You are the bodyguard of Rhas Al Birel - a lesser Efreeti within the City of Brass. You have been kidnapped/sold from your previous life, and are bound to indentured servitude for a few years. Perhaps you were criminals on your home Plane, forced into slavework as punishment, or maybe you even volunteered to work for the Djinn as a step-up into the world of Planar trade.
Regardless, you are his personal escort as he heads out into the Outlands with his trade caravan, flogging his wares - slaves, magical trinkets, and rare and valuable materials. But you will face problems getting there, nevermind what awaits you when you start trading...
Player characters should preferably be of some Elemental origin - see my posts on Genasi (Elemental, Para-Elemental and Quasi-Elemental). Mephits are also a cool idea - while you won't be as physically powerful as the others, you'll have a lot of crafty tricks up your sleeve (your elemental nature is far more ingrained, so you have more control over it, as well as better/far worse standing with some races). Elementals, or other Planetouched, such as Tieflings and Aasimar, are also possibilities.
Or they could just be Planars of any stripe, taken at the Djinn's whim or fancy. Play around with party composition to make the most interesting combo of characters!
While you are "bodyguards", this can mean many things - whether you're a sneaky scout, the fast-talking "face" for the group, a mage brought along to help with the more unusual problems, or even a merchant/accountant, there are planty of "retainer" roles you can take without having to just make a Fighter. And, with the joys of Risus, a Fast-Talking Tiefling Accountant could be better in a fight than a simple Barbarian!
- Before your caravan can even leave the City of Brass, you are harrassed by the Salamander gate guards - and trust me, you don't want to try and fight your way out. Maybe they are just being nosy, or does one of your group have a criminal past that's about to catch up with him at the tip of a sword?Magical trickery, some smooth talking, maybe even a bribe - what will you do to leave?
- As you travel the Outlands, you are hit by thieves - a band of Khaasta, known as mercenaries and warriors who take what they think is rightfully theirs, normally by force. How will you get your goods back? Even Rhas is somewhat iffy about taking them on in a straight fight...
- As you investigate your cargo, you discover that most of it is counterfeit. Has Rhas planned to pull a fast one? Has one of his rivals swapped the cargo to cause trouble? Will you still try and flog the dodgy goods to earn a little jink?
- Once you do find the Rilmani trading post, there could be any number of troubles, including Lower-Planar cross-traders travelling along, pickpockets and thieves, proxies of Powers of Batlle warring near the Spire, determined to show their true skill without resorting to Divine intervention, weird customs, or possibly other adventure hooks to turn the caravan into a travelling adventuring group!