We kick things off at the front gate of New Sorpigal. The game date is January 1, 1165. Despite this, it actually appears quite spring-like in this area (graphical limitations for the win).
The first move is to go through our inventories. We equip the crude weapons we start with, memorize spells from the spell tomes we begin with also, and then check our rings. Each character starts with one ring, which may or may not be magical. As it turns out, two of the rings are enchanted. One of them is simply a +1 Armor Class ring, and thus not very useful, but the other provides a very nice boost of +5 Endurance. We give this ring to Toblerone, and as for the other ring...it gets tossed to Eno.
With that done, we head into town. The central fountain has healing powers, so Toblerone takes a few drinks (putting on the +Endurance ring only increased his maximum HP, not his current total). We then head to the well on the west side of town, and everyone takes two drinks from it. The well provides a +2 permanent Luck boost to whoever drinks from it, but comes with two restrictions: Your party only gets a total of 8 drinks from said well, and it doesn't have any effect if the character's Luck is 15 or higher. This is why it was set up with each character's Luck attribute at 12, making it so every character is able to get their Luck to 16.
Having done this, we head to the local tavern to meet Andover Potbello, who is supposedly the local agent for the sinister Cult of Baa (although how they manage to be sinister with a name like that is beyond me). He was the original recipient of the letter we have obtained, and was instructed to give gold to the person who showed him said letter. In the interest of making the Cult of Baa look like complete idiots, we show the letter to him and receive 1000 gold, revealing him as indeed a Baa follower.
Potbello also has a request for us: the first side quest of the game. Yay! Said quest sounds simple enough: retrieve a lost candelabra from the Abandoned Temple of Baa to the west. However, this quest is a little too advanced for us at the moment, so we file it under "do this later".
Heading out of the tavern, we walk across the street to the stables. Snooping in the stalls (at least, what is supposed to be stalls, graphical limitations again) gives us two horseshoes. Deciding not to use them yet, we talk to the stable master and arrange for a two-day carriage ride to Castle Ironfist, the seat of the Ironfist dynasty.
Arriving at the castle town, we snoop around the supposed stalls of this stable and find two more horseshoes. The castle town is divided into two halves: the lower half, which is where we are now, and the upper half, which sits on an acropolis and is where the castle itself is.
We head up the path to the acropolis and make a beeline for the castle. We are ushered in without delay, and come face to face with Wilbur Humphrey, the elderly regent (Queen Catherine is away visiting her homeland in order to attend her father's funeral, among other things), and crown prince Nicolai Ironfist. Ignoring the clearly bored crown prince, we speak directly to the regent.
The elderly Humphrey apparently has a lot on his plate already, and seems distracted, although not distracted enough to not reward us for the information we had. Thus we are 5000 gold richer, but Humphrey is still worried. Between dealing with running the kingdom, attending to Nicolai, and trying to locate the various missing people like King Roland and Lord Kilburn...wait, who's Lord Kilburn?
Apparently he was a noble who vanished near the town of Blackshire, and the regent is determined to find him (or proof of his demise) and wants us to help. In return he promises that he will being willing to compensate us greatly, even giving us his favor on the High Council if need be.
Some background: The High Council consists of the representatives of the six foremost nobles of the kingdom. Obtaining the collective favor of the High Council is (dun dun dun) the first step on the main quest. As you can guess, there are six quests you must do before you can get this favor, and Humphrey, being one of said nobles, has just given us the first one.
We also discuss the nature of paladins, and Humphrey says he will be willing to promote us to honorary Crusaders...provided we rescue a Damsel in Distress first. While initially he is unspecific about how to do this, he eventually lets on that he heard that Melody Silver has been abducted by "ruffians" on the island of Mist.
Sadly, we have to file both of these under "do it later" also. Leaving the castle, we head down into the lower town. It's now time to start joining guilds, and the house just at the base of the hill is the place to start. Inside lives Andrew Besper, who can grant us access to the Berserker's Fury guild, all for a one-time payment of 50 gold! <Insert Billy Mays joke here, despite it possibly being Too Soon>
Besper also has yet another quest for us: recovering a lost harp from a group of brigands. Sadly, we are left to wonder if someone will ever actually give us a quest actually in line with our (limited) talents.
Conviently enough, the local branch of Berserker's Fury is right next door, so we head over. Guilds can teach their members how to use new skills, in exchange for cash. This guild, focuses mainly on armor skills. We pick up Plate Armor and Repair Item for Toblerone; Chain Armor for Cate; Chain Armor, Shield, and Bow for Huaryu; Bow for Eno. Each of these sets us back 500 gold.
I would also like to issue a correction. Apparently Druids can learn the Shield skill after all. Not that Eno would actually end up using one, but still...sorry.
We head to the nearby weapon shop. Most weapons shops tend to specialize in a particular weapon type, and this one happened to pick bows. We buy two cheap crossbows for Huaryu and Eno, and sell off the useless clubs every character starts with.
Unfortunately, the Cult of Baa has wised up to us. A small group of their members are now entering the town, intent on our deaths. Will we be able to prevail?