Introduction

Here you sit waiting again. There has always been a good deal of waiting, but isn’t that the life of an adventurer. At least this time you aren’t alone, a small group of you sit in a waiting room. In talking with the others you find your story is similar, each of you were approached yesterday by a small man wearing a robe of swirling colors. None of you recall exactly the color of the robes, just that they were of many different colors that seemed to move. He told you that the kingdom was in need of someone with your abilities. Others in the group found this odd as they had only just came to this world in the last few days, how did he know what abilities they had at all?

Your companions in the room, you’ve seen their type before. A few burly well armored individuals [all of their weapons were detained when they entered the castle], a couple of folks in cloaks [one or two looking especially shifty], and a few with the outward trappings of the devout. Having been around the block a few times you can tell that the others carry the items and wear the armor of no beginners. These are seasoned professionals.

A guard enters the chamber interrupting the conversation. He informs you that the king will now see you. Very kind of him, he only made you want two hours. Ah well thus is the way with royalty no matter where you go.

You are all led into a large room with a ‘U’ shaped table; a throne sits in the center top of the ‘U’. You are instructed to take a seat at the table. There is another entrance to the side; at each door are posted four guards and a pair of clerics by the looks of them. Sitting on the throne is King Brunston Gelzar surrounded by military and mystic advisors.

One of the clerics steps before the group and says “we want to cast a geas on all of you that will prohibit you from repeating or revealing what you are about to hear. If you will not willingly submit to this you are asked to leave. Attempting to resist will only cause you pain, and some embarrassment.” Amid some grumbling a few in the group rise from their seat and leave the room. After a few moments of awkward silence two clerics begin chanting, the spell leaves you with a slight tingling feeling down the back of you neck. You notice one in the group start to convulse, thrash in his seat, finally pass out and fall to the floor. Two guards bustle him out of the room. At the conclusion of the chant the casters look around satisfied, then turn and give the king a nod.

King Gelzar steeples his fingers in front of him, then gazes toward the ceiling. He turns to one of the wizards at his side and says “you are sure?” To which the very wizened old woman responds “Yes my lord, we are positive. Two of my best have perished confirming our findings. There is no question of if, but only when. I have served you, your father, your grandfather, and your great grandfather King Gelzar, my council to you is good.”

The king rises, clears his throat and begins what looks like a difficult admission. “I apologize for questioning you Madam Spanzolt, your council has always been true.” He turns from the wizard and looks at the lot of you. “We need your help. Yes… We’ll start with that. We need your help and that is why you are here. These learned mages have spent these last few months gathering proof of our peril. All of you were brought here because of the great powers and abilities you possess. Hopefully you have enough in you to complete the tasks I have for you. In short I need you to help save our kingdom, maybe even our world.”

He pauses here amid the stunned looks of many around the table. King Brunston Gelzar had long ago earned the moniker “Brunston the Blunt” for his straight shooting approach to answering questions. He is king not only by birth but by merit at war. He has never felt the need to mince the facts to make anyone else feel good about them. Many of his subjects love this about him; they have always known where they stand. So this admission by the king would not be interpreted, by anyone in this kingdom, as fluff or hyperbole.

King Gelzar paused a moment to let the information sink in, looking at the wizard another time and receiving another nod. “My most senior and powerful wizards,” he makes a sweeping motion with his hand to indicate the wizards behind him, “have determined that our world is quickly approaching the sun. They have determined that we have five years before our world can no longer support humanoid life.”

He waits for a moment to let this last comment linger. “In short we need to find a new home, a new world. The peasants know nothing of this; they think that the warmer temperatures are the work of some foul god. The druids…. Well the druids think that we humans are the cause of the warmer temperature and are only just recently coming to read the signs in nature that our days on this planet are nearly at an end. My wizards have been scrying and researching new planets and worlds that we might ‘colonize’, but we do not have the time to recon them all while also constructing enough gates to transport our people and possibly those of other kingdoms, materials goods, tools, weapons, food and supplies from this world to the next. This is why I need you. I, or should I say, we need you to travel to other worlds and determine if they have the potential to not only support our kingdoms population, but if we have sufficient armies to establish a secure homeland in short order. My commanders have more details about the information we need to collect, but I ask you now: “

“Will you help save our world?”

Thus will begin your epic adventures…

HLC

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