Gate sits midway between Waterdeep, known as the Jewel of the North, and the merchant kingdom of Amn. It controls the mouth of the River Chionthar, which the heartland kingdoms of Cormyr and Sembia depend on to quickly and reliably reach Waterdeep and Amn. Baldurians have done very well hosteling, resupplying, and taxing such travelers and traders.
Despite these attractive qualities, Baldur’s Gate was an unremarkable dot for most of history, an insignificant hamlet among dozens along the savage Sword Coast. Had any histories been written, they would have told of dastardly pirates, daring smugglers, and heroic farmers struggling to survive while fending off barbaric orcs and raiders. The great city that the Gate has become was made possible through the philanthropy of its namesake, Balduran.
Today, Baldur’s Gate is one of the most populous cities in Faerun. The last census indicated a staggering population, even without accounting for the people living in the outlying villages and miles of farmland that spread beyond the city. Baldur’s Gate claims the region within twenty miles of its walls as “lands of entitlement” over which it asserts “economic eminence,” a term that gives the city many privileges but does not saddle it with many extra responsibilities. In actuality, Baldur’s Gate is now the de facto authority along the Sword Coast for more than one hundred miles in any direction.
And yet all is not well in Baldur’s Gate. It is a city on the verge of war-a simmering stew pot of social tensions where even the smallest drop of unrest might cause it to boil over and turn the city against itself. Walls cut Baldur’s Gate into three cities. The rich live atop bluffs protected from the bourgeoisie. Their homes cling to the slopes that literally prevent member of the middle class from rising above their stations. Beyond the protection of the walls, the city’s many outcasts live with no law aside from that enforced by the daggers of the Guild.
Thus, the Outer City’s grim refugees who brought along their grimmer gods grow poorer, and their resentment toward the Upper and Lower cities’ rich patriars and fat merchants festers. Meanwhile, tax and toll collectors harry the Lower City’s industrious crafters and traders, who are looked down upon by the patriars and envied by the Outer City’s teeming poor. The rich are tempted to sin, and the righteous dare not leave their homes for fear of robbery and harm. It’s only a matter of time before something snaps.
And that is why the Council of Four work so hard to support peace within the sprawling city. The Council is composed of: Duke Torlin Silvershield, Duke Belynne Stelmane, Grand Duke Dillard Portyr, and Duke Abdel Adrian. The Council is doing what it can day to day to keep things under control and return Baldur’s Gate to its former glory.