After The Wilds came to its rather inglorious end, I've been without a regular campaign. I've been toying with this idea for a while, and I just sent the teaser out to my usual crew of players last night. Hopefully, I'll get a few nibbles.
What You Left Behind
Eight years ago, the Red Horde started their invasion of the western city states. Severlak was the first to fall. Complacent behind their stone walls, they didn't consider packs of mounted nomads a threat, until well-paid treachery opened the city gates of Vestok. Severlakian refugees delivered a dire warning to the remaining western states: The Red Horde was coming, and their leader, Ciet Flades was clever, bold and ruthless.
The rulers of the remaining states heeded the warning and prepared for an invasion, but their efforts were in vain. Over the course of three years, the rich midlands, Alpheg and Darubhan, were slowly gobbled up by the advancing Horde. The walls of Modari's capital, Arrezo, fell to siege engines built by Severlakian and Alphegi engineers pressed into service. Sarvikar, choked with refugees from other nations, starved itself.
How You Got Here
In a last desperate effort to save western society and religion, Sarvikar dispatched dozens of sailing vessels to the recently discovered western continent. The best ships were allocated to the ruling class and religious leaders, but in the chaos of war, nothing is certain. Desperate refugees swarmed Kavlin, seizing control of ships by force. Some turned pirate, capturing fleeing ships and selling passage to the highest bidders, other simply sailed west, to New Kavlin.
Few finished the journey.
Where Is Here?
New Kavlin is the first colony of the new world, founded by Sarvikar before the Red Horde's first attack. It's a fair-sized port town ruled by a Sarvikarian governor, her authority backed by a coalition of wealthy landowners and military power. The influx of refugees strains the colony's resources, already stretched thin by the challenging local conditions.
The coast near New Kavlin is pleasant, but things change quickly as you move inland. Rocky, steep-sided hills and sheer-sided valleys dominate the terrain, and explorers disappear with alarming regularity. A few outlying villages struggle to grow the food needed to keep the city alive, and prospectors search for iron, coal and other resources needed to keep the army supplied.
The journey was long and arduous, but you survived and found companions you could trust along the way.
When approaching New Kavlin by sea, the first thing you see is the Precipice, the sheer cliff that rises 120 feet above the Docks. Huge stone blocks line the top of the cliff like blocky teeth along a jaw, and here and there you can see the blunt snouts of cannons in the gaps.
The south end of the cliff gives way to a steep hill covered in commercial buildings, the South Bank. Follow the two curving thoroughfares up through South Bank, and businesses give way to houses. Eventually, you reach High Point, home to the governor's mansion, the military barracks, the courthouse and two of the town's largest churches. The landward sides of the South Bank and High Point are protected by a mix of wooden palisades and stone walls. Here and there, a square stone tower provides additional defense. The two largest towers flank the gate that provides access to the highlands beyond the west wall.
The north end of the cliff curves west, but a sheer-sided ridge of stone splits off to the northeast, forming a natural wall along the north end of the Docks. This wall, known as the Arches, extends into the bay, and a narrow road protected by stone parapets runs along it to Raven Rock, a barren granite pillar that rises from the depths of the bay. It's topped by the grim Tower of the Eye, a relic of the ancient city turned prison.
Five huge stone arches, cut through the native granite, pierce the base of the wall. Three arches are bricked up, but two have gated openings that lead Beyond the Arches. The Beyond is a square mile of scrubby, poor land occupied by the least fortunate colonists. Beyonders eke out a living fishing, farming, raising goats and working as dock laborers.
If this game takes off, I'll be running it as a two-turns per week PBEM campaign, possibly supplemented with Roll20 sessions. I haven't settled on a system yet, but I'm leaning toward Labyrinth Lord/AEC or Fudge. The choice may come down to player interest and character concepts.