Alice, Lee, and Sam are playing Amiri, Lem, and Sajan, and decide to set up a shortened version of their next scenario, 1A: Plans Gone Wrong. Alice pulls out the storybook for The Dragon’s Demand, opens it to that scenario, and reads the story text aloud. She notes that to win, the party needs to close all the locations before the hourglass expires.
For 3 characters, the scenario uses the locations Ruin, Tower, Oubliette, and Laboratory, so Lee gets those from the vault and sets them out in the play area. Because the group opted for a shorter game session, Lee and Sam choose to build all 4 locations using the small deck list on each location card.
Alice prepares the story banes listed by the scenario, setting aside the danger Collapse and, since it is listed with a proxy, the henchman Elemental. Since there are 4 locations, she shuffles together a 4-card story bane stack including Kobold Champion, Diabolical Imp, Clockwork Guardian, and a copy of Proxy A (representing the Elemental). Sam shuffles 1 card from the story bane stack into each location deck. Lee takes 30 random blessings from the vault to create the hourglass.
Alice places the pawn for Amiri at the Oubliette, since it is loaded with things to fight with and against, and is closed with Fortitude, a skill that she has. Sam opts to start at the Tower, hoping to put Sajan’s Perception skill to good use. Lem is an effective helper, so Lee decides he will join Amiri at the Oubliette. They leave the Ruin and the Laboratory unoccupied for now.
Everyone draws starting hands. Amiri’s hand size is 4, so Alice draws 4 cards. She gets a Longspear, matching her favored card, so she’s ready to go. Lem’s favored card allows Lee to choose any card type; at the Oubliette, damage suffered is increased by 1, so Lee chooses “spell,” hoping to get a Soothing Word. He draws his hand size of 6 cards, but doesn’t get any spells. He sets aside his hand and draws 6 more cards, this time getting both Lightning Touch and Soothing Word. He shuffles his set-aside cards back into his deck, and he’s all set. Sajan favors blessings and his hand size is 5, so Sam draws 5 cards, getting both a Prayer and an Orison. Sam offers to take the first turn.