The stout young adventurers were all set to leave home for the first time, with packed lunches and the encouragement of parents to strike out and find themselves and their fortunes in the outside world. Kage’s parents were keen for him to follow the way of the kensai, wandering the roads offering his sword or any other assistance to those in need. Blueblood’s parents were hoping he might travel to Ken Ta Ral, where he might find work as a respectable mercantile mage, and build up some wealth.
Unfortunately, Blueblood came down with a cold. Now, normally this wouldn’t keep a stoud adventurer from hitting the road, and especially you’d think a big ogre could shrug off such a small inconvenience, especially since they have the gift of health and all. But ogres are a superstitious lot, especially where health and sickness are concerned, and when someone gets sick, they have a stark, strict regime required to put it right. Also, Blueblood’s parents loved him, and perhaps wanted to coddle him a little more.
So it was a lonely road that led out of the forbidding palace that morning, as Kage strapped his scabbard to his belt, put on his sugegasa, and made his way in a northeasterly direction towards Pa Direh, the village of pilgrimage for monks, bards, and lovers of philosophy, thinking that his food would last at least that long, so he could go out on a short foray, perhaps get a taste of the outdoor life, and then return to find Blueblood in better health after a week.
In fact, while the smell of rice cakes and cherry blossoms was still strong, Kage met a group of three ogres along the road, who he fell into short conversation with, and who informed him that apart from lions, ankhegs, giant leeches and even gianter slugs, the passage north was safe enough.
In fact, after a few days and nights of scattered rain, inability to make a cooking fire, and a rather miserable spiced meat dish, Kage’s next encounter was with a very friendly kender goatherder called Southpaw Lightfinger, who delighted in the company and conversation. Upon learning of the kensai’s aim – to assist those in need on the roads and paths – the kender mentioned that he once saw a man who could have used exactly that kind of help, because some kobolds were after him. It wasn’t until a few more minutes into the conversation that it was revealed that once upon a time was actually no more than an hour previously, and so Kage rushed in the (eventual) directions given by the kender.
After a solid 40 minute run, past a pride of lions, Kage eventually reached the place of the ambush at just the time when it was taking place – three kobolds against a most awkward and befuddled looking old man. Kage let out a loud cry and charged, hoping that he might scare the dogmen into fleeing, but they saw his youth, and stood firmly, bracing their sticks against his charge. He cut their sticks down to size, but still they were determined they could defeat this insolent boy. The insolent boy relied on his training, though, and cut down his first ever opponents with his sword, before cleaning it and returning it to its sheath.
The man turned out to be Drey, a sage from Fiiel, who is in search of new gifted races, in the hope that he might be one of those who discovers a new gift to share with the world. Kage offered to shepherd – ahem, guard – him during his travels, and after retiring back to Pa Dimeh for the night, they have set off once again, now towards the sandy plateau. Who knows what adventures will await them there…