As our tale begins, we meet our first hero; Talyn the Deva Artificer. Talyn, one of many hundreds of names he has gone by, is in his 29th year of one of his endlessly recycling lives. He has scattered memories of his past lives but no real chronology associated with them. In this life he has chosen to pursue the Artificer profession believing that by applying old memories with new ideas and his knowledge of the arcane, he will be able to create new and amazing things.
On his life-journey, he has settled down in a small, peaceful farming town called Meadowbrook. Here, he owns a quaint but somewhat run-down building that operates as both a home and a shop for his personal business. It is through this business that he comes into contact with a man named Liam.
Liam gives Talyn the job of retrieving a small orb that has been taken into the Forest of Shadows. He believes his accomplices were ambushed and their item stolen. He informs Talyn that delivering the orb is part of his initiation into the Drakes of Pernathia and although he is not readily able to retrieve it, he is allowed to deliver it (and protect it) through any means he deems appropriate. Weighing the options and considering the reward, Talyn agrees to retrieve the orb and discover the fate of Liam’s comrades.
Wandering into the Forest of Shadows, Talyn immediately encounters two Imp-like creatures wrestling in the trees. They immediately notice him and with an animal-like fury, charge to attack. After a quick exchange, Talyn dispatches one of the imps but unfortunately ends up quite injured. He perceives that the imp may understand common and tries to reason with it… Talyn learns that the imp, called Icknog, would be willing to team up with him if the orb was instead given to Icknog instead. Although it is an uneasy alliance the deal is struck and Talyn and Icknog decide to tend to their wounds (inflicted by each other) for the time being and head back to town to attempt to make a demonic disguise and talk with Liam about the complications.
With Icknog riding in Talyn’s backpack, the two arrive in town and commission a costume (early preparation for the Shifting festival) from the local tailor and a halfling named Tim who deals in facial prosthetics…
After putting in the order, Talyn locates Liam and brings him up to date but somehow, it seems that Liam already knows what has transpired and seems to be able to smell the scent of the hidden imp. All is revealed to Liam and he does his best to assist Talyn with the task at hand; claiming to now have advanced understanding of illusionary magic, Liam changes Talyn’s appearance and scent to that of a demonic Teifling. He also allows the use of his horse for quicker travel back to the forest but insists that the imp is killed as soon as possible.
Talyn and Icknog travel through the forest without interruption and eventually come to a cave entrance guarded by two more imps. They saunter in unharmed and engage in the difficult task of sneaking past the throngs of demon inhabitants. Icknog talks away any being that questions the teifling’s presence while Talyn has a harder time keeping up the demonic facade… When forced to eat fresh human remains, Talyns gags and throws up causing the small group of demon-feasters to suspect something amiss.. Thankfully Icknog roughs them up and brushes it off as part of a weak teifling stomache… The duo make there way down the cavern towards where they believe Nyat the Octoyugh demon leader and the orb reside but misfortune strikes again as Talyn is unable to convince Nyat’s personal guards that he is the authentic article. They are taken in for “an audience” with Nyat which quickly escalates into full blown combat…
Through many small miracles, Talyn and Icknog survive untill the last foe falls which allows for a surprise attack from Talyn to Icknog, quickly ending the life of the small imp.
Talyn finds the Orb within a secret compartment and realizes upon further examination that it has some latent power that is unlike anything he has ever seen in an item. As he stores the orb in his pack, he realizes walking out of this cavern is not going to be as easy as walking in. He takes a risk and jumps into a nearby underground waterway which leads him into a side room near the front of the cave. Talyn walks as convincingly as he can towards the cave opening, but is grunted at by a large shade demon which seems to be accusing him of something. Talyn has no understanding of the demonic tongue and tried to continue out of the cave but things seemed to rapidly decline as a horde of demons were massing behind him. Trying to think, it seemed like there was only one option at this point; hold out the orb and demand subservience! The demons stopped in their tracks but could only be held back for so long; although Talyn made it outside he was too far away from town to sprint and faced too many foes to stand and fight, it seemed negotiations were again the only solution.
After a few failed propositions with an impish translator, a horrible figure emerged from the ranks of Demons inside the cave: A chained and tortured humanoid figure walked out and faced Talyn; seemingly unafraid of both the Deva-in-disguise and the Orb. The terms of his deal were final and non-negotiable but it did give Talyn a way to freedom. It was said that in five days, the orb will be handed over and Meadowbrook will be attacked but Talyn may walk away from the tribe alive on this day. He will be forced to hand over the orb or die along with the rest of the inhabitants of Meadowbrook… Additionally, an impish spy will accompany Talyn at all times and has a magical scrying “alarm” cast on it to alert the Chained demon of any kind of betrayal on Talyn’s part (ie: Orb or Talyn leave town)
Talyn walked away from the tribe and the cave with a new, less helpful Imp watcher called Bleak…
Liam was informed of the situation and decided it would be best to come clean with Talyn: He was in fact one of the generals of the Drakes and was sent by his bonded dragon to awaken an old friend into action. The Steel Dragon Braca, closest friend to Talyn over thousands of years and several different lives once again demanded Talyn rise to his true potential. Liam also explained that the orb was in fact the very essence of Braca’s Breath, stolen and magically sealed away in an orb by a demon lord. As Talyn remembers more and more about his past lives and adventures with Braca, he deems it best that Liam ride to Braca’s last known location to try and acquire the aid of a dragon against the oncoming invasion… As Liam departs he suggests that Talyn find a few more capable combatants to assist in the defense of Meadowbrook; farmers and civilians will not be able to defend against a horde of demonic invaders but an organized group of adventurers with the aid of Braca and Liam have a good chance of turning away the swarm of impending doom.