In the first years of the Northern Alliance, the dwarves of Knalga attempt to re-establish contact with their kin in the east at Kal Kartha. Many perils beset the expedition, but none so dire as the dark secret they will discover at their destination.
At The East Gate
Aiglondur, the captain of the East Gate, receives warning of a band of Orcs. After defeating the orc, he notices that the leader has a dwarven cloak-pin. An orc with dwarvish clothing?
Reclaiming The Past
Aiglondur consults Hamel, Lord of Knalga and Lord Companion of the Northern Alliance. Angarthing, an apprentice Loremaster, recognizes the cloak-pin as being from Kal Kartha. That an orc has an item bearing the mark of a Loremaster bodes ill for Kal Kartha and the mighty Hammer of Thursagan they guard. The Loremasters of Knalga have recently uncovered a book of Thursagan's knowledge. With the book and the Hammer they might be able to once again train Runesmiths. Hamel decides to send Aiglondur and Angarthing to Kal Kartha to discover the fate of the dwarves and Hammer there.
Aiglondur and Angarthing head east into the more lawless part of the Northern Alliance lands. They encounter Marth-Tak, an allied orc, who is beset by human outlaws.
A troll's toll bridge blocks the party's path eastward. The dwarves decide to evict the troll rather than pay his toll.
The dwarves' path takes them deeper into bandit country. They spot three large orcish war-bands preparing to invade Alliance lands. The outlaws don't appreciate either army and a three-way skirmish ensues.
Aiglondur and Angarthing arrive at the High Pass just in front of a blizzard. They must rush through to avoid being snowed in. As they battle through the pass they encounter the Arch Mage Ratheln, who joins their party.
Mages and Drakes
Ratheln and the dwarves go through the pass to a school of Mages led by Master Perrin. The Mages' valley is troubled by hostile drakes.
After helping the Mages with the drakes, Master Perrin sends some of his apprentices along with the dwarves. The party finally arrives at the outskirts of Kal Kartha but no one is around and the smell of smoke hangs in the air. They find a cowering villager. He is terrified of masked dwarves who have been killing and kidnapping throughout the countryside.
Angarthing confronts the masked dwarves and demands explanation. The masked dwarves refuse and Angarthing, acting as a witness with the power of ancient law, formally banishes them and declares them un-dwarf.
The last barrier between the dwarves and Kal Kartha is a section of elven forest. The xenophobic elves are even less accomodating of strangers since the masked dwarves began troubling them. The elves refuse to permit the dwarves passage. With winter hard on their heels, the dwarves have no choice but to push through the elven resistance.
The Siege of Kal Kartha
Aiglondur and Angarthing finally arrive at Kal Kartha only to find it under siege by orcs. After breaking the siege, the grateful Kal Karthan commander, Dulcatulos, takes them to see his Lord, the Runemaster Karrag, as honored guests.
The Court of Karrag
The throne room of Kal Kartha is occupied by masked dwarves. Karrag urges Aiglondur and Angarthing to join him. Using the power of the Hammer of Thursagan they can crush the dirt-grubbing humans and orcs.
Angarthing demands to see the face of Lord Karrag. A dwarf must put his name and face to his deeds. Karrag flies into a rage and reveals his true form, a Lich fueled by hatred.
Together with Dulcatulos, the party drives Karrag into the vast underlevels. Karrag calls his troops to battle and Aiglondur and crew must battle through hordes of masked dwarves and undead to find him.
The Kal Karthans are ashamed for harboring such evil in their midst. None feel worthy of restoring the honor of Kal Kartha. For his bravery and great deeds, Aiglondur is named a Lord Companion of the Alliance. The Kal Karthans ask him to rule over them and Aiglondur, with the Loremasters' blessing, agrees.