Machinations of the Slave Lords!
From A1 – Slave Pits of the Undercity:
For several years, organized bands of pirates and slavers have made a living by raiding the coastal towns on the Sea of Gearnat. Ranging from Onnwal to the Wild Coast, they have descended quickly and ruthlessly on the small towns and villages, and carried off innocent citizens into the night. Although these marauders were not approved of by the lords and rulers of the lands they raided, they were allowed to continue their depredations. Feuding amongst the lords and lack of funds prevented all but an occasional naval battle with the villains and the slow fortification of towns. Bribery was often a more effective method of protecting one’s lands from the incursions of these avaricious sea-wolves.
Recently, however, the slavers’ attacks have become more frequent and vicious. Believing their prey to be weak and helpless, the raiders have burnt entire villages and pulled down the walk of towns. Women, children, and whole families have disappeared; and though bribes are accepted, the agreements are ignored. Vast tracts of coastline have been reduced to ashes, left barren except for packs of wild dogs.
The lords have finally become determined to take action, forgetting their petty squabbles to unite against the marauders of the yellow sails. Through information gained from escaped slaves, and those fortunate enough to have been found and bought by families or friends, the lords have traced the slavers to a port from which they launch their swift attacks on the coast – the despoiled city of Highport in wasted Pomarj. Some who have lost kin and fortune to the reavers have advised taking a fleet and crushing the outpost, but cooler heads have prevailed. They have pointed out that such a base is undoubtedly well-defended and that the slavers, if alarmed, might arrange that loved ones and kin are never seen again. Instead, they have chosen a plan of stealth. Several bands of adventurers have been gathered together and will be sent to infiltrate the base and destroy the leaders of this evil band. Caution is recommended, for the true strength and extent of this slave ring is not known, but they seem to be stronger and better organized than encounters with their small raiding parties would indicate.
A relatively new faction in the Flaeness, the Lords Alliance began with the desperation of the Lords in the areas surrounding the Pomarj, and has begun to grow outward, across the continent. Unlike many factions, however, this particular alliance, rather than succumbing to greed and corruption, has been miraculously guided towards righteousness though the influence of an interconnected network of goodly nobles, knights, paladins and heroes dedicated to spreading the ideals of truth, justice, law, order, peace and respect for life throughout the region.
Beginning with a loose conclave of regional nobles held in the Free City of Greyhawk to discuss the problem of increased slaver activity, it has since spread to several major and minor settlements throughout the region. Phandalin is the first town to be built up directly under the auspices, guidance and control of the Alliance in the form of Sildar Hallwinter, making it something of a social experiment. Our heroes currently work in the employ of the Alliance, and Punty has been offered official membership as a knight in the group. As such, given that the Alliance began to oppose slaving activities in the region, our heroes are destined to come face-to-face with this evil conspiracy.