Against the Odds
Against The Odds: A Dungeons & Dragons 4th Ed. Setting
The merciless sun pounds upon your back like a hammer. Despite the heat, you move quickly to avoid the stinging lash of the overseer’s whip on your sunburnt skin. The cool darkness of the mines is a brief release, although the stench and dust make every breath an ordeal.
Those of you with magical powers scratch at the tattoos crawling across your hands and faces as if to remove the writhing symbols there. Others strain at their chains in the dark.
You’ve only heard about the Outside from whispers in the darkness, when your overseers are away: about the Enfari, the Hyparch’s secret police; of the Traitor’s Lament, where some unfortunate is tortured nightly to announce the curfew in Thulemar – their screams magically amplified across the city; how the Eternal Vigil keep watch against the horrors of the Zargrash; why the rich cremate their dead to prevent their use within the Gheribean Legion; a thousand rumours why the Amir has not been seen by the people for ten years; a million hopes of an end to the Hyparch’s bloody rule; and speculations on how the war against the Elves of Nilambur is going and its cost.
Welcome to Archaemia. Welcome to the mines of Kel Ambar.
The Against the Odds setting was within the same world as the Ashes of Freedom campaign. In it, the player characters begin the game knowing only that they are property and are enslaved. In an additional twist, they won’t begin the game with huge amounts of gear – they have only the rags on their back.
I was running it at ORC on a monthly basis, using the 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons system. More information can be found in the Wiki. I’m not currently running it at the moment, as the setting needs some more work.