The Chosen Five
Hundreds of years ago, minotaurs founded the city of Saruun Khel in the depths below Thunderspire Mountain. Saruun Khel soon became the center of an oppressive minotaur kingdom that subjugated neighboring lands. However, three centuries ago, a battle for the throne of Saruun Khel erupted into a vicious civil war. Out of anger at the minotaurs’ growing devotion to the deity Torog, the demon lord Baphomet cursed them with mindless fury. Thus, when one faction was defeated, the survivors took to battling one another until only a few minotaurs remained in the ruins of the once-great city.
Over the following centuries, adventurers came to explore the labyrinthine ruins of Saruun Khel, seeking forgotten treasure. Few of them survived. About 25 years ago, three wizards—Hasifir, Niame, and Samazar—came to the mountain. Accompanied by retainers, the wizards spent long months in the ruins. Among the magic items they recovered were several command amulets, which allowed them to control the bronze warders, minotaur constructs built in the city’s heyday. The wizards used the bronze warders to clear the upper level of the ruins, establishing a stronghold there—the Seven Pillared Hall.
In the last two decades, the original founders formed the Mages of Saruun, and established the Seven Pillared Hall to provide them with safe access to the denizens of the Underdark. The mages cleared an ancient subterranean highway carved by the minotaurs, allowing denizens of the deep to trade with them and select other surfacedwellers in the black markets of the Hall.
Today, dwarves, duergar, drow, and more creatures come to the Seven Pillared Hall to trade gems, gold, rare ores, and other goods. Under the watchful eyes of the hooded mages and their bronze servitors, an uneasy peace endures in the Hall while perils lurk in the shadows of the Labyrinth beyond.
Due to the machinations of a renegade mage, the fragile peace of Thunderspire Mountain is in jeopardy. Slavers now operate in the depths of the mountain, and other dangers well up to threaten the lands of the Nentir Vale.