Nestled deep in the Stoneclan forest on the western end of the continent of Erena stands the great bastion of Hammerfell City. A gleaming beacon of faith, the citizens of Hammerfell enjoy the protection granted by the clerics and paladins of the Church of Bahamut, and the city's walls have never been breached in any war, in any age.
But tonight, the trouble of the city lies within, and for fear of risking the Brethren of Bahamut, a quiet summons has been sent out. Calling warriors and mercenaries from all walks of life to the city, our heroes among them, Grand Cleric Stormfist calls them all into the Sun District Barracks for debriefing.
Packed tight into the room, the party takes note of those assembled. Lia, the wood elf ranger; Baughbb, the half-orc bard; Darkloam (DL), the human druid-monk; Elgraham Greysword, human fighter; Kallista, tiefling warlock pixie; Fandrel, human monk; and Caleb Rayph, human rogue.
Grand Cleric Stormfist, a grizzled mountain dwarf emblazoned in intricate platemail, takes the center of the chamber. The room grows silent, as all eyes train on him. He explains the situation: a dangerous criminal calling himself 'The Red Sash' has been targeting the church and its acolytes with extreme prejudice. He has already killed 100 of the collected soldiers of Hammerfell, and should be hunted with caution and decisiveness.
In order to better utilize the vast number of mercenaries present, Stormfist explains that each of them will be assigned to one of his field commanders to assess their combat capabilities: Vengeance Paladin Denimus Umbra, Captain Hyral Briade, or Seeker Abra Jinsythe. The party selects Abra, and follows her out to one of the training fields behind the barracks, where a single stone target waits for them.
Abra demonstrates her own accuracy, swinging an intricate lantern and chain, then, with a flick of her wrist, releasing the lantern. The glass fireball slams into the stone slab, sending fire and oil across its center. She then turns to the group, folds her arms, and waits. One by one, they show off their talents; Baughbb sings at the stone, Lia fires an arrow, Fandrel throws a knife, and Kallista summons a devastating witch bolt...shattering the stone target.
As Abra grins her approval, a second lightning strike impacts just ahead of the group, followed by hundreds more. Cyclones of electricity flow down from the sky, a cloud of mist and magic forming at their base. As the party's hair stands on end with the electric charge in the air, a piercing caw erupts out of the cloud and a set of luminescent white wings burst from the column. Electricity arcs across its feathers as a gleaming, golden peak peers into view and column disperses.
Everyone draws their weapons and stares down the huge griffon before them.
It roars. Then charges.