In a small town in the middle of nowhere a group of strangers are sitting in a tavern minding their own business. Unknown to the this group of strangers, a strange occurrence will soon bring them together as teammates, friends, and allies against the forces of darkness.
A violent and angry gnome named Grizwald is at the tavern in between jobs as a mercenary. The little gnome carries a small great sword and unlike most gnomes seems to lack the intelligence or magical aptitude that is gnome brethren possess. However, unlike his gnome brethren, he seems much tougher and stronger as if willing to snap your neck rather then build some magical toy for your baby. The great sword and violent nature imply perhaps a Napoleon syndrome as if due to his small statue he feels he must use a giant sword and push people around. He’s crude, rude, and most the other patrons are sitting far away from him.
Next on the list of future allies is a very tall and palish monk named Mariposa. She appears human, but is very tall for the average human. When you toss in the fact that she looks Asian, her size is even more impressive. This tall female doesn’t seem to have any weapons or armor on her, only simple clothing and a travel sack of basic goods. She doesn’t seem as if she plans to stay long in this town and is only stopping by to grab some food and drink before continuing on her long quest to find her place in the world.
The third member of future heroes is barely noticeable. Unlike the gnome who is clearly sitting in the middle of the tavern and drawing attention by his rude manners and such or the monk whose size draws attention, Serade is wearing almost all black robes and is sitting in a shadowy area of the bar. She clearly doesn’t desire to draw attention and is content to watch the group from afar. The shadows seem natural around her and most people wouldn’t give her a second glance…assuming they saw her with their first glance.
The fourth member of this group, however, is the most eye-catching of all. William Chaucer draws eyes however, not because of his clothing or his nature, but because of what he has on his shoulders. Sitting on his shoulders is a small baby dragon of the same color as the strangers white hair. The man’s clothing is fancy and regal looking and despite actually living in this tiny village he looks much more regal than one would think. His posture is straight and the fancy, well-crafted rapier on his belt seem out of place in this town almost as much as the dragon.
It seems like a normal and quiet day in this backwater village as usual, but this peaceful aura is suddenly interrupted when a guard stumbles into the inn, arrows in his back, and cuts on his body. He tries to speak but can only get a few words out before he takes his final breath.
As the patrons look around confused and worried goblins come barging in from various entrances. Many citizens flee and hide fearing for their lives, the four future heroes however draw their weapons and prepare to fight.
With a few slashes of his great sword, Grizwald easily cuts down his opponents not even getting a scratch. Serade is not so lucky as her attempts to get into a safe location to use her crossbow are hindered by a javelin thrown by a goblin strike her. She takes out a few with some shots from her crossbow before Grizwald aids her with a powerful slash from his great sword.
Meanwhile William and Mariposa battle their enemies. Jumping onto a table, Mariposa begins fighting countless armed goblins with just her bare hands. Being unarmed is not a weakness for her as she battles the goblins with impressive martial arts trainings. As a goblin tries to sneak up on her from behind, oddly his face is ripped open by an unseen force as claw marks and bite marks appear on his body. William duels his opponents with a beautiful grace dodging and thrusting with his rapier and expert fencing tactics. After a short battle the goblins are dead and aside from a few minor injuries easily treated the party is fine.
William, worried for the sake of the towns people, quickly races outside with Mariposa right on his heels. Serade and Grizwald follow behind shortly and the group battles goblins as they fight through the city saving as many people as possible. Eventually they come into a clearing with a large Ogre holding a man in noble robes hostage. The Ogre has a small group of goblins with him, but oddly these goblins seem different. Their skin is darker, their eyes red, and a cold aura of evil seems to radiate from them.
Determined to stop this army of goblins and save the hostage the group begins to fight. A powerful shot from a crossbow drops one of these shadow goblins quickly hitting the unsuspecting goblin right in the throat. This, however, would be the only easy opponent the party would face. A tough battle ensues and unlike the previous goblins the heroes barely triumph, each of them with their own injuries.
On his own, facing five heroes, the Ogre seems unimpressed. He orders the party to leave and forget about the hostage since he was of no concern to them. Confident because of their latest victory Serade opens her mouth and tells the Ogre off. “We just took out all your friends, we aren’t scared of you.”
The Ogre doesn’t seem offended or insulted and simply laughs. “My friends? No those are my summoned minions and weaklings. I could summon more if I wanted.” Then with a snap of his finger more shadow goblins appear. Once again the party is forced to fight for their lives once again defeating the goblins.
Knowing now not to give the Ogre a chance to summon more, Chaucer lifts his dagger and holds it up in a cross shape. Then he looks at Mariposa and tells her to trust him and charge the Ogre. Mariposa nods and runs full speed at the Ogre. As she approaches the Ogre lifts his club to crush the monk, but the weapon suddenly turns and strikes the Ogre holding it. As he stumbles back badly injured from the weapon and confused a powerful kick nails him in the stomach before a punch strikes him in the face.
The Ogre is caught off guard and before he can recover Grizwald runs forward with his great sword and jumps up and delivers a mortal blow. The ogre collapses dying and the triumphant party quickly rescues the captured man.
The former prisoner reveals that his name is Kurosai and that he works for the King. He promises the party a great reward for saving him and offers them even more if they will work as his guardians and protectors while he travels around for the King destroying shadow crystals that are the key to opening a portal to the plane of shadows.
Serade falls madly in love with the man and agrees to gladly go with him, especially after he mentions money. Grizwald simply sees it as another job and accepts since it would give him a chance to kill some people and get paid. He also surprisingly feels very friendly towards Kurosai and views the man as one of his bros. Chaucer politely declines and while he feels bad letting down a man who he feels is a good person he has a job raising dragons and can’t just leave the babies. Mariposa, however, seems suspicious of the man not trusting him, though she does agree to help.
With this, the group heads to the inn and turns in so that they will be rested and refreshed for the trip to Alteria to meet the King and begin their quest.