I came across this campaign pitch I wrote for a gaming club I started in college. I didn’t get picked as DM that time, but eventually I was able to run a campaign of Star Wars by West End Games for a couple years.
(Very minor editing to correct compass directions and distance, as at this time the continent map was rotated 180 degrees from the present version.)
“Each of us will tell a story about a quest, and then we’ll decide who’s was the best.”
-DM Selection Procedure, The Hobby Gaming Club, September 24, 1991
My Story: Tell them about Danarbi.
Once, in a far off land at the edge of the world, there was a great empire named Danarbi. Mighty cities grew, and the people prospered.
Then the Emperor died, leaving his two sons to rule jointly over the empire. The moon-goddess Azara, who was also called the Goddess of Strife and Madness, had long sought to bring Chaos and Entropy upon the land. She appeared to the two brothers in their dreams, and told each that the other was plotting to kill him and become sole Emperor.
From that day forth, the sons of Jaki have warred with the sons of Zuwal for mastery of the land. Neither was able to achieve victory, but only caused the people to sink into poverty and misery.
Many years later, strange ships came across the Great Sea, bearing strange passengers. There were the Fair Ones, also called Elves, and the Stout Ones, also called Dwarves. There were also others, called Gnomes and Halflings. They had fled their homes across the sea because of a Great Evil ravaging the lands there.
These peoples moved inland, to the forests, and mountains, and hills and valleys. There they kept to themselves for generation after generation.
Meanwhile, a Great Cataclysm had befallen the remnants of the Danarbian Empire. The land in the east sank, and the sea rushed in to cover all. Then the land rose again, but all was dismal swamp and gloomy marsh. The cities of Jaki and Zuwal were totally cut off from each other, and from the third imperial city of Dalas. In their despair, many of the people began to revere dark forces and evil magics.
Centuries later, more ships came across the Great Sea, bearing new peoples. They had come from the same lands as the demi-humans, but to trade with the coastal peoples and settle on the vast lands. They brought word that the Great Evil had fled the lands of Holothom, and that a new empire had been born there.
A hundred miles from the western shore of the continent of Danarbi lies the trading town of Ludewood. Within a few days ride are the dwarves of the Inkon Mountains, the gnomes of Jumor, the elves of the Nadash Forest, and the halflings of Shunoff. Down the Araki River is the native village of Elar, while upriver is the waste of Bleakand, where Trolls and Giants roam. Across the branch of the river called Elor-ho is the tangled Ludewood Forest, where Orcs, Bugbears, and Lycanthropes rule.
Ludewood is at the center, and it is to that town that brave explorers go before setting off on their journeys.
Somewhere, hidden from mortal eyes, the goddess Azara and the Great Evil watch – and laugh.