The campaign is centered on the town of Markas-Lut Kamal, a sleepy walled town a few days’ travel from the City State of the Invincible Overlord. But things recently have gotten much less sleepy. This has been a difficult spring, with incessant rains swelling the rivers and streams, submerging low-lying pastures, delaying spring planting and generally making everyone cross. And that was before the earthquake in the night which rattled the town and put many new deep cracks in the old city walls.
After the earthquake and the crockery and fallen masonry was swept away, the sun came out. Everyone thought that the worst was behind them. But within a fortnight, late-returning travelers reported something moving in the woods, short figures moving furtively between the trees. The shepherds began to report lost sheep and other livestock. Sometimes a mutilated body would be found, but more often the animal just disappeared.
Town elders began to tell old, half-forgotten tales of the dungeon of Ghar-Maut. It was rumored to be north of the town, not far away. Long thought to be a myth, it was supposed to have been discovered by the first settlers in the area, who mined stone and hollowed out store rooms and refuges in the rock. But under the human sections, a far older and more extensive dungeon was said to sprawl for miles and go down level after level into the ground.