The Sword and the Chain
In Brief: Two countries have entered a brutal war, and the villagers of the losing side are disappearing.
In Full: Two countries which have been at peace for a generation, but have long-standing feuds have started a war. The larger of the two is unexpectedly losing because the armies of their smaller neighbour are larger than expected, now the conquered villages of the losing side are being found empty.
Twist: Players may expect an arcane twist to this, but the reality is more mundane, the disappearing villagers are being taken by the local slavers guild in exchange for supplying mercenaries to support the armies of the smaller country.
The war can be brought to an end if the slavers operations are sabotaged by a small group of heroes. As soon as operations become unprofitable (either by costs rising to high, or money being stolen from caravans) the slavers guild will abandon their support of the war, which will force a treaty between the two countries.
Source: Based on "The Silver Crown" by Joel Rosenberg.
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