Peribold and Hornsby, recent graduates of the Golden Order Magical Society, head out along a path through the woods which will ultimately take them back to Hornsby’s uncle’s house in the city of Cobblecleave. This is a natural decision as his uncle is Hornsby’s geographically closest relative. Peribold tags along as he does on most of his friend’s adventures (not to mention his family is much farther away). Just before nightfall, they come across an ambushed carriage. On closer examination, they find it is still being picked over by two goblin warriors, eyes glowing red in the amber twilight. Utilizing their rumored (and now known to be abundant) speed, the two goblins spring at the young mages, hissing and drawing crude iron short swords. Peribold, panicking, casts a powerful Armor spell on himself, giving his body the equivalent protection of a full suit of platemail but depleting most of his energy reserves. Hornsby, always the calmer of the two, surrounds himself with a magical wall of wind. This turns out to be the perfect action, and carried out in the nick of time, for the two goblins were about to display that other famous trait of their kind: a penchant for singling out and swarming individual opponents. As Peribold draws his longsword, he watches as the two goblins leap at and are buffeted away by the wall of wind. They fall to the ground several feet from Hornsby, stunned and blinded. Peribold wades in with his sword, making short work of one of the goblins. Another begins to run and is struck down by a magical bolt from Hornsby.
Regaining their composure, the two inspect the carriage and determine that a goblin ambush has taken place. A rough path off the road seems to have been created by the dragging of a human-sized body into the woods. Whether the body is of a captive or a corpse remains to be seen, but Peribold and Hornsby are determined to follow the trail where it leads.
First, though, Peribold requires a brief rest to regain some of the mana he expended so carelessly. His skill in recovery allows him to make the most of the fifteen minutes the duo set aside for rest and then they quickly strike out into the woods.