The initial part of the campaign involved the party searching a series of old Trehaen Circles. The Trehean are an ancient order of magic-users, druids, and scholars in the Majestic Wilderlands. While investigating the circles, they heard of a ruined hill fort but didn't stop to investigate it until much later. Later still they travelled north beyond the old imperial border of Viridistan. During that series of adventures they befriended a small clan of Tharian Horselords.
As Eoleander approached 9th level, he started focusing on the hill fort. First the party cleared it out, combating a group of Claws of Kalis, (an assassin cult). Then while in Gormmah they were able to talk to Draco-lindus, the Overlord of the Dragon Empire*, and secure recognition of Eoleander's claim. Finally Eoleander returned to the Tharian clan and recruited them into his service. For the details on this I turned to AD&D Dungeon Master's guide and rolled up what type of troops he recruited.
The Order of Thoth is inspired by the Ars Magica's Order of Hermes, and Harn's Shek-Pvar. I always found the idea of a mage's guild more interesting than the lonely wizard of the fantasy I grew up with. People interacting with people always makes for more interesting adventures in my book.
The party acquired a house in Viridistan around when they were 5th level just after their first series of adventures. After securing the hill fort and recruiting the Madmen, I had one of Syrivald's friends from his apprentice days show up and offer his services. Then a few sessions later half of the conclave where he was trained showed up seeking refugee*.
From this Syrivald is slowly building up a conclave of the Order of Thoth in Viridistan. Already the party is reaping the fruits of this. In an early adventure they encountered a strange old Trehean circle that consisted of a series of rooms linked only by teleportation portals (C2 Island of Castimar). They successfully moved the entrance portal to their house in Viridistan and were trying to research how to make more. The newly formed conclave accelerated this and now they have a portal linking the hill fort to the house in Viridistan.
Name Level and all that.
I hope this and the previous post gives you some ideas on how to work in name level followers as part of the natural flow of the campaign. The basic idea is to keep notes on various potential groups that could logically wind up as these followers. When the time comes not only the players get some followers but added spice in the form of a past association. Finally it will comes with that most important item, the opportunity for more adventures.
* - My own Majestic Wilderlands timeline is considerably advanced over the Majestic Wilderlands Supplement. The supplement is set in 4436 after the first handful of campaigns I rand. The date in my own campaign is 4454.
The situation is civil war in Viridistan rages on. This is analogous to the ebbs and flows of the Hundred Years war between France and England which was in part a civil war which various regions of France allying with either King.
In City-State the tensions I alluded to in the supplement have blown up. The Overlord, Lucius III, died two years ago in game time and his underage grandson was elected Overlord. (His son having been killed in a botched recuse operation by the PCs in a mid 90s campaign). A council of regents rules in the Overlord's name. Recently one of the regents died, and Duke Divolic (a former PC) was appointed as one of the regents. Duke Divolic is a Myrmidon of Set, this enrages Duke Draco-lindus, (another former PC), who is a champion of the goddess Mitra (Set's enemy).
Draco-lindus declares himself Overlord of the Dragon Empire (a predecessor empire before the Tharian Overlords) and now City-State in the midst of a civil war of it's own.
Most of this is just background noise in the course of the campaign, but it had two direct impacts. The first is when the party sought recognition of the ownership of the hill fort. The second and more personal is when Syrivald's conclave was forcibly disbanded.
In the campaign involving Draco-lindus, he was a captain of a mercenary company. At one point he was shipwrecked and was forced to go overland back to City-State the party's home base. Along with them were two Thothian mages. They got into a battle and when they were on the verge of losing the mages teleported leaving Draco-lindus high and dry. Ever since he has harbored a hatred of the Order of Thoth and doesn't tolerate their organized presence. Although he will let individual Thothian mages live if they are otherwise peaceful.
Syrivald's conclave was in the path of Draco's army and the mages were turned out and the conclave looted and burned. The consequences of this haven't played out yet and should be interesting as the city of Gormmah is now part of the Dragon Empire.
Deadlands: Happy Trails
6 hours ago