The Tevinter mage Marius is not content with his palace and numerous elven slaves. He desires more power in order to move up in society. That is the only way in Tevinter. He has learned, through meticulous research, of a mage long ago who may have unlocked exactly what he’s looking for, Johanus Dumat Laskaron. He left Tevinter so he could do his research in secret in the untamed far south of the Imperium. Now Marius intends to follow in his footsteps to recover what has been lost. Leaving Minrathous, he knows that he will need help on his journey if he is to survive in the uncouth barbarian lands now known as Ferelden.
Armon, the daring and dashing, was seeking adventure and fame in his homeland of Nevarra. Upon finding neither, since the dragons had long since been driven to extinction by similar adventure seekers, he has decided to seek it elsewhere. Upon meeting Marius on his journey towards Fereldan in the city of Nevarra, Nevarra, he agrees to be his guide and translator in exchange for the opportunity to travel with him. Anyone can see that Marius is bound to get into trouble, which is exactly how Armon likes it.
The pair continue their journey southwest on the Imperial Highway around the Waking Sea. Marius decides to stop in the Orlesian capital city of Val Royeaux, much to the chagrin of Armon. There he is greeted with welcome by his fellow mages at the Circle of Val Royeaux, and allowed lodging and the use of the grand library of the White Spire. While Marius is embroiled in research at the White Tower, Armon seeks the sites and sounds of the extravagant city. He meets a beautiful red haired bard who tells him tales deep into the night. Finding his purse lighter and his heart heavier, he seeks refuge in an irreputable establishment near the elven alienage called The Hanged Man.
During his research at the White Spire, Marius discovers a more precise location where Johanus lived in Ferelden, and more detail about his activities there. He brought numerous elven slaves and five powerful Magisters with him, who never returned to Tevinter. The First Enchanter of the White Spire, Rhys, notices Marius’ intense research, and assigns the recently Harrowed Corryn to find out what he’s researching. When Corryn reports back to Rhys what he’s discovered, Rhys becomes concerned. Johanus was a powerful blood-mage and any return to the world of his lost blood magic rituals cannot be allowed. Corryn is assigned to follow Marius and recover the book. However, Corryn may have his own ideas on what to do with Johanus’ research. In addition to being a powerful Maleficarum, Johanus was also known to practice the ancient Elven art of Arcane Warfare, which Corryn has been trying recover. Marius reads more about the uncivilized land of Ferelden and decides that he’s going to need more help. Therefore, when Corryn volunteers to help, Marius does not refuse. He leaves the White Spire and returns to the city proper to seek additional help, and his guide Ramon. Or was it Armon?
A large, burly looking fellow greets Marius and Corryn at the entrance to The Hanged Man. The room holds many capable looking possible adventurers. Corryn pays the bouncer a silver piece to get the patrons’ attention. He does so with incredible force, stunning the entire room into immediate silence. He announces that this small fellow is seeking an ancient Tevinter keep in eastern Ferelden near the Brecilian forest and he needs capable adventurers to accompany him. In exchange, he offers a portion of the profits, if any. Armon hears this and is eager to abandon his pompous Tevinter employer, so volunteers. Two well-armed and armored dwarves, and one less armored dwarf with a facial tattoo volunteer, in addition to three skinny, dark-haired, dark-skinned boys. After Tyree, the bouncer, gives the patrons permission to speak again, he also volunteers. Looking at this motley crew, Corynn decides to turn away the three boys and the two well-armored dwarves. The boys look sad and defeated, and return to their table in the corner. The dwarves are mystified as to why the most capable warriors were turned away, and leave the tavern in a huff. The less armored dwarf introduces himself as Broga.
Tyree feels sorry for the boys, whom he’s seen in the tavern for the past five days looking for just this opportunity. He talks to them and finds out they don’t really want to go on an adventure, but just need an escort out of the city to escape their enemy. The leader of the group will not say any more, and the other two are silent. Tyree accepts this and tries to convince the group to allow the boys to travel with them, just to the outskirts of the city. Armon is eager to leave and hastily agrees to whatever will get them out of the city the quickest. He exits The Hanged Man, and the three boys quickly follow. Marius and Corryn are suspicious of the boys, and follow to question them.
Marius confronts the boys in the street, wanting to know why they need an escort and from whom they are running. Have they broken any laws? Do they have powerful enemies? The boys become extremely nervous and refuse to answer. Finally Marius provokes the lead boy, demanding that he answers. This causes one of the silent boys to yell out, “You shouldn’t have done that!” They both fall to the ground and begin to cower in fear. The lead boy’s skins turns gray and he grows nearly three feet. His glaze over and change to glowing red, his face becomes distorted and dog-like, his teeth elongate into fangs and his fingers stretch into grotesque claws.
Armon is the first to act, inflicting heavy wounds, but not felling the creature. Broga and Tyree take it in turns to strike, confusing and frustrating the creature. The battle in the street causes the citizens to run in fear, some trampling each other to get out of the way. Armon calms the crowd with his bravado and ensures that everything will be fine. Corryn identifies the creature as a rage abomination, and informs his party to strike to kill. When the abomination sees that he is hopelessly outmatched, he turns his ire towards his former companions. With one swipe, he decapitates one of the boys that is cowering on the ground. However, he is defeated before he can finish the other boy. Armon holds the remaining boy on the ground at sword point, who is whimpering, crying, and begging to be killed. Armon knocks him out just to shut him up. Corryn decides it’s too risky to keep him alive takes it upon himself to strike.
Some Templars arrive, too late as usual, and reluctantly agree to clean up and file the appropriate reports so that Corryn may continue with his very important First Enchanter given mission. Armon is dismayed to discover he’s still stuck with Marius, but decides to continue anyway. The group leaves the gruesome scene and heads towards the city gates.