In the small trading town of Senvois, locals and travelers alike gathered to drink away their worries in the Laughing Lion Tavern. There is much laughing and drinking and singing and playing of cards and darts. Dorien, a local human Bard [Rob], stands up and sings an inspiring song and is met with praise and tips. Zion, a gnome Abjurer [Loki] of the Magic Guild, decides to join a local in a game of darts, beating him soundly. The quiet elf Rogue Daphne[Aidan], sits alone at the bar, watching the game.
Marty, Zion’s beaten opponent, storms off, minus twenty gold pieces. Xavnon, the half-orc bartender, praises Dorien’s song and mentions a job opportunity at the Blind Flame Alehouse in the capital city of Alexia, a short three days travel away. Dorien takes the offer under consideration and joins Zion at the dart board.
Marty returns with two burly companions. His friends sit down and Marty approaches Zion, desiring a rematch. Marty scrapes by with a win over the slightly tipsy gnome, and asks to raise the stakes: 50 gold. Dorian counteroffers with a team game, raising the stakes to 100 gold per team. Marty accepts and calls a friend over, while Dorian sides with his acquaintance Zion. Marty and his friend lose horribly and look quite angry, but Dorian soothes their tempers with an ale.
Everyone seems to be heading to bed, so Zion and Dorien retire to their rooms while Daphne sleeps in the bar.
The next morning, Dorien makes friends with Daphne the wanderer. He convinces her to travel with him to Alexia, and Zion desires to return home as well. Thus they depart toward Alexia with a stop in Chalice, a village along the way.
The first day on the road, they encounter a family rushing away from Chalice on a cart. The cart slows as the party approaches and the father warns, “Stay away from Chalice!” The party wonders why, so he stops the cart and explains that “terrible noises” have been coming at night and terrifying the populace. He fears that whatever monster is making the noise is going to eat his child. No children have been eaten yet, but he’s not willing to take that chance. The party promises that their stay in Chalice will be quick and bid them farewell.
Their journey requires two days’ travel to Chalice, so they spend one night camping on the road. All is quiet until the final watch by Dorian. He hears a small group trying to sneak up on them and spots four small figures near the tree line. He shouts, “Who’s there?” Three of the figures turn to the one in the center, obviously their leader. Meanwhile, Daphne and Zion wake up to the commotion. The leader hesitates for a second, then Zion hears in Goblin, “Charge!”
The three underling goblins charge the party while the leader fires at them with a bow. Zion makes quick work of two of them with a dazzling color spray, and Daphne puts two arrows in the leader’s gut. The leader turns and runs, leaving the one remaining underling to fend for himself. He doesn’t last long.
Soon, a half-elf Ranger [Malcolm] approaches the party with an unconscious goblin. The party coups de grace the two underlings and tie up the leader. When he awakes, he squirms to escape but can’t get free. Zion asks, “Are you the leader?” to which the goblin replies, “Nope, the leader’s that one,” and gestures with a nod. They continue to interrogate him and discover that there’s a small clan of goblins living in the Alexian Forest, and they were just a small scouting/looting party. They slay the goblin and continue their journey.
A little before noon, they arrive at Chalice, a farming and trading community. They make their way to the Lonely Giant Inn to wash off the stench of goblin. They stay for lunch and overhear a few conversations about the night sounds: it appears to be coming from a well, though they never see anything during the day. The party splits up to find more information.
Dorien wanders into market and the first thing he sees is a large stone fountain and statue with a plaque that reads “CHALICE, the birthplace of the Great One.” He recognizes the statue as being of Sheridyn, the founder of the Guardians, the Hero of the Last War, and the ancestor of all monarchs of Paixia since. He soon finds a blacksmith with no customers and chats him up for some information. He learns that the noise sounds very much like a baby cow, and the noises started about five days ago. The blacksmith doesn’t seem particularly concerned, but notes that some others are beginning to panic.
Dorien catches up with Zion to pass this information along, and Zion goes to the library to search the village records. He finds very little of interest; very few goblin attacks in the past year, no other reports of monsters, and perhaps most notably, no reports of missing cows recently. Zion tries to think of what could sound like a cow but not be a cow, and remembers a legend of the minotaur.
