So tomorrow night I'm planning to run a big battle tomorrow. Ultimately I'd like to use the game as a jump off for a sporadic campaign with recurring characters.
The premise. The characters as 'local heroes' are all 4th level, and reside in a sheltered peaceful town out on the edge of civilization. Trade with the city is regular enough that equipment is available, but for the most part your characters have driven back a few small orc raids, taken care of a marauding beast or two, and have the general privilege of being the highest level balanced group in the area. As such the town looks up to you, you have some renown, and are doing alright for yourselves.
One day you are approached by Demaricus...You know him as a local exotic looking humanoid, you've always assumed he had some kind of elemental or celestial heritage who lives outside of town. He asks to speak to you and your friends....buys you lunch from the inn. While there he explains that he and his friends aren't just farmers and have found something they know is pretty important, and are just learning how important, but they need help. You are invited out to his ranch.
Later that day the group arrives at the farmstead. Demaricus introduces you to Tell, a dark complexioned human looking man, you begin to realize that both Demaricus and Tell dress and act like casters...maybe everyone around here isn't just a simple farmer, rancher, or woodsman after all. At the back of the farmhouse, is what at first glance looks like a grain storage building...A knowledge history or engineering will tell someone that the base of the building is very old DC10....the base of a tower DC 15....or the top of a shrine to an off shoot of Desna worshippers who sought out mysteries of teleportation, travel, scrying, and exploration through any means necessary. Inside the building is a staircase down to a strange series of chambers....the center chamber is a large room with several pools, fountains, mirrors, and strange apparatus set up around a central stone archway. A DC 10 Knowledge Arcana, Religion, or engineering check will tell you it appears to be a gate.
"We got it working about a week ago." Demaricus says. "The pools show us all kinds of places. We can move them around, and sometimes go back to places we've already seen. We're still learning how to use a lot of it. Yesterday we figured out how to line up a pool with a gate, and open it. Today we came across a strange scene. An elven Priest of Desna came across the territory of a band of bandits...we're not even sure if it is in this version of the material plane. Any way, we also worship Desna...and we don't think it showing us this was an accident....the elf is unconscious but alive...The group stripped him of his gear and left him for dead amid some rocks. However they are still in the area, and are ready for more elves in case the one they robbed had friends. There are just the three of us up here so far, and it takes 2 to make the gate work. Myself and Tell would run the machine...we were hoping you might go into the gate, save the elf and bring him here. While we can't pay you, it looks like the bandits have a pretty good stash, and we think there might be a lot of opportunity using this gate...you could be part of something pretty amazing...the pools show us all kinds of places...other worlds, and there seems to be a high prevalence of conflict based locations...dungeons overrun with beasts, strongholds, ancient trap filled mazes, ruins full of knowledge and magic. I'm telling you about this because I've seen you all around town and I know you are trustworthy. I feel like I am destined to save this fellow believer. I hope you can help."
they port in right by the lightning