At the perfumed arcade known as the Emporium, Governor-Mayor Lanod Neff rubs shoulders with common laborers awaiting an appointment in the Veiled Corridor. In an adjoining antechamber, snakes and exotic dancers gyrate to a sonorous weave of cymbals and seductive pipes. A floor below, a gaggle of grasping miners presses against the windowed door of a darkened cell, impatient for a glimpse of a two-headed calf.
Out in the street, a gang of rough miners screams obscenities at a crumpled Halfling, kicking it as if scrambling for a ball. Their drunken laughter echoes off shuttered windows and bolted doors.
In a tower-flanked fortress across the shadowy square, filthy men with nothing to lose shout hymns to the Silver Flame, clutching to their idealism and principles like cornered animals. Their wild-eyed chief minister smiles as he draws a cat-o-nine-tails across his bare back, awash in their adulation.
But it’s just another night in Diamond Lake.
The Age of Worms Adventure Path opens in the small mining town of Diamond Lake, where desperate folk toil in lightless depths for a pittance while corrupt mine managers live in relative largesse, ruthlessly scheming to undermine one another and protect their piece of the action. Most residents of Diamond Lake can be categorized into two groups: those with nowhere else to turn and those who have come to exploit them.
A garrison of sixty militia soldiers stands ready to defend the mines from bandits and rogue humanoids in the local forests. Rival cults share the same flock of potential converts only because the timing is not yet for outright warfare. They muster their forces for the coming battle. Things are not safe in Diamond Lake, and a right-thinking person would have every reason to want to get out of town as soon as possible.