My current group had already played Portal with other characters, so I started this group of 0-levels in their home village -- a "viking" village. Their opening scene was that they were all around the village going about their tasks (gathering gong, farming and whatnot) when the village was attacked by a rival clan. Each character (most cases groups of characters) had to fight their way out of the village (essentially a single encounter per group). The net result of this got us down to two characters per player and added a few resources to the pool (a horse, couple of shields, couple of spears, etc).
They all met up and headed to Hirot, which was believed to be outside the fighting. They arrived there and we went through Doom of the Savage Kings. After completing that, the party was reduced to just 1 character per player -- but we had 8 1st level characters. After about a month -- the characters became integrated into Hirot, a bit. The cleric reconsecrated the shrine in town to his god (and made some strategic conversions), fighters and thieves tried to track down the sorcerer dude that was counselor to the old (and murdered) jarl. Then refugees began to arrive from the village Penwick, where, though the war had not yet touched, the villagers were being kidnapped by beastmen from the evil castle.
Queue up Sailors on the Starless Sea -- The characters went through this module, lost all of their magical treasures from Doom (into the well of chaos) and only two characters survived.
I had grand plans of an underdark connecting adventure that got them to People of the Pit, but that puttered out due to other projects -- so, I shot them off to the south seas city-state of Zothay (from this great fan-created resource: Zothay
, and gave them a bit of city adventure. So far, I have connections in this region to Barrowmaze (into which the newly reformed party has had one successful foray), a Lizardman Temple (from the old Judges Guild Treasure Maps I), the Halls of Tizun Thane (old AD&D adventure from White Dwarf), the Lichway (another White Dwarf adventure) and a loose connection to People of the Pit (transplanted onto a mysterious jungle island).
I haven't spent much time thinking about the rest of the adventures, but I can see Emerald Enchanter fitting in great (probably transplanted to the city -- which is very Punjar-like), as well as that free RPG day adventure (Stardust or something)... I have the rest of the modules, but haven't read them deeply enough to think about incorporating them. Since the city is surrounded by mudflats and then quite a big swamp, I'm making room for Frawgs, Perils of the Sunken City, and Ooze Pits...
Unfortunately, Barrowmaze has me all aflutter to expand the connections found therein into some overarching plot. But, I've resisted the urge until Barrowmaze II arrives.
So many adventures, and so few hours!