Points of Light
The world you know…
Eons ago, the world faced destruction. Your legends don’t teach you what brought civilization to such a sorry state, and if it was known at all, that knowledge has faded with time. The world you grew up in is small, because your world is made up of four cities. For you (and for those around you) the world ends at the outskirts of these cities you have grown up in. Three of the four cities are surrounded by a ribbon of farmland, and the farmland comes to an abrupt halt where it touches an almost imperceptible wall. The “wall” looks much like an enormous soap bubble, an iridescent film stretching up, and up, but slowly curving in towards the center of the city, where it comes together.
That wall is your salvation. Like a cat that has grown bored of the fish in an aquarium, monsters of every sort come and gaze through the wall from time to time. Lone orcs, goblins, trolls, and from time to time something more exotic. You recall how one of your childhood companions claims to have seen a shiny green dragon gazing longingly through the wards for hours before slithering away into the forest.
At the heart of each city lies a courtyard. These courtyards are what have enabled the four cities to thrive, after a fashion, for generations untold. Each courtyard has an enormous ring of standing doorways carved from stone. Most of the stone doorways are nothing more than rubble, vines crawling over their remains. Fortunately, three still stand. Each standing doorway, when walked through, brings you to one of the other cities. These portals are what have kept your world alive long enough for history to be forgotten, and legends to fade into vague recollections. Each of the cities provides enough trade to comfortably support healthy trade between itself and the other cities. Live has been comfortable, if not luxurious… but now the winds of change are blowing.
Recently, farmers have reported that the wards have been slowly but surely closing in on their land. No more than inches a day, but that is enough to give the elders pause. None of the cities have any kind of military to speak of, and just a few days ago, something terrifying was reported: A farmer went to milk his cows, only to find that one of them had been killed in the night by some kind of beast… in a land where not even so much as a wolf has been seen (outside of the zoo that one of the cities boasts) in centuries. No preditor was found, but now some people are locking their doors at night (if they live in the older structures), or purchasing locks to put on newer doors that have never known them.
For the last 3 days, the city elders have been convened to discuss the problem, but as of yet no public announcements have been made…