Friday, September 19, 2014

Campaign Pitch #1 - Fist of Wotan
The other Skaarling ship-jarls had long thought Othgar the Mad to be ... well, mad. Constant raving about voices in his head, a tendency to slip into a berserk rage, and conversing with old gods long dead; Woten, Thor, Loki. But they were convinced of his madness when, at the beginning of the last raiding season, he announced Wotan had told him to sail west and north rather than the customary (and rewarding) raiding and trading trips to the south and east. Nothing lay to the east but the Spine of the World Serpent, a mountainous peninsula that stretched from the mainland to the utmost north and the Sea of Ice.  A trip there was madness at best, and death for all concerned was the most likely reward.
They were proved right that the trip could be fatal when Othgar's longship limped into port just ahead of the winter storms, with the jarl raving into the north wind and just a handful of men at the oars. But while a lack of strong arms to to sail her certainly slowed the vessel, it was the treasures piled to the gunnels that was mostly to blame. Once ashore, Othgar's men told of a mountain higher than any seen before, the summit lost in constant cloud. Dubbed the Fist of Wotan by Othgar, the slopes were littered with ancient ruins and cave entrances.  Guided by the voice of Woten,Othgar lead them into the depths. Tales are told of mist filled halls that drove men mad, tunnels through ice that held cruel & cold abominations, vast cavernous worlds ruled by giants, strange metal chambers guarded by statues come to life. And gold ... enough gold to sink a ship.

Othgar could have stayed in the Skaarl Islands and lived a life of luxury with the treasures he had won. But instead, he set sail at the start of this season to place his standard on the shore below the Fist of Wotan, and bade all men and women of courage and honor to join him there under the eyes of the All-Father, Many heeded the call, you among them, to wrest a fortune from the mountain at the call of the All-Father.


The Skaarl Islands and the Skaarlings are the Scandanaia/Vikings of the campaign world in which Westmist is set (Bjorn's homeland BTW). So if you haven't guessed already, this is going with a Viking theme. Fur clad warrior (with or without horns on their helmets), skalds chanting paeans as they charge into battle, clerics of the Norse gods, etc. I'd like most PC's to have a Viking flavor, but I'm open to scimater wielding Zevestian warriors al la "The Thirteenth Warrior" and other exceptions to that rule.  It will be a low civilization campaign. The only "town" is Othgar's Trade Town, a seasonal and temporary base at the foot of the mountain. But this is D&D, so there will be somewhere to sell your treasure, heal your wounds, quaff your ale.

Gameplay will be dungeon oriented, but I'm going to try to make it  more 'alive' than Stonehell. More rival adventures (the other crews) in the dungeon, more chance for events in the dungeon to affect relations outside (and vice versa). This won't be a megadungeon like Stonehell so much as a collection of smaller, sometimes interrelated, dungeons. Go further up the mountain and the greater the dangers. There will be the chance to explore the area immediately around the Fist of Wotan, and actual figuring out the best/safest way to get higher up the mountain will be important too. Think of climbing Everest in armor and you get the idea.

Oh, and did I mention the thing about the old gods? Where do you suppose they came from all of a sudden? And why have they drawn you to this god-forsaken land? Could this be the chance to discover the true meaning of the gods?

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