First, came word of war in the Empires.
Then, stories of daemons.
That was 32 years ago.
Now, ten colonies in a harsh, hostile northern wilderness may be the last remnants of their civilization.
Thurland is the collective name for the five colonial cities born from Altania. Tesper, it’s neighbor to the north, represents five colonial settlements of the Travan Empire. These two nations were once a single, mighty realm. But after the dissolution of the Great Triumverate, Marcus Travan, also called Marcus the Great, rallied an army that claimed or conquered half of Old Altania. Had he not been killed in battle, he may have gone on to take the rest. The ensuing chaos surrounding his death allowed the remaining half to consolidate its power, and thus remain a democratic republic.
The Two Empires, as they were now called, still vulnerable from the upheaval, experienced heavy raiding along their eastern coastlines. Ork raids, by land and sea, were nothing new, but these raiders were human, using well crafted longboats. As the Two Empires recovered themselves, they launched their own expeditions. They found a lush, vibrant, but harsh northern wilderness. Explorers came back with exotic pelts, precious metals, powerful magical components, and stories of ancient ruins. The Two Empires soon entered a race to colonize.
Subduing the local tribal populations proved unnecessary, as they were happy to be hired as mercenaries. Still, this did not protect any settlement entirely. The Celnor, as The Two Empires called them, proved to have mercurial politics and a constant need for war spoils. The land itself also teemed with goblinoids, ogres, and giants populating the mountains, exotic beasts, and unknown dangers dotting the landscape. The colonies also proved ripe targets for Ork sea raids.
As a result, neither Altania nor Travan could claim quite as firm a grasp on their regions as either one wanted. Military commanders grew used to being spread thin, as constant skirmishes and maneuvering in the homelands required the lion’s share of available troops.
Then, in 636 IM (Imperial Measure), even more troops were pulled from the colonies. War, it seemed, had come to both Empires, who had suddenly entered a non-aggression pact. By 640 IM, a flood of refugees, some of them broken military units, arrived with stories of demons, foul magics, armies of the dead, unthinkable nightmare beasts, and alabaster skinned assassins and infiltrators. By 643 IM, the last of the refugee boats arrived, and with them, the last news of the Two Empires.
It is now 675 IM. For 32 years, the colonies have tenaciously clung to life, but time has taken its toll. Roads have grown dangerous. Waypoint Island fell to Ork raiders, making sea travel equally dangerous. The decline in trade has made goods and services hard to come by, and consequently more expensive. Constant fighting is creating a dark age, as skilled artisans and advanced wizards are killed or die without passing on their knowledge.
Goblinoids are raiding from the mountains in increasing numbers. Thurland’s Southern Celnor tribes have not taken kindly to this, and for their part are raiding them right back. Nonetheless, the goblinoids have begun looking for easier targets while massing in larger numbers.
If there were ever a time for heroes, it is now.