Thursday, May 12, 2016

Stânfolde Part 1 - Introduction

Here's an old campaign I successfully ran with a friend acting as co-DM. It was actually completed with the characters reaching 17th level and successfully sending Lucifer back to Hell. It was created out a desire to run a Diablo style game along with a lot of elements we wanted to add to the still somewhat new 3rd edition of D&D.

Below is the introduction to the setting. It actually ended up being somewhat incorrect and incomplete as we changes things about the setting while campaign progressed. Later I'll add the character creation document which is pretty much the only other collected source for information about the setting.

The map uses the central region from my favorite map and is specifically the original one mentioned in that post.

Ancient History

In the time before, all the world was a paradise surrounded by dreams and Heaven.  Man and beast lived in harmony and they all feared and worshiped the Creator and his magnificent Silver City.  However all was not well in the City as one of the seven chosen of the Creator, Lucifer, led a rebellion against his Lord and his brothers.  The reasons for this rebellion is unknown, perhaps not even Lucifer knows any more.  However the archangel and his followers were cast down from the Silver City in Heaven and they fell towards earth.
Lucifer and his followers pierced the world, going through it, and emerged on the other side. Where he passed he left corruption. The mortal realm there was blasted, the low spiritual realm turned dark and the realm of dreams turned to nightmare. Mortals now found themselves surrounded by both dreams and nightmares, light and dark spirits.
Still the Fallen went downwards until he found himself in a place the opposite of heaven.  It was barren and empty save for he and his followers.  Unrepentant and full and rage at his Master, Lucifer swore vengeance – swore to one day to return to the Silver City as lord and master.  What began then is what is known as the Eternal Conflict – Lucifer’s continual attempt to make his realm of Hell more powerful than that of Heaven.  This ongoing war is fought in dreams, in the spirit world and in the realms of man.  Sometimes it tips in the direction of one or the other, but never has one side ever some close to claiming victory.  For those on Earth, many have chosen sides in the Eternal Conflict and some have even made a difference.  For most, though, they simply live their daily lives unaware that a battle rages about them and hope to end their time on earth in peace…

Recent History
                Over one hundred years ago the Kingdom of Stânfolde was an important nation.  Sitting neutrally between two mighty empires who were continually at odds with each other it was made incredibly rich with trade.  Nestled comfortably between the Goodwine and Sylfren rivers, it was also blessed with rich farmland and natural resources.  Its leaders were wise and the people pious.  At least for a while.
                The major trading city of Caldhâm was the capitol of the kingdom and trade center between the two empires along the connecting river.  About five hundred years ago King Anandarân declared that he had made a deal that ensured that the kingdom would be prosperous forever more.  He stopped attending church services and rumors began that he was leading some dark ceremonies himself.  Civic leaders began to join him – those who refused disappeared.  The countenance of the people of Caldhâm darkened.  Churches began to close or mysteriously burn down.
                In the southern city of Sûthgeard, the leaders of the church and government grew greatly concerned.  The darkness that seemed to have overtaken Caldhâm seemed to be growing.  The dwarves of the Thunder Mountains reported that nothing had been heard of their kin in the Black Mountains for months and the elves of Iggath had likewise disappeared.  The south began to mobilize for war.
                And war did come.  Small skirmishes between cultists and strange beasts and demons began to occur throughout the south.  As the civil war formalized and battle lines settled, it was determined that few of the original inhabitants of the north still lived.  The army that the south now faced seemed to be comprised wholly of monsters and demons and it was massive.  They completely ignored the Old Road and headed across land towards Thunder Pass, only sending a token force to Brembur Ford.
                The leader of the southern armies, a dwarf named Tharam from the Thunder Mountains, proposed a bold plan.  The army of the dwarves, reinforced by the bows of the elves, would hold Thunder pass alone.  The bulk of the army would quickly defeat the foes at Brembur Ford and then come from behind to smash the enemy.  This was executed just as planned – the dwarves and elves held the pass for three days at a staggering loss of life, but when the main army arrived from behind the demon hordes had no chance.  Those that weren’t slaughtered fled to the Darkwood and the south was saved from the immediate threat.

Modern Times

                Today, there is no more Kingdom of Stânfolde.  The land was so shattered by the war that only the city of Sûthgeard remains along with various other small towns and villages.  All “civilized” life resides south of the Brembur River save for New Edor which is little more than a remote fortress.  North of the river are monsters, demons and worse.  Continual military force is needed everywhere to counter the constant demonic appearances that seem to arise.  Only through the effort of tireless individuals is the land kept from falling into eternal chaos…

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