As the youngest son of Baron Hardin of Clearkeep, John Wesley was expected to take up the priesthood, as his older brother was to inherit the estate. What son in his right mind wants to become a priest? John Wesley found his passion young, not yet out of his mid-teens. His hands longed or the touch of his father's prized possessions. His twin snaphances, bought as a novelty from a shady Dwaven merchant.
John Wesley found he had a knack for making the “thrice-damned things,” as his father called them, actually work. He pored through his family's library on books of alchemy, trying to find the right formula, and finally managed to learn their secret. Leaden shot was easy enough to come by, all one needed was some lead, a mold, and a little bit of fire. Okay, so the first mixture wasn't perfect. It happens, right? It was so powerful, it knocked him square on his backside. His second attempt was significantly less painful, but did little more than puff smoke from the barrels. His third attempt, however. Well, the “third time's the charm,” they always say. Well, usually; it actually took young John Wesley six tries to get the formula perfect. Now that it's committed to memory, he has all the powder he needs. As long as he can keep a steady supply of ingredients, most of which can be found at any common alchemist's shop.
And so, he worked on his aim with the pistols, and his aim was true. Why, that first bottle took no more than four shots to break! And he worked on it, and worked on it...and worked on it. Young John Wesley had learned to fire a pistol!
Now that he was prepared, he needed a sound plan. The priests were coming within a tenday to take him away. Well now, John Wesley had been a charmer ever since he came into his manhood. The chambermaids were always willing for a tumble, and young John Wesley was always willing to oblige. One certain chambermaid was always more willing than the rest, and it was to her that John Wesley went late one evening. With a pack full of supplies, he begged her to hide him in the bottom of the cart with the week's washing.
And so, young John Wesley hared off into the Black Wood which surrounds Clearkeep. They always said it was full of witches, and spirits. They may be wrong. John Wesley will never know, so fast did he make his way north through the Wood. Within days, he had struck the road toward Keppelshire. Young John Wesley had no idea that Keppelshire was more than a week by foot, and arrived in Keppelshire weary and footsore. He longed to rest his bones by a fire, and sleep in a bed. Never in his long, hard 16 years of life had he read an adventure where the hero was weary and footsore at the end of a week. Well, it's time to write a new adventure, then, isn't it...