None know from where the Heresiarch first came, but all remember the night that it did. It rode down from the bleeding stars on a great serpent, hurling bolts of obsidian lightning that shattered the monuments and capitols of every nation. Its infernal army swept aside the defenses of the mortal empires in a single hour, decimating legions once thought to be the invincible fist of humanity's god-kings. Faceless priests - each bearing the symbol of the trident - drifted through the fallen cities and scorched villages on a frigid wind, and when they rose to greet the huddled men and women ringed by their festering, bloated dead, they spoke a single, simple offer: worship the Heresiarch or die. * * * Thousands of crusaders fell tonight so that you might be given this chance. In a last stand that, for the first time, united all of the empires of humanity as brothers and sisters, a way was cleared into an infernal stronghold said to contain a gate to the Heresiarch’s fane. All is silent save for the clangor of distant battle. Surrounded by grim-faced knights and teary-eyed peasants – their hands clasped in desperate hope – you step through the glowing, churning doorway, knowing there will be no help and likely no return.
In times ancient, an infamous paladin-artificer named Khaldun unearthed a cursed tome bound in the flesh of the first medusa. Driven to madness by its secrets, he used the necromantic magic contained within to call forth an army of dread warriors from the Netherworld. Though his assault was devastating, he was ultimately unsuccessful, and the mightiest crusaders of the realm banished Khaldun to the Netherworld, where he would rot for eternity at the bottom of the River Dis. Unfortunately, rather than perishing in that bleak plane, Khaldun escaped his silt grave and thrived, amassing a legion of undead followers and erecting a Tomb in which he could perfect his mechanical craft without interruption. It was not long before he shed his body and became a demilich. After several centuries of scheming, the undead warriors under the command of the ‘Iron Lich’ have burst free of the Netherworld, laying waste to not only the mortal kingdoms that exiled him, but also the exalted domains of the gods themselves. The crusaders’ quest is simple – stead the Tomb and destroy the Iron Lich.
A half-marilith, half-medusa druidess lich known as the Hate Blossom lairs in this dungeon, having been run out of mortal society and shunned by demonkind. She possesses the petrified-yet-still-living body of Melenkir, the first human arch-mage and the single creature to remember a ritual that may save the realm from an extraplanar threat. Only slaying Hate Blossom or convincing her to lift the curse will revive Melenkir.