Overrun by monsters, the island of Esteria has become isolated from the rest of the world. A dark vortex surrounds the island, preventing any ships from entering or leaving its waters. A young adventurer, Adol Christin, hears of this and journeys to the port town of Medea and seeks passage to the island. In the town he meets a sea captain named Norton who gives him a job on the docks, promising to help Adol get to Esteria in return. After working for Norton for some time, Norton gives Adol a small boat with which to sail to Esteria. Adol heads that way, but the vortex destroys his ship. He is shortly after found on the shores of Esteria by a local named Slaf and nursed back to health. When he awakes, he is sent to speak with the fortuneteller Sarah Tovah who recognizes him as the hero of legend who will liberate Esteria from the forces of darkness. She gives him a crystal dagger, of which she knows nothing about but feels it will be important.