Thursday, September 8, 2011

X4 - Alternate Intro

Upon returning from the extra-dimensional adventures with Stephen Amber, you found yourselves in the midst of Glantri. The laws of this magocracy were almost hostile toward the dwarfs and fighters of your group and so you traveled south into Darokin to escape imprisonment or death. Darokin was a land of wealth and splendor where the vast amounts of treasure your party acquired during your adventures allowed you to literally live as kings!

You lived it up in the social circles and intrigues of Darokin city for weeks until you tired of the backstabbing and strict rules of etiquette that the elite have created for themselves. Finding a noble in financial troubles you were able to invest nearly all of your wealth in a great villa and surrounding vineyards along the southern edge of a great plateau that lies to the west of Darokin west of the Great Swamp.

Traveling there with hired experts in horticulture and winemaking you spent the next year living in splendor, feasting on lamb and steer and making wine. Bards came from all around to live in your villa, hear your stories, and sing you tales from abroad. Traveling princes, wizards, and wandering knights all made your stone villa a favorite respite from the harsh wilderness. Life is good and you began to forget the tiny song of adventure that once resounded in your head.

It was then when disaster struck! A massive army of humanoids, mostly orc and goblins but supported by cruel men, ogres, trolls, and worse stormed your villa in the night. You fought back with magic and swords but you were out of practice and unprepared for such an onslaught. Their numbers were immense and finally you were forced to flee east toward Elstarath with only your fastest horses and your most precious weapons and magical items and books.

On your way you began to alert the small villages and keeps that you found along the way, but most of them had already been evacuated. It seems that the army was much larger than you had even begun to imagine. The main army of Darokin had already marched west into the desert following the humanoid army that had retreated to find reinforcements.

Weeks went by and your party joined in with a rag-tag group of reserves who was planning to meet the main army that was now deep in the desert of fire fighting the humanoid force. You find yourselves entering a small village that was only recently taken back by the Darokin army, still among the smoking ruins of the village were the signs of nomad enemies - humans, orcs, and other unknown creatures. The leaders of your rag-tag group halted at this place and awaited the field commanders orders. He is held up in the largest house of the village and spends all day assigning orders and processing information. It seems that the reserve effort is pretty unorganized and mostly you have spent the last three days camped near the edge of town with no orders or information about what you should do to help. The fires of vengeance still burn in your chests, life on the road has hardened you once more, and you would love to be able to do something effective against this unknown army...

My buddies will be back in town this weekend of Sept 10-11 and we might be able to organize up and throw down another tabletop gaming session! I'm still trying to catch up from a week on vacation so this was the best introduction I could come up with for X4. I tried to come up with a more plausible (still very rail-roady) reason for the players to be involved in this adventure that made sense from coming out of the Castle Amber X2 adventure module. I think this will serve the purpose of emptying them of nearly all of their coin and give them a reason to care about facing down this strange army and give them the idea that stealth and not strong-arm tactics will be required (since they already faced this army and were all nearly killed). I'm not trying to make this a really open ended campaign right now, I'm basically railroading my players through a group of old-school adventures one by one and having fun just playing in them. My plan is to run them through a beefed up version of X1 next followed by something maybe placed in Alphatia or the hollow world or maybe both... I may have to make something up for the next two adventures because I'm expecting the players to make it up to ~10+ level by the time we finish the X1 adventure.

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