Lords of the Vale
Gardmore Abbey trained generations of Paladins in the late days of the Nerathan Empire. It was a beacon of hope to travelers on their journeys between Winterhaven and Fallcrest and readily offered food and shelter to those whose road had proven perilous.
Records of the abandonment of the Abbey are few. It is known that the Abbey was still in use at least three decades before the last emperor died, though reports of the conflict following the emperor’s death refer to the Abbey as ‘long since abandoned.’
The cause of the Abbey’s abandonment was, until recently, a complete mystery. Burkin, a paladin of the Glorious Host, recently recovered and translated documents referring to a powerful tome hidden beneath the Abbey. From his writings, Burkin surmised that the book beneath the Abbey was the reason for the building’s abandoned state. Mortanver, his closest friend, became convinced the tome’s power would help protect the Vale and avenge the destruction of the Glorious Host, and set out for the Abbey to recover it.
Burkin came with Mortanver to help recover the book, but upon arriving in the Abbey and reading the few intact records within it, changed his mind. Burkin viewed the book as a powerful temptation and force for evil, and attempted to convince Mortanver to leave it be. Mortanver refused, and the friends argued fiercely about whether to recover the book. Two factions formed within the group that had set out for the Abbey, Bahamut’s Talon and Bahamut’s Will. The two factions debated heatedly for weeks whether to go after the tome or leave the Abbey completely.
Tensions continued to rise with each passing day until the two factions nearly erupted into violence. The party arrived just in time to prevent the first violent deaths in the conflict between the two factions. Ghesh was charged by Mortanver to find the book and return it, while Burkin plead with him to destroy it. Both factions watched the party descend into the depths of the Abbey, tense but eager to see what the companions would decide to do with the tome.