Character creation: Contact me if you are interested. I will send you 3 sets of statistics. Pick one set, generate a character, level 1, only Dragonlance races permitted (this means, in particular, no orc-kin. Contact me for information on Kender). I personally recommend using PCGen, but anything that results in a usefully formatted, accessible character sheet is acceptable.
Some world information: http://www.dlnexus.com/lexicon/14235.aspx
Note that the PCs are not aware of most of this - Knowledge(History) or similar skills might justify some knowledge of the Third Dragonwar, the Rise of Istar and its consequences, but the machinations of the Gods are completely off-limits to PCs.
“Damn idiots...” Corien lifted the visor of his armor up and gazed out over the battlefield. To say it was a massacre would be an understatement - the men of the duchal army had run straight into the teeth of a magical storm summoned to defend this keep. He had tried to warn them, but the order came from higher than him - take the keep, today. It would go uncompleted.
He lowered his visor again and gestured to his squad - ten mounted infantrists, armed similarly to him. “Keep weapons sheathed, keep the white flag raised, and hope they do not have plans for the wounded,” he rumbled as he kicked his own mount - an old gelding with enough battlefield experience and to make three or four of the lametta-bearers - into a trot. “Let's go rescue who we can, and then figure out how to extract ourselves from this contract. I signed up for a war, not for gross stupidity.”
Several hours later, they returned. Most of the army was scattered, but at least some of the casualties could be saved. One of the lametta-bearers - some rosy knight or another, Corien supposed - was already waiting for him. “Ah, the coward returns. I am glad to see at least you found the courage to rescue the men who got injured due to your failure.” Under his helmet, Corien bared his teeth. He could feel his gelding tense under him, and he was fairly certain most of his soldiers were not any happier than he was. “Be glad the Prince decided to dismiss you, rather than bring you up on charges. Your pay will be kept to pay your fine. You have three days to leave our lands, and never return.”
Corien's answer was to carefully remove the tabard with his employers colors, reach behind him to wipe his horse's ass with it, then dump it unceremoniously on the ground in front of the man. “That for your lands and your war. I was hired with promises of competence, not childish tantrums,” he snarled. “Three days, eh? Thanks to this misguided charge, all I need is three minutes.” His squad had crossed borders and started the journey to the nearest port in less than that time.
“So, now, Cap'n?” Fenald asked that evening, as they made camp, a day's worth of travel completed in four hours. “For what it's worth, the men agree with ya - but we got no supplies, precious little gold, an' I got not clue where we are.”
Corien grunted. “Won't need gold out here in the middle of nowhere. Can't eat it, can't drink it, can't burn it, and there ain't noone selling shit in miles. This was a border keep, not protecting a city. Normally, I'd go for the supply train of that pompous ass, but the one suggestion he took was to put it under heavy guard.” He made a face. “We need to get somewhere where a squad of heavy, mounted infantry can be hired. For preference for a competent marshal this time.”
Fenald nodded. “Problem is getting there, then finding a new contract, Cap'n. You got a map of the area?”
“One step ahead of you, Sarge.” Corien unfolded a large piece of vellum. “Not sure how good the mapmaker was, but it's what we got. According to this, it's three days to the nearest city. Restglen - never heard of the place before. At least it's got a harbor, so if all else fails, we can sign up as guards for some merchant again. It pays the bills, if nothing else.”
They found no work in Restglen - but passage to Caergoth, serving as oarsmen. It was not the first time Corien and his men had traded their armor for the oars to pay for travels...