As the sun dips below the ramparts of the old town, the last of the troops file
in. As they make their way through the narrow, cobbled streets, small groups of
them quietly slink away into the many taverns that give this district its bad
reputation. The lamps are lit and the merriment spills out onto the streets
with laughing, singing, pushing and shoving. There will be trouble later, but
by then you will be long gone.
It is time for the guard to change, time for the night watch to begin their
duties, but they are in no hurry; though the outlaws in the countryside know
the force stationed here will be no threat tonight, they gave them a wide
berth during their march here. The people in the nearby villages can sleep
soundly for a change.
As the members of the night watch slowly begin to take their places on the
ramparts you take your chance and slip through the open gate, taking refuge in
the long shadows fleeing the sunset. The few eyes looking in your direction are
hardly able to make out your form as you wait for the approaching nightfall.
You recall the stories told when you were young. When the town itself was
already old, the last of the elders told of a time when it was still a village,
not much more than a few houses and shelters. The road that ran through it went
to the castle on the edge of the wasteland that now lies derelict and deserted.
Night falls quickly in this season at the edge of the kingdom. Memories of
fireside tales about the king's lost crown and the hidden treasure of the old
kingdom make the journey across the plains more bearable. Soon you arrive at
the outer fortifications. Crossing a bridge, you enter. As you pass beneath the
outer gate it suddenly crashes into place, cutting off your exit. It was just
as well you hadn't planned to return that way.
Nature has reclaimed parts of the castle, its ruins crumbling in places and
crawling with creatures that people once knew well to leave alone. To make your
way through it to the lands beyond, you will need to unlock the few doors and
gates that still stand. Perhaps the folk tales were true and the king's
treasure still remains, but survival is more important here. If you live to
pass through the outer gate then the story alone will have made the journey