Monday, October 10, 2016

Bleak Falls / Stonecroft Campaign Seed

Here's a brief write-up for a dark fantasy campaign that I've finally accepted I'm never going to run. Maybe someone else can get a kick out of it. As a DM, the pitch is essentially Darkest Dungeon: Players go to a remote village to find their fortunes, discover an open portal to a mega-dungeon (in this case, the Elemental Plane of Earth), and must undertake increasingly far-flung and dangerous missions while simultaneously guarding against threats from the "real world," such as corrupt officials, blizzards, wandering mercenaries, etc.

Darkest Dungeon fan art by Art Serge (

Solheim is a far-flung province of the Yorish Empire that borders the Goblin Kingdoms. Bleak Falls is a backwater village in Solheim. Stonecroft is name of the secret part of Bleak Falls that exists in the Elemental Plane of Earth.

Traveling to Bleak Falls/Stonecroft involves traversing the Moldwood. While the road is well-traveled, the forest is expansive and uncharted. To the north of Bleak Falls lay Howler’s Moor, Lake Gwynnet, and the village of Dunnsmouth—further north still lay the foothills of the Mountains of Dread. To the east of Bleak Falls lay the Dismal Bog. To the west of Bleak Falls, on the other side of the Moldwood, lay the Varthus Scrubland.

Bleak Falls is an unimpressive town until one learns of the Stone Gate which leads to Stonecroft and the Elemental Plane of Earth – a secret discovered in recent decades. Bleak Falls proper has a population of roughly 252, whereas Stonecroft’s population is 870.

Lord Crenshaw has a monopoly on trade in the village and oversees the transport of precious gems to and from Bluestone, a Dwarf Citadel ten days’ travel south of Bleak Falls. He is aided by Corwin’s Minotaurs.

Lord Thaddeus Crenshaw is the appointed mayor of Bleak Falls/Stonecroft.
One regiment of soldiers, the 463rd Footmen “Minotaurs,” guards the city. Their captain is the mercenary Corwin. He is on good terms with Lord Crenshaw and Constable Caringol.
Stonecroft has a church dedicated to Lashoon, though currently it is only tended by a single acolyte named Burnham. Burnham awaits news from the High Temple, not knowing what his proper place is in Friar Burton’s absence.
Inglebert von Steigler runs a curiosity shoppe rumored to sell magic items. It’s really just a Roma wagon, but it’s guarded by animated suits of armor and von Steigler is strict, forbidding careless divination magic in his presence.
Thornwell the sage has a vast library. He is a geologist, but knowledgeable about all manner of subjects. He offers the usual variety of sage advice.
Friar Burton, the spiritual leader of the town, has vanished.
Carver Gladstone is the iconoclast dwarf who runs the Quartermoon Inn.
Dyptheria du Monde is the town physician—colloquially, she is called the leech.
Lacy Goodfoot is the Halfling who runs the Copper Dragon Tavern.
Selene is the nymph Lacy keeps as a cook.
The Constable is Walter Caringol.
Flona the Halfling, Magus Bashool, and Hunberg are all mercenaries for hire.

Overseer 1015
is the leader of the Bluestone Dwarf Clan which toils in Stonecroft as part of a trade agreement with Crenshaw. He has a liaison named Tallspeaker 0012.
Stanislaus III is the Duke of Solheim. He has ties to House Lorrin of Yor.

Corfus Gunderhiem is the bishop who is supposedly responsible for the Moldwood region, though he has never set foot so far north. He will visit soon, and if impressed by the heroes, he may offer to sell the heroes a writ of taxation worth 12,000 gold for a paltry 300 gold. Of course, the heroes will need to go to Dunnsmouth to collect it…

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