Three major evil players have made themselves known thus far:
Orcus: a demon prince of the Abyss well known among the more schooled of Oerth in today's time and a feared curse spoken by some who dare. Legends tell of a battle in the Abyss against Demogorgon and Orcus in which the victor is unclear. Kalarel is a seeming minor player; a powerful priest of Orcus.
Iuz: an unknown, forgotten, demigod from ancient times. Evidently Iuz was either cast out of or dissappeared from the realms of the Gods for he is now unknown among the general populace of Oerth.
The Dragon: A giant, ancient, red-dragon evidently long dead and either sacrificed, killed, or died amidst a circle of ritual runes near the Shadowfell keep.
Two scrolls of ancient power clearly designed to be recited together within the runes to work some unknown magic. But how and why, not to mention by whom, were these scrolls created? When were they to be used? If the dragon, why were they not used yet? And what purpose would Orcus or Iuz have for an ancient red dragon if any?
The mysteries compound, but still the words of Douven Stahl echo in our heroes' ears. This magic, these ancient bones and those scrolls somehow work together as a key or solution to this impending threat of Orcus and Iuz.
And what of the prayer time visions of a long journey? And the accompanying words: "It matters not who you are, but who you become?"
As our adventurer's travel to the Shadowfell, the clouds have darkened to near black, and they must light torches to continue their journey. Trudging on through the increasing gloom amidst occasional lightning flashes a sense of doom befalls our party a sense of sadness. Slowly a voice is heard by Barkel long and low as if borne on the wind "~turn back~". Sedecei turns to Barkel. "Did you say something?" Barkel is already searching the horizons in the distance as if searching.
"What? No. Did you hear something?"
Sedecei strained his ears again. Was that a shape on the horizon he saw? Then he heard it again "~turn back~". His ears distinctly heard the message this time. He turned to Barkel and they eyed each other warily. A quick turn to Shadow and Dracon all assured them they were hearing the same thing. The clear message now, heard as if a wail on the whipping wind "Turn back".
The party had stopped and were gathered around the divine heroes in the group. Noone else heard the message, except for them. Was this a warning from Orcus, from Kalarel? Or something else entirely?
The question now, heed the voice or head onwards?