This is the home page for my Beyond Sanctuary campaign, a 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons adventure. The campaign will begin in late March 2010 and is no longer accepting players.
The campaign begins in the world of Sanctuary. The geography of Sanctuary is that of a large continent surrounded by a sea which has never been crossed; all sailors who have set out to see what is beyond the horizon have either never returned or have sailed back with their provisions depleted to report that the sea never appears to end. The geography of Sanctuary itself is much like any other place, with rivers, mountains, jungles, swamps, and incredibly bountiful farmlands. The continent is dominated by Dark Mountain in the north, the fishing port of Seareach to the south, and the capital of Regina in between. This is the way things have always been.
According to Sanctuary’s religious mythology, their small pantheon of gods (all good ones) led by the goddess Avandra cleansed the land of all evil monsters. Every 100 years since the Divine Cleansing, a host of fell beasts and aberrant creatures has poured forth from portals hidden in the caverns beneath Dark Mountain. In response to this grave danger, the Sanctuary Wall was built many hundreds of years ago in order to protect the inhabitants of the land from such invasions. The Wall, combined with Sanctuary’s vigilant military, has kept the land safe for nearly a thousand years, and between each Dark Year, Sanctuary is a place of peace and calm.
But things in Sanctuary have begun to change, and not for the better.
The last Dark Year was 62 years ago, and normally the present generation would be comfortable in the knowledge that the next Dark Year was still may years away. But rumors have begun to spread concerning attacks on isolated farms and villages by forces the like of which have never before been seen in Sanctuary. Most folk ignore these tales as fanciful stories designed to scare children, but the rumors persist.
The military is the single most respected institution in Sanctuary. Every resident of the “core races” of Sanctuary (humans, elves, half-elves, halflings, and dragonborn) must serve in the military for two years upon reaching maturity (for humans, when they turn 18). Sanctuary’s other races have traditionally sent many of their young people to serve the one year enlistment, but that tradition has waned in recent years.
After the initial one-year enlistment, those individuals with special promise are asked to enlist for an additional two year term. These individuals are given specialized training in the particular discipline where their talents lie, and then they are gathered into combat units designed to take synergistic advantage of each individual’s special talents. Such a combat unit is called a “ka-tet” and is led by a veteran military officer who molds the group into an elite fighting unit over the course of their two-year enlistment. A “ka-tet” generally has between 5 and eight members, and the bonds of friendship that are forged amongst the members of a “ka-tet” last a lifetime. Occasionally, a “ka-tet” will stay together after its military service is complete; such an adventuring party could even hire itself out to an old wizard in a tower somewhere who’s looking to have an old ruin explored.
The PC’s in this campaign were such a combat unit and ended their military service six months ago. One month ago, the team’s former training sergeant, Cord, sent word to each of them that he would like to hire them to work in a new business venture. Each PC has made his or her way to the small town of Moorwick on the edge of the Dismal Swamp to meet with Cord and discuss his proposition.
We will be playing in the D&D 4E ruleset with a few house rules thrown in. In addition, I’ll have a standard menu of bonuses available to players who regularly update the adventure log here at ObsidianPortal.com, who make creative role-playing choices, who regularly attend our sessions (on-time and with all of your materials), etc. If you want to try something that the rules don’t envision (swinging off a chandelier and onto the combatants in a barfight, for instance), I’ll be happy to allow you to roll an appropriate skill check that we can both agree on as long as you can narrate the action with flair. Bottom line: we’re here to have fun!