You’ve just arrived in the town of Solace, a town known far and wide across Ansalon for two things: its wondrous vallenwood
trees, the likes of which grow nowhere else on the continent, and for the famous Inn of the Last Home.
As you stand on a hill overlooking the town, you see the smoke from the home fires rising into the twilight. Your own home is far distant, for you have left it behind to roam the world in search of adventure, fame, and fortune. Perhaps you feel a little twinge of homesickness, thinking of your own home fire, now cold.
That feeling vanishes as you start the long trek down the hill into Solace and you gaze up in awe and wonder at the golden leaves of the vallenwoods, shimmering purple red in sunset. As you admire the autumn colors, you are astonished to see that the branches hold in their mighty limbs the dwellings and businesses of the people of Solace, for Solace is a city built in the treetops.
Wooden plank bridges connect the homes and businesses in a web of stout rope. People of many different races—humans and elves, dwarves and kender and gnomes—traverse the swinging walkways, going about their business.
As you climb the stairs leading up to the Inn, some of these people eye you suspiciously, for times
are troubled. You yourself have heard many dark rumors as you traveled the roads of Ansalon— rumors of armies of evil marching through the land, rumors of the return of the dread Takhisis, Queen of Darkness.
You have even rumors that dragons—creatures of legend—have returned to the world. Such stories make you—a seasoned traveler—smile. Children’s tales, you think.
You had hoped that, in Solace, you would find safe haven from the dangers of the road, but you are startled to see goblins in armor strutting about, looking important. These goblins actually have the nerve to stop to question you about a blue crystal
staff! It’s supposed to be magical and they demand that you hand it over. You know nothing of such a staff, and the goblins eventually march off. But the encounter leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
That taste is soon washed away by the legendary nut-brown ale served in the Inn of the Last Home. The inn is so large that it sprawls over several branches of the vallenwood tree and it is filled this evening with a great many people. A young
mage wearing the Red Robes of the Order of High Sorcery huddles close by the fire. A merry kender weaves his way among the crowd and you check to make sure you still have your coin pouch. A tall barbarian, clad in deerskin, talks in a low voice
to a beautiful woman, whose silver-golden hair gleams in the light. An old man tells tales of Huma and the fabled dragonlance. As you listen, a half-elf enters, accompanied by a dwarf and a knight in armor.
The half-elf sees you and calls out your name. You realize suddenly that you know these people, though it’s been a long, long time since you last met…
You settle in at your table, enjoying the warmth of the fire and the company of friends. A barmaid with fiery red hair serves up a plate of the Inn’s specialty—spiced potatoes. The smoke from the cook fire rises into the air and mingles with the mists of twilight.
There comes a thunderous crash on the door. An ugly hobgoblin charges into the room, accompanied by goblin soldiers. There is a flash of blue light.
The adventure of a lifetime is about to start.
You are about to find out that rumors of war are
true. Dragons are not children’s tales any longer.
The War of the Lance has come to you.