Chaos in the Border Kingdoms

NOTE: This is a campaign designed to bring new players into the hobby and, as such, is using simplified Pathfinder rules. Ages of players range from young children to the mid-40s, so a broad horizon of play possibilities are needed. The approach to the campaign is to set up a sandbox with many a directions to travel, then let the players go where they will. Below are a set of pre-generated characters designed for the new players. If any players prefer to create their own character that’s perfectly acceptable as well.

Greyhawk, ca. 576

The Bandit Kingdoms are an array of diverse, petty fiefdoms spread throughout a border region between the forces of Good and Evil. Surrounded by evil empires, grasping kingdoms and religious zealots, the warlords of the Bandit Kingdoms stop their in-fighting only long enough to repel a concerted invasion of their own territories. After a mutual threat has declined, they are back to bickering among themselves or raiding their neighbor’s lands.

These intrepid adventurers have various reasons to strike off from the relative safety of their homes to find a new life in the Bandit Kingdoms. Wealth, shame, conquest and escape from servile bondage all impel our party of ruffians to seek their fortune as adventurers.

The characters will start in a chance meeting at the gates to an isolated keep on the edge of civilization. Each character has their own reason for travelling to such a gods forsaken place, and each has their own goal. Splinter Keep is located just within the Tangles, an impenetrable forest of thorny vines and scrub. The forest has resisted encroachment by humankind for centuries, quickly overgrowing whatever dwellings are made beneath its eaves and driving out those who would tame it. Splinter Keep itself is relatively new, having only been started a decade prior by a retiring adventurer named Castellan Kendall. Honor Kendall nominally owes fealty to Earl Reynard of the Tangles, though he is mostly autonomous.

Just beyond the edge of the forest is the great Rift Canyon, a deep gorge stretching some 200 miles east-west and up to 30 miles wide at its center. The gorge is riddled with caves and caverns which are rumored to go deep beneath the surface of Oerth, some leading to the gates of the Abyss itself. Foul beasts, fiends and terrifying monsters regularly issue forth from the rift to wreak destruction on the lands above. A rag-tag group of defenders, the self-styled Guardians of the Rift, are dedicated to keeping the monsters at bay and eventually clearing the entire Rift of their presence.

The Tangles and Rift Canyon are in the heart of the Bandit Kingdoms, or Lands of Free Lords as they call themselves. This is a loose confederation of petty princelings and warlords who fight amongst each other more than they bind together to fight external enemies. Still, they do have plenty of external enemies. The Horned Society to the west is ruled by devil worshippers. To the south and west are the Shield Lands and Furyondy, remnants of the great Aerdy empire still bent on reclaiming their old lands now in the keeping of the Free Lords. In the east are the Theocracy of the Pale and Tenh, also ancient Aerdy strongholds trying to expand westward. And to the north the Rovers of the Barrens, Flannish nomads who where the original inhabitants of the Bandit Kingdoms but were driven out long ago by the Aerdy, forever long for their Promised Home.

Chaos in the Border Kingdoms