Meanwhile, Daphne investigates the wells. Some people walk about getting water from other wells, but never the suspected one. She checks the water in the well, but everything appears normal.
The sun is getting low in the sky, so they meet up back at the Lonely Giant. They meet the local Guardian, Victor, who seems more concerned with keeping the citizens calm than actually fixing the situation. They find a bar patron who tells them that they’re not the only new visitors in town; a group of four Hunters arrived about a week ago and are staying in the Stalwart Mug. They decide to check on the well again, and visit the Hunters in the morning.
As they leave the inn, they hear what seems to be a whiny mooing sound. Along the way, they meet the female half-elf Ranger Willow[Amy], who is also investigating the sound. They proceed to the well and examine the bucket to find a small crying half-man half-bull looking creature. An arrow narrowly misses Dorien and the party turns to see four people. The leader calls, “Hold! What are you doing there?” Dorian asks them what they know about this, and the leader says that they put the baby there to lure the mother out in the open in order to claim the bounty that the Hunters’ Guild placed on her. Dorien quickly realizes that this man is an idiot when he asks, “If you took the child from its home, why didn’t you set the trap in its lair?” Before he can respond, momma minotaur roars and rushes toward them. The leader demands, “Are you going to help us or not?” The party reluctantly agrees, but Dorian takes charge and orders the hunters to take the baby and slowly walk outside of the village with a knife at its throat. He does so and the minotaur follows cautiously, while the party takes up the rear.
Once outside of town, the minotaur demands in broken Common, “Give me my child!” The party, wishing to see this end without bloodshed, tell the minotaur that the child will be returned if she promises to stay away from civilized towns and that the hunters will never bother her again. They object, saying, “What about our bounty?” The minotaur snorts, and they put the baby down and slowly back off. The mother picks up the baby and runs toward the woods, cursing humans under her breath. Dorien then turns to the hunters and demands that they leave here and never return. They hesitate, and Zion uses ghost sound to create the sound of many swords being unsheathed behind them. They bolt.
The party returns to the Lonely Giant, where everyone seems happy that the noises have stopped. They explain what happened to Victor, who is extraordinarily pleased to see that the situation was resolved without any bloodshed. He tells them about the Guardians of Peace and entreats them to consider joining. He tells them to look for Captain Kega of the Alexia City Guard if they’re looking for work around the city. With that, they retire to bed.
The next morning, the blacksmith meets them to present a gift from the village: a shiny ceremonial dagger, which Zion estimates is worth about 700 gold. They continue on their way to Alexia, chatting with their new companion, Willow.
They reach a bridge over a river and by a waterfall. Below by the river banks Willow sees an old elf and a young human woman sword-fighting, clearly for practice or sport. They pause to watch, and shout a greeting. The woman invites them down to join or just chat, and they accept. They find the trail down and introduce themselves. The woman calls herself Melissa and says the elf’s name is T’Lavios, who watches intently. Willow spars with Melissa a bit until Willow yields, clearly outclassed. Melissa is impressed regardless, and T’Lavios heals them both of their nonlethal damage. They mention that they are from Alexia and should be returning, and offer to keep the party company. The trip to Alexia is a pleasant one, and they chat about the local taverns. Melissa tells them of her favorites, namely the Bronze Dragon, the Scarlet Nymph, and the Blind Flame. She gives a little story of each, including how the proprietor of the Blind Flame, Wandalynn, was once a Cleric of Sola (the Red Goddess of the trio) and an adventurer with her husband and a dwarf wizard, until a trap sprung in a dragon’s lair killed her husband and left her blind. The dwarf used all of his resources to try to save the husband, but when he failed, he disappeared, ashamed. Neither he nor the body have been seen since.
As the tragic tale ends, they see a large wooden boat with wings and propellers sail overhead toward Alexia. They approach the city gates and are quickly ushered in by the guards when they see Melissa and T’Lavios. They warn against the use of weapons or magic in the city; in case of trouble, just call the City Guard. As they enter the city, the curtain closes on this inaugural session.