Three years ago, the world ended.

You remember the moment it happened – a chill crept through the air, and you shuddered. You turned to excuse yourself, and realized that everyone around you shuddered as well. All of you brushed it off – a change in the wind, perhaps. You heard the first tales of tragedy later that night, but you didn't make the connection right away. How could you have?

Since that night, every humanoid child born into the world has been blackened and stillborn.

The great city-states of the world struggled to react to such a crisis. The armies of the Blade were sent forth to find answers to the crisis while the smallfolk sought comfort in the shrines of Idril. The Book's great wizards tore through musty tomes to find what spells they could that might stop the Stilling. The Brush's elven aristocracy retreated to their arts while the pleas of the shorter-lived humans and halflings fell on deaf ears. And the merchants of the Brand began bartering their wealth and their slaves to find some solution, even if it would only work for them or their wives.

But after nearly three years, panic has given way to despair. The childer's guild purifies what is left of the stillborn children born to the few mad parents that think their next child will have a better fate. The citizens of the Blade look at their livestock in fierce jealousy, for the curse did not touch the beasts or the fields. The wizards of the Book have removed themselves from the world as the people of the city abandon hope of redemption through arcane magic. Talk of revolt foments in the beautiful halls of the Brush, and the Brand's anger has only risen as suspicions mount that one of the other cities is hiding a cure.

But then you have a dream. A reminder of a story you heard as a child. That decades ago, the city-state of the Balance helped keep the peace between the four cities. It fell to the cult of Adal long ago, of course, but in your dream you saw the Balance as more than just a mediator. It was not a council of wise men and women, but the beating heart of the world itself. You woke up, and of course it was nothing but a dream… until that evening, when a messenger arrived with a letter.

A letter written to you, and speaking of the Balance. 

A letter saying that the Stilling could be stopped, and that you were the key to doing so.

You did not think of yourself as a world savior, and the sane part of you wanted to brush aside the letter as a cruel joke. But the dream, and the letter the next day… you do not think this is a coincidence. Perhaps you have the chance to save the future of the four cities, or perhaps you are walking into the trap of a madman who wants you for some unfathomable purpose. Regardless of what you think of this letter, you know you cannot keep going on your current path. The whispers of war are already in the air, and the time to do nothing has already passed by.

It is time to act.

The Balance

DM_Steve Alex_H Ascended Mirlath alex_dodson