Stars shine through the archways of the large, semicircular room. In the center of the room, on four pillows, lie four figures.
The largest is a tall, pale human. Around his head, glyphs hover and glow around his head, even in sleep. There also two humans—one a female wearing simple clothes, though even in sleep there is an aristocratic air to her demeanor. The second human is male, who wears a craftsman’s apron. Idealism shines through him. The last figure is a female elf, though unlike most elves her skin is has a blue/grey tinge to it. Vengeance seems to make a course through her veins.
There is a sound, like the snap of a finger and a manly voice speaks, “Awake.” In an instant, the four figures’ eyes open wide and they sit up. One by one they stand, trying to understand their surroundings and what stands before them.
The room they stand in is lavish. The floor is inlaid with intricate tiles. The back wall is comprised of white, marble columns inlaid with gold and connected to each other in golden archways. The front walls are covered in tiny mosaic tiles that depict an endless pattern of dueling dragons. On this front wall, the definite outline of a door sits behind six seats that appear to be blue shimmering hands like the ones the figures saw in their dreams, with three seats on either side of a central throne. The door is not lost on the newly awakened figures.
In the middle throne, sits a man. We stands. When he does so, his magnificent red robes flutter with a flourish. He looks like a general of some sort, but a learned one. His left arm sits bent, but limp at his side, covered in a very expensive looking golden silk sling.
“Welcome to Giacomo’s College!” the man exclaims.
Giacomo introduces the people behind him as his assistants and interested parties. He explains that they are now in the country Vitalia, one of the last two countries left to be conquered by Glenn. More specifically, they are on an island called Lassica. After some discussion about whether to trust Giacomo, the four figures decide to go along with his plans. Now having four cooperating troops, Giacomo explains the plan to get ride of the Glennish elves.
“The plan involves this,” Giacomo says, as pulls from his right pocket a handful of beautifully cut gemstones, some yellow and some blue. “This is draconium, the rarest gem. More rare, harder, and more expensive than diamonds. Perhaps you’ve read my book, 100 uses of Draconium?”
Only one heroes raises her hand. “I read it, but I only remember 75 uses,” she says coyly.
“Well, one use of draconium is to empower magic. With these stones, I can create a number of portals. The portals, once open, can let through a number of troops. With enough draconium, we can set up enough portals to transport in the Vitalian army right into the heart of Glenn. For now, the borders are too well-protected. But to do this, we need to set up the portals in Glenn. That is why I need groups of heroes like yourself. Your missions will mostly comprise of setting up portals, which is much tougher than it sounds.”
“Well, that’s enough for today,” says Giacomo, with a sigh, “I will let you rest. Perhaps you would like to see the town?” The party agrees. Three guides come in, all students. One, a tall drow male with a grave demeanor is Hans Bauser. The other two are elven twins, Marco—a short elf with a red cloak over his uniform—and Luca—a tall elf with a green cloak over his uniform.
The drow priestess, Ecvaladra, goes to the all-purpose temple downtown, escorted by Hans. The human warrior with burning glyphs, Sparnok, follows the so as to make his way to the training grounds to work on his technique. The noble human woman makes quick friends with Marco and Luca, who she realizes are nobles related to her through a cousin. The man in the Apron, Travisk, seems to despise nobility and begrudgingly follows the three down to the Market District.
The next day, the party of heroes is reunited, and they receive their first mission. “I receive shipments of draconium from the mines in the Gris Mountains. However, my shipments have stopped and I’ve received word that there is trouble at the mines. Because my other troops are on other missions, I need you to investigate this matter. Your mission: Go to Monte Gris by carriage, then get my mines back in order!”
The party is joined by two attendants, both large human-like persons who seem to be made of metal and some organic material. They are ‘machina,’ gifts from the neighboring country, Sarranco, which is now completely cut off from the rest of Haven’s unrest. On the way north to Monte Gris, the party comes up to a section of road with lots of activity. In a clearing, they find three bards, their two dancers, and a gaggle of groupies. The bards introduce themselves as the Soundgaarten, the famous Glennish musical group who escaped Glenn because none of them were elves.
While the party is dancing and listening to their music, some groupies investigate their carriage for valuables. When discovered, a battle almost starts. However, diplomacy and reason won out and the bards offered company and a stricter eye on their groupies. Together, they made their way to Monte Gris in order to complete their mission (and the bards to find glory).
On their way, they notice a tower in the distance. This is Montesquieu’s Tower, the bards reply. It’s an old ruin from a long-dead friend of the great Magocrat, Giacomo. They explore the tower, finding a few strange things, like a pool of what seemed to be magic, a room whose inside was bigger than it should be, and a room with animated furniture. They hear some noise, and go outside, where they find that there are giant human-like creatures attacking their bard friends. The creature look like pieces of the building come to life. Then, a fey creature attacks from above. After taking care of them all, the party decides to rest and explore the rest of the ruins.