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Hi all,

DM Daniel here, wanting to wish you all a very happy new year. With this new year comes new ideas! Such as creating this homebrew D&D Campaign setting. This will be my first Homebrew campaign (also my first non-starter set one) and I don’t want to give away too many bonus details in case my players read this (You know who you are!) So let’s get to it – background time!

The pitch I gave my players was as follows.

You’re soldiers in the royal army. While defending the capital city from an overwhelming attack, you are drafted by your commanding officer, the leader of the Royal Guards, to lead an escort out of the city. Your traveling companion – none other than the six year old heir of Telin. Your mission – get the prince to the southern city of Kurlinburg – no matter the cost.

So there’s the pitch! Read below the line for some more spoilers and background information. This is only part one, and I know that some DMs think more or less information is appropriate for their PCs. I’m not inclined to give them all this information, but writing it out helps me spin my ideas and gets the creative juices flowing. Click the Read More to see the actual background information.

Dying Fires

It was the twenty third year into the reign of Czar Timothy the Defender that the first warning signs of invasion came to the Kingdom of Telin. First the border with Adrihol went quiet. Trade dried up. Then travelers stopped coming.

Leaders in Telin worried if the peace treaty of 743 still held. The treaty, signed on the last day of the fading Year of Snows, dictated the surrender and the sundering of the Empire of Adrihol. The once mighty empire had held for nearly a thousand years, marked by dark magic, human sacrifice, and the building of massive temple-cities.

Their new Emperor, Emperor Panomet, was barely old enough to sign the paper, and with the death of his father and mother, the regency fell to the Emperor’s Aunt, the Regent Calpysa. Since then, things had been, well…acceptable.

The old empire was shattered now, divided into four distinct nations. Shamol and Port Yan immediately fallen into anarchy, warring tribes covering the desert and plains with blood. The handful of elves and dwarves left in the Empire took the northernmost provinces and formed the Republic of Laurentia. The remaining core provinces remained centered on the capital city of Adrihol, now called the Panometian Kingdom. 

To the south, the three nation alliance that had shattered the Empire remained strong, but wary. Telin, the largest and westernmost of the allies, spent the years recovering from the heavy cost of war. New colonies were seeded with refugees on the western islands, and new trade routes opened.

The Republic of Ormbo, the smallest of the allies, withdrew, building defenses and watching the northern border with continued concern, especially as the internecine war amongst the tribes of Shamol spilled into their territory. Finally, the Seritidian Kingdom expanded north, conquering the vibrant city of Port Yan and eyeing Laurentia with interest.

Thus it was, in the year 766, that the first desperate messages for aid reached Telin, and Czar Timothy led his men north towards the once-silent border. His father, Czar Limon had always warned the young man, back when he was a child, about the dangers of the north. “Arindhol will always come back. It’s in their blood. I think sometimes we made a mistake letting the Lady Calypsa become regent.”

When the diplomatic mission never returned, Czar Timothy sent a scouting party north into Adrihol. The first one never returned. The second one failed also. The third one returned, barely. They spoke of legions of grey cloaked figures escorting shambling slave gangs along roads, and of mysterious signs and portents.

Thoughts? feedback? Let me know!