The party at the time (Siegfried, Lookout, Gin, Hohenheim, and Clara) was hired by Lady Elaydren d’Cannith to recover a lost schema from an abandoned House Cannith forge in the depths of Sharn. After delivering the schema and being paid, Clara departed and the remainder of the party was hired again by Elaydren to recover another schema; this time, from a forge in the Mournland. On the way to the Mournland, in the ruins of the Cyran town of Lyrenton, the party ran afoul of the Emerald Claw. Though they put up a good fight, the Emerald Claw had the upper hand. Before they could be killed, however, they all began to hear a ticking sound. One by one, they succumbed to their wounds and fell unconscious. All except Gin, that is. He was the only one still conscious when everything went white.
His vision cleared and he found himself standing not in the ruins of a town, but in a fully populated and thriving frontier town. Unfortunately, he was standing with his bloodied dagger over the unconscious forms of his three companions. He was arrested and the party as a whole was placed in jail. It soon became apparent that they had somehow been transported into the past to Olarune 20, 993 YK, exactly one year before the Day of Mourning. The town’s sheriff believed the party to be Brelish spies with an absolutely attrocious cover story. They were to be tried for espionage. Instead of waiting around to be convicted of a crime they didn’t commit, they instead broke out of jail and fled. They returned shortly in an attempt to put things right, but the Sheriff wouldn’t relent. A fight started when he tried to recapture them, which resulted in the deaths of all of Lyrenton’s law enforcement officers. Hohenheim faked being a villainous wizard and threatened to unleash a magical plague on the townfolk if they did not provide horses and milk for the party. The townsfolk, fearing for their lives, acquiesced.
The party headed for the nearby town of Gathering Stone, in Darguun, to avoid Cyran law enforcement. There, they met a gnome by the name of Midian Mit Davandi, a scholar and adventurer. He offered them a job working for him and said to meet him in a week in Rhukaan Draal if they were interested. In the meantime, they decided to look for work in Gathering Stone. They contracted with House Deneith, working with the two sister Sentinel Marshals Tasra and Lalia d’Deneith to track and capture a Brelish citizen that murdered an ambassador. The chase led them into abandoned mines beneath the town. Unfortunately, Lookout fell to his death as he leapt down a chasm into a river in a final attempt to capture the woman before she escaped. The party did capture the woman, but she briefly escaped, only to be killed by the Sentinel Marshals.
After the job was done, they returned to their inn where Lookout’s body drew the attention of a band of rogue Warforged who claimed to be able to repair him, but would not bring the party along. Hohenheim attempted to persuade the Warforged named Hydra by revealing his Warforged arm. He brought the party to his superior, Indigo, would decided to take Hohenheim to their leader. Unbeknownst to the party, two individual had been searching for them: a House Tharashk bounty hunter named Rohagar and a kobold named Ixen. Both had located the party by this point and began following. The party realized the danger they had placed themselves in and tried to escape, but only provoked the Warforged. Rohagar and Ixen joined in the battle to protect the party, which resulted in the death of Rohagar’s animal companion at the hands of Indigo. The party riled up a tavern full of goblins and set them upon the Warforged, who were all destroyed except for Indigo, who fled.
The following day, Rohagar and Ixen joined the party. They used their connections with House Deneith to get forged Cyran identification papers from a prisoner. In a moment of carelessness, they left Lookout’s body alone, and return to find it had been stolen by a Warforged. Not knowing what else to do, they set out for Rhukaan Draal. A day into their journey, they awoke to find their packs had vanished, and discovered a group of goblin bandits that were using an underground cave system. They killed the goblins and recovered their goods. Having heard tales of a wizard in the caves, they began to explore further, but ultimately turned back after Hohenheim caused two strangers to fall to their deaths.
