In the Year of the Groaning Cart (1267 DR) Randal Morn's great-grandfather, Colderan the Mage-lord, was the ruler of Daggerdale. Colderan was married to a proud and arrogant woman named Belasaria. At that time, near Dagger Falls there also lived the Brightblade Clan of dwarves. They had dwelt in their clanhold on Eagle's Eyrie above the falls for many years, always at peace with the rulers of the dale.
Then one day Belasaria went to the dwarves to purchase jewelry from them. One piece that the dwarves had caught her eye. It was a masterpeiece that they had crafted for their king. When Belasaria asked to purchase it, the dwarves refused explaining that it was a gift for their leader. She offered them more money, but the dwarves held firm that they would not sell it. This angered Belasaria and she vowed to be revenged upon them.
Returning to her home in Dagger Falls, Belasaria told Colderan that the dwarves had slighted her. She told him that they had told her she was not fit to wear their finer pieces, and would only sell her their second-rate trinkets. Incensed, Colderan said he would teach the dwarves a lesson.
He went to the dwarves clanhold and demanded that they pay him a tribute of gold and steel as an apology to his wife. The dwarves refused his demand, but knowing that there would be a battle they sent most of the clan away to dwell with kin-folk while their two champions, the high priest of Dumathoin, Elshar Kurl, and the clan chieftain, Dorn the Grim, stayed behind and girded themselves for war. Those two brave dwarves were destroyed by the Mage-lord and their bones were left unburied in the clanhold. A sword created to defeat the Mage-lord lies there with them. It is a long sword +1, +2 vs mages which the dwarves named Olar, the Magekiller.
Belasaria later died of poisoning at the hands of a group of drow with whom Colderan had allied himself, but Colderan always believed her death was accomplished by his enemies, the dwarves of Clan Brightblade. He died not long after, and was buried beneath the town of Dagger Falls in his hidden laboratory.
Eragyn the Dark, a priestess of Cyric, discovered the crypt of Colderan in the Year of the Turret. The crypt was located beneath the town's Temple of Lathander. Eragyn decided to bring the Mage-lord back to life and use his magic to take over the town. In order to make it easier to access the crypt, she set fire to the temple; eight Lathanderan priests died in their beds during the fire.
It takes Eragyn eight years after the burning of the temple to get the spell she needs to bring Colderan back to life. She casts a resurrection spell on him intending for him to aid her in her plans to take over the town. Instead, within a week he has regained his strength and made his own plans to take over. He casts a spell on her that enslaves her body in a dream-like state. His long-term goal for her is to resurrect his beloved Belasaria in her body, since the two look somewhat alike.
In the meantime, Colderan attempts to take over the town by creating numerous creatures called nightshades. The creation of these creatures requires the use of a sleeping persons life force. Colderan is collecting these using a net of dreams. This causes the person affected to fall into a coma-like state called a dream fever. He sends his nightshades out at night to collect the souls of sleeping people, and so far dozens of townsfolk have fallen prey to them.
The current ruler of Dagger Falls is a Zhentarim puppet named Tren Noemfor. He asks the PCs to explore the newly discovered crypt, and see if they can discover what is causing the fever. The dream fever is causing unrest in the town, and threatening his rule.
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