My new D&D game has several key sources of inspiration. Chief most among them is Amethyst: Foundations, the Known World/ Mystara of old school D&D, a little bit of real-world history, a little modern-day political intrigue and a smattering of every book I've ever read. Sounds a bit crazy, I know... but the really best DM's borrow from every possible source. And really, everything we encounter in life is possible source material for our games and imaginations.
So, my players grew weary of our first 4th Ed. D&D game, when the campaign thread I was diligently weaving became insanely frayed, then fully unraveled. So after our break ( we game for 4 hours per session and break mid-way through), they proposed that we start a new campaign and all the PCs would be 11th level. I was intrigued by their proposition, while they thought they got the better deal in this "devil's bargain." See they had to build "legal" characters from the DDI Character Builder, while I was free to use absolutely every source in the world to craft the campaign and the monsters they would face in battle.
So I cobbled some of my favorite sources together into a seamless whole (well... mostly seamless, if you look real closely, you will see through the veil into the source material...
. So the campaign is set on the CanAm continent in a distant future or past, haven't yet revealed that. I call the world Errat, an anagram of the latin word terra... meaning earth. If the world of my campaign is based upon our own lovely home, then the heroes hail from the mighty empire of Dindali, which encompasses all of northern Africa and parts of Spain and the rest of southern Europe, all the way across to the Black Sea. A mighty empire indeed. It is kept secure by the Rite of Protection, a powerful ritual that is recast every year to insure victory in battle, bumper crop yields, and relative peace within the empire's borders.
The campaign kicked off with the heroes assmbled in the Great Coliseum to witness Emperor Kaldazar and his apprentices craft the very powerful and difficult Rite of Protection. Near the end of the ceremony, Kaldazar's apprentice and former lover, Fatima, was handing him the ritual dagger, to close the magical portal and bind the energies to the empire's service. Instead of handing him the dagger as they practiced hundreds of times, she buried the blade in his chest. The tightly controlled portal ripped open, and a huge wave of elemental chaos washed across the city, bringing with it thousands of demons to terrorize, loot, murder and raze the city to ruins.
The heroes ran for the docks where thousands of ships had been assembled from all corners of the empire. Visitors came from all over to witness the Rite and take part in two weeks of feasts, parades and general revelry. The heroes happen to board the same vessel, which escapes the mayhem of the capital and sets to sea. These craft are made to ply the realtively safe and shallow waterways of the Imperial Sea (the Mediteranean). They are not ocean-worthy, not capable of running before mighty ocean storms. Word comes from other ships nearby that the Crown Prince, Jaba,l is safely aboard one of these sailingships and he received a vision from the gods... sail across the Endless Sea, and you will be delivered unto the promised land. Jabal calls upon all of the ships in the fleet to heed the call of the gods.
Demons are ripping the empire to the ground, the mother of all ocean storms rises up to sink Jabal's fleet... and the heroes awaken some time later, on an unknown shore... their ship wreckage litters the shoreline, the survivors number fewer than a hundred from the four-hundred or more that boarded the ship in Dindali.
More to come... I welcome comments, questions and advice!
Our heroes are: The Genasi Wizard, Zan-Kyri, The Half-Orc Paladin, Leonidus, The Dragonborn Warlord, Balasar, The Elf Ranger, Lucius and the Half-elf Warlock, Amaris.
The Amethyst races and classes will be introduced in the New World, the promised land called Daysalanon.