The rise of Elemental Evil in Faerûn begins in the Dessarin Valley, a lightly settled region of caravan towns, isolated homesteads, and uninhabited wilderness just a week’s journey from Waterdeep. Residents in places such as Red Larch or Triboar boast that their humble settlements are “the Gateway to the North.” Through these lands pass hundreds of caravans and keelboats each year, linking the great ports of Waterdeep and Neverwinter with places such as Everlund, Mirabar, or Silverymoon. The steady caravan traffic breathes life into the towns of this area, supporting businesses in the settlements along the Long Road. Inns cater to travelers anxious to sleep safely within sturdy walls and enjoy good food by a warm fire instead of camping by the side of the road.
Minor issues are nothing unusual in the Dessarin Valley, from bands of savage humanoids from the Sword mountains or the Evermoors, to bandits gathering in the lonelier parts of the vale to waylay caravans traveling the Long Road or the Kheldell Path. But six months ago, an insidious new threat began to grow in the area, unsuspected by the locals or any passing adventurers.
Dreams and visions have drawn four elemental prophets, one by one, to the Sumber Hills. Each prophet began to gather like-minded followers. Strangers trickled into the Dessarin Valley in ones or twos. Some were already cultists of Elemental Evil, eager to build a place where they could openly practice their vile rites. Others were brutal thugs, power-hungry dabblers in forbidden magic, or fanatics lured by the call of evil.