It was months ago when each of you were plucked from your unit and sent to this country estate. Some of you volunteered longing to devote more “for king and country”, some of you were recommended by officers, others were recruited from various magical colleges. Regardless, a group of nearly 1000 assembled far behind enemy lines, in a country estate, and began training.
First were the aptitude tests. Recruits had to prove they could read and write, see and hear. But then there were weird military tests, unlike anything any of your characters had experienced before: strange questions involving memory retention, the ability to learn languages, cultural adaptation, and moral quandaries in which there were no right answers.
224 failed and were sent home.
Over 200 people couldn’t read???
Medieval world… not THAT surprising.
Then came the physical, which went far, far beyond anything they experienced in basic training. Expectations were outrageous: every soldier was expected to run twice as many miles in half the time. Pointless exercises involving lifting heavy logs, swimming in chainmail, all while awake for days on end.
This time no one was sent home… but 377 quit.
Finally, they began more specialized training both in the classroom and in the field. An old one-eyed man revealed his secrets in disguise and deception. Wizards lectured on the theory and practice of Hobgoblin magic. The recruits conducted experiments with an alchemist on magically enhanced explosive. And daily everyone kept up their PT, as well as practice in a limited, code-version of some archaic language.
Is that why our characters all know Druidic?
Yeah. I mean… you couldn’t converse with an ancient dragon in Druidic, or write poetry, but you can speak efficiently and effectively to one another about military matters, and write limited code ridden sentences.
Another 161 couldn’t learn fast enough and were sent home. 22 more experienced injuries and could not continue with the training… leaving 216 who passed the cut. Those 216 were divided into 5 man teams, who began, in their small units, further training. That is where the five of you first met… would you like to introduce your characters…
But then trainings continued…
You were paired with elven rangers, experienced in guarding against the Underdark, instructing on the art of the ambush. A veteran dragonborn fighter from foriegn wars far overseas helped you practice your skills in concert with one another, learning not just to fight next to one another, but to fight together. You spent a whole week in the forest with a gnome druid, immersing yourselves in the elements and surviving with your bare hands. And last but not least were the secret, experimental trainings to resist enchantment with a fey touched Tiefling.
Wait, are we freaking Navy Seals?
Yeah it wasn’t like that in WW1 or WW2…
OMG just go along with it guys?! DM, continue.
And yet, despite months of training, no one knows exactly what they have been selected for. You have been simply learning and growing, all while your friends, siblings, and neighbors have been patriotically serving on the front lines.
Until one day, you are escorted from the manor to a remote meadow littered with a handful of tents. The booms from the front echo day and night, reminding you that not only does the war wage close by, but that you must be making the final preparations before deployment.