Option 2: The Rim of Chaos
|That symbol on their chests and shields -- a lidless eye, wreathed in flame?|
Nah, couldn't be.
This thought was stirred up by noticing some similarities between T1 - The Village of Hommlet and B2 - The Keep on the Borderlands: the evil priest of Chaos as a main villain who somehow infiltrates the bastion of civilization (or at least spies on it), the torture chamber, the undead, and the temple in the dungeon.
More online research revealed the work of Unfrozencavemandicechucker, who had already thought about and posted on many related things that will find their way into Border Wardens, such as:
- the other similarities between B2 and T1 that is grist for the adventure mill;
- the importance of uniforms, and the symbol of the new master, to the growing organization;
- the cult of the fiery eye, the crimson opal, and the emergent template of a rather sneaky religious organization in the sample dungeon, the abandon moathouse (and possibly the caves of chaos?);
- the backstory of the chief villain being far from cut-and-dried (Lareth was a Paladin? Perhaps a lover of Lolth? Perhaps a dupe for an older, more powerful deity?)
Option 3: The Crimson Shallows
This idea was triggered by the stray thought that Lareth was corrupted by a power that was neither god nor devil, but by something primal yet outside the natural order of things -- and by the fact that the "Chapel of Evil Chaos" is made out of red stone, with a tapestry depicting a landscape of terrible desolation and shadowy figures delighting in the destruction of humanity.
This might be a good opportunity to insert setting elements of Kevin Crawford's Red Tide Campaign Setting. This would certainly add to a more long-term mystery, that even the scholars of this world's deities and mysteries would be hard-pressed to figure out -- as the influence comes from another doomed universe.
It might also give additional twists to the appearance of these demi-humans, if the origins for these creatures in the Red Tide setting are used.