Left and Leaving

Introduction

You all live in the town of Crysthaven, which is surrounded on all sides by what you simply know as “The Forest”

From birth you’ve been taught that outside the safety of the town and the surrounding Forest, it’s a terribly dangerous world and you need not worry yourself about it. Occasionally, an adventerous youngster will attempt to brave the wilds in search of that fabled outside world, but no matter what direction they go, they always eventually end up back in town. It seems that whatever keeps you all near the town also manages to keep any strangers out. No one ever visits your town, and you’ve never met an outsider.

There is trade, but it is handled by a group of older well-trained and well-armed men and women called the Bladed Wallets. These brave souls seem to be the only ones able to journey into the dangerous unknown beyond The Forest and return with goods and supplies.

Once everyone reaches the age of 17, it becomes part of their responsibility to occasionally go out on patrol for a few days in the surrounding forest area, and everyone takes their turn via lottery.

There is nothing special about this and nothing too exciting ever seems to happen. The occasional pack of wolves takes up residence too close to the farmlands on the edges of town and starts in on the livestock, or there was that one time when an Owlbear destroyed part of old man Fayut’s barn after accidentally trapping itself inside. Usually it just ends up being an extended hiking trip through the Forest.

And now, your names have been drawn.

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Prologue

It was early in the morning. Early enough that no one was about yet, and far too early to be reporting for Scouting duty. Never the less, a sharp-eared young man in slightly tattered clothing paced the town square. He glanced at the large clock that was built into the center of the town hall every so often, willing it to turn faster.

“Bartis” a tired voice called out.

The young man, too distracted to hear, continued his pacing.

“BARTIS” the voice demanded.

Startled, the young man jumped slightly and turned to face the loud noise. A older human wearing what must have been his wife’s interpretation of what a guard uniform must look like was staring at him with very tired eyes. He sat on a bench in front of the large pedestal which dominated the square. On the pedestal, the large crystal glowed softly in the early morning sun.

“Bartis, clocks don’t have brains to trick into going faster. Give it a rest already. I promise you she’s coming.” he said wearily.

The young man nodded in the affirmative and thought a deal is a deal.

“Aye, a deal is a deal.” he nodded back, patting the small pouch on his belt. “5 pieces and your name gets drawn for a 3 day camping trick with young miss Arathea. Now please stop thinking so loudly, I’ve been awake all night and your buzzing brain has been driving me crazy for nearly an hour now. Have mercy on an old man, and go piss off and have some breakfast or something. Meet back here in an hour or so and I’ll see you and your lot off, the young missy included.”

“Th-th-thanks, Bigsby” he said quietly, before pissing off back towards the Gray Alley. Bigsby waved his hand dismissively, before calling after the young man “You make sure that good-for-nothing Shadar-Kai girl is awake before you come back! She’s skipped out on 3 patrols already!”

As the boy turned the corner and moved out of site, Bigsby chuckled to himself. He’d be able to buy 2 or 3 bottles of the good stuff later thanks to these kids. He had kept the fact that Arathea has also come to him with a few coins to insure that Bartis’ name would be drawn for her group to himself when the shy lad had proposed the same thing later that same day. Where was the harm? Hell, he had probably saved the boys pride. He was also particularly proud of his idea of putting Lilikoi in with this batch. It would be the only way to get that trouble-maker Pomelo to own up to even the slightest bit of responsibility. He then smiled at his tiny revenge on the brat. Maybe that drunkard boy Argento would get spooked by a rabbit and set her hair on fire with a misfired spell.

Yes, sticking him in her group was just desserts indeed.

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The Players
  • Pomelo – Shadar-Kai rogue
  • Lilikoi – Elf Seeker
  • Argento – Chaos Sorcerer
  • Bartis Swiftmind – Half-elf Battlemind
  • Arathea – Elf ranger
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