The Summer of Youth
A group of children of the town of Seowyn’s Crossing meet up and become friends during the Midsummer festival. They are:
- Brom Furrow: a 10 year old boy of Kalrentai descent. His family’s farm is on the northern outskirts of town, but he dreams of being an Adventurer instead of a farmer.
- Eustace: an 11 year old Minotaur who has been brought up in the smaller, older church of Shandalene as opposed to the grander Temple of The Twelve across the river. He is the ward of Abbot Justan, whp has raised him almost as a son.
- Ghost: a 10 year old Shifter with snow leopard markings. She survived the destruction of her village, Three Rivers, when goblins attacked and has been raised by a group of elves – Arun Longstrider, Calthis Brightbow, Jariel Bladestorm, and Vondyr Spirittongue.
- Kidalis Havengard: a Summerling son of a minor noble family who has come to the Crossing to foster with Sardan Greenfields, the Baron of Silver Falls.
- Tristan Holdfast: a cloudy-headed 12-year old half-elven boy who is the grandson of Talbot Holdfast, the keeper of the Minstrel’s Tarry, one of the finest taverns in Summerlund. He was often distracted by the voices in his head, promising things, trying to get his attention.
Over the course of the day, they meet and become friends, especially when faced by Isaak Ketteran, the son of the local miller, who is very much a bully. Kidalis meets Alinora Greenfields, the niece of the Baron, who seems faintly amused or intrigued by him. Talbot offers the children 1 silver coin each for every Fire Wasp they catch, and, inspired by this, Brom starts calling them the Fire Wasps. They talk about their dreams of fortune and glory, and Brom shows them his special hideaway: the Castle of the Old Ones. This becomes a special place of their childhoods.
The Spring Time Faire
Three years later, the Fire Wasps are joined by Tilly Thistleshanks, a young Halfling boy whose father was killed by Limba, a legendary “gator” that terrorizes the river-faring halflings of Dalenshire. They meet Elswara Wellheart, Kidalis’ beautiful cousin, whom Brom develops a crush on and secretly dreams of marrying. She and her adventuring company, the Sword Watch, are preparing to set out on their first adventure.
They are invited to visit a caravan of Vistani that Brom’s father has allowed to camp on their land. Their ancient Tiefling seer, Adra Saleesha, gives them many fortunes, but, disturbingly, refuses to divulge much to Brom, seeming upset by something she sees.
Following the faire, Elswara visited Kidalis one more time with ancient gold coins, suggesting that her group was on the verge of a big score. But then she disappeared and was not seen again.
The Dead of Winter
As the Fire Wasps entered their adolescences, each found that much was expected of them. When Baron Sardan set out on a winter board hunt, he left Kidalis in charge as bailiff to run festivities through the New Year feast. Brom was being trained by Captain Holloway Larkwell of the town guard, and he was still intending to become an adventurer. Eustace was keenly aware of Abbot Justan’s failing health and was picking up more of the Abbot’s duties to help him. Tristan was keenly aware that he was failing to make significant progress in his magical studies under the Eladrin Wizard, Benethir Talvarison. Tilly was aware that halflings were worrying about Limba, and he was finding both romance with Henna Brambleberry and terror with Henna’s ancient relative, Granmere Odetta. Ghost had been experiencing rivalry with Calthis’ cousin Shale Brightbow, but he was suddenly gone off on his rite of passage.
When a guard was murdered, and goblins broke into the baronial manor at Road’s End, the group pursued them, finding that they had invaded the Castle of the Old Ones. A battle ensued, and Brom and Tristan were brutally cut down. Tristan suddenly heard the voices in his head hit a resolve that, if he died, they would be lost, and they granted him power as a Warlock. Brom, however, lacked the adventurer’s gift of Pneuma, and he perished in the battle. The goblins were cowed when a collection of green crystals in the Castle manifested into humanoid form and fought alongside the Fire Wasps, and the young adventurers were victorious. They puzzled over the crystals, which did not move, and mourned Brom, returning him to his family to be buried.
Baron Sardan was slain during the hunt, and Kidalis was sent away, as Gyzzel Markrand, the Baron’s Reeve, did not have the authority to have a fosterling. Abbot Justan died before spring, and Abbot Jacoby took over instead, to Eustace’s dismay. Ghost had to travel away with the elven band, and Tilly returned to Dalenshire with his family. Tristan worked with Benethir, trying to harness the strange powers he had unlocked.