After completing their first semester of instruction at the academy, the squad finally became eligible to accept missions. While most squads choose their own missions and submit them to their sergeants for approval, Sgt. Kasim inexplicably volunteered them for a mission himself with the utmost confidence that his squad could complete it. The mission was relatively straightforward – investigate a loss of communication with a research facility in the countryside that was drilling into the ground to investigate what appeared to be the source of a significant amount of arcane energy. The mission was to discover what happened and report their findings.
The squad arrived at the research facility to find that all of the scientists had been slaughtered. The facility seemed to be otherwise abandoned. On further investigation, part of the team pressed ahead and encountered a small group of archers guarding what looked like the entrance to an underground tunnel. On attempting to return to the APC to report, they discovered that it (along with the sergeant and the pilots) had vanished, and their vision was obscured by an unnatural fog that seemed to have swept into the area suddenly along with an inexplicable drop in temperature. With no other options available to them, they pushed into the facility, making their way into the tunnel.
The party made their way into the tunnel and found what appeared to be one the archers were answering to – a very young black dragon that seemed intent on finding something. A short negotiation followed during which he attempted to enlist the squad’s aid – while he refused to be specific about what he wanted, what he asked was that they bring their findings to him rather than to the instructors at the academy. Surprisingly, Salvatore chose that moment to negotiate his own deal, resulting in the squad turning on the dragon and his henchmen and dispatching them all without much trouble.
The defeat of the dragon led to the appearance of a woman calling herself Sima and another that, while appearing to be an elf of some kind, had ebony skin, white hair, dark red eyes and what appeared to be fangs. In the brief time they had together, they were rushed through introductions and a brief explanation of their situation – for reasons unknown, it was imperative that they all survive what was to come. To achieve this, Sima rushed them all through a portal into another world, a city surrounded by walls of brass and a sea of fire. Their only instructions were to lay low and attempt to not draw attention to themselves until they were contacted. They took refuge in an inn in what they learned was the district of Iskalat in The City of Brass, though they’re still no closer to finding out exactly where that is for the moment.
After waiting for the better part of the day, they eventually found themselves being contacted by a creature with dark red skin and horns that they later identified as a tiefling by the papers that he was apparently paid to deliver to them – a list of names of people, places and things that they grew up believing were myths…and things that they could expect to encounter before they could make their way home. Included in these papers was the name of another tiefling by the name of Mercer that they were to attempt to find the next day – the first task they needed to undertake in order to make their way home.
On meeting Mercer, he interestingly enough has a proposition of his own for the team – a bit of revenge against a rather rude innkeeper, and better yet, an opportunity to grind out a bit of profit. While he assures that there will be no hard feelings for refusing, he insists that the rewards that he offers will be well worth the risk at which they put themselves, as he has one thing to offer them that no amount of money could buy them…