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4E campaign idea

by Mahavira

Well, I am working on a 4E campaign to be set in Mystara (or at least something closely resembling Mystara, as I am shoehorning in races etc.), and incorporating some old mystara stuff, elements of Expedition to Castle Ravenloft, the against the giants/descent to the depths of the earth series, and some Temple of Elemental Evil elements. Naturally it starts in Karameikos for the Heroic Tier. The overall campaign runs more or less as follows:

Heroic: Starting in a homebrew dungeon near Threshold, they recover the Bell of St. Chardastes from teh heretic priestess Elwyn. Elwyn's notes suggest that Castellan Keep will soon be under attack by the minions of an evil temple in the area (aka Caves of Chaos). Upon clearing the caves, they discover that Elwyn (or some other villain if she didn't escape) is seeking something called the Diamond of Wind in Koriszegy Keep, but that the haunted ruin known to the general public is not the real Koriszegy Keep: a few hundred years ago the Traldaran Lord of the Keep was cursed and the real Koriszegy Keep exchanged places with its Shadowfell reflection, and to access the real Koriszegy keep and environs, you have to pass through a holed stone at midnight on the new moon. Enter elements of castle ravenloft, as the original cursed lord is now a vampire ruling a domain of dread. Elwyn, being a servant of the Elder Elemental Eye, is being forced to bid against a Devil worshipper for the Diamond. The PCs can play the evil forces against each other, and if they slay the vampire, the curse is broken and a whole town reappears in Karameikos (both Duke Stefan and Baron Von Hendriks are a bit surprised, let me tell you). End off the tier with an adventure in Specularum (the Duke wants a look at the adventurers who've made such a name for themselves) fighting off an assassination attempt on the Duke (perhaps a good time to off Bargle?).

Paragon: essentially I wanted to use the giant modules/descent to the depths of the earth series, though perhaps with some reorganization (underdark travel between giant lairs, perhaps, rather than all 3 giants then all underdark). The question is where? The Atlan Tepes mountains do have Frost Giants, at least, and Hill Giants can be placed anywhere, but Fire Giants are a bit of a stretch, and also I figure by Paragon Tier they should perhaps have outgrown Karameikos. In the past I had most Gazeteers, but right now I have access only to Karameikos, Glantri, and Alfheim (coincidentally my favorite locations). I don't like the Physicist-Worshipping Neutral Shadow Elves, I'm going with the evil versions portrayed earlier on (to be honest I never liked the Radiance anyway). Glantri might be a good choice, because Glantri would be a good place to learn arcane Paragon Paths (may need to home brew a few just for the location) and can be connected through the Glantrian Ambassador in Specularum. Glantri is also closer to Thar, and I plan on evicting the Aztec Orks from Oenkmar and repopulating it with Shadow Elves. Also Glantri has mountains and volcanos readily available.

Epic: The PCs have finally learned that teh Cult of the Elder Elemental Eye seeks three remaining items: The Emerald of Earth (currently being used to power an Earthshaker-like doomsday weapon), the Saphire of Stygian Depths, and the Ruby of Fire (aka Eye of Arik - cue Epic version of the Palace of the Silver Princess). These gems are to be placed, along with the Diamond of Wind, into the Orb of Oblivion (a crystal skull set to receive them) and used to free Tharizdun, the dark god who created the Abyss. Some connection between the Gems and the spheres of Matter, Energy, Thought and Time, with the Orb of Oblivion being an artifact of Entropy would be a good touch to help recapture some of the Mystaran flavor. The PCs find the 3 gems, then go to the HQ of the cult, intending to use the power of the 4 gems to shatter the Orb of Oblivion, have a climactic battle, and everyone lives happily ever after (or the world is destroyed when they fail).

In any event, the question is what locations within Mystara would be suitable for the above. Karameikos to begin with is a no brainer, but whether to stay there for the Paragon Tier is not so clear, and locations for the Epic portion of the campaign...well, there are no doubt more good locations than I know of, and I was hoping to draw on the community's knowledge in this regard.

While I agree a campaign set in and focused in Glantri at epic levels would most likely involve the radiance in some manner, I'm not sure the same is true at paragon levels. Norwald might be a better choice (though in a way it looks like a bigger version of Karameikos where the PCs are getting in at the ground floor), though. The Atlan Tepes area also looks somewhat promising. At the epic stage the PCs would be too busy running hither and yon, either collecting the artifacts or responding to sallies by their enemies - they may have a home base but they won't stay there for long periods at a time.

For the Epic portions, I had some recollection of an "Island of the Earthshakers" where Prince Jaeger of Glantri witnessed a war between Earthshakers and Gargantoids, and that was sort of what I had in mind for that quest - sounds like much the same place you describe. Fitting Nithia in somehow, whether though Ylarum or the Hollow World, seems like a must. I like the idea of Kopru, but as we are just now going through the Savage Tide adventure path, about half of which is in the Isle of Dread, I wonder if an ocean 'continent' in the Hollow World representing the ancient Kopru Empire would be a better location (I never had the Hollow World set, I just vaguely know that the Immortals use it as a museum of destroyed civilizations, eventually including Alphatia).