Once Upon A Time A great war was fought in the tiny swamp village of West Harbour. A great force of demons and undead led by the mysterious King of Shadows clashed with the forces of Neverwinter, almost wiping out the village until the King of Shadows suddenly disappeared and the remnants of West Harbour's people returned to their homes, stunned and greatly saddened by the loss of so many. Only one person inside the village survived; a little girl with bright red hair and green eyes, held tightly in the grip of her fallen mother. A great wound was carved into her chest, and the little girl was taken in by the village's only elf, Daeghun Farlong. West Harbour rebuilt itself from the ruins... Nineteen years later, the people of West Harbour celebrate their harvest festival with tournaments of skill and aptitude, including archery contests, displays of magic, a brawl and even displays of less savoury skills. All four contests are won by a red-headed Aasimar called Patricia Vetinari, aided by her friends Bevil Starling and Amie Fern. They celebrate their victory, not knowing that with nightfall many of their friends and neighbours will fall. In the depths of the night, a small army of bladelings and duergar attack West Harbour, and it is only through the united force of Georg's militia, Tarmas' magic, and Daeghun's archers that the town survives the onslaught. During the battles, Amie Fern falls to the spell of an unknown Githyanki mage who appeared to lead the charge. As the villagers gather their dead and tend to the wounded, Daeghun assigns a secret task to Patricia and Bevil - go deep into the swamp and retrieve a silver shard from an Illfarn Ruin. Battling through a small army of lizardmen, Patricia and Bevil manage to find the shard without major injury. Patricia's magic is to thank for this minor miracle - she is a Favoured Soul of Oghma, the Lord of Knowledge. Shard in hand, she is told to go to Neverwinter and seek out her adoptive father's half-brother, Duncan. Although she asks Bevil to accompany her, he declines, preferring to remain and defend West Harbour. Disheartened and still in shock over the unexpected death of Amie, Patricia leaves the town of her birth. It is the last time that she shall see most of her friends alive. On her way to Neverwinter, amongst the many distractions and frustrating delays, Patricia meets some fellow travellers willing to lend her aid. Khelgar Ironfist, a brawl-loving dwarven with a taste for ale and fine dwarven women... Neeshka, a tiefling rogue being harassed by amoral members of the Fort Locke garrison... and Elanee, an elven member of the druidic circle of the Mere, and a preachy pain in the backside. The town of Highcliff was to be their staging point to the city of Neverwinter, but a few things had to be dealt with first. Like runaway husbands, kids with delusions of adventurerdom, a pack of pissed-off lizardmen with territory on their mind and the loss of the farm of one Shandra Jerro. Finally, the dysfunctional quartet departed for Neverwinter. Once land legs were recovered and Khelgar stopped retching, the group sought out Duncan's bar, the Sunken Flagon. They found a barkeep who drunk too much of his own ale and a snarky barman, but most importantly, Patricia finally found a 'family' member who wasn't a complete dick. After some pleasantries and catching up, Patricia showed her uncle the shard, and he gave her the one he himself had been keeping for many years, as a sad reminder of the deaths in West Harbour. Patricia could feel the strange energy pulsing through them, and it was then that a sarcastic elven mage called Sand decided to pay a visit. Sand attempted to scry the shards, only to knock everyone in the Sunken Flagon off their feet when the spell backfired. Disgusted, he suggested that the group find a way into the Blacklake district to consult with the well-known sage Aldanon. There was only one problem - the Blacklake district was sealed in the wake of several members of the nobility. On Duncan's suggestion Patricia allied herself with the Neverwinter Watch and her fellow Harbourman, Marshal Cormick. Cormick was the last person before Patricia herself to win all four events in the harvest festival, trouncing Bevil's brother Lorne. Lorne disappeared afterwards, and Patricia had promised to look for him in Neverwinter. So far, there was no sign of him. That was soon to change. On patrol one day, Patricia and friends broke up a mage's brawl outside the Flagon, unwillingly recruiting the literal firebrand sorceress, Qara. Expelled from the Neverwinter Academy in disgrace, Qara had little choice but to accept the ultimatum Patricia and Duncan gave her, and so the group acquired themselves a quite possibly insane spellcaster. After a time, the captain of the watch, Brelaina, sent Patricia and her friends to Old Owl Well to locate and possibly rescue a diplomat from Waterdeep. The gruff commander of Neverwinter's Greycloak forces, Callum, could offer them nothing but information to start them on their search, and a suggestion to seek out a man the orcs there called 'Katalmach' - a man who sought death in battle. As they sought out the orcish clans, they came across a gnome with a very peculiar style of inventing... Grobnar Gnomehands, a hyperactive bard full of tales of insane inventions and the mythical Wendersnaven. Despite many protests from her allies, Patricia allowed him to accompany her. One orcish lair was raided, and a man claiming to be the Waterdhavian diplomat was found in the depths. However, Patricia's