Starting in a small town, Luln, with one tavern, The Copper Tankard.
Luln is a small town with mostly farming and other worker class families. They rely on nearby larger towns to buy most of their goods but are relatively self sufficient. Merchants and traders pass through mostly to buy goods to resell at market. Many locals however must take their own goods to market themselves.
One major road, Highwater Way, leads to nearby large town Highwater that resides on a lake. The road is well policed of bandits but local matters must be handled by town constable. Times are hard and Luln is surrounded by wild territory on three sides that is not policed. Bandits and goblinoids regularly raid farms on town outskirts.
Rumors of werewolves, vampires, fey or other strange predators or frequent but hard to verify as farmers often disappear for no reason other than moving on. But families and individuals tend to leave without notice and little is heard or seen of them again. A new family simply moves into their home or takes over their land.
To the North of Luln are wilderlands and eventually mountains from which humanoids have descended in large numbers under a great Witch-King. Nearly a hundred years ago, Luln was overrun and served as an outpost for the Witch-King. Rumors are that the darkness slowly creeping back toward town. Wolves are hunting closer to town as something pushes them South.
Deep in the woods to the North, an old tower stands where one of the Witch-King’s leaders at one time called home. It is rumored he was a dark priest following the ways of a dark god. But he was charismatic and easily swayed others that his was not truly the ‘Dark Arts’. Rather he evangelized needs for a new beginning where hard working people no longer bent the kneed to the rich and corrupt courts to the South.
Our heroes are either locals looking out for friends and family or adventurers that came from a ways off searching for answers for missing relatives. Perhaps the ‘heroes’ are merely treasure seekers or those looking for items from fallen dark arts.