Weep, you, for the fall of Arduran, jewel of the Eastern Wards. City of delights and wonders now an unmarked grave for untold thousands. Mourn for its lost splendors, for the honest lives of its citizens. I tell you, cry out for the lost days whence it once stood proud and defiant, for the Beast of Arduran's Fall still yet lives.
You are survivors. You are the ones who lived, who through prayer and skill and perhaps a bit of luck managed to escape a cataclysm that destroyed an entire city. And perhaps more.
The humans of the Eastern Wards call it the Devourer; the dwarves name it Charak'desh; the elves perhaps most simply speak of the creature as Ruin. Since before the dawn of men it has snaked its way through the heart of the world, mindless and intent only on devouring and sating its infinite hunger. Rarely has it ever surfaced, though such times live in the annals of history as terrible events that bring about the end of civilizations and sometimes entire continents. And, as of three weeks ago, it did so once more.
The signs were all there. Earthquakes of intense magnitude rocked the coastal city, while a cold dread slowly crept into the hearts of its people. Those ancient mages who knew of the creature and its history were the first to flee, seeking refuge on different planes of existence. For the others who had no such knowledge or power..there was no escape, nowhere to run and few realized the danger in any case. The last earthquake was terrifying in its ferocity, splitting the city through ancient fault lines and divisions. As the city rocked and splintered, it rose from the depths and began to feed.
Fortuitously, you were near the dockside when the earthquake began. Setting out with a few other stragglers to ride out the worst of the quake on the sea, you escaped the terrible death of Arduran. But you were not unaffected by the surfacing of the Devourer. It's enormous bulk shook the earth and created waves the seized your tiny craft and flung you far out to sea. It has been three weeks, now, and the unpredictable currents have dragged you far from home. Far from the life you once had. Finally, weak and running low on provisions, one of your number has spotted land. As you make your way to the only hope of survival you have left, one must wonder if this is but a temporary reprieve from the horrors of before..