Courtesy Wizards of the Coast

The party of D&D characters I guide on Tuesday nights (who didn’t meet last night) is close to embarking upon a larger world. I’ve touched on some things they are likely to encounter as they leave the Nentir Vale in the larger world beyond, and I think it’s time I revise some of that historical and cultural background, so that it makes some sort of sense. My first attempt is available here, and as Ernest Hemingway reminds us, “The first draft of anything is shit.” Also, I’d like to put together an actual map of these places soon, so it’s on something other than graph paper. Anyway, here’s what I’ve laid down so far.

For several hundred years, the descendants of Nerath ruled every acre of land south of the Stonemarch and west of the Feystride. Founded on an unholy alliance of the churches of Asmodeus and Bane, their rule was an ironclad and thoroughly corrupt one. Lordlings, knights and princes all paid due homage to the crown, who in turn dispensed blessings and punishments seemingly on a whim.

Finally, the prince of Adamanton, the lord marshall of the Vale and the duke of Shoredale made entreaties to the dwarves, elves and eladrin, respectively. None of the bordering races were friends to the Empire and agreed to join the humans in overthrowing their unjust rulers. When the uprising began, a priest of Bane bundled up the Emperor’s children and fled across the sea, to the Imperial Colonies far to the west. While Bane’s word was to live to conquer another day, Asmodeus’ acolytes suggested the Emperor crush the rebellion immediately, rather than give up an iota of power. The Emperor had the lot of them killed. It is said this angered Asmodeus and caused the downfall of the first Empire, but Bane was already preoccupied with other plans.

With the Emperor slain and his forces scattered or surrendered, a brief conflict over succession followed. The other races withdrew at that point, and the prince of Adamanton won his crown. He was quick to establish lucrative trade agreements with the dwarves, arrangements for the eladrin to treat with his royal magicians and a non-agression pact with the various tribes of elves prevelant in the woods and the Vale. An uneasy peace followed…