The adventure begins in the city of Baldur’s Gate on the Sword Coast, in the Forgotten Realms. For the past several days, the talk of the streets and taverns has all been about the so-called death curse: a wasting disease afflicting everyone who’s ever been raised from the dead. Victims grow thinner and weaker each day, slowly but steadily sliding toward the death they once denied. When they finally succumb, they can’t be raised — and neither can anyone else, regardless of whether they’ve ever received that miracle in the past. Temples and scholars of divine magic are at a loss to explain a curse that has affected the entire region, and possibly the entire world.
You have been invited to the home of Syndra Silvane, a retired adventurer and merchant. A uniformed attendant leads you up a grand staircase to the third floor, then ushers you into a wood-paneled room with a fireplace, comfortable chairs, and a heavy table bearing goblets and bottles of wine. The darkly paneled walls are hung with maps and sea charts. Racks, shelves, and cabinets hold hundreds more rolled-up maps and charts.
A middle-aged woman is seated in an overstuffed chair near the fire. Only her head emerges from under a heavy blanket draped over the chair. Her voice is raspy and frail, “Help yourselves to wine, and seat yourselves, friends — I hope I may call you that.”
Syndra tells the characters her story “I was an adventurer years ago. I died once and was raised from the dead. I have since closed the door on that stage of my life. The death curse you’ve heard about has struck me. I don’t know how much longer I’ll last before I perish. Clerics have no help to offer. They’re stymied by what is happening.”
“My contacts in The Harpers have learned that the cause of the death curse is a necromantic artifact called the Soulmonger. According to their sources, The Soulmonger is somewhere in the unexplored jungles of Chult.”
“Chult is a peninsula ringed with mountains and choked with rainforests. Enormous reptiles, savage goblins, and an army of undead prowl its jungles and ruins. Mapping the place has always been nigh impossible, and nothing is known about the region’s current geography beyond a few miles from the coast. Working from dozens of sea charts, log books, and explorers’ journals, I assembled everything known about the current state of Chult into one map.”
“When you’re ready to depart, I will teleport us all to Port Nyanzaru, the only major settlement in Chult. I’ve been there several times before, so there’s little chance of mishap. Once there, I’ll stay with a friend named Wakanga O’tamu. He’s one of seven merchant princes who rule the city.”
Syndra offers each character a single pick from a wide collection of magic items at her disposal. Syndra also expects that the characters will find enough treasure in Chult to make them as rich as kings. In the meantime, Syndra gives each character 50 gp to defray expenses once they arrive in Port Nyanzaru.
The party was given a copy of Syndra Silvane’s incomplete map of Chult Syndra doesn’t know much more about Chult than what’s on the map, but she knows Port Nyanzaru well enough to assure characters that they can buy supplies there.
With that the party was teleported to Port Nyanzaru…