questioning and Grobnar's off-hand comments provoked the man into revealing himself as a fake, and so the party prepared to return to Callum. On the way back to the well, they were ambushed by a swarm of orcs, but rescued by the Katalmach and several local warriors. The Katalmach turned out to be a human paldin called Casavir. He had left Neverwinter under the shadow of rumour and doubt, and dedicated himself to helping the locals drive off the orcs. Casavir invited himself into the group, and led them to the lair of the orcish leader. However, things down there got weird... A room filled with fallen warriors who had once served by Casavir's side... Diaries of torture and horrific intent... The undead... And someone stupid enough to ask Qara if she wanted to become a spell-casting undead revenant. Fireballs ensued. The true Waterdhavian noble was eventually rescued, Casavir was briefly reunited with Callum, and the paladin decided to return to Neverwinter in Patricia's company. Finally, the Blacklake district was open to her... Except that things are never, ever that easy! Brelaina organised for an escort to the house of Aldanon, a truly bizarre scholar in the service of Neverwinter. After a little experimentation and a lot of rambling, Aldanon declared the shards were part of a Silver Sword, a vicious weapon made by the Githyanki, extraplanar beings who lived in the wilds of the Astral Plane on the body of a dead god, and who were ruled over by a despotic Lich Queen. And they were hunting her for the shards she bore. Perhaps if they could find the Haven of Ammon Jerro, a long-dead scholar of Neverwinter, they could find out more. They entered Neverwinter's Archives, only to discover the place being ransacked by the Githyanki. Personally insulted on behalf of her god, Patricia stormed the Archives, slaying every Githyanki who was unfortunate enough to get in the way of her blade or her magic. The ringleaders escaped, but she found out their destination; the farm of Shandra Jerro. Although they managed to slay the Githyanki and rescue Shandra, the farm was utterly destroyed. They took Shandra back to the Sunken Flagon to both protect her and question her about Ammon Jerro's Haven. Of course, things are never that simple, and during the night a troop of Gith attacked the Flagon, kidnapping Shandra. Duncan knew someone who could help them find her, and called in a favour to get them a special tracker who would help them hunt down the Luskan-bound Gith. Bishop was a good ranger and an excellent tracker, but... Patricia would have called him a bastard, but that would have been an insult to bastards everywhere, and so Bishop's name became akin to an insult when coming from her lips. To her frustration, he apparently found this to be a turn-on, and much of the trip was spent keeping him from crawling into the bedrolls of female party members. Depite attempts to slow them down with an ambush in the town of Ember, Patricia and Bishop hunted the Gith relentlessly, eventually finding their stronghold in the mountains. Although their progress was hampered by an unknown stranger and his menagerie of demons and devils, they fought their way to Zeeaerie, the leader of the Githyanki. Although Zeearie was slaughtered and Shandra freed, Patricia had discovered the truth about the scar on her chest and her miraculous survival. In her was a shard of the silver sword, and it was not 'just any' silver sword... it was the Silver Sword of Gith, the saviour of the Githyanki and the Githzerai, lost with its wielder somewhere deep in the Abyss. How it had come to West Harbour during the battle and how such a powerful blade could have shattered was a mystery only Ammon Jerro could answer. Unfortunately, other enemies conspired to delay this all-important revelation. Black Garius, a member of the Hosttower of Luskan, used his pawn Torio to accuse Patricia and her allies of murdering the entirety of Ember. With little choice in the matter, Patricia was squired to one of Lord Nasher's knights, putting her in a position to be tried by the lord of Neverwinter, instead of being taken to Luskan and brutally slaughtered. Of course, Nasher knew better than to trust the words of a Luskanite, and his right hand man Nevalle made arrangements for Patricia's defense... Arrangements called Sand. With Sand's help, evidence was gathered to prove that not only was Patricia innocent, but that a massive man in the employ of Luskan was truly responsible for the destruction of Ember. And so the trial began. Although Torio was clever with her words, Patricia was cleverer and favoured by the god of knowledge. With quick words, Sand's support and the evidence gathered, Torio's claims were proven eminently false. Although not before Sand got in some snarky comments of his own. With her innocence proven, Patricia was free to go. For all of about two minutes. Torio invoked the right of trial by combat, naming an all too familiar warrior as her champion. Lorne Starling, long-lost scion of West Harbour and the brother of her best friend. Needless to say, Nevalle... and Nasher... weren't pleased by the turn of events, but the trial by combat was unassailable. Although some of her companions visited her during the night before the fight, Patricia faced Lorne alone on the sands... and won. With Torio and Lorne defeated and discredited, the party returned to the Sunken Flagon to get thoroughly wasted. Only a few drinks were drunk, however, before Nevalle returned with news. Patricia was now a squire of Neverwinter, after all, and