When I first got to Flying Lab, I talked about starting a lunchtime RPG group. Well, it’s taken me a year but I’m finally doing it. With the game content complete we have a little time to breathe, so it seemed like a good time. It was no great surprise to find out that the game they were most familiar with was D&D;, so I said the hell with it and decided to go with that. Call it a last hurrah for D&D3.;
I invited all eleven members of my department, figuring I’d end up with one good sized group. Ten of the eleven said they wanted to play. Since that’s way too big for a lunch game, I’ve split them into two groups and they’ll be adventuring in the same locale. This will allow for some crossover and the possibility of joint sessions for big events.
Two of the players have never played a tabletop RPG before, so I’ve decided to give them a taste of classic D&D.; For the first time in like twenty years I’m going to run a game set in Greyhawk. I’m adapting one of Paizo’s new modules, Conquest of Bloodsworn Vale, and working in other material (most notable Green Ronin’s Escape from Ceranir adventure). The adventure has a nice Keep on the Borderlands vibe and it’ll be easy to have two adventuring groups in the environment. I’m setting the game in the From the Ashes period of Greyhawk (hey, I’m a WFRP fan, I like Carl Sargent). Here’s the setup.
If this goes well, there’s plenty of adventuring opportunity in the liberation of the Lost Lands and the giant-haunted Crystalmist Mountains.
Chronicles of the Lost Lands
It is the year 585 in the calendar of the Great Kingdom. It has been dubbed the Year of Peace because the Greyhawk Wars have drawn to a close—and there’s a treaty to prove it. For three years war and chaos wracked all of Greyhawk. Nations fell, hundreds of thousands perished, and the forces have evil conquered vast swathes of new territory. In the Sheldomar Valley, the Kingdom of Keoland stands strong, but the nations of Geoff and Sterich were overrun by giants and savage humanoids. Now exiles from those lands and soldiers of Keoland have begun a campaign to reclaim these “Lost Lands.” They know that this is the Year of Peace in name only. A treaty may have been signed, but the war goes on and will do so until Geoff and Sterich are liberated.
The city of Flen is the center of the new military campaign. The soldiers there need tons of food and supplies to keep on the march. The economy of Keoland is straining to keep up. No only did the kingdom lose two trading partners, but also the influx of refugees from Geoff and Sterich increased the demand for goods and foodstuffs. The Yeomanry, whose citizen-soldiers defeated the giant and humanoid attacks, now has become Keoland’s key trading partner. Traditionally, such commerce has focused on the Javan River route, but this is a roundabout way to get to the Yeomanry capital of Loftwick. Not enough goods are getting to Flen and those that come take too long to get there. A faster route is needed.
It was Flen’s Merchant Guild that proposed the answer. Once there was a route through the mountains, they claimed, but it hadn’t been used for hundreds of years because it passed through the Bloodsworn Vale. A great battle was once fought there and it was said to be a place of ill omen. The guild masters convinced the military commanders that if the overland route could be reestablished, both Keoland and the Yeomanry would reap the benefits. The Freeholder of the Yeomanry agreed and so the plan was put in motion. Of course, with the military tied up in attacks against Sterich, few men could be spared to clear the vale of savage humanoids and other threats. So the call went out to mercenaries and adventurers to open the Bloodsworn Vale. They were promised gold, and the possibility of land and title. What adventuring party worth its ten foot poles could resist such an offer?