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The Order of the Black Flame

Lord Zack

The above mentioned order is a group of religious assassins that serve the deity Pyremius (from Greyhawk, though my campaign is not a Greyhawk one, and in Complete Divine). They are one of two major antagonists in my campaign. The story is that the deity that Pyremius slew to get his fire portfolio aspect was a deity named Pyro, which part of the party worships and is trying to resurrect. Pyremius doesn't like that, so he's sending the Order to take them out.

Here's they're plan. They send a rookie member, whose just on the verge of being promoted to the rank of Vindicator (NE male fire gensai Cleric1/Crusader4 of Pyremius, he'll get levels in the Ruby Knight Vindicator prestige class, if he survives). His job is to tell the PCs that the Order of the Black Flame is hunting them, and to kill one if he can. He has set up a trap in a room with a pit trap in the dungeon they are exploring. The idea is that the pit trap will take one out of the combat for at least a few rounds, and then he'll strike hard and fast. All the while he'll tell them of Pyremius and shout religious the slogans and the like. The idea is to get them to come after the Order of the Black Flame and the general cult of Pyremius. The problem for the PCs? The cult has infiltrated the local government. If they go after these guys the wrath of the law will descend upon them.

But the PCs have an ally, a Baron they've done a few jobs for in the past (LN male human Fighter 7/Kensai 1 of Hieroneous). He's knows the order is infiltrating the local government, but because of they're influence he can't move directly against them. He'll contact the PCs and tell them of a plan he's come up with. You see he has a ghost in his manor house, his ancestor in fact. The PCs were contracted to get rid of it, but due to it's rejuvenation ability it just came back. However the Baron was able to peacefully communicate with the spirit of his dead ancestor. It turns out that he was forced to betray his country Haven during the war between it and the nation of Arenland to the south one hundred years ago. The Necromancer Valarn (the second major antagonist of my campaign) used his manor as a base for covert missions in Haven and forced him to do various other treasonous things, using his family as hostages. Eventually he turned on Valarn, and revealed what had been going on. He and his family, except for his eldest son, was slain by Valarn's agents in the ensuing conflict. He was tied to the manor by his feeling of guilt and shame. His eldest son left the manor empty and unoccupied. Valarn used the place for further espionage after the war ended and he made alliances with the Church of Wee Jas, but eventually abandoned it him self. Then the current baron hired the PCs and we get to where we are now. The ghost is still tied to the spot by his feelings of guilt and shame. He feels he needs to be pardoned by the King. Herein lies the plan. A royal magistrate (LG male half-elf Urban Ranger 7 of St. Cuthbert), actually acquaintance, will be sent to investigate the ghost and then report back to the king. The baron will then have the PCs guide him into finding out about the Order of the Black Flame. My problem is how would this be accomplished? Also is there any problems with my plot in general? Do you think it's too railroady? Of course in the last "event-based" adventure I ran the Players had some trouble with knowing where to go, so they'll probably need some guidance. Is it too convoluted? Stuff like that.

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