|Garde Manger Guy|
I have looked through a bunch of stuff relating to background for a ROTR campaign, and this is the direction I think I am going to lead my PC's in for the first session. The goal here being to tie my PC's as tightly as possible to the town of Sandpoint from the opening session. Nothing is set in stone yet however.
The game opens with the PC's gathered around a bonfire on the edge of town the night before the Swallowtail festival. (A two day event) They are at their current ages and levels. (Starting at lv 2 with story based leveling)
Gazing into the fire they each remember back to the day almost five years ago when they were all required to spend their six month “enlistment” in the Sandpoint militia. All except the Dwarf. Being fairly new to the town five years ago, yet wanting to “Do something for the town after hearing about the unpleasantness with that chopper fellow.” he was assigned this group of children to mentor and oversee in their training to see how well he worked with human and half human children. (This is roughly six months after the chopper was killed.)
At this point, I plan to take them through several vignettes. They are all children deemed old enough to serve their mandatory stints in the militia. The early days are hard work and exercise. Formation drills. PT. Marching. Standing watch. It is at this time that they meet the members of their squad. (The other PC's) The Dwarf is with them constantly to keep them from trouble (or show them how to not get caught, players choice)
The second scene follows a few months later with a patrol scenario where the PC's encounter many of the towns inhabitants. Who they meet will be influenced by my characters background choices (Ties to the mayor/sheriff/Sczarni/brothel owner etc). Aldren will be introduced. Ven Vilder makes an appearance. Eventually they will encounter Ameiko, who will be arguing with her father. As she angrily brushes him off, she gives the PC's a “quest”, to find a “stolen” shipment of salmon that was taken by a “thief” which eerily matches the description of the sheriffs second in command. (the argument with her father is real of course) After some general investigating, they find the thief who leads them on a foot chase through the streets of Sandpoint ending at the Goblin squash stables. They then fight the thief five on one with quarterstaves. (They enter this fight as Lv 1 commoners vs a lv 3 fighter who fights exceptionally dirty but with “supposedly” one hand tied behind his back.)
A month later we jump to a local trial being officiated by a certain justice Ironbriar and two more justices to be named later. (the justices originally having been in town for a fete hosted by the mayor) It seems a very recent “altercation” at the Fatman's feedbag turned not only violent, but almost murderous as well a day later over gambling debts. The PC's are offered the very rare opportunity to witness “big city justice” and get to sit in on the results of the trial. Kaven Windstrike has a choice, a lengthy prison stay at the hells in Magnimar, or joining the Black Arrows. They can only sit and watch, (unless they are unruly which will lead to time in the brig) but this introduces both Mr. Windstrike and the Black Arrows to the party. It will be made clear that a sentence of joining the arrows is for life.
On the last night of their official service to Sandpoint two months later is the night of fire and pain. This is the night Nualia burns down the old church. The PC's are standing watch for the last time and have an opportunity to sneak a drink with the older guardsmen on watch with them as a “right of passage” for completing their training. This affects everyone's ability to see the smoke from the fires if they choose to do so. Even if they don't drink, by the time the alarm is sounded it's a swirling mass of chaos and death. The PC's are pressed into bucket brigades to quench the flames and have the opportunity to see (with perception checks) citizens of Sandpoint that need to be rescued from the flames and smoke. (Drinking or not drinking carries consequences forward with both the sheriff, mayor and the guards who were on watch with them that night)
By the time the fire is brought under control, the PC's find that they are back at the bonfire they started at in the beginning of the session. They are startled awake, each one staring once more into the flames realizing that they have all shared one momentous memory from the past.
Note that in the beginning of this version of events almost six months have passed since the end of Stoots rampage. (The PC's had some intensely bad dreams the night the minor runewell flared, but nothing serious. The Dwarf had not come to town yet.) Using this time line, it just might be possible that when this prequel ends Nualia has gotten herself pregnant again (all for the will of Lamashtu) which prompts her to kill her father and flee to a place (Magnimar) to birth her monstrous son or daughter. This is the reason the cultists in Magnimar help her as she is seen as literally carrying “The will of Lamashtu" inside her.
Thoughts and observations are certainly welcome.