Monday, 19 November 2012

Silver Marches - Pre-Brainstorming

I've been thinking about what to do to follow-up my Neverwinter campaign even though that's probably got another year to run. Nevertheless, I like to be prepared.

I loved 3E's Silver Marches - it was one of the best FR supplements, IMO - and I ran a year-long campaign inspired by it. That said, I think the Silver Marches - or Luruar, to use its 2E and 4E name - is an area I would like to return to and now I have a decent 4E map to play with!

Perhaps this will be where I set a campaign inspired by the 1E Giant and Drow series coupled with the Demon Weave idea from Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue.

Anyway, the main point of this post was to get this wonderful map into wider circulation.

Edit: 20Nov12

I've been thinking about this map some more and how I can "bring it alive" in terms of setting a campaign there.

The first thing I am reminded of is how 3E's Silver Marches goes into some detail about the various goblin and orc tribes in the region - their lairs, in some cases, are even marked on this map - and that makes me think that this is a perfect setting for a revised Red Hand of Doom with Bane as the BBEG rather than Tiamat (I've never been a fan of Tiamat: she seems like an intruder into the Realms).

Of course, some of my earlier posts to this blog were about the Black Age of Bane so I would definitely want to combine those ideas with anything inspired by or copied from Red Hand of Doom.

Hellgate Keep has always interested me as a site ever since I first read about it in the now-legendary Old Grey Box which introduced the Forgotten Realms to a non-Dragon (referring to the magazine, of course) audience.

(As an aside, Hellgate Keep has a canonical connection with Bane thanks to the Crypt of the Black Hand article in the Mintiper's Chapbook series by Eric L Boyd. I've been a fan of that series for a decade now and I would love to use some of the lore contained therein in this campaign should it proceed.)

I'm still on a Demon Weave kick - the idea of an alternate Weave created by Lolth which is the theme of at least three seasons of D&D Encounters as well as being more formally mentioned in Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue. If I end up using this idea I think it would work well tied into with Hellgate Keep because the 'Keep has connections with the Abyss and there are LOTS of powerful magic items sequestered there that could be used as part of the "ingredients" of the Demon Weave. (Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue notes that the drow are scouring the land for powerful items to help created the Demon Weave.)

That means I have two basic plot lines; the first one being a combination of the Red Hand of Doom and the Black Age of Bane while the second is the Demon Weave combined with a site-based adventure in Hellgate Keep (and inspired by the 2E Hellgate Keep adventure). (The latter probably also means the return of the demonfey/daemonfey of House Dlardrageth notwithstanding their destruction in the Last Mythal series of books by Rich Baker.)

I would also like a third plotline to work with.

The easiest one would simple involve the werewolves and other werecreatures of the People of the Black Blood but I may have exhausted werewolves as an enemy in my current Neverwinter: the Year of the Ageless One campaign. I can still keep it in mind.

Another option would be an updated version of 1E's Against the Giants and tying them into the drow and the Demon Weave. However, I think this might be again be exhausted as an option by events in my current campaign.

I suppose I could consider using the idea that, concurrent with her Demon Weave plot, Lolth is trying to seize the Feywild throne of the Queen of Air & Darkness, aka Auril the Frostmaiden, and thus have a terrible winter strike the Silver Marches.

That has some potential and also lets me use frost giants - and all those frost giant miniatures - which I am not planning to otherwise use in my current campaign (which, while inspired by Against the Giants, is limited to hill giants and fire giants with some corrupt stone giants possibly thrown in).

The other advantage of this Feywild theme is that it provides a logical reason to use fomorians and their cyclops servants which is something I have been looking forward to doing since I first read about them in 4E.

Right now I am thinking of a really simple synopsis along these lines:

1. A city of the Silver Marches is threatened by a goblin army (plus blue dragons from the Morueme clan) marching under the symbol of Bane and using portals for logistics. This otherwise plays out in a manner similar to Red Hand of Doom and culiminates in a final adventure set in...
2. The Crypt of the Black Hand is a hidden level in the dungeons of Hellgate Keep and is the headquarters of the Banite leaders responsible for rallying the goblins who march under the bloody talon of Bane. Once the Banites are defeated the PCs need to escape the Crypt via the dungeons of Hellgate Keep only to discover a new threat: the drow are creating the Demon Weave....

That's enough for now.  

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