Introduction: A Cold Opening
We open with an action shot. A flock of crows erupt from a dead tree. Cawing angrily, they fly off into a leaden sky. The birds appear to have been disturbed by a loud noise, the echos of which still boom amid the tall hills. We are in snow covered highlands – the rugged beauty of which is marred by a plume of black and orange smoke.
A brightly painted covered wagon lies on its side, with goods scattered about it. A stand is attached to the roof of the wagon. On the stand is a device of some kind – tube of brass, festooned with knobs, dials, and gears. At one end of the tube spots a pair of handles, the other end emits the smoke along with sporadic showers of multicoloured sparks. On the side of the tube is a plaque bearing the legend ‘Confusticator Mark I’
Lying in a semicircle, amid the debris sounding the wagon, we find our heroes. Lifting their faces from the snow they are confronted by an irate portly fellow in colorful clothes. He has ginger hair with a bald pate, and sports a large mustache – waxed into a careful handlebar. He is squeezed into a purple doublet, yellow hose, and knee high boots of black leather. A red top-hat completes his ensemble. As he throws said hat to the ground he exclaims “Well, what are you waiting for?”
He angrily gestures towards a bevy of little figures disappearing into the heather. These are ugly wee creatures – half human height. Scrawny bodies of a greenish hue, dressed in earth coloured rags. Large hairless heads with large misshapen ears. Broad faces set with beady red eyes. Wide evil grins revealing pointed yellow teeth. Some carry boxes, and others kegs. One group escorts a brace of ponies harnessed together.
This fellow, lets call him ‘Moustacio’, apparently expects some action from our heroes. But they only look back at him in bewilderment. It is if they they have no idea who he is, how they came to be here, and only a vague recollection of who they are.