The last great kingdom fell 200 years ago, leaving communities of villages and towns to fend for themselves. Even the largest cities have become small states on their own. A great evil is rising in the midst of this chaotic realm, accompanied by an influx of monsters and barbaric humanoid tribes. The small remnants of the Dwarven clans are recovering from decades of feuding and internal strife and can no longer aid in defending their former allies. The elves and halflings in the region have mostly integrated at the edges of human society. Dragonborn and Eladrin are more rare than ever.
As the ancient evil arises, an intrepid band is drawn together in the village of East Haven by a series of bloodthirsty murders. When one of their own is taken over by a mysterious force, the adventurers chase after him hoping to free him from the curse. Fighting through the now prevalent bands of wandering goblins in the countryside, the group arrives at Cross Hold.