We have created a herd of zero-level characters and thrust them through DCCs funnel. The body count...16 dead, 2 alive.
We began the story at the frontier hamlet known as "Bluestone Village". Named so, because of the three bluish colored stones standing twelve feet high in its center. They are also know as godsfingers, as they appear quite like giant, skeletal digits. The village found itself under siege by a throng of bandits. Every night for a full week, they attacked and were rebuffed by the town militia under the command of the one Endegar Mors. The local lord, Marwood Brucks and his knights were off fighting at the Duke's command, leaving the village's defense to the lowly sergeant and his conscripts. Was the timing of the attack coincidence, or was there something purposeful at work?
Mors devised a plan whereby a group of volunteers would follow the bandits to their lair and attack them by surprise. Of course, the volunteers were the player characters. After getting equipped as best they could, they set out after their attackers, soon discovering that their quarry were led by a mysterious, darkly-cloaked figure.
The bandits had selected as their base, a well-known system of caves known as the Greenpool Caverns. The group used an ingenious distraction and worked their way inside. After braving many dangers such as pits, rockslides, a perilous rope bridge, and of course a hoard of bandits, the characters discovered something odd at the back of the caves.
Past a break in the cavern lay an ancient temple. A temple crawling with snakes. After several harrowing encounters, the mysterious leader of the bandits was confronted. He was one of the Serpent Folk who ruled the land many eons ago. He had traveled through a portal in the wall that was still active when the characters arrived, showing a scene of his ancient primordial world. One thing that was especially disturbing was that this vista clearly contained the three, upthrust, bluish stones for which Bluestone Village was named. Could this possibly be the location of the town in the time of the Serpent Folk? Was it another set of bluestones entirely?
After much carnage, the Serpent was defeated and looted. Of special interested were a set of thin metal plates attached to a chain that he wore as a necklace. They were covered with odd writing that was illegible to the survivors. One of the party, much to this Judge's delight, plucked them up and promptly dropped them over his head!
With this one action, the bridge to 1st level was crossed...