The Threat From the Deep
The continent of Elos (EH-loss) is enjoying one of the most fruitful harvests in recent memory. One month into the new year, it is late September and the Earth has yielded a rich bounty. The sages proclaimed this year to be the Year of Fallow Fields, but famine and hunger are the farthest things from people’s minds. In the Kingdom of Gardania, a wise king rules from the Stone Palace, and the kingdom is currently friendly with its neighbors. It is a time of peace and prosperity in the world of Men…but for how long?
The Year of Fallow Fields marks the end of a thousand-year age known as the Kismat, the Waxing. The Kismat is said to alternate with the Karmat, the Waning. Superstitious though this philosophy might be, what records sages have from the time before the current Kismat tell of a veritable Dark Age of war, plague, and tainted magick. How much the kingdoms of Elos are concerned with the end of the Kismat is uncertain, but it is regarded by many as idle superstition. Still, some sages and loremasters warn of dark times to come…
The Kingdom of Gardania is home to a variety of peoples. Elves, Dwarves, Humans, Halflings and Gnomes make up a great majority of the citizenry. Plenty of other races live and make their homes in the Kingdom, but they are less common. Elves can be found living as their ancestors did in the mighty Western Forest, but they are plentiful in urban areas as well. The plains are mostly home to Human and Halflings, while the lowlands have relatively even populations of Humans, Elves, Halflings, and Dwarves. Inverrin is a bustling city of 80,000 souls, and is home to members of all the common races, as well as foreigners from across the Southern Sea. The Cloakwood is a dark and claustrophobic place, however Gnomes do live there in great numbers in villages and towns amidst the trees. The northern plains and the Idris Mountains are home to the Dwarven Kingdoms, whose cities sprawl deep underground, reaching as far as under the Awin Idris. Their territory borders with the Underdark, a world beneath the surface. The Underdark is home to terrifying creatures, mysterious cities, and savage races. Not many know of the Underdark’s existence save the deep mountain Dwarves, and entrances to the depths are very few and far between.
Our journey starts in the village of Clifftop, in the southern arm of the Idris Mountains. It is a village situated in the Plainlands close to Strathmaer, but also not far from the lowlands and Port Chancer via barge or other river transport. A village of about 100, it is a multicultural community that is home to elves, dwarves, humans, and halflings alike – perhaps even a gnome or two!
Should you decide, you may be a native of Clifftop. If so, you should probably be a human, halfling, or dwarf. Feel free to make up names of people and places around Clifftop when writing your backstory, too.