With silent wings may your soul fly to the Spirit Home
The wind blows out of the West. It is warm and gentle. It rolls over the rough terrain. A man is standing, one foot on the soft sandy ground, the other stepping on the ruin of a once great column. He has a hawk upon his outstretched gloved hand. It takes flight. This is Aviansis. This is the Wings of Sand.
The Order of Serpenthia has been a social group that uses Sarethian motiffs. It has been a gentleman’s/ noble order for many years. It seems to center around supporting traditional values and forms, as well as respect for Elders.
In the land of Aviontix there are ruins. A lot of ruins. There are many sand buried cities, king’s tombs (They were a very religious people, focused upon their leaving to the afterlife), and huge statuary. However, Aviontix was a kingdom so long ago, that everything has been looted. (Figure there has been a whole historical epoch or two since then) There might be a hidden tomb or something somewhere in the lands, but it is unlikely. This does not stop people from selling maps to them all the time.
They were a very religious people, focused upon their leaving to the afterlife. They associated magical spirits/ gods with birds. It is difficult to determine if this was metaphorical or actual.
Aviontix is designed to be an "ancient kingdon" to be inserted into a game world as history. However, you can make it a current game world, if you want.
A brilliant and driven man, he has emerged as a major merchant from the sands of Aviansis (the hard lands of the Aviontix). He has other goals beyond mere successful merchantry. He does not want to take over the country, he wants the world… for the good of everyone.
This is a city deep in the hills of old Aviansis. The path to Merideth is magically obscured, so only those with the pathfinder’s gift can find it. The city is still bustling with souls after all these centuries. They trade with each other, make deals, sell things, and even send messages. Unfortunately only a few of them have warm bodies or heartbeats.
It seemed like a great place to camp. The clearing was good sized and sheltered from the wind. The brook just a few feet away. There is a natural hallow to keep the horses.
Then the night came.
It was like it became a different place. The temperature dropped. The wind, which does not seem to disturb cloth, almost cuts through you like an arctic wind. No one can sleep, as the soft ground has turned hard. The horses are uneasy. The Bats are flying over and stopping in the trees.
And then there is the eyes. There are glowing eyes just inside the tree line watching your group. The mages and clerics can detect nothing, but there is still something there.
(yet there is nothing at all... The Darkness will do nothing unless the players do something to it. And even then it will all seem to be a conincidence.)
Of course, in the morning, it all becomes sweet and light.