Sure barnaby was a dreamer, and he imagined himself here in the throne room many a time. The dream unfortunately, was vastly different from reality. Instead of standing at the king's side, dressed in finery, and adored by all, he stood far from the monarch, and among a scrum of ragamuffins no less! Why, the man next to him looked as if he had just been pulled from a jail cell.
The king coughed into his liver-spotted hand and waved at an austere woman at his side who could be none other than his wife, Queen Arigatha. She was a severe woman and had the look of command about her that her husband lacked. It didn't take a moron to figure out who was really in charge of this kingdom. Arigatha clapped a ring bedecked hand and many page boys filed into the room with mysterious golden trays laden with scrolls. Each scroll went to a different person until each vagabond held a rolled piece of parchment that bore the royal seal. Barnaby was about to tear his open, but the queen began to speak.
"Before each of you open your scroll, please wait a moment." Her voice was as cold and sharp as the planes of her face. It cut into each of the men and made them almost shiver. The entire group went still as the grave, hoping that they would stay out of theirs a moment longer.
"As you all know, the princess has been spirited away to an unkown place and our most skilled mages and warriors cannot find her. Because of this, we have decided to take a rather..Unconventional approach to this problem. Gentleman, and ladies, you are not the best, but your talent cannot be denied."
The crowd filled with a quiet rustle of anticipation that quickly subdued as the queen continued. "Each of you have been given a scroll bearing the name of the party you will join to find the Princess Arianna. Every group has one warrior, one scholar, one mage, and one other person whose skills are unknown. Some of these people stand here in this room. Others, are out on the search for her lady as we speak. It is your goal to find these people and to continue searching. You may now open your scrolls."
Barnaby ripped open his scroll almost childish in his eagerness and frowned.
"Condrad?Who might that be?" he said aloud.
"Barnaby Wakefeld, what sort of name is that?" Barnaby jolted at the sound of his name and turned until he was looking at the same ruffian who looked like he'd escaped from a jail cell.
The two men looked at each other and neither was happy with what they saw. It would be a long journey indeed.