It is quiet now, save for the sound of waves rushing to the shore. The wreckage of the ship, Starlight remain scattered in the sand. Varis, Endurance, Glory and Kara lie unconscious on the sandy beach. They were the only survivors of the shipwreck. After the four slowly come to, their eyes adjust to the sight around them. A strange dim light permeates the beach. What time is it? The light is unlike any seen during the day. The sky is darkened in a dark crimson hue. The clouds are visible but no stars or the sun can be seen. The palm trees of the beach are dead and small white mushrooms are growing from the breaks in the woody bark. This land is unfamiliar and the surroundings are unnatural.
Those who are magically inclined such as Kara feel a strange uneasiness. They feel their connection to the Weave, their gods and goddesses, their patrons and mother nature herself, interrupted. The connection is there but it's also... not. This disruption leaves a hollow feeling inside. The darkness, the strange vegetation, the dim light and the disturbance in magic... could this place that the four adventurers washed up on be... Durath?
Half a century ago, the continent became shrouded in permanent darkness. Half a century ago, the continent was lost. Older men and women remember a time when the continent was still bright and colorful. It's tall cities of stone and metal and its lush green forests and meadows graced the land. For half a century, few have dared to venture here and those that did, never came back. Very few people of Durath survived the darkness since they were traveling in other continents on the day the darkness took hold. For half a century, this continent has been left in the literal and proverbial darkness. Who knows what has happened in all this time.
Looking around, it seems that some of the wreckage of the ship has washed ashore though most of it has been reduced to chunks of wood and metal. The only thing that seems to have remained mostly intact is a locked chest with the Bladesilver family crest. This chest belonged to the captain of the ship the adventurers were on. Darious Bladesilver was a dwarf who belonged to a very powerful noble family from Durath. He and his parents were visiting the north continent when the clouds cast their homeland in darkness. Since then, Darius stayed in the central continent doing various jobs, eventually becoming the captain of the ship, Starlight. He was about a decade older than 100. This chest belonged to him. The locking mechanism seems to have been damaged and so wet chest opens without much effort. Inside, is a large case for a scroll. Opening the case, reveals a map. The map is of the Dark Continent. It is drawn with bright colors and childlike wonder. In the gloomy state of affairs, the map feels like it radiates a cheerful energy.
During their stay aboard the Starlight, the adventurers had heard him talk about his childhood and his homeland during the days of light. They heard him mention that he used to travel the continent with his family. He wanted to be a cartographer then and would use the tools and supplies given to him by his parents to draw maps. During one of his stories, he mentioned a map he drew when he was still young.
"I was but a wee lad then, only 13 years old. It was over a 100 years ago. I wanted to be a cartographer and I loved travellin' so I would bug my parents to take me to all sorts of places. They gave me the tools professionals use and I loved every minute of map makin'. I had this large scroll, you see, that was made of durable paper. Fire, water or age couldn't harm it. It was the kind of paper wizards use on their spellbooks. Everytime my parents and I would travel, which we did a lot of, I would draw on this map. I would also look at the real maps of Durath and try to copy 'em. My map was surprisingly accurate for being made by a lad. 'Course it wasn't the best map, far from it. It didn't have any clearly noted measurements and the towns were drawn on by hand. I still have that map with me to this day. It reminds me of my childhood and of the time before the darkness came in. Oh how I miss those old days."
This is the map Darious was talking about. This is the old map that he drew as a kid. Which would make this map 100 years old, dating back 50 years before the darkness struck. It has not aged very much and the water has had no effect on it. Not surprising, considering the material that was used to make the paper. Now the four adventurers are here in the sandy shores. What to do next?
Endurance pulls his moon blade out to give some light to those who need it. "We haven't got much chance to get off this island by a handmade boat so we need to explore. We have 3 options, find an intact boat, find a magic way of this island or find a way to remove this curse from the island so people come back"
He gets his orb of direction out and tries to locate the nearest towns direction
Endurance checks his Orb of direction and the map found from the Captain's chest. He easily finds out which way is north however, once he matches his current location with the old map, he realizes that finding the location of the nearest town may not be as easy as he once thought.
He figures out that they have washed ashore on the south east coast of Durath, near the Red Lighthouse. The medium length mountains are where they should be but according to the map, there should be a light forest to the party's north west that spans a great distance. Though what lies north west can be called a light forest, it doesn't consist of normal trees. Instead, all the trees appear to be covered by a green moss. The lack of leaves signify that the trees had died. On top of that there are other plants that are white and oddly shaped. They appear to be some kind of giant fungi. They don't have caps like most common mushrooms. Rather, their shape is narrow near the roots, thick in the middle and again narrow at the top which ends in a rounded tip. Clearly the continent has changed a bit since the map was made. Regardless, it can be assumed that the cities are still where they are supposed to be.
The closest human structure seems to be the Grhamis Cathedral. As for towns and cities, The closest one appears to be the port of Slalutz, which lies over the mountains, past the light house. The map promises a road in the forest which the adventurers will stumble upon if they continue heading Northwest. Then by following the road over the mountains, they can reach the city of Slalutz. Alternatively, they could try climbing the mountains to get there even faster.
Kara grabs at the locket around her neck in a panic moments before releasing a sigh of relief. Well whatever this curse is, it seems like it must be incomplete, so maybe we should try to leave while it is that way. I highly doubt there are many, if any others from the ship.
The Party heads deeper into... the forest. It is complete darkness in here. Luckily all four of the members have darkvision and Endurance's moon blade provide more light. The forest is eerie. You hear the sounds of insects but it sounds distorted. In the deeper part of the forest, the dead trees are covered in a strange moss. The giant fungi stick out of the ground and the party also see a strange kind of giant algae. They walk for a while. Then Varis hears the rustling of moss. There's something here that's just out of sight.