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Black Eagle Barony Demon Arc

by Joaquin Menchaca

Campaign Ideas & Events:
- Ludwig's advisor Bargle secretly releases a demon from his imprisonment.
- Baron Ludwig descends into madness as he struggles to resist the demon's possession.
- Increasingly deranged, Baron Ludwig makes a series of mad random decrees and incorporates goblinoids to police his barony.
- Bargle kidnaps Valen Karameikos, terrified child is possessed by the demon. Possessed demon child rescued by heroes, returned to loving family of Karameikos.
- Baron Ludwig declares war on Five Shires, sends general and army on campaign to invade Five Shires (as per plot of demon to cause downfall of Barony and defeat Karameikos and greater Alphatia from within)
- Cult of the Damned formed, recruits humanoids into ranks and send them throughout region to convert other tribes, coordinates acts of terror aligned with campaign to destabilize regional powers.
- Iron Ring slavers coordinate with humanoids, offer bounty for captured humans or hin. Success allows Iron Ring slavers to expand outside of borders, establish island headquarters on secret island.
- Lesser demons unleashed upon the world, cultist expand to villages around Karameikos, and Five Shires.
- Players tricked into opening a demon gate, that unleashes 3 greater demons upon Mystara, each demon manipulates local kingdoms and sets up power base, to corrupt the lands, and summon forth a demonic army.

What is great about all these major events, as that they can be stopped, or significantly alter future chain of events. Two obvious target empire if Hule and Heldann Freeholds (Hattians conquer there, but become conquered themselves). As movement, and events are taking place, players can see changes, discover patterns. The background events give rise to tons of adventures, from tribal civil wars, Iron Ring mechanization, seemingly random tribal raids coincide with other events, disposes of Barons, causes shift in authority and power. Tribes vanquished by unknown heroes can be well place by greater forces.

This brings out a religious arc with Inquisitors [1] and Paladins [2] (Church of Karameikos), and also Demon-Witch [3][4] Hunters (Rangers [5]) (secret society affiliated with Zirchev whose secret language is a dialect of Nithia). All manner of heroes, on cause of Thyatians or Traladarans or for their own purposes. Elves have inquisitive about future threat to natural kingdoms, Hin would be protecting their homelands, and Dwarves / Gnomes affected by power growing in the innerworld of Mystara. This also allows some creation with demon-augmented humanoids, like Fire Kolbolds. :)

In addition to the DnD 3.75e character classes:
- Barbarian
- Bard
- Druid
- Fighter
- Monk
- Paladin
- Ranger*
- Rogue
- Sorcerer
- Wizard

*The Ranger is a special case, mostly those trained by Vyalia, but there is a secret order of called Hunters of Zirchev that hunt all sorts of nasties including Werewolves, Vampires, malicious spell casters, and more recently demons.

I will allow new classes

- Witch Hunter (
- Artificer (
- Alchemist (
- Inquisitor (

The Witch Hunter and Inquisitor would be from The Church of Karameikos. The Alchemist and Artificer are open to Highforge dwarves and alchemist.

If they wanted, I would permit:

- Shaman (
- Priest (
- Witch (
- Summoner (
- Oracle (
- Cavalier (

Essentially, a local keep is having problems to organize protection, and they don't think they can ward off next assault. They have not been able to receive supplies for weeks, and they suspect the worst. The players come, the heroes are embraced by the townsfolk, and hugged by the locals, a little girl runs up, "are you here to save us?", and hugs the unsuspecting heroes.

(I could start off the adventure in Kelvin, where heroes get into trouble, and are somehow sent to this keep)

The humanoids have been coordinated with their attacks. They have been organized by a local cultist group, which seeks to take over the town, once the local priests are removed, or the citizens are swayed to their beliefs. Some new religious doomsayers can move into the town, and preach doomsday unless they sacrifice someone...

In any event, the heroes will find the Caves of Chaos, and combat the humanoids there. The cultist themselves are related to a main cult around based in Black Eagle Barony. They seek to infiltrate every part of Karameikan society, and are in league with the demons. The Iron Ring knows about them, and typically stays out of their way. Both organizations seek fresh bodies, cultists for conversion and sacrifice, and slavers for new goods for the market.

The Iron Ring is not involved in this case, but can be a hook for further adventures. The demon arc or cultist arc can be a hook into other regions, such as Ylaruam, Five Shires, or Darokin. Perhaps a very important person was abducted, and players trace her through different kingdoms.

The cultists' main aims are to grow their numbers and practice in secret, until Karameikos is taken over by the Duke's possessed son. From here, they will become a public religion and displace Church of Karameikos. They also seek to infiltrate important positions (gatekeepers) in society, e.g., such as clerks, guards, teachers, magistrates, abbots, etc., not necessarily the person that places the seal of authority, but the one that has the keys, leads the army, etc.