Early in the campaign, the PCs will come into possession of the journal outlining a detailed plot to kill a noblewoman. Who wrote it, who is the target, is the plan still going ahead, and what do they do with that information?
The Seeds of Chaos
Thomas Black would appear to have inherited the touch of Chaos from his father, and he is not the only one. It appears someone or something Chaos-touched dwells in the Tunnels, and the asylum is filled the the mad and the touched. What is causing this blight, and can it be stopped? Or is the Black Hand destined to fall to the same madness that is about to consume the town?
The Witch Hunter
Seven years ago, Walkenberg was host to a Witch Hunter who found some twenty cultists and mutants, and burned them all. He left, but word is he's due to return very soon, with more names and more evidence. But how did he come by this evidence, who are his names, and just what are his credentials anyway?
As noted in part one, the plan is for the campaign to be built of five adventures, each made up of four sessions. The initial plan for the campaign arc is as follows:
The PCs arrive in the town, and are immediately involved in the search for the graverobbers. Once those graverobbers have been identified, the PCs must return the loot to its rightful owners. It is now that they will come by the journal.
The adventure continues when Thomas goes missing, as do a handful of other locals. The trail leads to the elves of the nearby woods, but what are they doing and should they be stopped? The townspeople think they certainly should - and in fact that the Black Hand should deal with the elves permanently. But just what are the consequences of disturbing the elves?
The adventure concludes with the investigations into the Tunnels. How many Skaven are down there, and why have they been killing townsfolk in greater numbers recently?
The purpose of this adventure is to lay out some seeds for later campaign use, and also to place the PCs into a position of relative trust in the town.
Now it gets dark. The nearby town of Denberg is beseiged by Orcs and calls for help. Lady Aum dispatches the Black Hand with instructions to destroy the Orcs and break the seige. But her orders are also clear: when the mercenaries liberate the town, they are not to be restrained in their 'celebrations'. At best, this means the looting of the town. At worst...
This has consequences, beyond the obvious ruination of Denberg. The Black Hand becomes harder for the Captain to control, even aside from his own guilty conscience. Walkenberg starts to pay the price, despite the efforts of the Lieutenant, Joffrey Lamb and (hopefully) the PCs to keep a lid on things.
At the same time, Neidart and his thugs step up their actions against The Welcome Embrace. This begins while the Black Hand is away, but when they return the PCs will be forced to act almost at once. Quite what they do will determine some of the direction of the campaign as a whole.
Beyond Adventure Two
I haven't yet planned this far ahead. Part of the issue is not knowing just how the players will direct the action. Part of the problem is that it isn't clear what the best course of action to take is. What I do know is that the demands of the Lady will become more and more terrible as things go, the Captin will slowly go insane, the Black Hand will become a menace on the town, and only the PCs will be able to stop it. Maybe.
- The Witch Hunter will return, probably in adventure three.
- One faction of the Larstein family will move against the other. I'm not sure who will be on each side, though.
- The Captain will go insane, the Lieutenant will take over and prove to be a tyrant, and Joffrey Lamb will become obsessed.
- If the PCs remove Neidart, they will find others quick to take his place. Essentially the only way to stop it is for them to take the place themselves.
- Somehow, all of this will turn out to be the fault of the PCs, though I'm not sure how yet. Perhaps the elves were actually keeping something in check, and the PCs stopped them? Perhaps they unearthed some artifact best left buried?