she had duties to perform. Black Garius had taken possession of Crossroad Keep, kidnapped Aldanon, and was performing some kind of bizarre ritual calling upon the shadows in the depths of the keep. Someone needed to get rid of him, and naturally that someone had to be the woman who had been beaten half to death just a few hours ago. Oh, that wacky Nasher! And so the party stormed Crossroad Keep with the aid of a few of Neverwinter's mages, rescuing an even more befuddled Aldanon and tearing through the Shadow Priests inhabiting the place like a knife through warm butter. Patricia did not welcome this easy victory with joy, however - she had fought the Shadow Priests before, and they seemed to serve something dark and evil. Any ritual Garius performed with their blessing would end badly for Neverwinter. Except that Garius fell to her blade without a fight. And so, having crossed a decent chunk of the Sword Coast, Patricia Vetinari became the leader of Crossroad Keep. As she rebuilt and sought the ancient pieces of magic that would allow her to destroy the King of Shadows, Aldanon studied, and eventually the location of Ammon Jerro's Haven was revealed. With the last piece of the Shadow-Killing ritual lost to her for the time being and the destruction of West Harbour by the King of Shadows weighing heavily on her mind, the Haven became her next destination. Shandra at her side and blade ready for any trouble, she lead the way deep into the wilds. The Haven was filled with bound demons and devils, and in buying their entrance Shanda disappeared. Deep within its walls, the party found the King of Shadows and were thoroughly trounced. Only Shandra's desperate actions saved them, as she shed her own blood to release the bound creatures and weaken the King of Shadows. The King of Shadows slew her in a rage, and in that tragic moment, the truth was revealed. The master of the Haven was no King of Shadows. He was Ammon Jerro, revealed to be a powerful warlock, and in his foolish actions he had ended the family he had sold his soul to protect. Although she wanted nothing more than to slay Ammon where he stood, Patricia was forced to spare his life. He had claimed the final part of the ritual she needed to kill the King of Shadows, and with the statue that had held the knowledge destroyed, she needed him alive to have a chance at victory. The true King of Shadows, now known to be an ancient Illefarn guardian construct warped by shadow magic, had not been resting easy while Patricia and her friends had sought its destruction. With legions of the undead massing in the Mere, she frantically gathered aid from those in the King's path. Upon her return to Crossroad Keep, Patricia was collected by Nevalle and returned alone to Neverwinter. She helped drive back an attack of undead led by a Shadow Reaver, and Lord Nasher dubbed her both a knight and a member of the Neverwinter Nine, neither of which she appreciated overmuch. She was charged with readying Crossroad Keep for war. Grobnar repaired an ancient Illefarn construct, and attempted to secure the aid of the Wendersnaven. The first project was successful - the less said about the Wendersnaven and the Wenderkazoo, the better. After taking out a pack of Fire Giants and slaying a red dragon to recover an ancient relic of their clan, the Ironfist dwarves united under Khelgar and pledged their aid to Crossroad Keep. An abortive attempt to recruit the Circle of the Mere led to the death of Elanee and many tainted druids. However, Daeghun and Bevil had both survived the destruction of West Harbour, heartening Patricia greatly and giving her a new drive to succeed. Highcliff and Fort Locke fell. With the armies of the King of Shadows rapidly approaching, Lord Nasher and the Nine (Patricia excluded) went out to face the tide. Although they fought bravely, they ultimately failed. Nasher was brought back on the edge of death, and only Nevalle and Patricia were left of the Nine. With no other option, Patricia and her allies fortified the Keep and destroyed the bridges that the armies of the King of Shadows would have to cross. For a time, the battle went well, and then disaster. Bishop betrayed them all, destroying the portcullis and gate that kept the undead out. He fled during the confusion, and by the time men could be sent to hunt his trecherous hide down, he was long gone. Crossroad Keep survived the night, and Aldanon revealed a way into the King of Shadows stronghold. Patricia and her allies went through the Illefarn Song Portal, and deep within the ruins at the other end they found Bishop, standing at the side of a powerful undead bearing the face of Garius. Garius and Bishop tempted her allies in an attempt to sway them. Most refused... But some accepted. Qara stepped from Patricia's side, as did the Construct, controlled by Bishop. The fight was short, brutal and lethal. At the end, Garius was dead forever, Bishop and Qara were swiftly executed, and Grobnar deactivated the Construct for the last time. They were too late, and the King of Shadows stepped free of its prison. Although they eventually defeated the King of Shadows, the Illefarn ruins collapses, burying Patricia and her surviving friends beneath a thousand tons of rock. Bevil and his Greycloaks defending the Keep in her absence, Bevil frequently venturing into the Mere in search of his lost friend. Daeghun sought his lost daughter, never resting despite the common belief of the people that she was long dead. And now, Patricia wakes, faint words echoing in her ears... For love.