While I was drumming up my list of characters for the location encounters in The Ascalon Horror, I realized that some of the characters were a little too awesome for your typical, “everyday” encounters. Mhenlo, Eve, Cynn, Aidan, Devona, Prince Rurik, … they all play much larger roles in the Guild Wars saga.

There’s a good place for them though, based on the guardian rules presented in the Kingsport Horror expansion and the institution rules from Miskatonic Horror. Each of the characters works pretty well as a force unto themselves, and later groups like the White Mantle and the Shining Blade would also work (or maybe even as heralds).

I’m thinking it would be cool to have “quests” based on using particular guardians, institutions, or heralds in connection with a particular location. Ascalon has the clans of Charr as a looming threat, and Kryta had the continual threat of undead from Orr. The Shiverpeaks have the rival dwarf clans, grawl, and of course, the Unseen.

The constant threat (normally represented by an Ancient One) is probably a pretty standard “invasion,” regardless of who the two sides are. There might be some specific threats that need to be dealt with now and again, but for the most part, your characters are trapped between two opposed factions on the brink of war.

Significant changes to the conflict are therefore represented by who the major players are, whether they’re on the side of the players or aiding the coming invasion. If your herald is Vatlaaw Doomtooth, for example, that alters the form of the coming invasion. You know that you’re facing “Unsettling Rumors” or “War Preparations.”

If you’re playing with, a hypothetical “Northlands” expansion board, which has the Cauldron of Cataclysm as its centerpiece, you know you’re facing “The Searing.”