I've spoken about West End before, but just to refresh everyone's memory...
In my campaign setting, the action starts in a small remote area of the world called West End. It is composed of one small city (pop ~500) and two fortresses (population ~150). This settlement is cut off from the whole world, though it once long ago came from an enourmous nation.
I had to terminate the game I was running there. Losing two players and gaining 1-2 new ones made a huge cut on my continuity of the story, and made it very hard for my characters to suspend their disbelief. The old set of characters were 6 "chosen ones" who had a task of unlocking a room where a madman was drawing enough power over magic through wizardry that he was tainting entire schools of magic. They had to assemble a 6 part key that would allow them to access the chamber where this man was.
The chamber was in reality a magical conduit similar to the effect that took place in Sigil (see planescape) where gods would not be allowed in it's sphere of influence. There was a complicated set of steps that could be taken to turn this effect either on or off. The side effect is that magic in the world was similarly turned up or down. So, the chamber was on when the wizard arrived.. meaning that gods were allowed in the world and magic was low. The collected power of magic was all amassed in this chamber, which allowed him to accumulate it to meet his own ends (no less than divinity).
Here's the kicker there... There is a native pantheon of gods, gods of each group of animals that BELONG in the world. When the chamber is on and gods are allowed, the natural gods are suppressed. When the chamber is turned off (by removing 4 swords of power from their slots), foreign gods are suppressed, magic is increased, and natural gods return to power.
Got all that? Now, the world was completely repopulated 500 or so years back. Five "heroes of the world" (technically 6 but one died in the attempt) brought the four swords to the chamber and allowed foriegn gods to come to this plane. The world at that time was mid-apocolypse, since all human life had been exterminated by a series of magical effects. Only some animals, undead and monstrous races were left. The 5, as a reward from the new gods were given the task of repopulating the world with their choice of humanoid races. They brought two races of humans, dwarves, elves and Orcs. The orcs were eliminated in the years following to one single member left, who later died in a cell. This leave the other races, changed, but around. As time goes on, society evolves.
What no one knew is that a corrupting force had been released by the 6th (dead) member. Since necromancy had been removed from the world, undead could not exist as he would have wanted, so he instead corrupted the other 5 races. Perversions of each existed. A perverted dwarven race of mold men chased the dwarves aboveground. Fearsome carnivorous monster elves enslaved the normal elves who only recently escaped. Even the trees came alive with horrible corruption.
So, the humans of the one kingdom conquered one another until they were one fuedal nation. Everything went fine for 400 years until their steel mine ran out. At the same time, a plague hit and these mold men came out of the ground and attacked in force. This is the time the area known as west end, which was the farthest West settlement became seperated from the main country. The main country was so devestated, they just forgot about West End.
So, I want to start the game again in the same setting. I have to decide whether the previous party succeeded at their task, or failed. I also have to decide how far they made it if they failed, or what became of them if they succeeded. I also have to make some adjustments if they did succeed, since the gods will wane in power until they are no more than memories.
What would you do with a new party? I'm going to start at level one. I thought about a new inhuman invasion from somewhere, but.... I just don't know. The last game was all about people from west end journeying to the old kingdom to determine what happened to them. IF the party succeeds and they come back with all this information and they become part of the old kingdom again, or even have contact with them, it is much harder to create an original storyline.
So please, ask questions, give advice, anything. I need to figure this out quick!
Thanks for reading!