Courtesy Wizards of the Coast

Continued from yesterday’s post

The human lands paid due homage to their new king, and in return they were left mostly to their own devices, with minimal interference from the crown outside of taxes and requests for aid. Minor and major lords rose to power, claiming cities as their seats of power and laying claim to as much acrage as they dared. Most city-states had different patron dieties, and while for the most part they could get along, there was the occasional dogmatic squabble.

The progressives of Erathgate often chided the more militaristic people of Stormwatch, who paid homage to Kord with extensive drilling and an ancient tradition of trial by combat. Stormwatch, for their part, was interested in the engineers of Erathgate creating new means to wage war. While Daggerport and Fortune’s Harbor often traded ships and goods, the lack of a patron diety and reports of dark cults dwelling in Daggerport made some of the lovers of Avandra within Fortune’s Harbor a bit nervous. Word of these cults reached the church of Bahamut seated in Shoredale. When Daggerport-registered vessels stopped carrying pilgrims to the Bay of Bahamut far to the east, Shoredale’s duke sent ten thousand paladins and soldiers to bring the ‘free city’ to heel. Had it not been for emissaries from the king forging an uneasy peace, the battle could have been long and bloody.

Adamantine, ancestral home of the royal family, stayed out of most of these conflicts. The princes of the Adamant Keep would come to aid the crown at a moment’s notice, their arms and armor fired in the finest forges in the kingdom and possibly with a legion of dwarves in support. Adamantine was sworn to Moradin, and while the internal politics of the fortress-city was reportedly a bloody drama of betrayals, seductions and assassinations, when they rode forth they did so with the force of the hammer striking the anvil. That anvil was often a cadre of adepts from Junction, where Ioun held sway. Junction is home to many ‘prodigal’ wizards from the Tower of the Arcane, who forsake the Five Archmages’ neutrality in favor of teaching sorcerers and assisting the crown in keeping the peace. With such powerful magics, armies from Adamantine and the Sun Guard sworn to protect the crown day and night, any king seated in Nerath’s Ebon Keep was well-equipped to meet any threat to peace within the realm.

It may be for this reason that Lysander came to shore at Junction. Without warning, longships beyond count appeared in the sea, filled with vicious mercenaries of the Iron Circle and priests of Bane thirsty for revenge. Junction’s city guard crumbled before the onslaught and the prodigal arcanists were either burned, hung or disappeared mysteriously. From Junction, Lysander rode for Nerath, used ancient and forgotten passages to steal into the Ebon Keep in the dead of night, and put King Perrin to the sword, placing his head above the city’s northern gate.

The Second Nerathan Empire had begun…