The game begins. Our story begins with the Traveling Show, the Carnivale, or just ‘The Show.’ It is a group of people from varied places and morals that have one thing in common: they are, willingly or accidentally, part of a caravan of entertainers.
The dramatis personae of PC’s are a small, if very pivotal group of individuals. There is Mask, the man who can juggle words as well as knives and disappear into shadows like some mountebank’s pet rabbit. There is Sledge, one of the ‘workforged,’ an automaton designed for labor and mindless toil, but seems to have a keen understanding of his surroundings and a preternatural ability to fight. Lastly there was Ruana, the elven woman who stumbled into the caravan while being pursued by orcish marauders.
This was the opening moment in the story. A battle ensued, as is the inevitable result of nearly all encounters with the sons of Gruumsh. Steel clashed and blood flowed. Sledge’s hammer beat a ringing tempo upon his assailants. Mask vanished and reappeared, a shadow of knives and strange faces. Ruana and her horse Bijan kept always one step ahead of danger as she rained arrows down on those who were too unwise or too proud to flee.
After the skirmish ended, the representative of the Show’s Management, Gavin Tuesday, addressed the woman Ruana. He told her that given the situations, and Management’s insistence, that she was to join the caravan. Partially as a guard, partially because it traveled, partially because she could perform amazing feats of riding, stunts and marksmanship. And mainly for reasons that were unspoken, such is the will of Management.
However, the orcish forces in the region had heard of the interlopers that have slain some of their comrades. They enlisted the aid of a ‘sellspell’ a mage for hire, and had him accompany them in an ambush upon not the elf they had been pursuing, but the caravan itself.
A tree was felled upon the cliff path, giving the show no choice but to find an alternate path. Ruana, as the most familiar with the area, was quick to locate one, but as the group began clearing the way, the trap was sprung.
The cleric of Gruumsh leading the attack sent his squad of warriors toward the man in the mask, while Sledge wasted no time in closing distance with the mage at his side. The battle raged and a hard one it was, but in the end, the orcs lie dead, and the mage on his knees asking for parley.
The parley was granted, but on the condition that the mage, whose name was ‘Bob’ be given to Mask’s former trailermate, Asmodan as a peace offering. Now Asmodan, or Dan for short, is a tiefling warlock who works as a one-man pyrotechnics show. He and Mask have been at odds for weeks, and that conflict had come to a head with the arrival of Ruana. You see, Ruana was bidden by Management to take Dan’s place in the trailer with Mask. Dan, having been forced out of his place of study and residence, coupled with his severe resentment of having anyone touch his belongings, was put into a foul temper.
With Bob being given to Dan as an indentured servant (for the time being), and the detour successfully cleared of rubble and foes, the show was able to make its rendezvous with the dwarven city of Maldon. That night, a man in the red raiment of a priest of The Master Builder came seeking sledge. Cornering him, he told the workforged that he is a friend, calling him 24601. He left leaving his name, Brother Darige.