|Found this image online (ebay auction, I think)|
I have all of these (the first 50+, actually) that
I'll draw from...
Dungeon Magazine provides a pretty decent opportunity to piece together mini dungeons, villages, npcs... Lots of chaff, of course, but there's enough raw material there to build out an interesting setting by "filing the serial numbers off."
I've got tons of classic and non-classic modules that I can find some locations for as well... Filling out a whole world (or several corners of a world...)
The first "episodes" of what might be the Tyranny of Dragonlance Campaign is 60 pages including the maps of Newtown and the raider camp. Most of those pages are filled with events and random encounters beginning with the party's entrance to the city ("The Festival of Lucor") to the attack on the city - with the missions from Hoard available over the first 12 hours or so of the attack and fire - with "Hot Day at L'Trel" events and encounters used in the day or two after the attack (and during, as appropriate).
One of the options for the party is joining the Newtown Militia. If they do so, they can more readily be sent on missions but I won't force it. If they want to derail the "story" so be it. There's plenty to do...
The dragonarmies (adapted from the DL series) will be marching on the Highlands, so the party will have plenty of opportunities to interact with the Cult of the Dragon and uncover their plans. They might not care about what the Cult is up to... but their machinations are going on in the background.
Sketch out a timeline for the Cult's activities if the party doesn't intervene - this will allow some intersection points as the party decides what they want to do... Obviously, the actions of the party will change things (as it should be) but this will give me a general timeline...