View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Bloodstone Pass campaign. 1-20

2019-03-30, 03:52 PM
I am using an old map from a 2e adventure setting, The Bloodstone Lands. It is set in eastern Faerun, but I am changing EVERYTHING. place names will remain the same, but a LOTRs type Litch king succeeded in conquering the world. He was destroyed but the Eye and Hand of Vecna he used are still around...this will be a year in the making but I plan a 1 thru 20 campaign for this.

Based on this map: https://img.4plebs.org/boards/tg/image/1475/49/1475495653781.png

For a thousand years the Lich King, Garos ruled the world. It was called, “The Oppression of Garos.” All the free peoples were enslaved, worked to death, animated and worked again until their moldering bodies fell apart. Education, learning, the arts all fell into disuse, as mere survival was all that mattered. Even survival was not assured. Garros was planning to sacrifice all life in order to propel him into godhood.

But the free peoples arose in rebellion. For 500 years they fought The Final War, driving Garos into his last stronghold, The Vaasa - a cold harsh land surrounded by mountains pierced only by a single narrow pass. Garos fortified the pass with a great wall built with foul magics and massive human sacrifice. But the gods themselves came down and destroyed that wall. The free peoples invaded Vaasa, forcing their way into Garos’ sanctuary city and destroyed his phylactery. ~~Garos was dead at last. His armies of orcs and goblinoids scattered. His power gone forever…or so they said. The terror of Garos has never been forgotten…and not everyone believes Garos is truly gone.

Bloodstone Pass:
A free city was built in that pass and a new wall was built. Representatives of all the free races contributed to the city’s population to keep an ever-watchful eye on the Vaasa, the cursed land.

The city was named after the wall, Bloodstone. Every stone set in place was bought with the blood of those who sacrificed everything for freedom. The pass was also named Bloodstone for the wall. In the years that followed a second wall was built to protect from the rising power of Damara: a new nation that although good at heart, was ambitious to a fault. Bloodstone city was determined to stay free to focus on its mission, to keep the evils of the Vaasa at bay.

Bloodstone Pass is a small city state defined by two walls. The Vaasa Wall is 60 feet high, and 60 feet thick. It is a mile long connecting two sheer cliffs. Clifftop fortresses housing a griffin Calvary flank the wall. A single massive steel gate pierces the wall. Inside the wall are tunnels, inns and housing for 10,000 men (just 5000 now). A sizable town (Gate Town) supports the troops adding another 6000 to the wall’s population. A company of 80 warlocks (the Ravens) calls this town home. They are all blaster types acting as an archery unit that never runs out of arrows.

The Damara Gate is 30 feet high, 30 feet thick and two miles long. It too joins with sheer cliffs and is flanked by watch towers. 2000 men man the wall, but it has barracks for twice as many. Damara Gate is the supporting town and has a population of 2000.

The Pass itself is some 60 miles long, ranging from 1 to 10 miles wide. Many retired adventures built fortified homes here. Every man and woman in this pass is trained to fight in some way (all have at least one class level).

The main city is known as Bloodstone Pass. It is a marvel of magic and engineering. 600,000 people live here. All the free races contributed to the population. There is even a tiefling quarter. Most of them had no home to return to, so they put their hearts and souls into building a magnificent city. 20 years later the city boasts massive walls, libraries, theaters, parks, a bardic college, a university of magic and many more surprises. One would not know this was a city born out of war. Given time and peace, this city could rival the fabled lost city of Silverymoon. There is no king in Bloodstone. It is ruled by the Lord High General and the Lord Mayor. The general is the same one that led the assault on the Litch King and founded the city. He is now 60 years old.

To the north the mountains are terraced for farms. To the south Dwarven mines produce iron, copper, and Gold. The later is owned by the city but the dwarves mine it for a 40% cut.

The World. 20 Years after Victory
Every former nation was shattered. All the free races were uprooted and cast together as slaves of Garos. There are ruins everywhere. Most survivors live in cosmopolitan city states ruled by a king descended from heroes of the Final War. Much history has been lost, but memories of empires have not faded. And a few nations have arisen.

Damara: At first this was an alliance of city states. But a greater king arose from the Heroes of the War and united them into the first kingdom of men. The nation is still a howling wilderness between its walled cities, but the newest king is obsessed with an empire. He does not consider himself a despot, but his ambitions have led to Bloodstone city building a second wall to stay free. That wall hurt his pride and he has been musing upon war, but his people have no stomach to make war with allies. So he plots and schemes. In the meantime he sends spies and agents to talk up the benefits and greatness of Damara.

