Starting Homebrew Campaign

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Starting new campaign.  I have an idea of the kingdoms/powers at play.  I see a recurring lich being a long term enemy of my party.  Main thing that's going on is there are monsters being flushed from the mountains, characters will find out why later.

I have a whole world and events imagined but I'm having a hard time deciding on how to start it all off.  Looking for ideas of how to get level 1 characters involved into an adventure.

Off the top of my head, I can think of two main ideas as follow:

1) The monsters have regularly raided the bordering lands and kingdoms, but this time something is different, they have been coming in organized waves, and working together in organized battalions instead of the usual mindless hordes. The leaders and nobility of the knigdomes have taken note of this, have either ordered the pcs to show up and look into the matter 9probably while dangling a carrot) or might have simply put out the equivalent of a recruitment poster (The arch-chancelor wants YOU!!!) which will have caught the pcs' collective eye. You may want to talk with your players before hand if you decide t use this method and think up appropriate awards before the game begins, such as clearing the thief's record, a fully funded alchemy lab for the wizard etc.

2) The pcs might have never wanted to be part of this issue, they were simply minding their own busines when they suddenly found themselves in the middle of an orcish raid, and they were horribly outnumbered. They woke up, tied and poorly bound and manged to escape with the nessecary levels of carnage and fireballs. Now, they are in the middle of the mountains, no idea which way is up, low on supplies etc. This can then link into the above plot hook when the characters finally rejoin civilization, or they may wish to go looking for the source themselves, for revenge....

For future reference, what plot hooks have you used inthe past to great effect and can you recycle them in this case?
This is often the toughest part of a campaign. Often, when my players are making their characters, I'll simply have their backstories include a reason to be in (insert relevant large city name here). It could be where the wizard went to school, where the barbarian is selling some pelts, where the cleric is making pilgrimage... whatever.

Now that they are in the same place, they simply need incentives to bring them together. Hunting down a local orc lord could be the barbarians quest for revenge and the rogue's quest for bounty and the clerics chance to recover a relic stolen from a church. It needent be the same reason for all the characters, but once they have reason to join forces for the first quest, they begin to develop their own bonds and develop a history together, which hopefully keeps the story moving forward.

A good way of making all the pieces come together is to look over the players shoulders while they are making their characters. Flesh out their backstories to where you have a few hooks to use to keep them in the group and working together.     
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