An earthquake rocks a region near Farthorpe, a village close to the edge of The Broken Lands. The ground opens up and reveals a structure beneath that releases creatures that raid and terrorize the village and surrounding area. Some local hero/adventurer types kill/drive off the creatures, find the buried structure/dungeon, discover great wealth within and word soon spreads. (The earthquake occurred on the 9th of Endfest, the first month of Spring.)
This has lead to a boom town with new found wealth that garners the attention of the far off king, who sends a newly ennobled baron, a younger son of a noble to come in and restore order and make sure taxes are collected. This will be a challenge to players, and the degree of taxes taken will depend on how law-abiding the players and other adventurers are, and how lawful and honest the new baron is.
The PC’s hear about this chance for riches and glory, and arrive with lots of others to make their fortune. The damage, from the creatures, to part of the village is seen on the homes & buildings closest to the hole in the earth. Earthquake damage is also evident. Merchants, innkeepers, thieves, and oh so many others have shown up and changed a once sleepy farming village into a boom town that is the center of attention for miles around. Think of a gold rush town, but with magic and monsters.
The native villagers are in shock at the sudden changes to their way of life. Farmers will be chasing people off their fields. Some have come to start digging up the place because the rumors are one can dig anywhere in the area and get rich.
The party arrives on the 19th of Warmwind (3rd month of Spring) with one of the many wagon trains bringing food and other supplies, plus scores of new people hoping to make their fortune.
The news of the collapse of the baron’s “Manor” 8 days earlier has reached the caravan on their way here. The baron was gravely injured.
The Village: Farthorpe is the last village on the King's Road. Its name is often used like Timbuktu, to describe something far off, for those on the interior of the kingdom. It is not the last village before the fertile plains give way to The Broken Lands. Dirt roads and paths lead off to other small settlements and farms off the King's Road. Villages to the west of Farthorpe were destroyed or populations driven off. Farthorpe only has a fraction of its original inhabitants remaining.
Starting and Replacement Equipment: Due to the nature of the earthquake and destruction wrought on the area, characters will have starting gear from before their arrival in town. Repair and replacement of equipment will be expensive until the village rebuilds and recovers. Most supplies have to be shipped in via merchant caravan. Specialist who can make and repair things may not be in town when play commences.
The gathering place Tavern: The Fallen Paladin Named for a hero of forgotten name who died saving the town from destruction. One survivor of the horrors has changed from farming to inn keeping, converting his home into an inn and tavern. Most just call it The Paladin.
Celebrations The first annual Turnip Festival was held on the 8th of Leafturn Year 567 of the (new) Kingdom of Drahn, or year 5 of the reign of King Dermot the 2nd.