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How we start

In the city of Open Heart, you are in the office of the deputy mayor, Lady Cressa, with several other persons, all of you having answered a call for “several fearless adventurers in search of treasure, danger, and glory, not necessarily in that order.”  Rapping her walking stick smartly against the floor several times, she addresses the assembled party.

“Ladies, gentlemen, and others,” she begins, glancing around.  “We actually have several tasks that require doing, and for better or for worse I think it would take all of you to complete even one of the tasks.  I shall therefore describe them all to you in as much detail as I can, and then you can choose which one you’d like to take on, or take on first.   

"I should say in full disclosure that we are experiencing something of a confluence of problems and mysteries such that we need to retain adventurers like yourselves.  Depending on the pace at which you can work, and whether any of the situations happens to escalate, we may need to hire more than one group of adventurers.

“Task the first involves the matter of the old Woolford estate, not a half day’s walk from the city.  As you may remember, old man Woolford died these two years past, and the estate has been vacant while we awaited word from his heirs about its disposition.  Sir Crewksbury is now prepared to purchase the estate, but we have discovered that a villainous wizard has taken up residence there – one with considerable magical abilities (but surely not beyond the legal limits) and some assortment of animal companions that do his evil bidding.  The task would be to dispatch the wizard and his various creatures without causing any unnecessary damage to the building itself or its grounds.

“Task the second involves yet another wizard, in this case our own Moymeran, who has for these many years served the city as our anointed consultant in all matters magical.  We have not yet announced to the city that Moymeran has been in a sharp decline of health these past few months.  Despite living alone, he has declined all offers of assistance.  We have had no word from him in over two weeks, and attempts to knock on his door have been unanswered during that time.  We now have every reason to believe that he has passed on to another realm.  The task would be potentially twofold:  to confirm whether this is true, either by talking with him in person or by entering his tower here in the city and finding his body or other evidence of his passing; and, if the latter, to secure his tower and remove in safety any magical accoutrement you may find, as well as any letters, maps, or other writings so that they can be handled with appropriate discretion and safety.

“Task the third involves the city catacombs.  As you know, there is quite a labyrinth of graves and mausoleums built below the city.  As these have grown gradually over the centuries, there is no comprehensive map of their entirety, and the caretakers and gravediggers each know their own areas only.  To the point, those same caretakers and gravediggers have, with only one exception, gone missing over the last few weeks.  We are aware of vague reports of sounds and movement through the catacombs, and there can be no further doubt that something – or some things – are afoot and must be stopped before they emerge to prowl in the city proper.  The task would be twofold:  to explore the entirety of the catacombs and create a reliable map of their environs, and to dispose of anyone or anything you find there that poses a danger to the city.

“The contract for reward for each task I have written for your consideration.”   She offers you a parchment.  Contract from Lady Cressa

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Open Heart

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