Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

The Darokin Conspiracy Campaign

by Morten Greis Peterson

Bonetti asked me about this campaign, which I mentioned in this thread:
At present it is just a concept for a campaign, since I'm running a few others, and this one is on hold until one of the others are finished.

Concept: Darokin has been shaped by the secret warfare between Alfheimers and Shadow Elves. As the Glantrian-Alphatian war [WoTI] breaks out, a group of Darokinians discover the terrifying secret, that elves have been manipulating them for centuries, and that the secret war have been sped up due to the wizardwar.

Background: I find much fun in playing with Templar Conspiracies and Secret History, and I've been playing a lot of the Nephilim RPG, hvor the PC's are immortal elementals battling secret societies across the centuries. In some Science Fiction you find identical notions, e.g. Babylon 5, where two secretive, ancient races have been both secretly and overtly battling each other thus shaping the fates of all the younger races in the galaxy. An alternate story are the Foundation novels by Asimov.

Secret History in The Known World: In Mystara you have some of the same. I'm fascinated by the fact, that several nations have been shaped by people striving for Immortality (Glantri is an obvious one), another is The Yavdlom Divinarchy and underneath the Emirates a new nation is being born in secrecy. I also like the interpretation that the elves were guided to Carnolbarth in order to transform the Emirates into a desert as a part of the Immortals' plan to erase the existance of the Nithians. How many other nations have actively been created by the Immortals (e.g. the realm of Shadow Elves, The City of Oengmar, The Atruaghin Plains)? How many others by people striving for immortality?

The idea is here, that from the day the conflict between Shadow Elves and Alfheimers begun, they have been manipulating Darokin. The noble families, the Merchant Houses etc. have been founded by elves and since elves easily lives for 800 years, the elves have been guiding families in Darokin for generations of humans. Appearing in the night to guide and inspire, they perhaps appears a few times in the lifetime of a guild leader inspiring him or charming him int certain actions, and then the elves wait. This battle have lasted hundreds of years and the elves are patient.

Nothing in Darokin is any longer random, but all orchestrated by the elves. Some shaped by the Shadow Elves, others are shaped by the Alfheimers. The conspiracy can of course be even older, perhaps it truly goes back to the arrival of the elves, and they have been shaping the Darokians just as their weather magic shaped the Emirates, and this manipulation became a secret war, when the Shadow Elves started their conflict with the Alfheimers.

So the campaign
The campaign follows a group of Darokians, who discover that their society is construct resulting from the secret wars of the elves. The campaign is not about discovering the conspiracy as it is about responding to this secret. The existance is thus revealed during the first session, and the players are at beginning of the campaign aware of this. Now it is about their response to this, especially as the elves have sped up the warfare due to the WoTI, and the Masters in invasion of Darokin throws a wrench into the whole system.

The players will be playing humans - as playing elves would disturb the concept and change the focus of the game, and dwarves are both too long lived and too minor a race in Darokin for being suitable for the campaign, and much the same applies to halflings. The PCs should be members iin the high end of the society - born or married into an old house, a member of an up and coming house, inheritor to domain and/or member of the DDC. In all of these positions they are all pieces in the elves' games.

Each player will create a family tree for his character, and as a part of the campaign, we will be playing flashbacks to distant relatives in the family tree in order to show, how the elves have been manipulating them in the past.

System: The rules will not be D&D. I'm looking for a set of rules, that are efficient at handling intrigues and social conflicts rather than efficient at handling combat. I am considering a hybrid of Mouse Guard and Burning Empires - the long ranging scene-mechanics and high scale conflict from Burning Empires combined with the simpler and mose easily to use Mouse Guard (both games run on the same engine being different interpretations of Burning Wheel).

I imagine the campaign will lasts for years in campaign-time, and that we will skip ahead weeks and months at a time, and the mechanics of Burning Empire does support that. Secondly we will be playing the past as brief scenes here and there using the players' family trees.

My original thoughts about the campaign: