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Well, since the list is very quiet today, I'll take the opportunity to post something in working on with my fellow co-conspirators of Evil DMs (tm). People who looking through the final issue of the Tome of Mystara will already know of this (you haven't read the Tome? Shame on you!).

Essentially it is the beginning of a large adventure campaign I've been working on together with John Calvin and Max Monas, and IIRC we have been at it for more than a year now...

Please note that despite of my personal reservations about 3rd Edition D&D, the entire adventure is presented in 3e so as to make it more accessible to new players. After all, this *is* an adventure/campaign for new characters starting at level 1 !

Since the MML guidelines allow us to post only in plain text, the original formatting is lost...

I'll post only the DM overview today, but the first adventure will come tomorrow (or sooner if there is demand for it). If you're curious or you prefer the original formatting, it can be found here.

Also note that the Swords of Wayland, a group of highly magical swords (or semi-artifacts, if you prefer) written by myself, feature heavily in this. The Swords of Wayland used in Phase I are described in the adventure, but only two of then are significant during the four initial adventures. However, if you are curious about all of them, you can find my original article here.

But note that my original article presents all the swords in AD&D 2nd Edition Player Option rules, whereas the two swords in Phase I are in 3rd Edition format. The other swords are likely to be converted as our work progresses on this project.

If you have *ANY* questions on this, don't hesitate to post them to the MML, as both John and I frequently lurk about here! Here goes:

Corruption of the Swords - Phase I - DM overview

by John Calvin, Max Monas and Jens "the Stalker" Schnabel

DM's overview

Phase I:

Unknown to all, one of the Outer Beings is breaking free of its planar prison. It has spent centuries making preparations for this event. By manipulating one of the immortals themselves, the Outer Being has been able to set the stage for its escape. Its plan involves the corruption of the powerful artifacts known as the Swords of Wayland, as well as blood rituals on a scale that could not possibly be imagined by most, be they mortal or immortal. The PCs will be inexorably drawn into this webwork of insane schemes through four seemingly unrelated adventures. Ultimately, it will be up to them to put the pieces together before the Outer Being's dark prophecies come to pass, but the unknowable one has been planning its escape for a long time. Compassion, curiosity, fame, and fortune...all of the stuff that heroes are made of, will insure that wittingly or not, the PCs will play their part in the Outer Beings grand design.

The following is a quick overview of the Phase I adventures. These adventures are all designed for a low level party, and can easily be used as either the starting point of a larger campaign, or inserted as a mini- campaign in a pre-existing game. The adventures were designed to be played in and around the Mystaran nation of Darokin, but DMs should be able to adapt it to fit any campaign nation where intrigue, and the almighty gold coin, rule the day.

Adventures 1 - 3 can be run in any order, but for DMs starting out new campaigns it is suggested that Adventure 1 be run first. This will give the party members a memorable location to use as their home base. Running Adventure 2 first is an easy way to introduce PCs travelling through the wilderness into this campaign, while playing Adventure 3 first might be better for introducing a city bound party. Each adventure has tie ins to all of the others, so once one of them has been played through it will be easier for DMs to set up the others. Adventure 4 is designed to be the climactic end of this series, and so should probably be played last. PCs who rush into this scenario without playing through all of the others may be caught at a serious disadvantage.

Adventure 1 : Your Trusted Friend, the Necromancer
Adventure 2 : The Starving Forest
Adventure 3 : What Lurks in the Shadows
Adventure 4 : All of yer treasure, argh... belong to us (the climax adventure)
Aftermath : More Adventure Ideas
Appendix 1 : History of Oliver Attleson
Appendix 2 : New Magic Items
Appendix 3 : The Dark Petals Cult
Appendix 4 : New Monsters

Phase II:

Thanatos' plan for causing mass destruction is escalating, and tensions run high among the great houses. The Dark Petals Cult is sowing chaos throughout the land and reaping in the dead bodies. Unknown to all, a force even more sinister than Thanatos is sitting on the sidelines, watching, and waiting, for the proper moment to fulfil its own dark prophecies.

The following is a list of tentatively planned adventures that will be designed for mid to high range level parties.

The Prophecy Revealed: The characters must discover more details about the prophecy.
The Dog Prince: What does a kobold have in common with the head of Umbarth House? Stay tuned to find out..
The Corun Conspiracy: Somebody is selling information to the highest bidder, and it's information that the Coruns don't want revealed.
The Roots of Evil: The characters track down the origins of the Dark Petals Cult (perhaps going all the way to Thyatis). What they find in the end, may turn out to be closer to home than they thought.
The Swords, the Swords...who has the Swords? : The PCs must race against time, as well as the Dark Petals Cult in order to retrieve the Swords of Wayland.

Phase III:

The prophecy has been fulfilled, or nearly so...for only a single ritual needs yet to be completed before the Outer Being can once again walk through the Prime. Only the PCs can stand in its way. To defeat such a powerful foe they will have to put behind their misgivings and join forces with their most hated, and feared, enemy.

The following is a list of tentatively planned adventures that will be designed for high level parties.

Stopping a Ritual: The PCs rush to stop the ritual which will finally release the Outer Being. Unfortunately for them, this is just what it has in mind. Only the sacrifice of a friend can save them, and finally reveal the truth behind the dark prophecies.
Fighting Ghosts: The Swords of Wayland are lost. The PCs must reclaim them before their opponents from the Dark Petal Cult do.
Devil's Deal: Only the PCs greatest enemy can help them reverse the damage that has been caused. But can they trust him?
A Date with Unknowable Madness: The PCs must reverse the dark prophecies that they themselves unwittingly helped to bring about. Only then can the Outer Being's prison be repaired.