A Walk in the Dark A look in to the mind of an RPG designer


Campaign Introduction

We remembered that we had not been alone in the old times. There had been visitors who came from far away. We knew not from where they came but their absence struck us like a blow when we perceived it. But what could we do? How can one call a friend without a name to call them by? And it was then that we knew what the final foundation must be. We made it a foundation of stars, shining light across the void. We knew that someone would see our hope, and that someday we would see our friends again.

With all five foundations laid, the storm ended at last. And yet, it had ended even before the first was considered. As soon as we thought to bring order from chaos, we had conquered our foe. But underneath us, we ever felt the tremors.

If our friends ever return, will they return the chaos, or complete the order?

- Book of Light, Chapter One


"Are you sure?" asked Laris in a deep, serious voice.

For the first time in a long time, Skye was hesitant. It all sounded ludicrous, but he couldn't deny what he saw.

"Yes, my lord," he answered softly. "I don't know how or when, but it's coming."

Lia was never able to hide her fear, at least not to her husband.

"But you said..." she said as she turned to him, her voice trembling slightly.

"My lord..." Skye said as he looked down. "I don't know the details, or how it is even possible. Nor do I know how it will come to be. But I saw it sweeping across the land like a veil, in the same manner that it was described in the books of old."

Laris let go of Lia's hand and stood up from his throne, adjusting his armor before stepping forward. He walked off the platform and approached Skye.

"So you don't know what... or how... or when... What do you suggest we do then?" he asked.

Gorin, standing in the back, let out a loud snort and tightened his grip on his axe as he shifted. The rubbing of his hands against the steel and the restless pounding of his hooves against the stone floor echoed throughout the chamber.

"Bah!" he yelled. "We'll drive them back when they come!"

Brell, who was standing next to him, responded with a definitive "Aye!" as he looked up at the giant.

Laris held up his palm at them both, causing them both to snap to attention. Gorin crossed his giant axe held in front of him, grasping with both hands.

He turned back to Skye.

"Well?"

Skye briefly glanced back at Gorin, who remained frozen in place like a statue. "As much as I trust your guard's abilities, I suggest we look beyond our walls for help. There is... something else... I've seen."

"What?"

"The five."

Laris hesitated, then started to laugh as he turned away. He caught a glimpse of Lia turning pale as she sank back in to her throne. He stopped laughing, and turned back around to face Sky.

"You're serious, aren't you?"

Skye didn't answer.

Laris sighed as he walked back to his throne. "Fine then. Brell... Put the call out. Gorin... make preparations, as this village is about to get a lot more crowded. "

After he sat down, he leaned forward and stared directly at Skye.

"For your sake, I hope you're right."

"For all our sake, Lord, I hope I'm not."


And so the call went out. Recruitment notices were given to everyone that went on or got off a ship at dock. Villagers volunteered to be couriers to carry the message to the larger cities across the ocean. Pretty soon the word spread like wildfire, even though there wasn't much to the message being said: The Village of Solis needs help, and will reward those who come to its aid.

Pretty soon, they started arriving: mercenaries and adventurers from near and far, coming in by the dozens. The inn overflowed, causing some villagers to provide room and board for the travelers in their own home. The local economy boomed; the marketplace and the tavern came alive with more people than it has seen in decades, and the local blacksmith had to hire extra help to meet the demand.

And, with that, came more work for the village guard. Drunken brawls broke out almost every day in the tavern as adventurers got in to each other's faces. Those that came to "fight the good fight" butted heads with those who came for the reward. Religions clashed. Attitudes clashed.

The guards were sometimes overwhelmed trying to maintain order; there simply weren't enough of them. And, since most of the qualified villagers sought the glory, there simply weren't enough people willing to fill the ranks needed. Guards were tired, and morale within the core decreased. Gorin was the only one that didn't seem to mind; he was happy working double shifts, exerting his authority and maintaining order.

At first the Lord decided to see how things went - after all, the village was prospering due to the stimulated economy, and he wasn't quite convinced that the threat was coming so soon - but the chaos that it was causing meant that action needed to be taken before something bad happened.

After much debate, and some convincing from Lia, Lord Laris decided it was time to start meeting these adventurers, and see which of them was worthy enough to become their protectors.

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