You all are sitting in darkness on the ground in an open meadow, thickly surrounded by fir and oak trees, waiting for the signal. It is a cloudless, moonless night, and you can barely make out your companions next to you.
Everything has been studied, memorized, and memorized again. All risks have been minimized: good weather for good flight, darkness for the least detection, and most of all, total secrecy up to even the highest levels.
Normally, a dark night would chill the common soldier. But not only are you each bundled in winter gear, but you are covered in pouches and bags. Every inch of your body is holding essential equipment: potions, armor, as well as key supplies for the resistance.
You and your companions are anxious. Every one of you knows this could be that last time you set food in allied soil, this past festival perhaps the last holiday with family. All letters have been mailed, prayers and religious tokens made, and final arrangements handled.
My character is an orphan… so he just twiddles his thumbs.
Can my character do knife tricks like in the movies.
My character gotta take a dump lol.
I planned for my character’s backstory to meet his beloved in the resistance… so can he be writing poetry about it?
And so you sit, waiting for the go-ahead signal and this long term special operation to commence. One of you twiddles their thumbs, another prays, another rubs a trinket from a loved one, another simply smokes his pipe in silence.
One by one, you each notice the faint galloping of hooves. In time a human courier races up on horseback, bounds off his horse, and speeds up to the general. Giving a salute, he hands him a document. The general opens, scans, and looks up to his dragon born lieutenant, and nods. The dragon born lieutenant, flanked by guards and a novice wizard, calmly walks up to your group, and simply says “The time is now”.
Laden with baggage, the guards help each of you to your feet, and escort you to the middle of on open field. As they dismiss, the dragonborn lieutenant opens a pouch and removes several glowing rings. He personally removes your gloves, fastens the ring to your finger, and refits your glove. He then pulls out a large compass and fastens it to your wrist.
As he does so, he explains: “You will be going due south of our position, to the region of Hathersage. After 4 hours of flight, the necklaces will emit a single bell sound. When that happens, look for a blinking torch; that is your rendezvous point with the local militia.”
“Be ready: they might have been infiltrated by sympathizers to the Hobgoblin cause, and for all we know you could be walking into a trap. Call sign is “Brush”, to which you will reply “Weeds”. A member of the resistance will have your exact same flight necklace.”
As he takes a step back, a wizard steps forward: a well dressed elven man with a wand and spell book. As you wonder if he is truly gifted in magic or simply entered the university to avoid the front, he gets on his knees, opens his spell book, and begins his incantations.
Magic slowly radiates out from the book, focusing more and more intensely upon his wand. After about ten minutes, his wand brimming with arcane energy, he slowly gets to his feet and pulls out a bird’s feather and piece of straw. Touching them to his wand, she then places them in your mouth and instructs you to inhale… deeply.
Suddenly, your lungs feel filled ten times their normal capacity… as though air were too dense. One after the other, she casts “Altitude Breathing”, and the guards come and place glass goggles and wool masks across your faces.
“Altitude Breathing” isn’t a spell… water breathing is, but not altitude breathing.
Give him a break will you?
When all is finished, the Lieutenant steps forward and orders each of you to raise your ring hand. As you do, he lifts up a stone, which the wizard touches with her wand, causing each of the rings to glow, and each of you to levitate briefly.
Once you land again, he walks up to each of you, looks you right in the yes, and firmly shakes your hand.
“Good luck, and with luck we’ll all be home by the winter solstice”
And with a nod, each of you soar off, and head to war.
Winter solstice = Christmas.