It’s a mash-up. The Arcanum War is over, and the characters are all veterans of that war. They have come to Vornheim, because that’s one of the places where the ancient treaties and vows between fey and humans still hold–a place that was not swept up in the firestorm of the Arcanum War.
They are going to petition the Baroness Titania of Scrodd to grant them a charter. She controls access to the Barrowmaze, a burial ground on the highlands to the east of Vornheim, where its human nobility have been buried for millenia. The Baroness recently advertised that she will issue charters for expeditions, and purchase whatever grave goods they retrieve. The characters hope to be expedition leaders, not torch-bearers or mercenaries; in order to be considered, they must gift her with a piece of arcana.
Why are there expeditions to the Barrowmaze now? Well, the torque applied to the world’s fabric when the fey went to war with the humans caused it to thin out and unravel here and there. Undeath has swelled into the world, and now some of those in the Barrowmaze are restless. The Baroness represents the noble house responsible for their repose, and she chooses to execute that responsibility by chartering teams to go in and forcibly re-seat the dead who are not resting. Her experts assure her that objects with magic or wealth could be conduits to the unrest, and should be removed at once for safekeeping; she is paying an appropriate amount for returned grave goods.
Tonight, the characters hoping to get a charter to lead expeditions into the Barrowmaze must win the Baroness over with a gift of an arcanum, and project competence.
It may not be easy.
Anyway, I think it’s cool that I’m stitching together Into the Odd, Vornheim, and Barrowmaze with my home-brew fey/human war. Weird industrial revolution meets the vow-haunted superstitions of Vornheim in the shadow of an impossibly sprawling burial ground. Works for me.