Our story opens in Baldur’s Gate during the lively, yet disreputable, Blue Phoenix Faire. Merchants, craftsmen, artisans, and other experts of their trade come from all across Faerun to attend the faire, swelling Baldur’s Gate and its surrounding lands with a staggering number of visitors. Presently, the streets are bustling with busy merchants, loitering miscreants, and countless wandering visitors of all castes, but not so long ago the scene was far more dismal. Only three days prior, death was churning its way through the crowd, and blood pooled in alleyways like rainwater.
People were murdered by scores. Folk were frightened to walk the streets, and rightly so; the deaths were messy, and there were many of them. Those who had homes and apartments to hide within considered themselves as fortunate as the Grand Duke himself. Visitors to the city who gathered in caravans and campsites outside of town were terrified, though few deaths were reported beyond the outer wards. There were no reliable witnesses to the slayings, but the killer left his call sign at every scene:
The Bloodhawk, as he became known, swooped through the shadows slashing the eyes and throats of citizens, visitors, and guards unfortunate enough to cross his path. Each night more and more bodies were discovered littering the streets, drawing rats and other vermin from the sewers, and causing vultures to circle overhead. None were safe…except those who stayed indoors.
The killings continued for nearly a ten-day, and The Bloodhawk claimed more than fifty victims across the city before his rampage was over. But that was then. Three days ago the killer was captured, and the nights are alive once again. Dried blood still gathers in the cracks of cobbled streets and soaks packed-earth paths as a reminder of what happened, but the man responsible for the Bloodhawk Murders has been apprehended, and soon a great crowd will gather to watch his head roll across Naerhand Square.