Our story begins with five disparate characters located all over the U.S. of A. All had a mysterious run in with a strange old man who banished them to a different realm. Monty and Quentin were discussing the prospects of fencing a car, after leaving they found themselves followed and banished by that figure. Zhao was assaulted (salted?) in a a bar. Leah was just trying to help, and found herself banished by the very patient who’s life she tried to save. Professor Xavier Benedict was met in his dingy office by the same man, and digging a sketch out of his trash the mysterious old man sent him on his way.
The characters awoke in a maze. Fifteen feet high walls and corridors just narrow enough to drive a car down (if you didn’t mind losing the rear view mirrors). Eventually they each found their respective ways towards the center of the labyrinth where there was a small patch of grass, a tree, and a man in Italian Renaissance garb, drinking from an endless cask of ale. This strange figure named himself as Vasilii. The tree gave fruit of many kinds: pears, apples, peaches, nectarines, oranges, lemons and limes, and many others besides.
From there the group made a trek North through the maze and emerged in a medieval town, ruled over by the idiot duke Gottfried, who’s adviser Glen Imayle was the power behind the throne. After they spent the night in an inn and found that it had changed its location, and numerous other details (Monty woke up with a window where there was none where he went to sleep) they moved to meet the duke Gottfried, and through him met Glen Imayle who revealed to them that they were certainly no longer on earth and that he himself hadn’t been there for two years by the time frame in this world, whatever it was. He also told them that others were trapped in this world, figures by the names of: Megalesius, Arachne, Tammuz, and Bunyip. According to Glen the man who’d sent them to this place went by the name of Tartarus, and this prison was named after him. While in Town they met the corpulent Brothel-master Godrick, who had a mysterious ring on his left ring finger, a black onyx cabochon who’s movement didn’t match the movement of the finger it was worn on. From there they continued on their way north, shifting now from traveling east to a slightly more north westerly direction with a trade caravan traveling to the desert.
After reaching the desert they crossed the first truly obvious “zone line” as Quentin quickly named them. They felt a sickness to their stomachs and noticed an immediate change in their environment, from grassy green hills to arid, sandy dunes and cracked earth surrounding them. They found themselves in a region where everyone spoke in an Australian accent and the world may have dropped right out of Mad Max. Likewise the equipment they’d found in the medieval area changed to a more suitable form here (e.g. the wagon became a pickup, the clothes they’d acquired changed to more suitable garments, etc). They traveled almost due west now, coming into contact with a violent group of natives in a pickup of their own. After being rejoined by the momentarily vanished Zhao they continued west. After finding themselves in “Bartertown” where the party of five purchased a van (one that Zhao had worked in some fifteen years ago) they continued on their way out of the cutthroat territory. As they were leaving they were attacked by a large number of men from the town, who’d seen the resources they’d carried through the town. As it was the battle was bloody, but none of the five died, due to the timely intervention of Bunyip, a fragile looking old man who slipped up behind their assailants and killed many of them.
Bunyip revealed to them that he and the rest of his group were “wizards” and provided proof by transforming into a polar bear. He suggested that Arachne’s methods of magic would be better suited to determining the nature of the world they were currently in, and accepted the party’s invitation to travel with them. Apparently their captor had created Tartarus specifically to imprison the five that Glen had told the party about though, and as a result, even though the rest of the party could pass easily through the barrier of the zone line it was physically impossible for Bunyip himself, and he had to be left behind. As they left Bunyip behind they saw pyramids in the distance.