In 1995, I created a series of fantasy characters using the Fantasy Hero system that was derived from Champions. Each character is in some way an agent for Duke Echarris, the”Black Duke” of the kingdom, the spymaster for the crown. Most of the characters do not make their association with the Duke widely known, while some are directly in the employ or service of the Duke under other circumstances. The campaign world was based on the land I created for my second short story sale, ‘Marching to King Death’s Drum’ but set more than a hundred years after.
I used these characters for two scenarios.
The first scenario involved them protecting the King from assassins hired from outside the kingdom. The assassins were zealous cultists who were part of a death cult, who would die rather than be captured and took their own lives when thwarted.
The second scenario involved a plot to release the demonic forces held beyond the Last Gates in the Shadowed Land of the dead. Twisted magical forces were at work in the mortal world caused by disruptions in the land of the dead, and the characters had to travel there, battle the forces at work, release King Death and return before the conjunction was over or else they would be trapped there forever. While there, they met the two main characters from the story above, who were now numbered among the guardians of the Last Gates.