A recent ranch war has been settled by an fosters being given up by losing ranches – the fosters/hostages are being brought up as squires & pages in their new household. Shrill, arrogant & adventurous one bunch fine an old discredited treasure map in their new lord’s library. Off they go focused on treasure with dreams of returning the fortune to their proper home & restoring their home ranch’s fortunes.
The victorious rancher is appalled at this state if affairs – if anything happens to the little tykes he will be fighting the ranch war again – & he only won by the narrowest of margins last time. The errant youth have stole away at a time where Desert Raider war parties are on the rampage, displaced homesteaders are fighting a vicious guerrilla war against his herds and the ‘treasure’, is located in hills occupied by orcs!
To cap it all the treasure is allegedly guarded by the shade of the Lake Pirate it belonged to!
The PCs are hired to bring the pages & squires back alive & unharmed – despite the kid’s best efforts to the contrary.