weird tales of the forgotten realms
Meta-background for the campaign:
My game is based on a mostly 5e rule sytem (with elements pulled in from dcc/osr systems), that is grounded in a version of Faerun. The goal is to lean on the very playable 5e system and the very detailed world of Faerun while increasing the more weird, chaotic, and horror elements. Instead of running one of the 5e campaigns, the story will be built from modules from various versions of D&d, DCC, and others and my imagination.
Actual Background of the Campaign:
The story begins in a version of Luruar ( the Silver Marches )
In the last 6 years the weather in Luruar has been increasingly strange and unpredictable. There have been both warm winters leading to grain killing frosts late in the spring and winters that begin so early and end so late that the grain never flowers.There have been both overly wet summers rife with flooding, causing the corn to rot on the grass. The flooding destroyed many grain reserves and harvested spoilt grain led to widespread fatal poisoning. There have been summers so hot and dry between the fires and the drought that there is no grain to harvest. By the early spring of the sixth year there was little left in grain reserves through out the region and despite the valiant efforts of the powers that be in Silverymoon to purchase grain and distribute, it famine became widespread. The old, forbidden custom of infanticide by exposure reared its ugly head. Rumors of cannibalism and dark arts permeating through the cities, towns, and villages.
Additionally, perhaps in response to the unusual weather or a symptom of the evil age, there have been increased sightings of orcs, goblins, and kobolds throughout the Silver Marches, even in the Moonwood where these races are never seen. Rural areas, being closer to the more wild places, have been the hardest hit by raiding parties. In response the local liege lords have generally levied greater taxes and tithes, ostensibly to pay for the extra manpower required to protect their landholdings. Many peasants have abandoned their leased landholdings for wage work in the cities, towns, and villages both to escape the raids of orcs (and mercenaries) and to afford the increasing financial demands of the lords. This transition has not been easy, thus turning the screws even tighter on the already hard hit peasantry.
Not surprisingly millenarianism and heresies have gained footing in an otherwise stoutly pagan land. Some shrewd liege lords even encourage these cults, believing their harsh hierarchal structure to be good at controlling a dissatisfied populous. In particular, pockets of the Threefold God heresy have taken root in some majority human villages in Luruar. This particular interpretation of the Threefold God espouses that the world material will soon be violently extinguished and if humanity is to be saved all must forsake the old gods and the old ways and follow Torm in his three aspects. While for generations this cult has existed, for a year or so in the village of Quaervarr this cult has dominated. Although virtually all of the half-elf occupants, dwarves, and humans still follow a pagan path, the church through support of the lord rules. Recently the church was rebuilt in stone, breaking from the more typical wood and thatch of the region. To afford this, the priest (Father Brys) sold off some of the church’s grain reserves, resulting in a local controversy. His argument was that better things await us all after death when we celebrate the just, lawful Torm. To evince his dedication he took a vow of celibacy.
Years of ill weather has also caused the village’s population to swell, as more abandon their leases in the flood plain and try to make ends meet through logging. The increase in logging coupled with increasing antagonism from the cult of the Threefold God has led to rising tensions with the pagan population, as most are primarily adherents of Silvanus and reject deforestation and the oppressive, dour rule of the deviant followers of Torm. Even more recently something far darker has emerged from deep in the Moonwood.