(based on a campaign scenario by Peter Maranci)
Having run a version of the Grey Company in the AD&D setting Forgotten Realms for several years, I have some further plot suggestions for DMs running this campaign. As with Petes original material, this can be adapted for use in any setting.
The Crimson Order
One or all of the PCs accompany a Grey Company member to a temple that has been desecrated and the monks slain. The perpetrator is a member of a rival fraternity The Crimson Order, who can be used as a long-running nemesis to the Grey Company. The Grey Company champion confronts his Crimson Order rival and is slain. The PC apprentices must try to avenge the death of their master against this powerful adversary (think shades of Obi Wan vs. Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace).
The Festival of Flowers
I recommend running Petes Three Flowers adventure while the PCs are apprentices, or at least to have them attend an annual festival of this kind. A Grey Company member competes with a member of the Crimson Order in a contest of arms, which may result in the death of either to dramatic effect.
A New Duty
The PCs are informed that part of their obligations include protecting the divine kingship of a nearby city. In ancient times the King of this line sponsored the Grey Company and even provided the Grey House as a base of operations. In return the Order swore to protect the sovereignty of his bloodline from generation to generation.
Now Its Your Turn
The Festival of Flowers comes round again and the PCs must compete and perform well to maintain the reputation of the Grey Company. An old grudge with the powerful Crimson Order champion will be re-addressed in the combat of arms.
Of Gods and Goddesses
The PCs gradually discover that the Grey Company has the patronage of a particular Deity, who organised the fraternity and appointed the very first members. This Deity may provide favours from time to time and may also have a rival God who has a long running enmity with the Company.
An unknown faction are committing crimes, whilst wearing the insignia of the Grey Company and trying to slur their respected name.
The PCs discover that the current King they are sworn to protect is corrupt and must make hard choices as to whether to become his enemy or to respect their vows. There may be another legitimate heir to the throne that they can work to bring to power. This provided a lot of scope for adventure in our D&D campaign.
The Company are approached by several different people at once, requesting help with equally dire situations. Each scenario sounds like it would require the combined power of all the members. The PCs must decide whether to divide their power or to choose one cause over another.
Create a battle to be remembered
The Company must face a climatic battleeither against the rival God of their Patron, the Crimson Order, or a combination of other power groups they have made trouble for. Whoever it is, they are intent on eradicating the Grey Company once and for all and are coming to storm Grey House with an army of soldiers/cultists/champions/monsters/whatever.
A member of the Crimson Order decides to leave that corrupt establishment and petitions the Grey Company for membership.
The home town of a PC is in danger from a brotherhood of merciless bandits, but their duties prevent them from providing immediate aid.
One of the PCs receives romantic attention, and with it a conflict of interests between with the duties of the Company and their admirers own situation.
The actions of a Grey Company member earn a death contract from an unscrupulous assassins guild.
1000 Years Later
The Grey Company has been destroyed and the PCs play ancestors or admirers of the heroes they played in earlier adventures. They seek to restore the Company as a symbol of light in a world now rife with evil. However, inversely to having a reputation to maintain, this time they must make themselves feared and respected from scratch.
2000 Years Later
The Order has become a huge and politically powerful organisation and its membership is in the hundreds. It controls everything and rules with a fist of iron. It is also utterly corrupt. The players might be freelance adventurers fighting against the tyranny of what the Grey Company has become.
Being a member of the Grey Company is a long hard road. Encourage the players to develop their characters in response to what they experience. In D&D alignments should be re-assessed over time and any system using personality traits should be open to revision. In running the Grey Company campaign I saw happy go lucky PCs develop into cynical battle-hardened warriors, and reckless PCs grow into formidable strategic commanders. Make it tough, make it glorious and make it personal!
[email protected] Copyright 2002 by Alexander Wallis. Posted January 24, 2002. v.1.0