The Alterlands campaign is an itch I’ve got to scratch. I nearly always play in home brew settings and with nearly a decade and a half of constant play refining what works and what doesn’t I think I’ve got something worth sharing.

Setting

The world of Sarosa, is combined out of the best parts of a decade of homebrewed settings I’ve run. I think it’s a balance of my love of traditional Tolkien-esque fantasy with more outlandish and bizarre concepts that allow for the other elements of fantasy that I love. This campaign, for the moment, will focus on the Alterlands. This classically styled setting has a very traditional fantasy feel, the reason being that many players like their dwarves to live in mountain halls, elves to be mercurial philosophers and humanity to have just stepped out of the dark ages. 

Overview the campaign

What is the Alterlands? Imagine playing through a remixed Arthurian England, plagued by creatures and challenges that take inspiration from the myths, legends and fairy tales. Players becoming heroes of legend in their own right through their deeds and conquests. 
Why should you run the campaign? This campaign is digital, every map, every piece of content, every rule and every character is only a click away. DM with little time to prep, just have a single web page open in front of you. 
How will this work? You might notice that very little of the campaign is currently up. This will change but currently there is everything you need to run a tight module to get characters up from level 1-3. I do want this campaign to have a strong open world element as well and this will grow and expand as the website does.  This will of course be bolstered by other content over the coming months.

Levels 1-5 – Claw of the Dog Witch

Chapter 1: Broken stones – Mystery needs solving

Arriving after a long journey at the town of Barta that sits on the edge of the Alterlands the players find the fortified town in chaos. A monster has come and torn the town apart, stealing small amounts of gold and the legendary Sword of Talan. The players must find out what happened here, catch those who brought this curse down on the town and find out where this monster came from. The chase will bring them into conflict with others who hunt the same things for their own purposes and drive them into the wilds of the Alterlands.

This short section intends to bring characters up from level 1 to 2, it takes players through a few combats and a short investigation challenge where they have to find clues that lead them to a thief in town who seems to be somehow to blame for the damage caused to the town. They then need to chase down the thief, venturing into the forests. When they find him it would appear they are not the only ones hunting him and those that do are of incredible power.

All these adventures are set around Barta. The story beats are listed below in order.

Chapter 2: The sword pit – The Song Quarry dungeon dive

The Dog Witch appears to be the mastermind of the attack on Barta. To find the elusive sorceress the heroes go looking for the Scabbard of Talan. A powerful relic believed to be hidden in the same dwarf mine the blade was found in. Long abandoned after it exhausted they find a that Selka a descendant of those miners has returned to complete the burial of her ancestors who lie interred within it’s walls. She is willing to offer directions and support in return for the heroes clearing out the dungeon. The dwarf is honest about her struggles to recruit locals to go down as the mine is known to be haunted, though Selka insists that ‘dwarfs don’t haunt’.  Far more worrying than rumour is that the Dog Witch has certainly heard the same legends about the scabbard and her minions are already rumoured to be in the mines vicinity.

Mapping the writhing path – Sand box

With the scabbard in their possession and Sir Cinder pushed back the heroes can begin to hunt the Dog Witch down. The relic points them towards the Skragwold, a slice of the half world, the home of the fey. The heroes need to find those who’ve been there, met the guardians of its ever changing paths and avoided the traps. This involves chasing down rumours and stories of those who’ve been to this place and returned to tell the tale. Without some warning of what they might encounter there is little hope that they will succeed. 

The Skragwold – A dungeon of the half world.

Entering the Skragwold the heroes must face the mundane and the otherworldly. It is a maze of paths that are bordered by forest so thick that it futile to fight through. The mundane have gone insane and fey’s sanity is madness. As such the heroes must be always on their toes as they close in on the the Dog Witch. Great challenges stand in their way, things to be outwit, outrun or overcome. Still at the end of this maze is the foe they seek, who plans to use the sword to spread the Skragwold further and become the power in the realm.

 

 

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