Warning: This article contains spoilers for the adventure Beyond the Veil, published by Atlas Games.
While the Company of the Black Lantern was fighting for its life against dark elves, Serai Lorenci learned that an elf by the name of Daersidian Ringsire could tell him more about a strange key Serai’s mother had given him before he ever left for Ptolus. The key opened something called the box of shadows, but that’s all Serai knew.
He contacted Daersidian, a well-known adventurer who had heard of him and his friends due to their adventure in the Dark Reliquary. Daersidian agreed to tell Serai about the box, but for a price. He said some friends of his were attempting to “clear out” a section of ruined catacombs beneath the city but were having trouble with a black dragon. If Serai and his friends would take care of the dragon, Daersidian would give Serai the information he wanted.
So Serai, Shurrin, Zophas, Aliya, and Mara went to the location Daersidian described, entering the areas below the city through an old, ruined tannery in the Guildsman District. They found Daersidian’s friends and learned a few things about this strange dragon. Its name was Storamere, and it attacked without provocation, taunting those it encountered by saying they could never defeat it in its lair. No one had any idea where its lair was, however.
After further investigation in the city, the characters learned that, about 900 years ago, the Sisterhood of Silence slew a black dragon named Storamere in that area of town. The dragon was a known emissary of Father Claw, an evil dragon god. Apparently, Storamere had been raised from the dead.
When Serai and his friends investigated down in the catacombs, they found the dragon and discovered—in battle—that the dragon was actually a ghost. They drove off the undead spirit but knew it was not slain. How would they put it to rest?
They delved deeper into the long-unexplored regions of the catacombs and encountered a few half-dragon humanoids. After defeating them, the characters pressed further and discovered the entrance to a huge cavern—they couldn’t make out any of the walls, or even the ceiling or floor. From the door, a bridge stretched into the darkness, and then just stopped. A stone arch stood at the end of the bridge. Careful investigation showed this arch to be a magical portal; the bridge continued through it to a floating island. Once through the portal, one couldn’t see the cavern anymore. Those with some knowledge of the arcane determined that this was a floating ethereal island (and a foreshadowing of a major quest they would undertake much later).
The island held a magical fortress literally made of greenish acid. Powerful magic held the bubbling liquid in place to form walls, ceilings, and floors. This, as it turned out, was the lair of Storamere, a gift from Father Claw. It had never been breached in the dragon’s life. Now stirred by the activity of Daersidian’s friends, the ghost of Storamere haunted the surrounding area.
The heroes joined battle with Storamere in his lair that day. The dragon-ghost dwelled in a pool of acid with many living half-dragon spawn to serve him. In the horrific conflict that ensued, Aliya was slain while fighting the ghost dragon alone, hand to hand. Yet ultimately the heroes were victorious and destroyed the ghost of Storamere forever by doing what no one had ever done before: challenging and beating him in his own terrible lair.
Now, unbeknownst to the others, Aliya and Serai earlier had begun a bit of a romance. When Serai saw Aliya fall, he snapped. The elf immediately took her away with him back up to the city.
During his time in the city, Serai had made some rather shady connections. One such connection was a being known as Kinion Luth, also known as the Surgeon of the Shadows (he had nothing to do with the box of shadows, despite the similar name). Luth was known for using various techniques of science, magic, and even chaoscience to “alter” people. These alterations granted great powers and enhancements, but often made the recipient into something of a monstrosity.
At first, Serai planned to have Luth perform these enhancements on Aliya before she was raised, so that she would never fall in battle again. Rethinking that plan (realizing she might not take well to such efforts), he left her to be raised at the temple of the Mother of All Machines and went off to have Luth give him some enhancements himself—the better to defend Aliya.
After Aliya came back from the dead, she and Zophas and Shurrin realized what Serai was up to. With the help of the clergy at the temple, they located their friend and went to stop him. As they invaded the secret base of Kinion Luth, they defeated his abomination creations and finally killed Luth himself (who was more metal than man by this point) in a fight literally over the operating table where Serai lay. Thus, Serai was “saved.” When they realized Luth’s serious underworld connections—he was an ally of the Balacazar family, the most powerful crime group in the city—they once again petitioned those at the temple of the Mother of All Machines for help. Fortunately, the followers of that extremely lawful deity looked upon the Surgeon of the Shadows as a chaos-wielding madman. They used a miracle to ensure that the identity of Luth’s assassins would never be discovered.
Yet Serai was denied his goal. Worse, his relationship with Aliya was no more.
Next: The group needs to finish going through Storamere’s lair—not to mention finding Daersidian Ringsire and learning all about the box of shadows. But all this gets put on hold while the heroes deal with that shipment of chaositech due to move through Mahdoth’s Asylum!