Horns of Doom
Starting characters may be of any PHB race, and any class from PHB1, PHB2, or PHB3 with no additional approval from the DM. World-specific races, classes, feats, powers, Paragon Paths, and class features (i.e. Warforged, Thri-Kreen, Artificers, Swordmages, Dragonmarks, etc) are not permitted. Characters may not be of evil alignment. Characters are allowed to select one background from the General category only. I reserve the right to be capricious.
The aventure takes place in the Nentir Vale, and characters are encouraged to be from this region, or have a reason to have travelled here. The party will enter the game fully, or almost-fully formed, so as you think about your character background, please consider connections between your character and the other player characters, and try to forge a strong bond with at least one other character.
Besides other player characters, you might also have ties to NPCs in the area. Feel free to ask me for details, or to approach me with your own ideas. In addition, you might consider a tie to one of these two characters and their stories:
Douven Stand: Likely a mentor for a character trained in Arcana, Dungeoneering, History or Streetwise. The man who trained you for a life of adventure bade his friends farewell three months ago and headed for Winterhaven. Douven, an archeologist and explorer of old ruins, always looking for forgotten lore, had found an ancient map that revealed the location of a dragon’s tomb not far from the village. He reasoned that if a dragon were buried there, it would be rich with archeological relics and maybe even its hoard.
Douven should have returned some time ago, and his continuing absence bodes ill. His wife fears the worst and has asked you and your friends to find out what happened to him.
Major Quest: 250 XP/Player for discovering Douven’s fate (an additional quest follows this one).
Marla Kingsblood of the Church of Bahamut has contacted a character trained in Religion with dire news. She has received a disturbing message from the small shrine at the holy spring of Kalin. An evil artifact, only known as the Rod of Ruin, that had been hidden for centuries by the Church of Bahamut has been stolen and the shrine defiled. No one alive remembers the Rod’s purpose and if any records of this existed, they are now lost.
All of the monks guarding the Rod were killed and brought back as vile zombies, save one. He survived and witnessed a small group of death cultists steal the Rod and then leave for Winterhaven. He heard a name being mentioned, a name he thought was the name of the dangerous and twisted high priest of the cult – Kalarel. Marla suspects that this Kalarel has set up a secret cult in the area and is conducting unholy ceremonies, and fears what he might do with the Rod. She asks you to travel to Winterhaven, determine if there is any death cult activity in the area and, if so, to stamp it out and bring back the Rod of Ruin.
Major Quest: 400 XP/Player for destroying the cult. Additionally, once the cult is destroyed and their plan stopped, Marla has promised 250gp for returning the Rod of Ruin to her.
The story details of these quests may be modified to fit your character background, but the objective details of them should remain the same.
Oh, and it might be a good idea to have a backup character ready, because YOU’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!