The roads leading to Dagger Falls, the heart and soul of Daggerdale, are always many and long. Even if they only start down the block or in the next farm over, it’s never an easy thing.
The three souls that have harkened to the call today have travelled many varying paths indeed. Those particulars of these stories are for another time, however.
They stand assembled in front of a desk in a small, roughly appointed office in the heart of the small, walled city of Dagger Falls. The room and everything in it is a kind of microcosm of the dale in which it is situated. Rough but practical. Odd treasures ready for classification strewn randomly amid samples of the surrounding geography. Half finished maps with hinted outlines of once great and long fallen empires hastily tacked with razor sharp daggers to the hand planed pine walls.
Everywhere you look the new intertwined with ancient history. The knowledge that if you walked into any corner you’d find something new to explore, some new adventure to be had. As well, there’s a very real sense of constant, imminent danger…
Inside this room, at least, that danger is clearly manifest in the furrowed brow, snarling tusks and very impatiently drumming fingers of the well armed and armored half-orc sitting behind the desk. As he glares at each of them in turn he stands to his full height, rather focusing their attention even more than it had been before.
“Where are the others?!” He bellows. “I was told there were to be more of you!”
Before any of them can answer he waves any responses away.
“No matter. We have business to attend to and I have little time.”
He begins to describe the tasks they, as initiates into the Azurite Daggers, will perform and how they should carry out said tasks.
“The unit Structure of the Azurite Daggers in the field is very organic. You may, under most circumstances, choose which other members you want to work with in order to get a job done. In some instances we shall assign other members to your team. In any given mission you will choose, or have chosen for you, those members that are available and best compliment your abilities. A well balanced team in the field is key to success.
What is not so free-form are the Ranks, Orders and Instrumentation designations. You are all now of Rank Agate. Your Order of Measure is Vara. You are all given various designations of Instrumentation depending upon your particular talents.
He pins the insignias denoting rank and measure upon them. The rank pin is a well polished agate stone set in an unassuming metal band. The measure pin is a very small metal ruler with an even smaller measure of said ruler marked with a tiny blue stone.
At this time both your rank and Measure are the bottom rungs of the ladder. If anyone of a higher rank in the same Measure or anyone of any rank of a higher Measure than your gives you a command you will obey. Is that clear?"
None of the three assembled before him have any questions for him at this time.
As he the half-orc walks back behind his desk a man comes through the side door. He gives only the most cursory of glances at the three then addresses the one that’s obviously in charge.
“Olnor sir, we’ve just brought back the specimens that were surveyed on the last patrol.”
“Ah! Good!” Olnor replies. “This will be a perfect opportunity, when we’re done here, for you to observe the kinds of threats we’re dealing with out here.
Now, your main task as members of the Vara Measure is to observe. Be the eyes and ears of the Surveyors. Speak with the populous, watch and listen for any strange occurances that could be attributed to activities of plaguechanged creatures, people affected by spell scars or even, and especially, areas of plaguelands that were previously unknown and unmapped."
Sounds of the wagon being pulled to outside are heard through the doors and windows. There’s much yelling and shouting.
“If you hear rumors of any of these things you are to investigate them insofar as you are able. If you ever encounter any of these you are to withdraw and report your findings to your superiors. Do not engage!”
The yelling from outside grows louder and loud banging and snarling can be heard from just outside the side door.
“After your report is evaluated we shall determine how best to proceed. Any questions?”
As Olnor looks at the three standing silent he seems satisfied. He begins to rise and seems like he’s about to speak again when suddenly the side door bursts apart owing to the man that had come in earlier being thrown through it! He lands amid splinters and bits of hinge upon the floor.
Raising his head, bloody and broken as it is, he looks at Orlon and says, “Sir! We might need… a little…” then collapses, dead upon the floor!
“DAMN!” Olnor yells as he throws his cloak back, unsheathes his short sword and rushes out the now destroyed door.
The three new recruits have scant moments to decide what to do…