After a couple days of travel, they made it to Rhukaan Draal. They spent some time in the city attending and, in Hohenheim’s case, accidentally participating in, a gladiatorial match. Requiring more vials of his medicine, Hoheheim sent a package to an individual in Sharn. To do so with the utmost expedience, he required the aid of Pater d’Orien, head of the House Orien enclave in Rhukaan Draal, who possessed a Greater Mark of Passage, which would allow him to teleport to and from Sharn. Hohenheim gave a lavish retelling of their tale and plight in the hopes of convincing the man. Much to everyone’s astonishment, it appeared to work, as Pater teleported away with the package. Shortly thereafter, Hohenheim caused some damage and injury at the local House Deneith enclave.
Midian met with the party and explained that he is testing a number of adventuring parties to see who was most qualified to work with him. They were tasked with recovering the spellbook of a wizard from a set of ruins outside the city. They made their way to the ruins, arriving at night, and discovered there was a ghost prowling around. In the morning, they cautiously made their way into the tower, and then down a hidden pathway beneath. Dodging traps and drinking unknown alchemical substances, the party made their way through the caves. Along the way, they found a child’s bedroom that had been kept unnaturally pristine for the environment it was in. They also found an orc and a goblin that appeared to be prisoners.
The orc explained that he was a druid sent to investigate an abomination here. He was caught by the ghost of the wizard that had lived there. He asked the party to destroy the spellbook if they found it as it contained dark knowledge, but the party refused. Ixen also stole the druid’s amulet. Both the orc and the goblin confirmed that the wizard was using something called the Grieving Tree to sap the life from them. He seemed to be using it to keep his child, who was dying from an unknown disease, alive indefinitely, until he found a cure. Battling past a monstrous plant creature, the party assaulted the wizard, attempting to steal the spellbook, but were rebuffed. Gin was taken during the conflict and used as the goblin and orc had been. The party regrouped and returned the following day to rescue their companion from his torture.
They attempted a second attack, this time better prepared. Rohagar and Hohenheim made their way to the spellbook. Gin provided a distraction, provoking the wizard to keep his attention away from the book. After Gin insulted the wizard’s daughter, the ghost concentrated on stealing Gin’s lifeforce, leaving him catatonic. Siegfried managed to turn the wizard, keeping him at bay while Hohenheim miraculously dug through his memories and found a way to shut the Grieving Tree off. They freed Gin and took the goblin girl with them, destroying the ghost as he reappeared. The druid tried to prevent them from leaving until he had made certain the spellbook was destroyed, but the party tricked their way past him and left for the city again.
At Rhukaan Draal, they gave the girl to Praadu, a cleric of the Dark Six that resided in the royal tower. They deposited the book with Midian, though Hohenheim soon realized he had neglected to look through the spellbook. So he attempted to steal it. He didn’t make it far into his plot before he was discovered and hauled off to the royal dungeons. Siegfried tried to plead his case with Lhesh Haruuc himself, but to no avail. The party tried to think of a way to revive Gin and was told that if anyone would know how to reverse the effects of the Grieving Tree, it would be the Kech Volaar, the keepers of knowledge and tradition among the goblin tribes. They readied themselves to leave, first picking up Hohenheim’s package at House Orien, when they discovered Hohenheim had broken out of the royal jail and was being pursued. He fled the city a fugitive and the others departed by a different gate.
Hohenheim traveled through the night, dodging patrols and following the river toward the mountains. The rest of the party headed toward Volaar Draal. On Hohenheim’s journey, he rescued a goblin named Kaziim from the clutches of the Emerald Claw. Owing Hohenheim a blood dept, Kaziim followed Hohenheim, guiding him to Volaar Draal. While disguised as Hung the Barbarian, he met up with the party and together they were admitted into the city and were given an audience with Tuura Dhakaan, Mother of the Dirge, and leader of the Kech Volaar. They were escorted by a dirge singer named Ekhaas. Unfortunately, Hohenheim’s disguise faltered while they were in Tuura’s presence and his act of deception led Ekhaas to label him gath’atcha, meaning “one without honor”. Despite Hohenheim, the party and Tuura came to an agreement. There was one item they believed would be able to help Gin: an artifact known as the Ashen Crown. If the party helped recover the four pieces of it, Tuura would do what she could to use the Crown to restore Gin.