A scrap of parchment stirs lazily in the light breeze outside the walls of Mulmaster. The North Road hasn’t seen traffic in two days, and the normally-busy Southroad Keep is nearly devoid of activity. Only a few beleaguered watchmen remain at their posts, as many had fled the earlier devastation.
Mulmaster has been the target of several dangerous and catastrophic plans in the last tenday. Elemental cults, insane and yet somehow still coldly calculating, brought their long-standing plans to fruition: devastation orbs were brought to the city and detonated above locations of great magical power in an effort to bring the elder Elemental Princes into Faerun.
Heroes rose from the city to defend it; warriors and mages came from Phlan; champions from other, more exotic locales did everything they could to mitigate the oncoming war. Some challenged the unhinged Cult of the Howling Hatred by intercepting their motley crew of assembled airships; some plunged headlong into the frigid springtime waters of the Moonsea in an attempt to stem the tide of the Cult of the Crushing Wave; others sought to delve into the plans of the Cult of the Black Earth far below the streets of the city; and some brave souls did their utmost to prevent the Cult of the Eternal Flame from reducing the homes and shops to piles of smoldering cinders.
But even when our heroes do their best, there can sometimes be a cost. While the Harpers and Zhentarim had each been informed that the cults would be bringing one of the devastation orbs into the city, nobody was prepared for the ruse: each cult brought dozens of orbs and was seeking to detonate them in sequence so as to create a worthy sacrifice to their foul lords… that sacrifice being the city and everyone that lived there. Many of the orbs were deactivated, and many more were shunted away from Mulmaster by being sent to other planes of existence. However, for each hard-fought victory that the champions won, another orb would slip past their grasp and explode.
As the dust settled, the grievous cost was made known: the harbor, the heart of Mulmaster and a significant trade artery in the north, was gone. The Lord’s Alliance has some intelligence pointing at an event in the sewers beneath the city, that an orb had detonated and triggered a powerful earthquake, dragging a number of buildings in the earth and draining a large portion of the water. To further compound the trouble multiple elemental devices later detonated, causing huge permanent waterspouts to whip about the inlet and roiling clouds of flesh-melting steam to rise from the surface of the chilly water. No ship is able to enter the remains of the harbor, and even if they could they would still have to contend with the wreckage of the flying flotilla that the Cult of the Howling Hatred scattered from the North Road all the way through the city, across the harbor, and into the Moonsea beyond. Agents of the Emerald Enclave have been working diligently to clear the wreckage, but the vortexes and storms have thus far proven too powerful to dispel. Even the strong arms and backs of the Order of the Gauntlet are being taxed to the extreme in the clean-up process.
What the future holds for Mulmaster is uncertain. With another city rocked by danger, the entire Moonsea region teeters on the brink of collapse; every battle grows increasingly more desperate as the days drag on. The people are cold and hungry, and their primary source of income now lies in ruins across the harbor. As with Phlan before it, the city of Mulmaster is only now realizing that the cities of Faerun will only thrive if they can put aside their historic differences and work together – some dangers are simply too powerful to face alone.
And even now, watchful eyes turn their gaze upon the glories of Hillsfar to the west. A glorious arena and a grand history; indeed, the Hillsfarans are people of great passions…