Sword and Sorcery
The flames danced in the fireplace, and the old man rested back in his chair silently sipping on the wine in his glass before looking at the young heroes before him seriously. "Many years ago I began to teach a promising young man named Mortanius. He was a driven individual, excelling in his studies and proving to be a quick learner. Perhaps too quick. He craved power, and while I advised him to temper his eagerness, I saw it in his eyes that he would go far as long as he learned some patience." Drawing a deep breath and sighing, the man took a new gulp of wine, wiping his mouth into the sleeve of his robe. The grand-master of the academy was ancient, few knew how many he had trained before but it was rare to see him looking as weak as he did now.
"One night Mortanius broke into the restricted section of the royal library, and began to consume the knowledge stored within. He learned of great secrets kept there, and of the horrors meant to be sealed away. That night he fled, and I did not see him until twenty years later he returned. He lead an army of wild-men and beasts through our borders, his mighty forces assaulted and struck down the Kerem-Nih and Kalem-Vor fortresses. His forces marched forth to lay siege on the Capital City itself when I was forced into the field." The old man's gaze rose as he gazed upon his young apprentices, the seriousness of his words showing in his expression.
"We fought one another with spell and sword, and the ground twisted and broke beneath us. The armies stood silent waiting for the outcome, watching the battle unfold. Only one side would emerge victorious from that. It was a bitter victory. My greatest pupil had become the greatest nemesis of our world. I told him to surrender and we could still help him but he laughed at me and unleashed forbidden magic upon me. Our battle lasted for days, but finally I managed to wound him enough to force him to retreat. The King and his men chased after him and his forces, and seven years later he was finally slain, with the Royal Sword struck through him into the stone throne at the Forsaken Palace." Sighing heavily, the old man set his cup aside, his hands trembling as he looked up at his students.
"Mortanius posed a very real threat to the very existence of our kingdom, and as much as I would like to claim that his arrogance made him weak, it was not a clear victory to either side. My magic was spent, and Mortanius may have retreated that day and struck down, but given the great aspirations and power he held, death would not hold him forever. Its been two hundred years since that faithful day, but the word has arrived that the Black Banner has risen again."
"I need you to enter the ruins of Kalem-Vor, the closest of the fallen Keeps, and find out what you can. If Mortanius has truly returned we must learn of it before the army of darkness marches once more to war, because this time the light truly might be extinguished. Hearken to this task, my young apprentices, because this is a trial by fire."
The Guild Chronicles
"This world is a savage garden, and the beasts have forced the races of man to stand together as none would have survived if we had stood divided. Humans, elves and dwarves were the first to join the alliance. Gnomes and halflings stepped forth soon after. Several half-orcs came to us as the orc clans were being decimated while still fighting back. Though we were less enthusiastic about including them to our rows given the likely reason for their half-blood nature, we were in no state to turn away a potential ally back then.
Our towns stand far apart, each a fortress of nigh indomitable might. They are the bastion of civilization within this world that was given to the senseless chaos and cruelty that lies beyond them. With what precious farmland we have we need to feed the countless hungry mouths, and man the walls to protect what remains of us. Some say the age of Man has ended, and these are the years of decline, that ultimately the races of man are doomed to fall. There are many brave souls that volunteer to the duty on walls, but few are as brave or foolish as to step forth to join the Guild.
As our world is overrun by these beasts and common people flee in fear, only the Guild has kept the few remaining towns in touch with one another. Each a nation unto itself, a city-state answering only to itself, these towns have kept in touch through the messengers of the Guild, and that is why its safe to say that Guild itself is the ray of hope in an otherwise doomed world.
What hope do common men have against a beast that can walk through a hail of arrows unharmed by their pricks on its thick hide? What hope does man have against a beast that can rend them apart with its bare claws on a whim? What hope does man have against beasts cunning enough to use magic of their own?
The man has the Guild. Swearing an oath to stand resolute and hold back the night, the Guilders are both heroes of legend, and yet feared by many of the common folk, because to walk through the wilds is to invite death and merely surviving this long is a testament to their abilities. Who is to say that in fighting these beasts they have not become like them in turn? There are some that say that to battle the beasts is to give in to the darkness within, that to walk beyond the sanctified walls is heresy to their doctrines, and leads to corruption and dying of the soul. I've seen many such preachers in my time as well.
If you understand this, and know the risks involved, you have your chance. Take your bags and go. You can get a steady job watching over the walls, and fighting whatever petty thieves and drunkards the towns hold, perhaps throwing yourselves at the few beasts that might break in sometime, and claim a small fame as a hero if you survive, even if you lose a limb or the life of a loved one in doing so.
But if you stay, I will teach you how to eat, fight, spit, like a Guilder does.
Most of you might not survive. Many of you may give up and leave. Those that stay will become living Legends. Both loved and hated, respected and feared. Its a hard path, but its the only one we have once the choice is made. Because someone has to keep the flame of hope alive."
Now that the Intros are done...
I have been working on a fair share of writing for stories I like to work on in my free time, but a friend on this site reminded me I should see about running a few games again. I discussed a few ideas with the said friend, and agreed to post up 2 ideas I have for Pathfinder games, though these are both set in Homebrew Settings rather than the Pathfinder's own core setting.
I am going to use Original Gods in this though, NOT the Pathfinder's deity list. Though I won't be listing anything out before seeing how things go. Still, a cleric can easily follow an ideology, rather than simply a particular deity, so that should not be a problem even if someone would consider a cleric for a character.
I could run -1- of the above games to a few players, the game itself would likely start off at some point between level 3 and 6. I prefer starting at low levels and working up, but that works best in a tabletop game where people can sit down to play the whole evening anyhow. So, I'd be willing to raise the starting level a little, so the characters could be assumed to have undergone enough training to stand on their own against some of the threats.
One story has a definite villain to it already, another opens perhaps more open roaming opportunities and chances to set goals of your own to the tale to come. Both are built up around high fantasy concepts, and level increases would likely occur swiftly along the way. The first leans somewhat towards dungeon crawls, the second one angles towards survival in the wilds as well as fights in large towns.
Both tales have their own victory conditions as well, which would bring the tale to a 'good end' if reached, though as with many games, I would figure the players may well come up with their own ideas no that eventually. On that note, both ideas are likely to rather long concepts that would become campaigns of their own might, taking a fair share to explore.