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 Setting up Daggerford for the Age of Worms

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KnightErrantJR Posted - 16 Apr 2006 : 07:16:49
I'm getting ready to re run the begining of the Age of Worms Adventure Path for my kids, this time integrating it better into the Forgotten Realms. Even though it will be a sporadic home campaign, one of the things I wanted to do is have it still fit in with the Realms campaign that the older ones play in through the summer.

Part of what I wanted to do was to make sure that I could "fix" Daggerford and return it to canon after the events of the Age of Worms, and also I wanted to make sure I tied a lot of Realms specific groups and the like into the plot. So I came up with this set up document.
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Purple Dragon Knight Posted - 23 Apr 2006 : 17:45:58
My players were too high in levels by the time I wanted to start it, so I couldn't start it from the beginning in Daggerdord. What I did is I had them discover a worm in a test tube along with some notes and references to the Ebon Triad after an encounter with a fake merchant who wouldn't pay up another merchant (the latter being their employer, and the campaign was based in Velprintalar). Of course they discovered a portal deep under the mansion, which was used to go meet Gast Brokengulf on a monthly basis in Waterdeep...

They used the portal a few days after the encounter, but not without being noticed by one of Gast's spy who reported to him their arrival in Waterdeep. Judging they knew too much already for his comfort, he set in motion the events leading to 'The Hall of Harsh Reflections' adventure.
ericlboyd Posted - 23 Apr 2006 : 11:25:27
Originally posted by KnightErrantJR

The Situation In Daggerford—Initial Information on the Forgotten Realms Age of Worms Campaign


Looks very well thought out and sounds like a fun campaign.

KnightErrantJR Posted - 16 Apr 2006 : 22:23:12
Hey, feel free, thats part of why I posted it in the first place!
Asgetrion Posted - 16 Apr 2006 : 18:04:38
Very nice, Knight I like your ideas - especially involving the Malaugrym. Maybe I'll use some of your ideas in my campaign, if you don't mind?
KnightErrantJR Posted - 16 Apr 2006 : 07:18:52
The Situation In Daggerford—Initial Information on the Forgotten Realms Age of Worms Campaign

Nearly two years ago assassins apparently killed Pwyll “Greatshout” Daggerford, his sister the Lady Bronwyn, his illegitimate brother Lord Llewellyn Longhand, as well as Luzane Parrin's husband. The assassins were never caught. At least this is what the general consensus is in the town of Daggerford. The truth is a bit more complicated than all of that.

Lanod Ondabar of Ireabor came to Daggerford down on his luck, traveling with his friend and adventuring companion Cubbin, looking for aid from his brother, the well respected, retired adventuring mage Delfen “Yellowknife” Ondabar. Delfen put the two up, but did not have any immediate way of bettering his brother's situation. Eventually Lanod took to the road again, traveling north, and when he returned, his fortune seemed to have turned for the better.

Lanod began to do many jobs for Duke Pwyll, and became a favored hireling. He began to gain a favorable reputation in the town, right up until the horrible night when the Duke and his family members were apparently poisoned by assassins. In truth, Lanod had traveled north toward Luskan, and had been approached by a member of the Kraken Society. He became an information broker for the group, and upon arriving in Daggerford, sought to become invaluable to the Duke, thus putting himself in a position to trade on is secrets.

Eventually the Kraken Society sent Lanod an interested party to whom Lanod detailed the duke's household, his servitors, his schedule, and the layout of the duke's private quarters. Lanod was rather shocked when he found out that Duke Pwyll, as well as his family and those in direct succession, were poisoned soon after his information was given out. Lanod nearly fled, but a new arrival to town, Zalamandra, contacted him, and told him that they might be able to help one another.

Zalamandra had recently aquired a freak show from a man named Professor Marat, and had also managed to wrest the River Shining Inn from the Delimibyr family, calling in all of their debts after aquireing the rights to collect them, since they often borrowed gold to maintain the inn as the cutting edge of high society. She then opened up the eclectic house of distraction known as the Emporium. She had also acquired several secrets from town fathers, and together with what Lanod knew, decided to make a move.

Balabar Smenk, the guildmaster of mine operators, called together the merchants in the city, and had them ready to reorganize the government of Daggerford, hoping that his important position in this reorganization would propel him toward the control of the city. Lanod and Zalamandra worked behind the scenes and managed to convince the merchants that a system of government similar to Waterdeep's, with “secret” lords and an open Governor-Mayor should come about, and that Lanod would be a much better choice than the obviously power hungry Balabar Smenk. So Lanod became the Lord Governor-Mayor, and appointed his associate Cubbin as his sheriff, putting him in charge of the soldiers in the barracks. The town council reorganized secretly, though many know, or have an idea, who the town council members are.

