After a year apart, the PCs reunited at a way-station just off the road between Peese and Tarvon to share a few drinks and tell stories of how they spent the last twelve months. Normally a quiet, out of the way stop, the calm of ‘The Weary Inn’ was shattered when a disheveled man burst through the door. He glanced quickly around the interior of the building before rushing to the PCs.
“You’ve got to listen to me,” he said urgently, “because there isn’t much time. He’s been lying to us. It’s all real. Everything they told us… everything we were taught… it was real. I didn’t know what else to do, so I stole one of the keys. They’ve been chasing me ever since. I thought I lost them when I crossed over into Keryan, but they caught up with me just outside of Peece. I barely had enough time to hide everything before they picked up my trail. You’ve got to go to Peece and finish what I started. Please! You’ve got to hurry! He’s going to wake it up!”
Before the PCs could respond a group of men entered the way-station. All were clad in suits of white chainmail armor and one wore a white tabard bearing the image of a single tongue of red flame. Each suit of armor had a space in the center of the upper arm through which the PCs could see the same tongue of flame image tattooed on their skin. The PCs recognized them as Purifiers, members of a sect dedicated to eradicating all memory of the Great Beasts from Ankara.
The man bearing the tabard turned his gaze to the disheveled man and said “Dannik Rand, you stand accused of treason and blasphemy. You must be purified.” He raised his right hand, pointed the palm in the direction of the disheveled man, and a stream of red fire erupted from it. The disheveled man screamed as his clothing began to burn and his flesh began to melt. It only took seconds for his body to be consumed but in that time, as his clothing burned away, the PCs could clearly see the symbol of the Purifiers tattooed on his upper arm.
As the disheveled man’s corpse dropped to the floor, the leader of the Purifiers turned to the PCs and demanded to know what Dannik Rand had said to them. When the PCs refused to answer, the Purifiers attempted to intimidate them and where shocked when the PCs responded by attacking them. The surprised Purifiers fell quickly beneath the weapons of the PCs.
With the battle finished, the PCs decided to follow up on Rand’s request and travel to Peece, a small town built in the shadow of a mysterious stone tower. The three day journey was uneventful for the most part, but as they drew close to the town they noticed a cloud of thick black smoke in the distance. Growing even closer they were able to smell the stench of burning wood and flesh.
When they arrived at their destination they found the town in shambles. All of the buildings had been burning to the ground (with the exception of the large stone tower that rose five stories above the earth). The ground was littered with bodies. Some were Purifiers, some citizens of the town, and some were pale-skinned, clawed creatures that the PCs had never seen before.
The PCs came across a single survivor amidst the carnage: an older man carrying the corpse of a baby. Upon further investigation, the ‘corpse’ was found to be a badly burned doll left behind by one of the town’s children. The PCs spoke with the man, who identified himself only as the “Chooser”, and were able to piece together the events that had brought about the end of Peece.