The Reign of Darkness
The once mighty kingdom of Pellioh is in danger. Divisiveness within the realm is approaching anarchy, travel between cities has become perilous and the ever hostile barbarians of Korosgorod and Norvenheim eye its Heartlands enviously.
Pellioh’s deterioration began with the fall of the Great Kingdom two-hundred years ago. Its troubles continued when a fierce war one-hundred years ago resulted in the burning and pillaging of Haven, the second largest city in the kingdom. Now, its most recent injury: the disappearance of High-King Maramet over four years ago, followed by the death of Prince Thendel at the hands of the Koros in an expedition to retrieve his presumed-dead father’s body and the fabled Sorona crown. The Church of the Holy Light (under the leadership of Archprelate Annacks) and nobles well-disposed to the high kingship (including Archduke Moergan Markelhay and Baron Karza Vullen) established a Council of Regents to rule Pellioh until the monarchy could be restored. But as the years passed without success, the power and authority of the Council of Regents has dwindled.
Today, the lands of Pellioh are no longer safe, secure, or stable. Bastions of civilization populate a dark, menacing realm – points of light in a region otherwise overrun by barbarians, brigands, cults, humanoids, and savage beasts. But at the edge of that realm, something worse has begun to stir that threatens the very survival of the world itself. As a new generation of rising heroes walks the lands, the actions of these powerful and chosen few will determine whether or not these events herald a Reign of Darkness.
Thalin is a man of two worlds – wild and civilized, elven and human. Skilled in woodland survival and tracking, his blood runs hot and he seldom lets an enemy escape unpursued – that is, those few who survive to escape his deadly swift and accurate archery.
Gryffin Farstryder is a dwarf of the Ironforge Mountains who venerates his people’s pantheon of gods known as the Morndinsamman. Brash, aggressive and tough, he often forges the frontline of battle wearing heavy armor and wielding the axe of his ancestors.
Ryn is a private man of mysterious origin and background. Changing his demeanor, personality and even his appearance as easily as a man changes his clothes, he is as adept in varying social situations as he is in hiding in shadows and disabling locks. Strategic in battle, Ryn strikes his foes’ vital organs when they are most vulnerable.
Obakong is as much man as he is beast, though the danger he poses to those who do not threaten him is tempered by his curiosity, naivete and good humor. But when reacting to those who mean him or his allies harm, he wields his giant club with ferocity alongside his savage dire ape companion Suko.
Yasir bin Hassan is a man of Khoudya, a distant desert land, who commands the power of fire magic. A man now in search of himself because of recent events, he sees a world around him that is made to burn, and he brings that fire to consume his foes or protect himself.
Reign of Darkness is a restricted-magic, dark fantasy Pathfinder RPG campaign strongly influenced by the flavor and play-style of 1st edition Dungeons & Dragons and the 2nd edition Birthright campaign setting with some minor influences from other editions as well. It depicts a hostile and dangerous world of limited resources in which the creation of magic items has been mostly lost, death is usually permanent, and adventurers succeed or fail based just as much upon the choices the players make as the weapons and power the characters wield. Mystery and uncertainty are a big part of the campaign canon – players do not go in knowing all the ins and outs of the campaign and they should not feel like everything is perfectly understood. The unknown is part of the drama and the search for understanding is part of the challenge.
If adventure is to surprise and mystify you and invite you to uncover the secrets of an unknown world, then you may enjoy Reign of Darkness as a campaign. If entertainment is fun without failure and progress without pain, you will have to find it somewhere else.