Dark times, that’s what was left. A tyrant, nephew to the old king, sat upon the throne of Calthalesh and the legitimate heir to the old king was long missing. It was unclear why the seat had been left vacant, but a power vacuum will inevitably be filled and this time, the one who filled it was power hungry and blessed with the charisma and control to wrest power from those who might try to install themselves. What had once been a prosperous kingdom with care for her people became a shattered, shadowy remnant. Seats of power were filled not by the generous or good but by those willing to fight for scraps of acknowledgement and strongholds of strength. In doing so, many reached for dark magics and darker alliances. But there are still good men and women, those willing to fight back, be it through politics, subversion, or outright rebellion. They risk their lives to free those unfortunates crushed by tyranny, to save those who have lost sight of the light. Calthalesh is not entirely lost, for while there remains a spark of hope, those who hope are still free... Adista Noros stood on the edge of a small village. The village itself bordered a forest known for dark creatures, paths, and those who had fallen to madness. The entire place had an air of desperation and the village was much smaller than she remembered from when she’d passed through as a young girl. Now, nearly twenty summers later, Adista had returned. This time, it was not in celebration or feast as it had been the time before. No, now she had business to attend to. The nearby forest seemed to bulge and buckle for a moment, as if preparing to lash out and consume the town. It was an illusion, of course, a trick of an overactive imagination, gone when she looked directly at the woods. The scribe rubbed one ink stained hand nervously against the coarse fabric of her travel cloak. She’d come too far to turn back now. She’d been traveling for two weeks since she’d first been informed of her place in destiny. She was wary at first, not willing to believe, but her thirst for adventure and her desire to achieve heroics had overcome her hesitance to listen to the old witch. The woman had claimed to be a protector of her family line and offered her a chance at greatness and, even more, a chance to change the world. All she had to do was find someone. The lost prince. Adista sighed. This wasn’t an easy journey. She’d been told to come to this spot on this day and had barely made it. Leaving her family’s small home in the town of Lida, she’d packed some food, water, a change of clothes, and strapped an old sword of her grandfather’s to her back. She’d read enough about combat that she should be able to use it without trouble, she hoped. The opportunity to prove herself on that front had yet to come and she found herself less eager to get to it now when faced with the forest than before when journeying through moderately safe farmlands. Well, she’d been told to come here on this day and overthinking matters was just an excuse to hesitate. And what did the great scholars admonish about hesitation? Swallowing a knot of nervousness that curled in her throat, she stepped forward into the village.