How I designed this
Two worlds connected by a hidden portal. One rich with magic, one completely void of magic. A terrible beast from the second world discovered the hidden portal and came through, hellbent on devouring the magic of world one. The kingdoms united and pushed the beast back through the portal. To ensure it didn't happen again they built a castle around the portal and sent an army through the portal after the beast. On discovery of the second world with no magic the king decided to take his best mages and wizards through to build a capital city in hopes of extending his rule over two worlds. Shortly after the new capital was established something horrible happened and the wizards on world two sealed the portal for fear of the beast getting back through to their home world. Two thousand years go by. The castle around the portal on world one falls into ruin and eventually abandonment, its purpose forgotten. World two's capital city, originally full of magic becomes weak due to stagnation and intermarriage with the natives who posses no magic. Jump to present: The adventurer's party discovers a cult attempting to open a strange portal to allow their "god" through to their world in an old castle's ruins, unaware of the history of this place. Upon defeating the cult the ritual is stopped but not before causing a crack in the portal seal large enough for an average human to fit through. The party hears the threats of the beast on the other side and decide to follow through in hopes of stopping it once and for all. On the other side they discover the strange new world. Without magic, the natives resorted to building strange steam powered contraptions and abandoned swords for black powder in order to survive their harsh environment. The land around the portal in the mountain is lush with trees and wild life while being protected by the magic leaking through from world one. Once through the portal the party finds the royal guard tasked with guarding the until recently sealed portal dead, but their airship still intact. Discovering orders from the capital they find a map and a note directing them to refuel at the nearest town of Devil's Backbone. Flying from the mountain the party sees the trees all but disappear and a harsh desert unfolds before them. The ship barely makes it to the town before sputtering to a halt due to the overburden of the entire party compared to the two guards it originally held. Upon meeting the natives the adventurer's party is mistaken for people from the capital city with their strange attire of armor and robes. The sheriff berates them for taking so long to pick up the "cargo" (leader of the bandits set for trial at the capital). But before he has time to explain the bandit pack shows up and attacks in an attempt to free their leader. Your group destroys them in a stereotypical western style shoot out. Lots and lots of minions dying left and right! The town thanks you for saving them and explains the royal guards normally don't come for another week and so their shipment of mythril (metal used as fuel on the airship) hasn't arrived. However, their is an abandoned mine just outside of town that still holds a reserve of mythril. The reason it was abandoned was due to a horrible accident that no one could explain. Too scared to go back down there the mine was eventually closed and sealed. The party climbs the hills and finds the entrance to the mine locked and sealed as described by the sheriff. Searching the area leads them to the old foreman's mansion. The party can either find the key to the mine or find the hidden entrance the mansion has that leads into the side of the mine the foreman had put in for easy access to his work at all times of the day. The mansion is full of traps and hidden dangers (maybe some monsters that managed to get out of the mine through his hidden entrance). This is as far as I've made it in my story... I have a lot of thoughts and ideas for what comes next but haven't nailed it down for sure. I'm thinking of having the party wind their way through the maze of the old mine and happen upon a well with black ooze streaks coming out of it. The ooze trail leads them back out of the mine (either out the main entrance or through the mansion, whichever way the party did not come from) and down to the town where the townspeople are standing around with ooze leaking from their now pitch black eyes. The townspeople become aggressive when they see the party and attempt to attack them. They can choose to fight the zombie'esque townspeople or run for their airship and flee in hopes of finding a cure (killing the local demon in the mines responsible for it will save them). If they study their map they'll notice tiny red X's over nearby towns (too far for them to have originally flown there from their beginning location). If they travel there with their newfound fuel they'll find the same thing happened to each of those towns. Zombie'esque people standing around but become aggressive when they see the party. I also have ideas of them eventually meeting people from the capital. Discovering the party has real and powerful magic compared to their feeble mages they are taken as long lost royalty prophesied to save them from the dark beast. And that's all I've got so far... Any ideas?