I'll be starting it like a TV show, with a long narration that gets us right to the door of the keep. The players will know that Wrin has brought them all together to investigate the Gauntlight, and once they decide on their characters, I'll frame quick flashbacks to a key backstory moment for each hero as the 'camera' moves through Fogfen, like this:
We open on mist. A slowly shifting fog bank, hanging over the rotting vegetation of a swamp, muffling the distant calls of frogs and the steady hum of mosquitos. The fog seems almost sullen, oppressive, as stagnant as the marshland itself, stubbornly clinging near the muddy earth and murky waters and refusing to dissipate.
As the camera moves through the thick blanket of fog, off to the left, almost out of the corner of the viewer's eye, a beam of faint, eerie blue light glints off the curling mist, illuminating a scene that seems to play out through a blurred pane of glass.
[INSERT CHARACTER SCENE, WRIN PLACES DOWN A TAROT CARD THAT REPRESENTS THE HERO]
We move past this tableau, further into the fog, and again, as we move, we notice off to the right, another ray of that strange pale blueish light casting into sharp relief another scene. Blurred figures move into focus…
[INSERT CHARACTER SCENE + TAROT CARD]
We shift up and over this still-moving vignette, higher into the mist, and above our heads, that sickly blue light catches the edge of yet another hazy window into yet another time and place. [INSERT SCENE + TAROT CARD]
The camera suddenly tilts down and rushes towards the ground, stopping merely a few inches away from a still pool of brackish water. A pale blue gleam reflects on the mirror-like surface, turning it opaque, and we see a final scene. An elegant yet eccentrically dressed tiefling, with pupilless white eyes, sitting cross-legged on a silken tapestry laid out on the grass by the banks of a rushing river, lit only by glittering starlight that catches her iridescent white hair. On the tapestry in front of her, there's a partially complete Tarot reading. Three equidistant cards form a wide triangle: the same three cards we've seen before. Wrin Sivenxi delicately riffles the deck through her graceful hands, and draws a final card. Without looking at it, she lays it face up in the empty space between the three cards. It's the Tower, the sign of disaster, destruction, upheaval, trauma, sudden change, and chaos. She ponders it for a moment, then her eyes go wide, and she turns her head quickly to the northwest, narrowing her eyes as she strains to see something. We follow her gaze, and the camera zooms in to something only supernaturally acute eyes would notice from this distance - a faint, eerie blue light, glowing from atop a towering inland lighthouse that is just visible far on the horizon beyond a towering forest. Back to Wrin, now frowning with worry and a little bit of fear, who with one swift movement of a wide sleeve, whisks the cards away...and as that movement rushes across the camera, we're back in the marsh, alongside three familiar-looking figures making their way through the fog.
They're heading towards a sprawling, collapsed ruin of stone and wood that squats atop an overgrown island ahead, marked by a strange sight: a colossal inland lighthouse looms above the rubble, untouched by the corrosive swamp air and the passage of time.