Hoo-kay! Let’s see if we can’t wrestle this into something workable. Sandboxy, with a little temporal structure and direction. Looking for hooks and leads and shit to do and maybe, just maybe, they’ll stumble into the Darkening storyline here and there.
The more I read Tales the more dismayed I get, but also the more obviously an early work it is. Honestly just stripping out all the special case weirdness fixes almost all of it, and makes it much easier for me to manage at the table as well.