The Seas of Arnesia
Eight years ago a group of scholars-turned-diabolists known as the Dark Lanterns opened a small rift to the Nine Hells and allowed a platoon of devils into Levendria. During this Brimstone Hour the devils ran roughshod over large swaths of the city, particularly the Sunrise and Azure Districts, killing, torturing, and enslaving any who crossed them.
After several days a band of holy warriors, calling themselves the Knights of Ardyn, appeared and began to rally the city’s forces in a fierce counter-attack. The Knights were able to push the devils back to Candlekeep before facing the infernal commander, a war devil called Belphegor, in a mighty battle on the Candlekeep Bridge. The heroes ultimately prevailed and drove the remaining devils back through the rift, though the bridge was destroyed in the effort. (Today it has been replaced with the wondrous Devilbane Causeway)
However, the Knights did not fade from the political arena after the devils were gone. Instead they used their influence and fame to assume command of the city watch and began usurp some of the Thirteen’s power. In the name of stamping out hidden devil cults and the numerous criminal enterprises who had used the chaos to increase their own power, the Knights launched a series of invasive raids, issuing general warrants, establishing curfews, and even arresting political enemies.
Fortunately, the Knights weren’t without their detractors. A halfling investigator, Heron Wanderfoot, had been researching the Knights of Ardyn since their sudden appearance. After interviewing the surviving members of the Dark Lanterns, various guardsmen, and several innkeepers, Heron learned a shocking secret- the Knights of Ardyn had been conspiring with the Dark Lanterns from the beginning, using the devil attack to rise to prominence and seize control of the city for their own, extreme ends.
After Heron’s revelations, public support for the Knights turned overnight. The Thirteen decreed the Knights were terrorists and ordered their arrest, along with any who aided them. Those Knights who weren’t killed or sent to Brinespire disappeared.