Upon arriving at Starkhaven, our adventuring companions found themselves ushered into a quiet room at the Stormyside Inn. They were met by Isolde and Oerik, two Grey Wardens who would act as their guide while traveling to Weisshaupt in order to join the Grey Wardens. However, due to orders that were given prior to the meeting, Isolde and Oerik would have to meet with the group in Kirkwall.
Isolde informed the party that while they were on the way to Kirkwall, they were to look for signs and information regarding a missing Grey Warden researcher, Mallen O’Ness. Mallen had been seeking information regarding the Calling. Very little is known to the group as to what exactly the Calling entailed, but Isolde advised that it was important that Mallen either be located, or his research be found, if possible. Mallen’s last contact with Isolde was in a village on the outskirts of the Vimmark Mountains named the Meridian Swamp, and if anything would be located, the party could start there.
The group then left Starkhaven, and traveled through the Vimmark Forest, where they came upon a set of bandits harassing what appeared to be an elderly couple. Once the bandits were dispatched, the group was informed that the elderly couple were owners of the Stormyside Inn, and that the bandits had attempted to rob them of their goods. Leaving on a positive note, the group bid the couple farewell, seemingly making acquaintances with the couple.
As the group traveled, they stumbled upon Elven ruins and were met by a clan of Dalish Elves led by an elven woman named Adair, who was leading her clan to the Dales after being exiled from the forests near the Meridian Swamp. Adair explained that children had begun to go missing about the time the clan had arrived there, and that tension had been mounting through the village, as the elves were accused of kidnapping the children and using them for sacrifice. This culminated into the elves being cast out after Haralen, one of the members of the clan, had allegedly had an affair with the Mayor’s wife. Angered, Haralen left the clan, and not been heard from since then.
Once the Dalish had left the village, elves begun to go missing as the clan traveled north. At one point, the clan was ambushed by what appeared to be Darkspawn. Eshara, Haralen’s betrothed, led a group of scouts to find the missing elves, including Haralen. None returned.
The party then located an abandoned Grey Warden outpost, and found several adults who appeared to have been kidnapped as well, although not all were elvish. All of the men’s eyes appeared to be cut out. The party attempted to carry the missing group back toward the swamp, but were ambushed by something and knocked out.
The group, as they were outsiders to the events occurring in the Vimmark Forest, were left to the safety (or lack thereof) of the Meridian Swamp, where they were greeted by one of the keepers of the swamp, Angus. The party also met with his family and the mayor prior to entrance into the Swamp, Kage. During the time the party spent in the Swamp, they discovered that at least a dozen children, all girls, had gone missing with no explanation. It was also discovered that the Swamp appeared to be cursed, although it had only occurred in the recent months. Suspicions fell upon the mayor’s wife, Mena, although many in the town believed that Haralen had not been having an affair with Mena, but rather Haralen had attempted to murder Mena for reasons unknown.
Information was gathered at the Swamp, along with some of the belongings left by Mallen, who had not been seen in the village for at least two weeks. Some of the information gleaned from what little remained from Mallen’s notes spoke of ancient artifacts used by the Grey Wardens, along with possible places Mallen could have or went to check for other information regarding the Calling and the history of the Grey Wardens.
The party traveled to the abandoned Chantry out in the swamp, and through a series of mishaps and investigation, discovered a secret entrance into the old Castle that had been part of the previous city-state that had fallen to ruin throughout the centuries. After spending some time in the Castle, the party has gone back to a small cavern to rest… and that’s where the rest of the story picks up.