The typical D&D game starts off in a tavern. Ours is slightly unusual in that it starts off in a rainstorm, although it’s not long before everyone arrives in the Standing Stone – a coaching inn located at a fork in the road, at the south end of the Delnir Vale.
Inside the inn, various patrons sit around a crackling fireplace, looking nice and warm. A mysterious bard plays on a lute as our heroes arrive, one by one. I can’t remember the exact order in which they arrived, but five heroes found themselves sheltering from the storm that night: Serrin, an elf of clerical seeming. Nimwyn, another elf, cloaked and secretive. Mandarb “The Horse”, a seasoned dwarf clad rather unusually in leathers. Luedeth, a half elf with a tongue as sharp as his stage-prop sword. Scrog, a rather impetuous half orc, tooled up for battle.
The barman reported nothing too unusual in these parts – at least nothing beyond the unseasonal weather – so everyone settled down to their drinks, and listened to the bard’s music. She sang of a place in the mountains, a castle high in the clouds. A great evil had come to the castle, and it fell into ruin while the dark ones cavorted in its darkened halls. Then came the heroes – a band of bold adventurers who vanquished the evil and freed the castle once more. So it was that peace came to the mountains for a time… until now, when once again the shadow of evil is rising. The final notes of the song are a plaintive call for new heroes to save the day. The song is deeply evocative; it seems the longer the bard plays, the more real the imagery. You can almost see the castle’s dark silhouette against the mountains, feel the rain once more on your skin… then suddenly with a thunderclap you’re there, standing in the storm once more, somewhere up in the mountains.
More later. :)