After creating characters, before beginning play, we worked out some backgrounds for the characters. A lot of the backgrounds, particularly the things all four had in common, were provided by the DM, but the players added their own details as well.
The heroes were orphans, raised separately, with little knowledge of their birth. Rock was raised in a monastery orphanage located underground; Snow in a small university located on the edge of a vast swamp; Mistral in a mixed human and elven village in the treetops of an ancient forest; Nift in a noble’s court of a great imperial metropolis.Though their early lives and homes were different in many ways, they did share a few common experiences:
- Each had a jann tutor from the Al-mira tribe, who came to visit periodically.
- Each learned the language of their element (instructed by his tutor).
- Each manifested an elemental power at an early age. Along with the manifestation of the power, each developed a runic mark on his body which glows when he uses the power. Later, each gained a second power accompanied by a second mark.
- Each accompanied the tutor to several gatherings known as “Festivals of the Garden”. The four met each other on these occasions. From their first meeting, they felt a strange familiarity. “You are all brothers – in a way,” one of the tutors remarked.
- Each was given a mysterious item by the tutor and instructed to meditate on it. Eventually, this meditation had a surprising result. The item disappeared; as it did, each felt a connection forming with a distant, elementally charged place…