MeatShield chronicles the adventures of Dhur, a blissfully oblivious half-orc barbarian; Jaine, a half-elven bard graduate student; Ch’p, a halfling monk and pastry chef of the W’Shaa Monastery; Philonoth “Philo” Rhieune, master artificer and thief, and Becky Sourbottom, dwarven warrior and caber-tossing champion, as they adventure across the fantasy world of Ardris.
The Story So Far: Dhur and Jaine met in a bar when Jaine was looking for a great warrior to write her magnum opus about and finish her thesis for bardic college. They explored a ruined keep, fought many evil (or at least dubious) monsters, and returned to Kilanio, the capital of the country of Westhame, to find work.
Once there, they were tapped to locate Prince Jonus, who had absconded with the Scepter of Mular, a powerful magical artifact. After getting ripped off by a dwarf thief they had hired, Dhur and Jaine ended up in the city of Vedris, along the way making the acquaintance of Ch’P, halfling monk of the W’Shaa Monastery, whose life Dhur inadvertently saved, making Ch’p indebted to him.
After returning Prince Jonus to his father, King Franz, the group was commissioned by the king as a Royal Adventuring Company and sent them to Nailmoor, a remote mountain town that had requested aid against the marauding Gravel Giants. There they met the dwarven warmaiden Becky Sourbottom, who fought with them against the giants and found (and promptly lost) the Nailmoor Sledge, an extremely powerful magical hammer that was used to imprison a half-dragon fiend named Disparoxus.
Travelling to the W’Shaa monastery to research Disparoxus, the crew managed to depose Ch’p's evil half-brother, Day’l, and found out that Disparoxus was imprisoned in the underworld and has been using mortal proxies to gather the artifacts needed to free him.
Deciding to retrieve the other artifacts so as to deny them to the fiend, the team traveled to the orc realm of Tarokka, where Becky adopted a monstrous puppy named Vorpal. Dhur was killed by a disintegration rune in the keep of Borloth the Necromancer. Fortunately, Dhur got better and the gang retrieved the Claw of the Sands, one of the artifacts Disparoxus wanted.
The adventurers then traveled to the capital of Val’Dhar, Samilleve, where Jaine’s father, Noral’lasstas, is Archmage and ruler. Jaine learned how her parents met and that her mother, Cindra Petaldew, is currently in possession of the Verdant Mantle, the last artifact needed to ensure Disparoxus’ imprisonment. Jaine also met her new stepmother, Sora, as well as her little step-sister, Mari. Sora tells Jaine where her mother is and what alias she is using and Becky became a paladin …sort of.
Jaine returns to Kilanio and discovers that her mother, under the alias of Aneira Summerleaf, has risen to the lofty position of Royal Bard of Westhame. The group finds Aneira/Cindra to have mysteriously disappeared from her dressing room at the Royal Theater and are saved from arrest by Philonoth Rheiune, Jaine’s new “bodyguard.” Philo leads the group to a secret hideout under a perfume shop, only to reveal himself to be a shapeshifted Day’l, who then knocks the party out and imprisons them in the dungeons of the Cult of Disparoxus.
Dhur regains consciousness in a dungeon cell with the real Philo and breaks out of his cell in a berserker rage. The rest of the team breaks free and rescues Jaine’s mother, whom Jaine hadn’t seen in over 20 years. In attempting to escape, the team (minus Dhur) blunder into the ritual chamber where Day’l is working to release Disparoxus. As the ritual neared its peak, time slowed down so that Morridin, God of the Dwarves, could have a short chat with his reluctant paladin, Becky. After time started back up, Day’l double-crossed Disparoxus and tried to siphon the demon’s power alchemically, but is thwarted by Dhur, who hurls the magical concoction at the portal, closing it on the demon… literally.
RIGHT NOW: Jaine and the others escape back to the Royal Palace, where they discover that Aneira is involved in an interesting relationship. Aneira gives the Verdant Mantle to Jaine and the party collects a tidy sum for their efforts… not that they get to keep much of it.