1st Month, 13HD.
Monks of the Oka Shrine and Otomo Shrine are concerned with an interference in the balance of the Material World and Spirit World. A growing frequency of ghosts and monsters is occurring as departed spirits are losing their way to the afterlife and remain trapped between worlds, slowly growing mad and transforming into monsters if the Otomo Monks are unable to guide them to Oblivion’s Gate where they may pass-on.
After completing his pilgrimage of the Bushido Shrine, Otomo Shrine, and Oka Shrine the mercenary monk Jiao Fei has accepted Lady Otomo’s request to cross into the West to find information on the whereabouts of the legendary heroes who saved the world thirteen years before. Lady Otomo believes that the surviving heroes may be the world’s best bet at rectifying the imbalance between worlds.
Jiao Fei had been followed by the Nezumi ninja Shadow Click who, under the orders of his master, is investigating the origin of the imbalance for the Nezumi people’s interest. Shadow Click revealed himself to Jiao Fei after the latter’s acceptance of the Western journey and the two became traveling companions on their trip to the coastal town of Rikko, where they were able to find one-way passage aboard a smuggler’s ship.
Amal De’Æris, the fallen Cleric of Pelor who know walks the earth as a free-willed undead, left his homeland to seek a life in a new land. Grandia was the obvious choice, as the kingdom had been flourishing even as Amal’s homeland of Tulran crumbled. Disguised as a human traveler, Amal managed to evade notice long enough in the town of Grayson to discover that the port village Tethelia had just been reclaimed from the North Men, and that tradesmen and adventures were encouraged to seek opportunity in the redeveloping village. Amal left ahead of the wagons, since his solitary travel protected him from persecution and his sleepless wandering could cover ground more quickly over time. Surviving an ambush by elves of the Gray Forest, thrashing a hobgoblin toll-bridge, and evading a mutual ambush by kobolds and a hunting displacer beast, Amal managed to deliver his body to Tethelia.
Rekken Earthfist had just completed his engineering degree at the University of Anvilrung in the dwarven kingdom of Karadar and was seizing the opportunity to see the world. He outfitted a small rowboat with a keg of Earthfist Stout and began sailing down the mountain river toward the human town of Tethelia. Rekken was waylaid by a foolish Bugbear who tried his damnest to sink Rekken’s boat by casting rocks from the cliffs above, but a few well placed crossbow bolts plus a return-to-sender of the Bugbear’s javelin to the throat left Rekken comfortably sailing the rest of the way toward the coastal town. After drinking with a few Grandian soldiers, Rekken quickly learned that the Garinor clan that inhabited Tethelia had been routed by Grandia (with the help of neighboring monster clans) and that stewardship of the village was soon to belong to Lord Geldin, former governor of Grayson, who although masterfully capable would be ill-equipped to handle a counter-invasion of any serious reinforcement. After a couple of nights at the Rimedraught Inn and Tavern, Rekken came into the company of a motley crew of adventurers including Amal, Shadow Click, Jiao Fei, and the ranger Bertram Jerdan. The group got along swimmingly until the mutual discovery that Amal was not among the living. Rekken was impressed that his undead fellow was civilized, Jiao Fei and Shadow Click had concluded that Amal must be of those lost souls that must be guided to the afterlife (and luckily had not been driven mad yet), but Bert wildly attacked Amal before being repelled by the group. Bert ran into the night, raving about the seeds of evil corrupting the minds of the village.
The next day, the party met with Lord Geldin, who revealed Tethelia’s weakness to a reinforced counter-invasion. The soldiers are necessary for round-the-clock defense, so Geldin needs mercernaries to do some strategic striking. Geldin has marked three monster clans, orc, gnoll, and bugbear as necessary to neutralize so that the Garinor clans won’t be able to use them as mercenaries against Tethelia in the future. The party began planning for finding the orcs’ camp.