Somewhere far, far from anywhere important an important story began, again. Adventures in kind are as old as the earliest moments of time, yet, now started anew. Spun from the fabric of fate and threaded with free will, how far will these incarnate ripples travel until becoming the crashing waves of destiny?
Three friends, unassuming, wandered among the still frozen rows of what will become green hempen fields; one of Willis Fields’ only successfully traded cash crops. Their boots left tracks on a ground still covered by the remnants of winter snow. They were looking for nothing and everything on one of their last free days before spring brought another busy farming season. They were not all sons of farmers but, in a community the size of Willis Field, all things eventually related to a tended field.
The dwarf, predictably, was the son of the local blacksmith. A heavy hammer stolen from his father’s workshop weighed heavy on his hip. His beard was grown barely three inches compared to his father’s peppery mane but his work on the anvil was already comparable or better than the quality of his father’s often drunken hand. The half elf was the adopted son and acolyte of Willis Field’s only man of faith; Old Brimely Hawthorne’s sermons, in accordance with his community, most often related to the life cycle, earth, weather and harvest. While the half elf has learned a lot about divine power from his benefactor and teacher, he also experimented with the arcane arts at every able opportunity. But, as it were, those opportunities were too rare to satiate his desire for mysterious knowledge. The human was not only among the steep majority of the dominant race in Willis Field but was also, actually, the son of a farmer. What would become bails of hempen fiber meant for rope and other various purposes grew heartily from his father’s rented land. Working alongside his family in the fields and farm gave him the kind of natural solidness that only a rural upbringing can produce. Among the three, he alone resented, mostly, that his life’s path seemed to be no greater than the path of his father. While the dwarf enjoyed the heat and noise of the forge and the half elf yearned for magic from whence it comes, the human wanted more than a till and cart. He always felt that he had more affinity to animals beyond using them as tools of the field or food to be slaughtered. A bow felt more natural to his hands than a hoe or shears. Today, these friends wandered as the young often do when standing on the cusp of youth overlooking the seemingly long distance of future; they searched for something more.
Perhaps it was morose thoughts and the opposite of anticipation that caused them to walk into the ambush. The three friends, all of a sudden, found themselves surrounded by a raiding party of goblins. The diminutive savages wore hides and leathers decorated with the bones of their enemies and their yellow teeth grimaced sharply at the easy prey they’d found. The half elf quickly cast a spell which created an unerring missile of magic but was overcome by the immediate attack. The dwarf and the human fared little better and were soon near unconsciousness and a certain death.
An arrow sung death into the chest of one of the goblins as, from a copse of trees, a man stood firing into the fray. One by one, the goblins fell until a single survivor ran away. Looking to thank the stranger for saving their lives the three friends’ gratitude was summarily rejected by Brahm Willis, favored son of the wealthiest family around and reputable bastard. With nothing less than arrogant contempt Brahm silently collected any arrows worth gathering, and anything of value from the dead goblins, and stalked back into the woods. Still, thankful that they were alive, the three friends picked themselves off of the ground and began the trek back to the village.
Upon return, they went immediately to the traveler’s goods shop and tavern inn, The Shandy Top, also owned by the Willis family, and sat at a table waiting give an order for drinks. Brahm Willis and his entourage of three walked into the bar before their beverage could hit the table. In short time, Brahm noticed the friends and taunted them from the bar. Trying not to provoke Brahm, instead, provoked him into boldly standing above the friends and relating to the rest of the inn’s patrons a stingingly truthful rendition on the goblin attack. The friends held their temper until Brahm, with a reputation of hating non-humans and those he deemed demi-lovers, poured a full stein of ale onto the head of the dwarf – and the fight was on.
As is typical, the bar fight became a blur of thrown furniture and wildly swinging fists. Numerous punches to the groin and, surprisingly, well-landed face shots left Brahm and his buddies cold on the floor sooner than anyone expected. It all ended when the proprietor and barkeep, and Willis brother, pulled out a rusted short sword from behind the bar and demanded that the three friends leave and never come back. Having no other choice, and hoping to diffuse hostility, the friends walked out the door… and heard a scream…