Some are born heroes, some attain heroism, and some have heroism thrust upon them … and still others just aren’t cut out for it. The latter perhaps describes Our Heroes perfectly — average folk just trying to live their lives. And yet they all had the Dream, with the cathedral on the floating rock, the adventurers petrified in stone. The terrifying smoke man thing. They all awoke in cold sweat, and they all, eventually, received an invitation letter.
Alastair and Roondar received theirs first: Alastair from his trusted bodyguard, Edward, and Roondar from his tiny rat friend, Gerald, who seemed to have stuffed the note in his rat hole. Franky “Peeper” Talon was next, just about to leave his home/office in search of a new investigation when he found one tacked onto his front door: a note which read, “Look under the table,” leading him to a series of riddles, eventually pointing out that the letter was in his stack of letters on his table the entire time.
Boris spent most of his day training with the circus animals under the watchful eye of the head trainer, a sullen half-orc named Gragag, before he found his letter tucked in the collar of a lion. And Jane Doe found hers last, given to her by a philanthropic john who paid double for her services. They all said the same thing:
Meet me at the Grumbling Pot at sunset. Alone.
And so Our Heroes trudged through their terrible days, dealing with a raging customer, a dying elephant, chasing a missing cat who wasn’t really missing, and spending the day in a garbage heap, and when sunset arrived, they convened at the Grumbling Pot, where they waited. And waited. And waited.
Just before they subconsciously unanimously decided to leave, the door to the tavern burst open and who should step in but one of the most famous swordsmen of East Anor: Dorias Halfhander! The strikingly confident man stepped into the bar and surveyed the scene, noticed the rabble about, and immediately sunk his shoulders in defeat. “Is this it?” he asked, and no one knew how to answer.
“Who in here had the dream?” he asked.
Our Heroes timidly raised their hands.
“Really?” said Dorias. Then he ushered them into the back room, which was actually the bathroom. He told them he sent the letters because he had a dream that he was supposed to get in contact with the people who had their dream. This confused Our Heroes and they wanted to know more about his dream, but Dorias was more concerned with testing their abilities. He took money from Alastair to give to the others in return for letting him test them, but before they could even get started…
BAM! The tavern door slammed open and some greasy guy walked in with a ton of rats following him. He shouted for Dorias and at the same time, rats began climbing through holes in the bathroom and biting Our Heroes. They began to fight back against the rats while Dorias dealt with the Rat King, whose name was Wendell, or Rendell, according to Roondar.
Eventually the rats began to swarm and Roondar threw a pepper bomb he made out of an egg shell, some wax, and hot pepper flakes, which caused the rat swarm to scurry off. But when he opened the door to run out of the room, Roondar saw that the swarm had reconvened in the hallway. He barely got by and leapt onto a bar table, thwacking the swarm with a well placed sling bullet.
Jane managed to get out of the bathroom and climbed up onto the bar, where she grabbed a bottle of alcohol and a hanging overhead lamp and tried to start a huge fire. Instead, she smashed the bottle on the ground and threw the lamp at Dorias. It bounced off his back and crashed to the ground.
Franky managed to leap over the rats and tried to also climb onto the bar, but his foot slipped and he fell onto his back. Meanwhile, Boris was trying to climb onto a countertop in the bathroom and Alastair was slashing at the swarm.
The party fought the rats off and was attempting to get out of the bathroom with various levels of success when Dorias lopped Wendell’s weapon hand off, and soon killed the man outright. With Wendell dead, the rats stopped attacking, looked around as if to say, “What?” and then scurried off into the night. Dorias then said, “We need to get out of here. Now.” and ushered them all outside into the cold night air.