The Great War has ended and after a century of bloodshed and devastation the civilized east is a ruined shadow of it’s former self. United in tragedy the great powers have put an end to the hobgoblin hordes that threatened to overrun them and now take to the task of rebuilding their once great nations. Holdfasts are left in ruin, farmlands salted and abandoned, and whole cities lost to fire and sword.
To rebuild the devastation, protect the people left unguarded,and give purpose to a generation of warriors the nations of the east created by treaty the Order of Hospitallers. These brave and foolhardy volunteers patrol the great trade roads and delve into the devastation looking for knowledge and artifacts from before the great war. They are tasked with helping fill in the gaps of law and order as the world rebuilds and preventing another war.
You find yourself enlisted with the Sentinel Shields alongside mercenaries, courageous young warriors with no war to fight, and criminals the civilized nations can’t afford to feed or guard and so have sold their years of service. No matter what has brought you here the Sentinel Shields have recognized your potential and assigned you to the more dangerous tasks unfit for the common volunteer. Where will these duties take you and what will be your legacy once you leave.
- A world ravaged by war.
For the past 100 years the civilized nations of the east has been at nearly constant war. A war of succession flows into a war for mineral rights that flows into a war for ancient territorial claims and so on and so on. It was only the innumerable armies of the Hobgoblin Khanate, that united the west under it’s tyranny, marching across the east’s borders that united the Eastlands. It has been five years since the Hobgoblins were thrown back and a peace was made between once sword enemies but the devastation remains. A world at war is not merely cavalry charges and trebuchets but high clerics and archwizards raining destruction and devastation. Whole cities have been reduced to ash by summoned demons and forests consumed in cataclysmic spells. The few most powerful wielders of divine and arcane power gave their lives to fight their evil equivalents and where they died the countryside is forever changed in the memory of their might. The fighting is done now but it’s price continues to be discovered. Ancient monstrosities summoned have escaped into the wilds, the knowledge of the mighty has been lost in flame or left abandoned in ruins, while sentinels that once protected the lands are now gone leaving it defenseless to new enemies.
- That which has been lost…
All industry in the civilized Eastlands is being devoted to rebuilding that which was lost. Farms, temples, trade roads, and all the apparatus civilization must be rebuilt or reclaimed from the wilderness. This means that now more than ever small bands of adventurers are need to guard caravans, fight off monsters from the roads, and to delve into the ruins of once proud cities to bring back lost treasures. The virtuous Order of the Hospitallers has been created and empowered by the once warring nations to restore order and rebuild the trade roads but they are not alone. Mercenary companies, conniving guild masters, and bastard nobles all scheme and plot to take the ruined landscape for themselves so that when the crops regrow they will be the ones with the coin.
- A legacy of war.
There is finally peace after a millennia of war but it is an uneasy peace. Every nation has it’s ancient vendettas and now they eye one another’s farmlands and treasuries as they try and rebuild. War has changed the world and not every change is for the better. A mercenary band has conquered Reynes and made it into a cruel slaver state. The empire of Pelias looks longingly at the provinces it once controlled but are now free. And every noble looks hungrily toward the unclaimed lands of the Westernesse Marches.
- Strange new lands.
Adventure and heroism are not merely to be found in the civilized Eastlands but in the long suffering west as the Hobgoblin Khanate begins to collapse to civil war, men turn to devilry to protect themselves, and the mysterious masked ones of Zand travel east. And to the southwest the harsh desert and jungle island of Astrazalian hosts an empire of slaving genies and hordes of gnolls. To the southeast the unexplored continent of Zagora waits, ready for anyone brave enough and strong enough to tame it. To the east the sunken continent of Old Pelias has become an island chain controlled by chromatic dragons who bicker over every ruined rock. And farther still, beyond the horizon, come whispered tales of a hidden land of strange beasts never seen before and horrors never dreamt of.
- The gods are constant.
All the races of the world recognize the gods, each with their own name and visage but recognizing one another’s worship. The gods are not merely bickering beings of amazing power but embodiments of universal ideals. Nine good alignment gods exist in eternal conflict with 9 evil aligned gods, their opposites. While the three gods of neutrality sit in judgment, maintaining the balance between good and evil. There are no demigods or hierarchy of lesser and greater divine beings jockeying for position. The evil gods seek to destroy the good but no more want their brothers’ or sisters’ portfolio than a fish would want the sky.