The female ranger Gasha has always been very willful. At the age of 16, Gasha felt it unfair that all her male friends were being Sheared (undergoing a rite of passage usually reserved for males) and so she approached her parents and insisted that she be Sheared as well. She joined a caravan and wandered with them for months. One day, after days of heavy rain, Gasha was lost in a flood and rescued by a kind male elf named Nendir who nursed her back to health. She stayed with Nendir, who taught her fighting and tracking skills. They fell in love. Unfortunately, the elf was killed by raiding goblins and left her alone… and pregnant. Gasha went back to her family and gave birth to her half-elf daughter, Rhúnen.
Later Gasha married a powerful Thyatian warrior, Artorius, who had served in Duke Karameikos’ army then started a successful bodyguard business, escorting merchants traveling through the wild lands of Karameikos. They lived near the town of Threshold.
Her husband Artorius taught Gasha the fighting arts and she quickly reached the second level of skill. Her half-elf daughter Rhúnen, however, was an outsider. Her step-father Artorius was a good man, but had conservative and chauvinist ideas and was suspicious of non-human races. Privately he was a bit repelled by the “half-breed.” Rhúnen learned to be resourceful and independent, though she never lacked her mother’s affection. From the various characters she met in their travels, she learned rogue skills. Secretly, Rhúnen felt in her heart that her father Nendir the Elf was still alive somewhere.
With her husband Artorius, the ranger Gasha gave birth to a second child, Xeon, a human son 5 years younger than his half-elf half-sister Rhúnen. As a child, Xeon was always attracted to the arcane arts and learned the rudiments of magic from a seller of herbal potions who often traveled with them.
In their borderland travels protecting merchants, the family met with many powerful, evil adversaries, including goblins and bandits. One day a band of orcs led by a powerful wizard attacked their caravan and murdered Artorius and most of his men. The ranger Gasha and her children luckily survived since they were off picking berries at the time of the attack, along with Petya, the cleric, a devoted friend of the family.
After Artorius’s death and the loss of the goods they were escorting, the bodyguard business collapsed. In accordance with the law of the land, the bodyguards had to pay for the goods lost in the orc raid and this bankrupted them. The family hocked their last remaining valuables, but this was still not enough to pay off the debt. The merchants who were owed compensation hired a “collection agency” (viz. underworld thugs) to collect the money. The thugs threatened to take the youngsters as slaves if Gasha could not come up with the 10,000 gold she owed. To avoid this fate, the family fled in the night, taking off on foot with enough rations to last a week or so… and a handful of family jewels worth perhaps a few hundred gold pieces. These were their only possessions. The “collectors” would expect them to head down-river from Threshold, so they cut across the hills to the east toward the Hillfollow River, then followed the river northward. Ahead lay the village of Goblin’s Tooth which should be far enough away for them for them to lay for a while. They have heard that the village lies near the Selenica-Kelvin-Specularum trading route and gets a steady stream of merchants. Perhaps they can find work at bodyguards.. or adventure for treasure in the area. Hopefully, once they accumulate 10,000 gold they can return to Threshold to pay off their creditors and no longer have to live on the run.
Night is falling as they approach the village of Goblin’s Tooth. They have already run out of rations and have been foraging for berries and edible herbs on the side of the road for the last couple days. The whole party is very hungry and weak…