I'm going back to my Karameikos campaign next week or so. In the previous campaign arcs, the player characters were primarily active in Karameikos, visiting most of it -- they've basically visited most of the main regions except the eastern coast and the Altan Tepes. While I do have another arc ready, which takes place in Karameikos (Lords of the Cruth Lowlands), that arc is strongly geared towards native PCs looking into establishing a dominion. Unfortunately, the player of the Traladaran noble Fighter PC moved abroad, so that character, who was likely to be the main driver for the arc, is now retired from active play. While there are other items of interest for the other player characters (the magical secrets of the Sons of Night and the magical polearm Comet's Edge), I'd like to offer a second option which might suit better the party (currently composed of a Ierendian noble Thief, two Callarii Elves, and a well-to-do Karameikan Magic User of Thyatian ethnicity).
Since one of the PCs is Ierendian, and we haven't explored much of his background (although it is the most detailed), I think a campaign in the Sea of Dread would be interesting. I'm planning to use the following material:
- X1 The Isle of Dread
- X7 War Rafts of Kron
- The Freeport Trilogy
I've read the two adaptations of The Savage Tide in Threshold Magazine, but I'm not convinced about the adventure path, mostly for two reasons: it covers a range of levels too wide (I'm planning to go from 5th to 8th level or so with this arc, and certainly not in the Companion/Master range that would be necessary to tackle the Pyts in BECMI, or even the AD&D Abyss); and Paizo's adventure paths seem a bit too railroady for my style (at least when playing D&D).
Anyway, my current plan is to involve the PCs through one of the hooks of Lathan's Gold -- the dwarf's quest. In this case, the dwarf patron will be Thorur Silverbeard the Younger, the Guildmaster of the Goldsmiths' Guild ("Arte degli Orafi") in Specularum. The premise is that Thorur acquired the journal of Rory Barbarosa (from X1), which talks of gold artifacts inherited by the villagers of Tanaroa from their ancestors. However, there is one missing page in the journal -- the page where Rory sketched a map of the Isle of Dread and provided directions to it. Now, Thorur's agents have located the map in Ierendi (either in the castle library or in the People's Temple vaults). Thorur contacts the PCs (in particular the Ierendian thief) and offers them to share the profits of an expedition to the Isle of Dread: the Goldsmiths will get exclusive rights to any gold mine (or other mine of precious minerals), while the PCs can keep all the manufactured items (coins, jewelry, weapons, etc.) they find in the process.
My current idea is to use Death in Freeport as the initial adventure in this arc -- it is a short adventure, but a good one for setting the tone to a "D&D meets pulp Cthulhu" genre. At the end of Death in Freeport, the PCs will have (a) the map to the Isle of Dread and its treasures and (b) an idea that not all is well in the state of Ierendi.
From there, things may progress into X1 and/or the rest of the Freeport Trilogy (adapted to higher levels and BECMI, but that's not much of a problem) and finally to War Rafts of Kron.
Now, I need to combine the tree adventures, and adapt the Freeport Trilogy to Mystara, so the rest of this post is mainly for brainstorming.
The main enemies of the three adventures are:
- X1 The Isle of Dread: the Kopru, dreaming the restoration of their lost Empire
- X7 War Rafts of Kron: Hadric of Colhador, an aquatic vampire (velya) of Taymora origins and Morak, the High Sorcerer of Kron
- The Freeport Trilogy: The Brotherhood of the Yellow Sign and the Serpent People
For the Brotherhood of the Yellow Sign, they could be a cult of Demogorgon or an Outer Beings cult. Demogorgon has some advantages in that it would help in linking with previous events (the PCs are established enemies of the Dark Triad in Karameikos) and possibly future ones (if Demogorgon is, e.g., a patron of the evil Kopru and/or the patron of Sasskas, the devilfish Immortal).
For the Serpent People, I could either keep the reptilian theme, and replace them with Troglodytes or Lizardmen, or keep the shapechanger theme, and replace them with more typical Mystaran shapechangers, such as the Dopplegangers or Baldandars. The former might provide a link to the Carnifex, more appropriate if the Brotherhood worships one of the Outer Beings, the latter would provide a link to the Chambahara of Sind (and therefore to the history of the Sea of Dread -- see the Night of Long Knives).
For the followers of Yig, who also appear in the Freeport material, I'm considering Kopru followers of Slizzark or undead lizardmen priests of Ka, although a surviving Carnifex could also be appropriate, especially if the Outer Beings are involved.
Well, for now that's all I have. I'd appreciate any idea or comment.