Impiltur: Long ago it was a land of paladins, it is seeking to return to it’s former glory. Now it is a home to good clerics, sterling monks, and valiant orders of paladins. By decree, all kings are to be a paladin.

The Sea Kings. All the cities on the inner Sea, the Dragon’s Reach and the Moonsea are independent free cities, each ruled by a self-proclaimed king. Some are good. Some are…not so good. Some are outright evil.

The Narfell: This is a Hobgoblin kingdom. Goblinoids of all sorts reside here. For 20 years they have been consolidating their power and assessing the strength of their neighbors. They are the reason Damara unified into a nation.

Rawlinswood: the elves have claimed this forest for themselves. Surviving elves of all sorts have settled here. Rebuilding a great elven nation takes a long time and proximity to Hobgoblins complicates things. The elves are still debating on a name…using the human name is not acceptable to them.

The Great Dale: this is full of the settlements of free men who call no man king. They maintain good relations with the Rawlinswood elves. They have rebuffed many offers of unity with Damara. The population is 50% humans and 50% halflings.

The Forest of Lethyr: is an empty land, shunned and cursed, no one knows what the litch king did here, but few who enter ever come back.

Thesk: is an empty land. A nation of orcs used to live here…now it is ruined and abandoned.

Vaasa: this land is a blasted waste. Ruins are everywhere. Still after 20 years life is returning to Vassa. Bloodstone city is capitalizing on this to offer free land to hardy folk who will tame the Vassa. Disorganized bands of orcs and worse wander, and new settlements exist only within a day’s travel of the gate. Bloodstone offers free housing to adventurers who scour the land of evil, even paying a bounty on the monstrous races that still plague the land.

Mulmaster: still an evil city. It is physically close to Damara but the mountains cut it off. They are more concerned with control over the cities of the moonsea and have used the time of peace to prepare for war. Mulmaster does however trade extensively with the free cities to the south.

Raven’s Gate. This city is notable for its college of necromancy. The free peoples used the undead extensively near the end of the war. Necromancers are no longer shunned, and have been mainstreamed into society. Pretty much every nation state maintains several thousand undead soldiers in warehouses (except for Impiltur).

Orcs: have retreated to the mountains forming tribal societies. Their continued raids are why every town and hamlet is walled.

Dwarves also have headed for the mountains to recreate their kingdoms. They are not mapped, but human/halfling farming communities tend to form outside the holds, protected by Dwarven troops.

The Environment. The world’s population has been drastically reduced. Between the walled cities and towns, there is nothing but howling wilderness. There are ruins and fortifications everywhere. Much knowledge has been lost. History is a very rare skill. In the years of oppression, books were allowed to crumble and decay. Oghma decreed that all books would survive until a time when the world was free again. As a result, Books of any type are valuable and sell for 50 gold and up (1000s in some cases). His temples will always pay fair market value. The divine decree also protected spell books.

The Lich king’s armies have scattered and many formed into tribal raiders. Various monsters were let loose to fend for themselves. Old battlefields may be haunted by more than the dead, living spells wander the fields as well. Vassal litches still exist and may command small armies.

The players:
The players are the first generation to live without constant war. They know well the stories their parents have told them. They see how people still struggle to make a living.

Centuries of war create habits that are hard to break, military training is still the rule for the free peoples. All the players received their training for free from parents, cities or apprenticeships. Tuition is limited only to major universities. Free training is considered a survival expense by the new kings.

Races available are all in players handbook, and aasimars. Half drow are not allowed (drow aligned with the litch king). OK, I will allow tabaxi. Tiefling and aasimar are more common that in standard campaigns, this is due to the years of magical oppression. There is no real prejudice against tieflings.

player will start at an inn built inside the Vaasan wall. Bloodstone pass is luring adventurers to the Vaasa with a bounty on orcs and goblinoids. The guard will pay a gold piece each for the left ear of such creatures. The goal is to stabilize the Vaasan colonies. Further there is the offer of free land, and Bloodstone will offer it tax free for life to adventurers who help and settle there.

The bounty may seem harsh to some, but 1500 years of blood and war change a people. It takes peace to rebuild a civilization.

The Vaasan colonies do have Bloodstone garrisons and patrols. But the powers that be in Bloodstone know Adventurers can accomplish things that soldiers cannot.