The players have not yet met. They are in fact located in completely different areas of the world. But tonight the stars will align, and they will be tested by the gods.
As fate would have it, on one very special night at precisely the same moment in time, our four heroes lay down in their own beds to sleep. Simultaneously their eyelids close; simultaneously their minds go quiet, and simultaneously they enter a dream.
(The four heroes are Dreadnock the half-orc fighter, Furiun the hafling rogue, an unnamed half-elf druid, and Yasu the elven ranger.)
As they begin to dream, they find themselves in a lush and green grove full of the tallest grass and surrounded by evergreens. They are standing in an almost perfectly circular clearing in the midst of the pines. What exists beyond the trees, one would guess, must be a deep forest.
The heroes see each other there. They are fully armored and armed with their mail and weapons of choice. They have never met, yet they feel comfort at one another’s presence. In this dream world, at least, they do not regard each other as strangers.
The initial moments of silence are interrupted when, on the far side of the clearing, a hasty rustling of the trees is heard, followed by a low and steady growl. At the same moment a wolf steps from the woods and into the clearing where our heroes stand. The wolf is astonishingly large—at least 3 times the size of a common wolf. It charges toward them.
The first to react is the ranger, Yasu. He quickly unleashes an arrow from his drawn bow which pierces the wolf decisively in the shoulder. This direct hit stuns the wolf and makes him vulnerable to the entanglement spell that the unnamed druid has just unleashed. Obeying the druid’s call, a collection of roots and barbs spring up from the ground and begin to wrap tightly around the wolf’s legs and feet, holding him motionless. The wolf is struck again by an arrow from the ranger’s bow; this just before Dreadnok the fighter’s greataxe slices downward, barely missing the Dire Wolf’s neck. The fighter’s axe, though it missed it’s mark, got the attention of the wolf, and its glaring red eyes lock with rage onto the half-orc. The rogue that had been hiding behind the hulking fighter steps quietly from the shadows and lunges at the wolf with his short sword. More wolf blood is drawn as the sword sinks into the dog’s haunches.
It would seem that the heroes now have the upper hand. However, the next blood to spill belongs to the half-orc, as the wolf, breaking free from his entanglements, jumps and thrashes the fighter’s throat. Dreadnok falls unconscious to the ground and is mortally wounded. After many unsuccessful attempts to subdue the wolf by the other three heroes, the beast then turns and rips gruesomely into Furiun the little hafling rogue. The unfortunate rogue is thrown to the ground also mortally bleeding and remains there unconscious.
The wolf sets off running furiously toward the druid and the ranger, and before they can escape into the woods the druid is caught in the gaping maw of the beast and is torn like a rag doll. The druid joins the fighter and the rogue on the ground as he lay there bleeding and unconscious.
Yasu, the ranger, dodges three of the wolf’s relentless attacks. Then, with lucky aim, as the elf’s last chance to save himself, he releases an arrow directly into the brain of the beast. The massive wolf slumps to the ground dead and lays still in a pool of his own blood.
The ranger scrambles over to each of his companions and is able to stop their bleeding with makeshift tourniquets, but he is not able to wake them. He then looks back at the felled beast that has wreaked so much havoc in this place, and he notices something shiny hanging from the dead animal’s neck. As he approaches nearer, he sees that the dog is wearing a collar—or rather he is wearing a brilliant red amulet.
As a trophy of the kill, and also out of curiosity, Yasu unclasps the amulet and dons it himself. To his pleasant surprise, the amulet makes him feel slightly more resilient. Could this red stone contain some sort of magic? Or is the feeling just in his imagination?
With no more time left to think, there is second rustling in the trees. Yasu looks to the noise, and to his horror he sees a Hill Giant, the dog’s loving owner, barreling down upon him!!!
Yasu makes a run for it into the trees, but some unknown magical barrier keeps him from entering the woods. The Hill Giant is nearing! Loud thuds shake the forest as his mighty feet trample the ground beneath. Yasu disbelieves!!! It is only a dream!!! He disbelieves!!!
Yasu sits up from his bed, sweat pouring from his forehead. It WAS just a dream! He sighs in relief and then glances down at his chest. He is wearing a brilliant red amulet…