As you think back to the events of the past few months that brought you all together, you can’t help but be reminded of the irony of your situation. To have come together in the name of combating an unknown evil, only to be captured by perhaps the most well-known evil in all of Théah. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. About 6 weeks prior you were each called to a secret meeting by the heads of your respective organizations. Whether it be your Secret Society or your country’s government, you were all summoned because you were told you had something special to offer. To what you were offering your services you did not know at the time, but it intrigued you enough to attend. You were given a set of landmarks to follow and told to come alone. No maps, no companions, not even a horse that could potentially lead someone unworthy back to your destination. In the middle of the night, under the cover of darkness, you gathered in a grove somewhere in the snowy steppes of northern Ussura. Here, even in early winter, you have trouble contemplating how an entire nation survives in this cold and dreary environment. As each of you enter the grove one by one, you see no others present other than the 3 of you, strangers in a strange land.
(Have each player give a physical description of their character)
Before any of you summon the inclination to speak to one another, a flame erupts seemingly out of nowhere at the edge of the clearing. You don’t recall seeing any campfire materials stacked in that particular vicinity, but nonetheless there roars a healthy flame with white-hot coals as if it has been stoked for a good hour. Even more surprising is the figure crouched at the fire opposite from where you are all standing, poking at it indiscriminately. It is hard to determine any physical characteristics given their current stance and layers of bundled clothing, but they are clearly well suited to traveling in cold climates.
They speak without looking up, “Please, gather around fire. You all look cold.”
You all do so, and once the warmth has recovered your stamina a bit the figure looks up at all of you, and you discover she is, in fact, a she. With long dark hair spilling out of her thick-furred hood, pale skin, and thin, almond-shaped eyes, she is clearly a native to this region.
“Do not speak. This one instructed to give message, then leave. Leaders of all countries and organizations of Théah hear rumors of great evil stirring in land. This evil has no name, no voice, no body, no evidence at all; but pattern seen in tragic events bring conclusion that someone or something acting behind scenes, pulling at strings. To this end leaders commit to creating new arm of justice. Just like evil, this force for good has no name, no voice, no body. You four now one finger of this force, one fist, acting independent of all others. This one your link, always know by this.” And she lifts a patch on her coat and shows you a symbol; a distinctive pictograph of a rising sun above a pyramid.
“Now, leave one at time, just like you arrived. Make way to Thorshofn, there ship waiting for you, Folium Qod Vento. Take ship and make way to Freiburg, mathematicians predict next large-scale evil to occur there. City with no laws seems good place to begin, yes?”
As she stands and turns to leave she chuckles to herself, as if that were some inside joke she ascribed some special meaning to. She mounts a horse a few yards away (again, something you didn’t notice until just now) and fades away into the lightly falling snow.
One month later the four of you find yourselves departed from Thorshofn and just one day outside of arriving in Pösen, sailing on the Folium Qod Vento. It is a small vessel, able to be sailed by just the four of you, and it is quite swift. What you couldn’t out-maneuver, however, was the Inquisition blockade waiting for you there. You made an incredible showing, and ended up actually sinking two ships larger than your own, but in the end you all knew it was a futile effort; there was no way you were escaping that scenario. It was pure luck none of you took a cannonball head-on, and only suffered minor injuries all told.
And here you are, dropped off on a remote island-turned-prison for the Inquisition’s captives. It is a pitiful piece of land, about 1 mile long and ½ mile wide made up of small hillocks and a sparse palm tree forest. The North East end of the island is occupied by a garrison of soldiers housed in a wooden palisade on top of a rocky outcropping boasting deep enough water to warrant an actual dock extending out 50 feet or so. The South West end has a concentration camp with tents made of ratty old sail canvas that don’t do much at all to keep the rain out, but it’s all you’ve got for the time being.
In the fortnight you’ve had the luxury to call this place home, you count about 100 prisoners at any one time, and somewhere between 1 and 2 dozen Inquisition guards. It seems every week or so a ship will either drop off a few new prisoners or take a few off the island; where they are taken you do not know. From what you are able to glean from the others here, a food ship passes by once a month dropping off a number of crates of salted fish, crusty old bread, and barrels of stale, tepid water. Once the garrison guards have taken their pick, there’s usually not enough to adequately feed the rest of you, and you’ve seen a couple of prisoners die of starvation already.
In the short time here you can already begin to feel malnutrition and exposure begin to take its toll on your bodies. In another month you’ll look and feel no better than the poor bastards who’ve been here longer than you. The four of you need a plan, and quickly. It is now dawn and a patrol of guards are approaching for their morning roll-call, task assignment, and random beatings…