While traveling on the King’s Low Road, Jason Stormhouse and his coyote companion Shadowpaw take respite at Blathe Thorpe Manor. Jason is a favorite troubadour of Lady Edna, and was welcomed enthusiastically. The fact that the Thorpe’s beautiful ladies-in-waiting always fawn over young Jason didn’t hurt matters.
The whole community, it seemed, came out to hear Jason’s mellifluous voice, as accompanied by Lady Edna’s own minstrel, playing a rare instrument known as a harpsichord. Even several notable travelers, such as a quiet Pererenate Wizard and his bodyguards, bore witness to the performance.
A grand feast was served that eve when the Baron’s own messenger arrived with a missive for Jason, requesting his presence before Baron Sir Fabian Fallowdown himself. The messenger went on to offer invitation to any brave freemen adventurers willing to take on a dangerous mission into the Disputed Lands on behalf of the Baron. This perked the attention of the Wizard and his soldiers, as well as one of Blathe’s freeman blacksmiths, Vlad.
At dawn the next morning the assembled adventurers set southwest with the Baron’s man and traveled several days to City Fallowdown. One evening along the way they made camp at a communal campsite common along the Kings Road, and met a band of rough men, led by Jag Thunderboots, who were heading northeast to Buckhorn. One of these men, a strange fellow named Twitch, when hearing of the Baron’s offer of adventure, abandoned his fellows in favor of joining up and returning to the City.
The baron was impressed at the hardy turnout, expecting only Jason. But the presence of additional fellows gladdened his heart, for the sooner an assembled group of heroes could depart for the rough lands to the northwest, the sooner a potential danger might be averted. He carefully displayed for the group a glowing magical ore, streaked with multi-colored veins, and informed them that such rocks exist deep within ancient Barutheran ruins. The magic of these stones had detrimental effects to any who touch them, transforming an individual into an abomination (if the subject were to survive such a transformation).
As the wilderlands are rife with tribal barbarians and hordes of vicious brute clans, the exploring party will have to call on stealth and tact, and perhaps strong negotiation skills, to travel safely through the dangerous countryside, and into the hills where these wyrdstones were discovered. The mission is to locate potential sources of the stones (the original cache was discovered in what the explorers thought to be a temple to some ancient Barutheran god), and secure said stones. Along the way, the current adventurers are to explore and map the countryside so that the Barony may someday expand into those lands. Part of the exploration will involve discovering resources and locales for outposts that might be suitable for expanding into villages, towns or even cities.
The expedition will begin as soon as Procta Rys Moran of the pantheist clergy arrives. She’d been summoned several weeks ago but has not yet arrived. Unfortunately, the quiet Peregrenate Wizard cannot join the mission due to prior obligations with the Baron, but he has released his men at arms to help secure and protect the explorer’s base camps, as well as their journey along the way.
Thus the party will consist of: Jason, a troubadour come wilderness expert; Shadowpaw, an unusually alert and intelligent Coyote who thrives on playing harmless tricks on his fellows; Vlad, a blacksmith with uncanny magical powers; Twitch, a very peculiar sneak-about who also boasts of magical prowess; and finally the mysterious Procta Rys Moran, clergy of the Pantheon, as well as retired Captian Alexsander Faroe and his soldiers..