AS&SH - PG
Welcome to our Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea Campaign!
[This intro and campaign hook was somewhat borrowed from "Handy Haversack" from the AS&SH forums, and modified to our campaign. We've been running this since about 2014, but just putting up info for further and more prolonged tracking in May of 2018. Most of this intro still applies to the current setting, but dates and times are farther along than originally presented below. Centered in and around Port Greely currently, the Heroes are hard at work.]
It's toward the end of year 9 of the Celestial Cycle, year of Whale/Tranquility. At this point, there are about 13 hours of light each day. Years of the common era: 581. 12th month, second (Earth) day. Phobos is in its first quarter, and Selene is approaching its first quarter.
The Bat year, when the weak red sun of Hyperborea never lifts above the Black Gulf that rims the world, happened for you all as childhood was ending. Your youth was a time of terrors in the darkness, of the weak finding protection with the strong or disappearing into the relentless night. That's when you all entered training, so that even if the sun stayed forever beneath the edge of the world, you would have the power to confront whatever happened. Finally, your training is complete, and as the light returns to the world, you are ready to set out in it, seek your fortune, carve a measure of comfort and wealth from the cold world before the light fails forever—or cut it away from those that have it. Somewhere there is wine and warmth and danger to warm the blood—and it's time to find it.
The world is changed. What had been dark and forbidding gullies when the sun was hidden and the wolves howled somewhere under the sullen, comfortless light of ruddy Saturn and the feeble stars, you made your way in fear past forbidding ravines choked with ice and cracking with strange sounds and the echoes of a world slipping back into blind, weak slumber.
In the summer, those gullies rushed with water from the melting ice, and the mountains were gathering their white arms closer to hold their ancient secrets within. Life has returned. The cry of hawks entice, while the herds of mammoths in the Fields of Vol run free. Muscle and sinew and blood are crying out that the light is here, that it is time to wrest what you can from the dying world while you are young and strong! Let the old fear the coming darkness. Now is the time of youth.
But the world is ancient and hides its riches behind strange hungers, plans that know no human logic, curses from the beyond the dark gulfs of time, curses that used to be blessings in the esoteric antilanguage that first uttered them under alien suns.
And so, you ready yourself to meet it with fire, blood, and steel; the stuff of heroes.
After a summer filled with training and tying up loose ends at home, you head off to seek your fame. What brought you here, to Port Greely remains secret only to you.
What started as a small fishing village of 1,200 or more, has recently withdrawn from trade with outside folk. The people here have recently been rumored to be engaging in secret practices hidden from the rest of the world. The town even has become more nocturnal and an implied curfew has even been recommended for those that don't know their way. Perhaps you might be interested in taking part in some of these, more questionable activities.
A few local fishing ships keep port during the day due to a recently improved nightly shell fishing operation at the nearby Shoals. The likes of which having been heard in nearby hamlets. Of more peculiar note and potential interest, are the recent sightings and rumors of tiny diamonds popping up in large quantities. You would not have believed such a tale, but upon having heard this rumor from two separate respectable individuals, whom most likely would not have had contact with each other, your curiosity might have been peaked even further.
As you head into town, another rumor appears to be true. The people here exhibit strange abnormalities. Their heads have taken to an odd shape, extra digits on their hands have appeared, thick and folded necks are present, and bulging eyes glance your way as you pass by. Newer generations seem to have the most pronounced of these features. Some, believe these, signs of a more sinister force at play.
No one really looks at you as you make your way down The Rue towards the docks. The locals seem to avoid you, but they don't mind you any special attention as to actively get out of your way. Most of the shops and buildings seem closed, but one tavern near the water appears open. As you head into a relatively packed common room, one of the bar maids greets you… "Greetings, and welcome to the Green Griffon. What might you be in need of on this fine day? The lobster bisque is fresh off the fire." As you settle into a seat at the bar, or a table by the fireplace, you begin to look around the room. You begin to sense a certain tension…maybe it's the way people are moving about, maybe it's the way these folk seem to keep to themselves, maybe it's how they quiet their conversations as you pass by…something else is going on in this town, but you just can't quite place it.