When the granary of Hommlet burned down, the villagers had nothing to sell and no provisions for winter. So they chose some of their daughters and sons to enter the cursed tomb that had been up in a mountain valley forever. Others had tried to brave it before but never returned, and no one had been desperate enough to try since. But winter was looming, and the unknown fate of an adventurer was preferrable to starving quite predictably. And so they set out.
WIthin the tomb they found mostly curses and traps. Some ended up disfigured by the events, and the dwarf remains buried below the stone door at the entrance to this day. But they pushed on – past magic mouths, past the corpse of one of the last daring adventurers, into the depths. They fought skeletons. And here the goose revealed itself, in the hour of need, as the farm girl named Clio distracted the undead minions to save one or two comrades from certain death. Thus the Fellowship of the Goose was born, especially since the duck proved to be too independent to be thrown into any old fountain or pool after another, and hence did not make a good mascot.
Magellan the Elf was one of the few unlucky enough to truly expire, as he explored a dark shaft to its end, only to be gruesomely eaten by whatever – we may never know – lurked at its end. Drugo the Halfling knew discretion was the better part of valor and retreated hastily, and the whole party explored other venues.
Ambrose, a cooper by trade, was the first to explore down another hallway, past the arch with the glowing runes. Several followed before the hideous nature of the arch was revealed, bending their will to fight one another. Luckily it was mostly a brawl, but when one of their lot wanted to hit the possessed Ambrose with a crowbar, he fought back in kind, ending her journey forever. In the end, the unconscious and wounded were retrieved, and the room down the stairs behind the arch turned out to be the burial chamber of the chieftain’s wife or a similar female dignitary. The jewelry they found on her withered bones was more than enough to trade for a winter’s worth of food.
Their purpose fulfilled they felt no further hunger for adventure and left the dark depths before any other harm could befall them. But adventuring is an acquired taste, and if you’re only looking forward to being an indentured servant for the rest of your days it turns out to be quite an appealing one. So 14 of them never returned from their trip to the nearest town, because some opportunities are better than none.