Fire in the Belly
Meet Thomas Witwillow
Fort Lumesto, a small encampment on the far western edge of the kingdom, nestled at the base of Mount Ronesh.
It’s been 49 years since the last attack by Zlata, a dragon as old as the world itself. The seventy or so soldiers stationed here know that no mortal force could hope to stop it from burning its path of destruction, and they have been sent here by their king to die a pointless death. This fact is not contested by their commanding officer, a bitter one-eyed drunk by the name of Commander Rankor.
Bristle Stickyfingers, the kleptomaniac son of the local tavern owner, is counting down the days to the inevitable as he wipes down the counters. He’s approached by a deliriously inebriated Rankor, who reports that a rider has been dispatched from Castle Dardoon to inspect the fort. Rumor suggests that the king has his mind set on displaying the great dragon’s head on a pike outside his keep as a way of reaffirming his power – and will send as many of his men to certain deaths to do it.
Rankor has hatched a plan to subvert the King’s wishes. He asks Bristle to lead the visitor out of town for a day so he can ride south and enlist the help of a powerful wizard – one strong enough to charm the man into reporting back that all is well at Fort Lumesto. If it works, they could save thousands of lives. Bristle agrees.
The king’s spy arrives the next morning. He’s an old man travelling under the name Thomas Witwillow, the King’s 3rd Cartographer. Rankor gives Bristle a few stray recruits – Toth Hillbred, a moody dragonborn who was sent here for dismembering the nephew of the king’s royal guard; Bam Evilfighter, a dwarf simpleton who believes his fate is decided by dragons living in the clouds; and Sybil “Sy” Clausner, a cocky young wizard who was cast out of his eledran clan for fighting over a girl – and together, the five head to the Northern Ruins of Lumester.