Twin Oaks is a tiny, sleepy little thorp located just within the sheltering eaves of a great forest. Home to an extended family clan of farmers and woodcutters, the community was founded within living memory and since its creation the inhabitants have known only peace and prosperity. But just as the gentle breezes of late summer can transform rapidly into the deadly storms of autumn, dark times have come suddenly to Twin Oaks, in the person of Deskryn, a vampire who finds himself on the run from deadly enemies. Just two nights ago, as the good folk of Twin Oaks prepared for the annual harvest, Deskryn’s castle home was invaded by an intrepid band of adventurers led by a noble paladin. Although the party did not achieve its goal of slaying the vampire himself, they managed to drive him from his lair and force him to flee into the night with only the barest fraction of his former resources in tow. Unfortunately for the good folk of Twin Oaks, theirs was the community onto which the 2 vampire stumbled first, and it is here that the fiends have taken refuge. The little settlement offers the displaced vampire all that he needs: shelter from the hateful light of the sun, a selection of new servants, and a supply of fresh mortal blood. Even in his current condition, Deskryn alone is more than a match for the nhabitants of the thorp; but his best hope of survival lies not in conquest, but in secrecy. He plans to hide in Twin Oaks until he believes it safe to leave; then, he can begin plotting his revenge on the hateful paladin and her compatriots who brought him to this lowly state. As for the citizens of the thorp, they are all but helpless in the face of this powerful enemy. The vampire has already slaked his unholy thirst on one of their number, and his minions have taken hostages to ensure that the inhabitants do as they are told. All the folk of Twin Oaks hope that Deskryn will take what he wants and then leave them in peace, but few of them believe that such hopes are realistic. Until Deskryn has satisfied himself that the coast is clear, Twin Oaks—and its people—belong to him.
The citizens of Phent, which is a large town in Thesk, are a proud, yet warm and accepting folk. For the past nine years, they have been host to over six hundred orcs, which is certainly an anomaly in the average Faerûnian community. In 1360 DR, Zhentil Keep sent one thousand orcs to aid in the fight against the westward-sweeping Tuigan hordes. The orcs fought well—well enough that the citizens of Thesk welcomed them as citizens when Zhentil Keep abandoned them in this land in 1363 DR. Still, a current of unsettling concern lingers. Some believe that the orcs are still part of Zhentil Keep’s strike force, but that they went on standby to wait for the moment when their masters give the signal. Once allowed, these orcs may launch a crippling attack from within. However, in nine years, no signal has been given—at least none that any of the paranoid folk have noticed. The orcs are enthusiastic citizens and, apart from some rowdiness during breaks from the mines or fields, they have hurt no one. And then, a prophet comes, with a message of war . . . In A Call to Arms, the player characters (PCs) have a chance to prevent orcs from rising up against some humans. This adventure is designed for four 9th-level D&D® characters. The encounters can be adjusted up or down to suit your group’s needs, however.