What really happened that night in the duke's castle is not known to any of the power brokers that filled the leadership void. Luzane Parrin's husband, as a well liked and influential mine owner, often had access to the duke. The Lady Bronwyn's Harper contacts had let her know that the mine owner was acting strangely, and she kept a close watch on him. Eventually he sought to attack the elderly court mage Gwydion, and was revealed to be a Malaugrym. Celeste, an agent of Malchor Harpell and ally of the Moonstars, contacted the Lady Bronwyn and told her that there were many plans afoot, and many factions converging in Daggerford, and proposed a plan. Spells were cast on all of the important members of the ducal family to make them appear to be dead of poisoning. The Moonstars arranged for the family to be secreted away, and reinstalled when all of the main plots in Daggerford were sprung.

The secret has remained safe, although there are mysteries that abound. Liam Sunmist keeps a shameful secret, in that he did indeed verify the identities of the ducal family, and did see them dead, but their bodies, unknown to anyone else, were stolen from the temple of Lathander. To this day, he does not know what happened to the remains, and is afraid to find out.

“Zalamandra” is yet another Malaugrym, who was working with the Malaugrym that was destroyed by the Lady Bronwyn. At some point in the past, Zalamandra was killed and replaced, and the Malaugrym was waiting to see when their plot would be set into motion. The Malaugrym were hoping that if they could subvert the leadership of Daggerford, it would get them closer to the Lords of Waterdeep, and the mechanations of the Lord's Alliance. She was shocked when the ducal family was poisoned, since killing them publicly would ruin their plans, and when she saw the power play that Smenk put into place, she acted quickly to install the more pliable Lanod Ondabar. Lanod has no idea that his secret backer is a Malaugrym, or anything other than a merchant seeking favorable treatment from a ruler they have aided.

Smenk has ties to the Arcane Brotherhood in Luskan, through is wizard employee Merovinn Bask. Bask was more powerful at one point in time, but then ran afoul of several undead creatures, and was never able to regain his power. He also lost his fortune and much of his magic, and had to take a job with Smenk. Smenk, being shrewd, managed to leverage Bask to introduce him to agents of the Arcane Brotherhood, and through them, with his other wizardly associate, the necromancer Filge. He is still trying to find out how he lost his bid to gain power, and is also trying to put all of the puzzle pieces of the various conspiracies of Daggerford together to see how best them might benefit him.

The wizard Delfen “Yellowknife” Ondabar is worried about the various plots going on in Daggerford and wants to get to the bottom of all of the plots. He is concerned about his brother's involvement, though he is more worried about keeping his brother out of trouble than actually finding out if he has done anything wrong. He is also very wary of anyone coming into the town that might have to do with such conspiracies, such as newly arrived adventurers.

Finally, coming into this boiling concoction of plots and counter plots, comes an adventuring group from Waterdeep. While the warrior Auric is generally what he appears, a thick skulled glory hound, his traveling companions bring with them even more plots and plans. The elven rogue Tirra is an agent of the Shadow Thieves, seeking to expand their influence near Waterdeep. The wizard Khellek, originally from the south, is an agent of the Twisted Rune, though he certainly doesn't know many of their secrets, he only reports what he finds to them. Khellek has convinced his adventuring companions to come along to aid him in finding ancient secrets of the Shoon, or perhaps even more ancient secrets pertaining to the power of the ancients of Calimshan, and his seeking tombs in the area that are related to this power.

Note: This slightly modified start to the campaign is done this way for several reasons. First, by providing a few more power groups tied to various individuals, this gives the DM several “red herrings” to use as the story line progresses.

The other reason that some of this information has been included is that it allows for the PCs to return Daggerford back to “normal” at some point in the campaign. While Smenk, Zalamandra, and Lanod make the place much darker and oppresive, it is only temporary, and Duke Pwyll can return and fix what has gone wrong in his absense.

It is suggested that the time to start returning Daggerford to normal might be after “A Gathering of Winds.” Lanod might be killed by the dragon's rampage, allowing the PCs to go through his papers, then, and may force the hand of Zalamandra, the remaining Malaugrym. Once the last Malaugrym is revealed, the Moonstars will be willing to reintroduce the duke and his family back into town, especially if information can be found about Zalamndra's plans that prove there are no more Malaugrym involved in the town.

If the DM wants everything back to normal, after Zalamandra is uncovered, the Delimibyr family might managed to get enough gold in currency to buy back the Emporium, and restore the River Shining Inn to is more respectable reputation.

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