Act I

Defend the Academy!

It’s new initiates day at the academy, much to the dismay of Instructor Werrak Durdom. He has done this more times than he can count (although that’s not saying much), and has grown more impatient over the years. Sick of the banter from the excited initiates, Instructor Warrek yells at them all to shut up. He checks out the initiates, one by one, and spits on the ground in front of them when he’s done, showing them how much he hates initiates.
Instructor Warrek gives a speech to the initiates: “welcoming “ them all to the academy, introducing himself, telling them what they’ll be doing at the academy; the usual. However, he also tells them that he wishes he could just send them all home. But he reluctantly takes them to the Academy’s main quarters, where the initiates are checked-in, assigned living quarters, and registered for a class of their choosing.
Afterward, Instructor Warrek leads them to the Academy’s training area, where the recruits are assessed for their skills, abilities and feats. He claims to see very little potential for any of them, and lets out a long sigh, remembering the old days of the academy, when Sir Noehri would hand-pick only the finest recruits… After catching himself daydreaming, he gives them a quick tour of the grounds. The last thing to do is give the initiates their equipment. They are each supplied with a basic melee weapon; a basic bow; the standard initiate armor; a sleeping bag; the necessary books for study; and a backpack to keep their things in. And with that, they are sent off to the dormitories for the rest of the day off. In the dormitories, another initiate starts chatting with our protagonists: Casi Grumsfeld, a half-elf rogue.
If the PCs wish, this next part is a tutorial, to get them familiar to combat, adventuring, using skills, etc. This part is completely optional, and if they decline the tutorial, then skip ahead to the dungeon. Again, they may decline to do that, and if so, skip to graduation.
For months, the initiates’ weapons barely touch anything other than their hands and sheaths. From early morning until late in the night, they are in constant motion; running, jumping, push-ups, climbing, everything. If they fail to keep up, they meet the end of Instructor Warrek’s whip. The conditioning is hard, and many drop out, but the ones left standing are much better people than when they first arrived. This grueling conditioning only gets worse once the initiates begin combat training. They are taught many strategies and tactics, but are constantly beaten by the trainers, who make Instructor Warrek seem like a kitten.
Although every initiate has it rough, the magic-users have it even worse. The time that others spend sleeping, the magic-users spend studying spells and magic history. On top of that, all magic-users are required to attend both combat training AND magic training.
Once the initiates get used to combat, then they are introduced to wilderness survival. Here, they learn skills such as tracking, hunting, gathering, starting fires, setting up camp, etc. The initiates do not see any form of civilization for a few weeks.
The basic training ends, and the initiates can now enter their first dungeon, set up with forest-dwelling creatures, basic traps, and mediocre treasure and secrets, to get the recruits to apply all their training.
End of tutorial
It’s finally graduation time, and Instructor Warrek could not be prouder of his work. He’s standing in the back, with a huge smile on his face, as he watches his initiates become full-fledged adventurers. Instructor Warrek suddenly hears a loud calamity coming from the outside, and sees a black-clad intruder running on the second floor. He yells, “WE’RE UNDER ATTA-“, before an enormous boulder smashes through the wall, right on top of him.
The now-adventurers watch as a huge number of these black-clad intruders flood into the Academy, and now must use all of their training, in order to defend their new home from this threat. After fighting what seems like endless hordes of enemies (around 7-8 waves), a miniature titan bursts into the academy, hitting and smashing everything and everyone in its path.