After the Departure
It's been a generation since the gods left the world and took magic with them. Magic, both divine and arcane, was the one edge the kingdom had against the greyskins and all of a sudden, it disappeared. The sheer numbers of the greyskins proved too much. They quickly overwhelmed a community still reeling with questions of Faith and Magic.
You look up, into the night sky which you see for the first time in ages. Still panting from the two hour run to escape from the greyskins in their moist and moldy prison cave.
Looking around you, you see the people you've befriended while living in the prison. Like-minded people who seemed to stand out from the crowd, even though drawing attention to yourself was a hazardous thing to do. All of them had been locked up in the "special cell" on more than one occasion.
The people who busted you out are talking animatedly among each other. You don't know them, but they look and sound familiar as if they're kindred spirits somehow. It's just a gut feeling but you're rarely wrong about these things.
Strangers in a Stranger Land
You're sitting in a bar with your five friends. Comrades you've know for an eternity, and you trust them with your life. But today there's something weird. Something doesn't feel right. But you can't make out if it's them, you, or perhaps the abundance of whatever liquid they were serving here yesterday evening.
You vaguely remember an enormous castle. Towers rising to the multi-coloured skies, tall and stately. Halls of splendor, full of brilliant people. Stately or noble, cunning or wise, playful or stern those present were familiar and of the Blood.
What is that, the Blood? Where did that thought come from? Why do you know those people?
You're sobering up, and take a closer look at your companions at this table. They look different, but you know the trickster Robin Goodfellow as you'll always recognise his smile. Artemis is looking weird with her white complexion and her blond braids, but the eyes of the Huntress are the same.
What are you doing here in this squalid bar?
That's when it hits you. Your last adventure with your friends was a disaster. You got into trouble something fierce, you messed up a precarious balance. The last thing you remember was a reprimand, voices saying "Prove yourself and come home, or be lost forever".
Living in Interesting Times
You and your fellow musketeers are young, well-trained, handsome, erudite, charmingly fierce and fiercely charming. (Or so you believe. Yet you all agree that Donnatella is the prettiest.) You're loyal to the Queen and the country. Theoretically, the Cardinal is, too. (Loyal to Queen and country, that is, although he sports a dashingly handsome moustache.) You're not well versed in magicks, but that's why the Queen has those Witches at her court, right? (And Giovanni is on very good terms with the one with the curly hair, aren't you Giovanni?)
Now you're invited for the Grand Masquerade, a costumed ball in the Vodacce style. Apart from the rival troupe (a curse upon those bastardos) and the Queen, there's supposed to be a small delegation from Avalon. That should be interesting. Indeed, you were present when the train of carriages arrived at the Palace this morning. While the reception by the Queen seemed quite jovial, gifted in the arts of perception as you all are, you noted the strain upon her and the emissaries.
Then there's the mysterious message you received this morning. Rose-scented, so the lady knows the way these things are done. "Meet me at the top of the stairs at midnight. You'll know me by my costume."
Dead in the Water
Yeah, the guy sure looked dead. No doubt about that. Disembowelment will do that to a guy. As would the slit throat. Not that the ritual scarification would've been nice, but those scars had been there a lot longer and hadn't killed him. But there was one detail that actually disturbed you once you saw it. Krueger just had to mention it, didn't he. It looked like the victim's right foot had been nibbled upon.
You were just looking for a place to spend the night. You and your fellow... What was the word Raph used to the guard? Ah yes, investigative specialists. Well, you and your fellow specialists are on the move towards Bögenhafen, hoping to earn some extra coin.
Just a place to spend the night and perhaps let Helga and Jean-Paul earn some extra money by playing some cards with the local dimwits. Her cleavage to distract them, Jean-Paul to card-shark them out of their meager finances.
But once you were let into the town you noticed a lot of commotion on the town square. Seemed the entire population was gathered there. With some shoves left and some boots on toes on the right you managed to push through the crowd. In the torchlight you saw the corpse. Pallid and bloated it had probably floated in the river for some days before it was found.
Raph then whispered to the others: "This is a chance. We can turn this to our advantage! These yokels don't know what caused this!"
- "By Grimnir's beard! And you do, lass?"
- "Of course, master dwarf," came her glib reply. "And if we don't we'll make something up."
Before you knew it your "business partner" had offered the services of you and your fellow "irregular freelancers" and you were pledged to find the cause of this unfortunate fellow's death.
Only then did Krueger notice the teethmarks. By those enormous teeth.