This campaign is about hope. It is about love. It is also about danger, flight and human growth. In this campaign the PCs will perform great heroics and feats of legend.
It will last longer than The Prophecies of Redemption and it will begin as "low to mid level" campaign.
We will follow the player characters on their desperate flight through the mountains and lowlands. There are those in pursuit that wish them ill and at times they will feel truly persecuted, haunted and with no chance for rest. But throughout the campaign there will come sanctuaries wherein they can find peace, if but for a short period of time.
The story will be about several kinds of love: Marion’s love for the father who fled and her love for the baby boy, Camhol. It will be about their love and sadness for their home village, which is utterly destroyed and the villagers massacred in the opening scenario. The Campaign is also about growing hope and periodical setbacks, but by the time they reach the sacred Ulukhan and the Unkaralth Citadel the Elves have raised there, they should have good faith and grand visions of things to come; they should be burning with passion and hope!
In the South, the Imperial Diviners are crying. Their feet and hands are shackled, and their senses have been stretched across time and space. They are desperately searching for an answer they know they won’t likely find. By decree of their lord, the Caliph-Emperor and his Sil’Durhite Priesthood, they are considered the cause of the chain of events now unfolding. For through their divinations an old prophecy has been awakened. According to the old scrolls "... a saviour will be been born, a child thought to be the son of the Sun God himself. The coming of this child will be accompanied by loss, love and miraculous events. By his hand shalt the ancient Empire be sundered and by his hand shalt the Church of the White Tower fall." The Imperial Astrologers claim that these visions are speaking of the sundering of the Empire and the fall of the Church of Sil’Durhon.
Thus the Caliph-Emperor has declared war on the Kingdom of Silmaroth; his outriders rides to the north with speed born of panic and fear. The Imperial Legions pour across the borders, flooding into the unprepared lands of Silmaroth, and they won’t stop until the divine spawn is slain and the Imperial Order restored.
Though our tale does not follow the Imperials and the despair of the Emperor, no: This time the perspective will be that of the humans of the Valdenoor Village in the western Cyllerean Mountains in the southern part of the Northern Kingdom of Silmaroth. Their lives have always been quiet, and the only real dangers have been wolves eating their sheep, lack of winter supplies and the avalanches common during spring melting.
Fate has a surprise in store for the sleepy village of Valdenoor, and when the ancestors deliver a dire warning through the dreams of the shaman, the villagers are deeply concerned. Several seasons pass and nothing happens, the warning is forgotten and life is tranquil. And then one winter, a handsome man pass through the village, his face angelic and his personality winning. He stays for a while, and is quickly accepted. He hunts with the men and they return with deer and moose, mountain bear and salmon. During the evenings, he tells stories of strange nations and even stranger beasts. The men admire him and the elder’s daughter, Marian, falls in love.
After one night of burning passion, the stranger departs before dawn, leaving behind a heartbroken, pregnant girl of fifteen. As her belly grow, so does the rumours of war. The southern empire has invaded and their scouts are asking for directions to a village called Valdenoor.
When the campaign begins, Marian has just given birth. Her son is much like his father, with an unearthly beautiful face and silvery blue eyes. Marian and her baby are happy and her father very nearly forgets that she is not wed.
The Protagonists (Player Characters):
(Purposely short in description, to leave room for player interaction)
Iraedus. The Mountain Shaman Apprentice
He is the son of the Mountain Shaman and the spiritual leader of the group. He is 25 years old and wise for his years. But the burden of leadership rests heavily upon his shoulders and jealousy gnaws from within(jealous of Maethir, the warleader of the group). He has also dreamt of the baby boy of Marion, and how he is in danger.
Maethir. Templar Knight of Fhalgharod?
Maethir is the black sheep of the village, a drunkard thrown out of the village in dishonour. One year ago he returned gloriously to the village, a Templar Knight of Fhalgharod. His clothes were stained with blood and his wounds grievous. He has since been elected guardian of the village and sits on the left side of the elder during village council. But he guards a dark secret, an awful truth that is threatening to destroy everything he has attained. He is 44 winters old.
Untha. Huntress of Valdenoor.
Untha is a young girl, 19 winters, and already a promising huntress. She is skilled with bow and spear and eager to prove her worth. But her family history is haunting her and she is judged by her lineage. This has made her vow to redeem herself in the eyes of the elder.
Misha. Holy Guardian of Fhalgharod
Misha is a young boy of 17 winters. He is the new Holy Guardian of Fhalgharod. He has been entrusted with the safety of the newborn as they begin their sojourn through the mountains. His vows of chastity will be put on test as his desire for Marion grows on the journey.
Juergen is a big man, by any standards. At 18 winters, he is the youngest champion the village has ever known. His pride is great and his arrogance even greater. He has no use of the old and weak. He already knows everything there is to know and he has come to know that age is weakness.
Objectives of this campaign:
-The baby boy must survive and be delivered to the elves in their sanctuary.
