The bar smells of sawdust and spilt ale. An enormous man, Berengar Cicurinus, stand behind the bar, polishing a glass and trying to ignore the part of his brain saying that maybe he should cut off Doc, the sailor so drunken he can barely stay in his chair. In a quiet corner, lit only by a small candle, Toseto and (Stephen’s Character) sit and discuss matters of magic and sickness both.
Everyone looks up as a figure stumbles into the bar. He looks like death warmed over, a vacant stare in his eyes and no expression on his face. In fact, that’s exactly what he is, as we find out as he tries to bite Toseto. Behind the figure, three more undead push their way into the bar.
The bartender and his three patrons fight them off, dispatching the undead while suffering only minor injuries. As they get ready to leave, they see signals in the sky. The rune of death blazes with black light across the night sky. Our heroes suit up, donning armor and weapons, and venture out into the cold, damp night. The docks are only a short distance away, after all, how hard can it be?
They make a stop to ensure the safety of the barmaid Ysolde, and unfortunately her family’s as well. After an argument that would put even the cruelest mother-in-law to shame with its impracticality, they press onwards. They soon encounter two skeletons and a robed mage-woman, who casts a vile spell that entangles almost all of them in tendrils of darkness. But our heroes are not stopped, and after a pitched battle she and her skeleton minions fall.
As she is bound, Berengar finds a cart and they continue, reaching the top of the stairs down to the docks. A crowd has gathered here, a legion’s worth, and the way is blocked by two Cyclops. Berengar shoves one off of the cliff with the help of the crowd, and Doc and Toseto repair a ballista and use it to kill the other one, the bolt burst through its brain and sending it tumbling down the cliff past a panicked Berengar who had been the target of its ire until moments before.
The civilians and the party make it onto the boats, and in the wee hours of the morning an all-clear is signaled in the sky. They return to their lives for a week, almost like nothing ever happened, except for a region of the city now known as The Ashes that was almost completely destroyed.
The party is then called before a senate committee and commended for its help evacuating civilians and given a writ of adventure, which allows them to act freely in any lands controlled by Shell-ra or outside of the control of any state. And thus, their adventuring careers begin.