The pieces were moving behind the scenes. Whilst the party were tracking through the lands of the dead, forces had arranged against them to the north. Word had spread that Borin swordhand was on the move again, and a very large bounty was up for anyone who could return with his head. This brought a great number of bounty hunters south with the hope of claiming the bounty. Elves, Dwarves, men and ogres. Priests, warriors, hunters and healers. One and all came to claim the bounty of 100,000,000 gold pieces for Borins head, but there was one who stood out and above all others. The other hunters feared him greatly for the stories of his ferocity and rage. He brought down a titan in single hand to hand combat. Slaughtered his way through a tribe of ogres. Massacred a Norsca Village, burned an entire town in sylvan to the ground. All this he did, not for the money, but for revenge. All the hunters rightly avoided Garlok Herrak. He had been drawn to the city of Macritta by the stories, that this Borin fellow was travelling with a dwarf called Garrot, and so had tagged along with the hunters to find and have his revenge upon his nemesis. The Dwarven High king, Thorgrim Grudgebearer, had not only approved of the fight, but had actively funded it. Claiming that the winner would restore the honour of the dwarfs, which had been so badly tarnished. It mattered not which outcome occurred only that one occurred.
All the while, there where whisperings of Demonic activity in the south. Cults had appeared, hunting a Halfling by the name of Lunx. He held the key to the destruction of the Empire, or so the cults claimed, and they meant to drag the truth out of him by magic, fire, blade or poison. They had set up in port city of Macritta, using the massive influx of hunters as cover for their entrance and their activities. If this wasn’t bad enough, there was talk of things in the shadows at night. Rogues, thieves and bandits moved through the streets in the twilight, asking about an Elf named Jenny Sarasdottir, offering gold or threatening death for information. Macritta was quickly turning into a hive of villains and thugs. Not only this, but a graffiti problem had developed. The words, “Rise, Malus Rise” and “defy fate” where written upon the walls of buildings throughout the city. And then Alexei Arrived
He came later than the rest, found floating in the sea, he was picked up and brought back to shore by a passing trade ship. They had been informed that the south ports had been completely destroyed by a freak tidal wave and so had gone to check it out. When he arrived in Macritta, Alexei wasted no time. He gathered together Garlok, The hunters, the cultist, the rogues and began to plan. Alexei explained that he wanted the heart of Xigdestra on a plate and the others would fall to his allies in turn. And so they planned to unite to serve their own ends and destroy the greatest threat to the world that has ever existed. That band of travellers in the southlands.
All the while, the slan Priest upon the continent to the west had begun to arise from their slumber. There was already, some very strange activity taking place in the small settlements along the coast of the jungle continent. People were reporting the reptiles of the forest were becoming ever more aggressive and had begun straying into the settlements at night. Not only this, but a large amount of seismic activity had been reported in the area as well.