-The PCs will follow Marian and witness her despair. It is important that they sympathize with her plight and that they get doubts concerning the purity of the Sun God.
-The PCs will be confronted with several dangerous situations in which they have a chance to save the day. Their actions in these instances will be important later*.
-The PCs will hear of and encounter the Mercenary Captain Stefan Karro, a soldier who will earn both their respect and love. Stefan will, possibly alongside the PCs, become a hero of the people. Someone that will make the PCs breathe a little easier each time they meet him.
-The PCs will witness many, many omens and signs of things to come.
-They will get their first clues as to what is really going on.
-The PCs will fight alongside comrades, meet very nice and loveable people and get a reprieve from the dark atmosphere of the previous (and following) campaign.
-The PCs will grow up. (I aim to make this campaign run for the next couple of real life years and even more years in the setting)
*In this campaign I will use a table to keep track of the PCs actions. Every action, noble and ignoble, will count and have consequences partly in this campaign and primarily in the third. The action will be recorded along with the location where it was performed, the number of witnesses and the groups that will take notice.
This campaign will determine which alliances might be available in the future and how well loved the PCs will be.
The following is a partial list of those factions that will be affected by the PCs actions(will be expanded):
-The people of Silmaroth
-The people of the southern Empire
-The Caliph-Emperor of the Southern Empire
-The crown of Silmaroth
-The royal advisors of the High King of Silmaroth
-The mountain tribes of the Cyllereans
-The church of Fhalgharod (The sun god)
-The knights and church of Sil’Durhon (The imposter god)
-The Mherakian Knights (The god of War)
-The cabal of the Caarthian
-The sisters of Th’eresh
-The dwarven clan of Khor-Urkhil
-The Holy Order (The Hexenjaegers)
-The sleeping wyrm of Asdarien Vale
-The Asdarien Coven
-Stefan Karro’s Black Hawk Mercenary Company
All Scenarios attached to this Campaign will appear below once they have been finished.
Additional Ideas (1)
This Campaign is played during a major invasion of the Kingdom of Silmaroth. Supplies will be scarce and travel will be dangerous. It is vital that the GM is clear and concise when he describes the players and their equipment, and it is equally important that the PCs tell the GM about everything that they bring along. When my players ran away from Valdenoor, they brought along tents and winter blankets and water and rope and just about everything, but they forgot to bring along food. As a result they nearly starved to death and had to enter the lowlands in search for food.
Skills are vital on this journey and a skilled hunter can save the PCs much trouble. Marksmanship is normally not enough: You got to know how to properly butcher the animal, and also know whether it is edible or not. Other skills of use are: herbalism, plant lore, mountaineering, fire building, and all other wilderness skills. Navigation is cool too and so is tracking and bartering.
The Saviour Child:
The PCs will be guarding Marion and her child throughout this journey*. At the beginning of the journey the PCs will not realize why the child is sought by enemy soldiers, but will be guarding the elder's daughter and her bastard infant on behalf of her father, the Village Elder. Some strange occurrences will happen on the journey:
-The presence of the infant will make wounds heal somewhat quicker, but only when danger threatens.
-The presence of the infant might cause "miraculous recovery" of wounded individuals, perhaps even dead ones.
-The presence of the infant might cause undue attention. Nothing spoils an ambush like an infant crying with stomach pains in the bushes.
-The presence of the infant will complicate battle significantly. Not only must the PCs vanquish their foes; they must also defend Marion and her boy.
*(if you do not like the name Marion and her close resemblance to the bible, change her name. I use the name due to the psychological effects it will have on my players. I am nurturing some misconceptions about this child, making them blindly believe the baby is the chosen one. All GMs should know that the child as a matter of fact is NOT a saviour, but something else entirely. This will not be revealed during this campaign and is a fact that will not be clear before the end of the third campaign: the Dark War, when the "Saviour" will discover the true meaning of his existence. By that time a PC will be playing the "Saviour", if he is still alive (yes, the baby might die)
On the Run:
The infant child is sought. In the beginning the very army of the Empire will be dogging every step the PCs take. Their flight will be head over heels and several sessions will pass before the players might breathe easier. At some point the pursuit will drop noticeably and a quiet of sorts will descend upon the group. But this only means that the PCs have escaped far enough into the Kingdom and the martial arm of the empire cannot reach them anymore.
Now the group will be dogged by assassins instead. Small taskforces of 10-40 hunters clad in white winter cloaks with bows and white feathered arrows will be seen in pursuit, tracking the group amongst the snowy peaks. In the cities stalkers will crawl through the alleys, waiting for a chance to snatch or murder the newborn baby. Wizards will be travelling in front of the party, infecting the countryside with strange plagues just to get at the baby and old friends will tell the PCs of unsavoury men asking too many questions. The PCs will be hunted to the very doorsteps of the Unkaralth Citadel, a location I expect my group to reach three real life years after the launch of the Campaign.