It’s Liberation Day in Fallcrest – thirty years to the day since the White Dragon Amandra was defeated.
After the Bloodspear Orcs sacked the Nentir Vale ninety years ago, Amandra defended the town of Fallcrest against enemies within and without, bringing peace to a town surrounded for miles by monsters and savages.
But the price was high. The cost of Amandra’s protection was this:
A free choice of any livestock held by the townspeople, at her leisure.
And the life of the eldest born child of each family, when they reached their maturity.
Amandra – who laired on an island in the centre of the falls, almost impossible to get to and from unless by flight – was eventually defeated by the mage Vanamere and her husband, who lived in Storm Tower, in the Witchlight Fens. On Liberation Day, that defeat is celebrated with a religious ceremony, thanking the Gods for deliverance, and followed by feasting and drinking that starts in the early afternoon and goes late into the night.
This Liberation Day Jakk and Martin Bebenspeer were among the celebrants. Three people in particular stood out in the crowd: Galen Windracer and Calderax Shadowhorn, and a mother trying to find her lost children.
Martin had encountered them both before. Over many shots of spirits in the Nentir Inn Galen told the others that the Walls of the World were breaking, and he needed to return to his city in the Feywild to tell them what had happened – but he didn’t know how to get there.
Meanwhile Calderax called on the debt of honour that Martin owed him to retrieve his family seal, which had been stolen by Kobolds upon the King’s Road.
The next day, while Calderax and Galen slept off their hangovers, Martin and Jakk rented a boat from Barstomun Strongbeard, the leader of the Porters’ Guild, in order to explore the island. It seemed obvious that Barstomun was running some kind of racket, but he “rented” them a boat at twice the price for buying one – making it obvious that he did not expect them to survive.
The two of them crashed the boat into the island, where they found tracks leading into caverns within – tracks of the two missing children. They followed them deep into the cave where they found Amandra’s lair. And in the lair: dragon’s eggs. Which were hatching.
In a hard-fought battle, the two of them managed to defeat the hatchlings and save the children by reviving them with potions of healing before they could die the First Death.
Our heroes returned to the Nentir Inn bearing the enormous haul of treasure from the dragon’s lair, and Martin spoke to Orkin Tanner about making a pair of dragonskin boots and a shield from the hides of the creatures.