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The Da Vinci Code

by Jesper Andersen

I just saw a three-hour documentary about the book The Da Vinci Code and was very intrigued. Now, I don't mean for this thread to be a discussion of the content of the book, which I understand is very controversial to some people. But I would like to talk about game world secrets and campaign plots.

The documentaries I watched were partly by the BBC and partly by the Danish Broadcast Corporation and of course they all presented conflicting views of bits of historical data and false clues and deliberate misdirections. But what fascinated me was the possibility that there might be a mystery to unravel. I then I started thinking about which great plots and secrets Mystara holds, that PCs might begin to investigate.

I came up with a few ones, but I'd like to hear more ideas from you and how you would expand them in a campaign.

Lost Valley of the Huutaka and the Song of Halav
An old thread (I haven't got the name) dealt with this issue as the DM was preparing for his players to unravel the truth about the Song of Halav and the existence of the Lost Valley of the Huutaka. PCs might stumble upon bits of archaeological data that leads them on their way. A secret cult of descendants of Halav's warriors might be sworn to defend the truth?

The Radiance
Probably another of the BIG secrets of Mystara (or the Known World at least) it is closely guarded my the Brotherhood of Rad from curious individuals. Trying to unravel anything while being up against some of the most powerful mages in the Known World will surely be a challenge!

The Shepherds of Rad
Closely linked to the above, someone might learn of the truth behind the temples of Rad and how they are established by Etienne to ensure an orderly and controllable magic-user-ruled state?

The Secret of Blackflame
Perhaps Blackflame is no more extraordinary than elven clan relics or dwarf clan relics or perhaps the much sought after Blackflame is actually a much more complex part of a deeper mystery?

The Carnifex
The disappearance of the Carnifex is sure to be a mystery to those who unravel a bit of knowledge about them and decide to investigate further...

The Destruction of Nithia
And finally, the destruction of the entire empire of Nithia is sure to be the ultimate mystery to unravel; scavenging ruins from the Sea of Dread to the Isle of Dawn, searching tombs and crawling through dungeons in search of bits of knowledge that the Immortals deemed to small to be bothered to erase...

by Giampaolo Agosta

Origins of the Red Curse
This is actually the main focus of the Savage Coast campaign, and comes ready with an healthy dose of legends and misdirection, as well as the required group that wants the secret to stay secret.

Quest for the Blue Knife
This is the goblinoid version of the world secret -- with Bozdogan and Hosadus as masterminds, and ambitious goblinoids wrestling to control the hordes.

The Ierendi People's Temple and the treasures of the Immortals
In the GAZ, there's a major secret about the basic tenets of this religion, with the Eternal Truth out to get it, and the Temple trying to keep the secret.

The Star of Vanya
Conflict within the Heldannic Knights and/or with others cults of Vanya as the secret about this powerful artifact strongly affects the HK and their behaviour. Suitable even for Immortal-level plots.

The Soul Crystals of the Shadow Elves
Another major secret. Of course the S.E. high-level Shamans would try to keep the secret, while other parties may disagree (e.g., the reluctant Wanderers, the Second Shadow, the royal family, and maybe some dwarves).

by Mark Howard

Where do they come from? Why do they fight the Red Curse?

by David Keyser

Elven Migrations
Where did the Belcadiz elves come from? What happened to the Sylvan Realm? How did those M5 Talons of Night elves stay isolated for so long?

Origins of the Lupins
I loved how the novel set in Red Steel played out that mystery.

Hollow World
In general.

The Legend of Atlantis
Keeping that legend from the real world is the only way to make that throw away line in CM1 make sense.

The Ylari Desert
Liked how GAZ5 explained that one.

City of Tuma
So it was only one module, I got it fit into Mystara and a lot of mileage out of the players solving the mystery.