See, the trick with games like this is talk to everybody. You mentioned that the cutscenes were incredibly short, but as a side effect important information is spread out across several NPCs. Also, in these games you need to explore a lot - there's crap everywhere to find. You ended up missing a lot of stuff.
Anywho, the first quest in DQIV for Ragnar was to save the children.
You're welcome, Kentona. As you can imagine the objective wasn't to progress very into the game as you can only get so far in 15 minutes or so. I figured I would get a better idea about the game if I wandered about then if I searched every nook and cranny to get better gear.
If I had more time, I would have played very differently :).