It's a time back when wars weren't uncommon among neighboring nations. (As if that's changed.) Depending on the number of people who play, the beginning may have to be hacked out a bit before starting. Generally, a pub is a good place to meet. Perhaps a character or two already knew each other.
The main trading city, Tahlis, is just what a trading city sounds like. Hustle and bustle from dawn to dusk. Traders and merchants all filling the air with their cries, trying to get business and chasing off the ragamuffins and pickpockets. There is the smell of food, beer, leather, and sweat everywhere you go. The pubs are never too far off, nor are the inns. As a matter of fact, the one is often a part of the other. A beggar may stop and ask for money as his friend tries to pick your pocket. Merchants will shove their wares in your face, bragging about how it's the best to be had and the least expensive.
There's talk in the Bull's Head Tavern. Well, there's talk everywhere. They say there's a terror in the mountains and the Emperor is willing to pay a fine price for its head. He collects anything that is unique or hard to come by, and he want this thing badly. Nobody knows what it is, just that it destroys entire villages in one fell swoop. It only comes down from the mountains twice a year on the Summer and Winter Solstice, but you never know where it will strike.
A band of strangers decides the best way to take this creature down is with a group. After all, nobody has tried in more than groups of two or three. Perhaps a larger group would be more successful.
There are villages to pass through on the way. It is a long journey to the mountains. A treacherous journey. Highway robbers, wolves, raiders, and other horrors of the wild will always try to run travelers down.
It takes place in a world I've been creating for quite some time, but never really used. The Emperor rules a large part of the continent, though by no means most. Some few of the nations have no government at all. Some are simply smaller versions of the Empire, though constantly at war with it. The only neutral ground, at least to the public eye, is Tahlis. Of course, there are still unspeakable things happening out of sight in back alleys and in the "slums." The Empire is involved in some of it, as all governments tend to be.