Decades ago, the inclination of Nerekhall scholars toward forbidden magical study extended beyond the realm’s capacity for tolerance. Driven mad by his experiments with the Aenlong and the Ynfernael, noted mage and scholar, Gargan Mirklace, unleashed demonic forces that sent much of Terrinoth spiraling into chaos.
Nerekhall’s recovery from these troubled times has been remarkable, and its officials insist, to the disbelief of many, that all is well within its gates. The Daqan Lords are not so trusting, keeping a close eye on the city and threatening swift retribution should Nerekhall ever allow such darkness to rise again.
Recently, grim rumors speak of ill tidings within Nerekhall, perhaps the start of renewed corruption. You have been sent by Citadel officials to investigate the city, in particular an individual of high standing. Rylan Olliven, a scholar, nobleman, and practitioner of advanced magic, is suspected of following in the footsteps of Mirklace, and the Council of Thirteen has set you to the task of discovering if any truth lies behind these rumors.
The initial weeks of your stay are quite dull. At first, you marvel at the cleanliness and refinement, at the plate-clad constructs on every street corner: defenders against planar magic called “ironbound.” However, they quickly become commonplace. As for your investigations, it seems someone, perhaps Olliven himself, is aware of your intentions. Your efforts are hindered at every step with the polite rejection of bureaucracy. You consider engaging in a more direct method until one morning, when a note is slid under your door. The refined stationery and careful hand provides a location, date, time, and the phrase, “A demonstration for the Thirteen.”
The invitation leads to a public execution, presided over by the man you’ve been sent to investigate: Rylan Olliven. You arrive in time to hear the list of charges, precisely the sort of profane magical study that led to Nerekhall’s prior corruption. Rylan holds a somber yet firm attitude, and you can’t help but assume it was he who invited you in some attempt to prove his loyalty; more than once, his eyes hover toward where you stand. As you watch the grisly proceedings, the only surprise arrives when the victim’s name is read: Tristayne Olliven. Their family resemblance now appears quite obvious to you. From his behavior, you decide that Rylan is an amazing liar or the scorn for which he holds the victim is genuine and potent. You wonder briefly if indeed Rylan is guilty of what he is suspected or if the corruption within the Olliven family ends with the younger brother. Perhaps, once this event concludes, you’ll receive the opportunity to find out.