The Wilderlands

The opening scene

It has been a bad day. Or several days, as you have no idea how long you were unconscious. The slavers have been less than gentle with you, and while the worst of your wounds are healed, you still fell like a castle fell on you. You are on a tiny pit, only five feet square. Eight feet above the floor is an iron grate whose latch you cannot see. This situation appears hopeless, and when the jailer comes in to pour water on your miserable head, it feels all the worse.

“This should wash the stench off of you,” he sneers, as if your sorry state were somehow your fault. “Don’t whine for food and drink. The cultists who have purchased you will be here tonight, and I don’t think their plans for you involve you having a full stomach.” He laughs and leaves the room, taking his torch with him and leaving you in the darkness.

You sit there for a while, wondering how you are going to get out of this situation. From the moans in the other cells, you can tell that the other slaves that you saw in the wagon are with you, too. If only you could get out of these pits, you might be able to orchestrate an escape.

Then, as if in answer to your prayers, you hear a click from the grate above you and it moves when you test it. Uncertain, you climb out of the cell into the darkness of the room above, only to find that the other prisoners have been likewise released. Suddenly, you hear a voice, speaking softly, which seems to come from elsewhere, as it does not echo in the vaulted prison.

“Your gear is in the center of the room,” it says. “This is your chance to escape. If you do not take it, you will be dead at midnight tonight when your new owners make sacrifices of you. You must fight your way out of the slavers’ den and win your freedom. I am the wizard Llangwellan, and your enemies are my enemies. My help does not come without a price, of course. I am currently blocked from entering one of my towers near to where you are now. My chief rival has turned my wards against me. Once you are free of the slavers, you must seek the Tower of Circumstance, a league to your north. On the highest level within, take the Green Shard and deliver it to me in the City State. I shall make sure your efforts are rewarded richly, and that you are safe from retribution from the slavers.”

Your gear is piled in the center of the room, clean and ready.



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