Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dave's Campaign Backstory

August 2007: we started thinking about a fantasy-genre RPG campaign amongst a few players at the game club. At first, it was maybe D&D but the inevitable "lack of a DM" feature meant the discussion was purely academic. DaveS chimed in that he'd be willing to GM a Rolemaster RPG campaign if we were willing to learn a new system, and thus was launched the campaign. This is DaveS's campaign world backstory.

The Old Continent Campaign
(A General Background)

The End of the Empire
It has been a thousand years since the battle at Land’s End, where the last remnants of the once great imperial army fought to give the refugees time to board the last remaining ships. It was just a year earlier that the fateful expedition to the last of the uncharted lands in the deep glacial southern mountains had sent word back of a wondrous discovery. Shortly after that news reached the imperial college, refugees started flooding north telling tales of hordes of creatures descending on villages, towns, and some of the smaller southern cities. Most of the early battles were fought by militia and had no chance of holding against the vastly superior enemy forces. Although it was learned that not only did the enemy have superior numbers but vastly powerful magic. The first real battle pitted most of the trained imperial army, free riders, and all but a few of the most powerful magic wielders. The battle lasted for three days but in the end it was the imperial army that was spent and scattered. Although the Imperial army was defeated it was closer then they had known and the advance of the horde was slowed if not stopped. But news of the defeat spread quickly, and what the Empire gained in battle they lost in the panic and chaos that followed. It was shortly after that first battle that the first ships full of refugees started heading north.

A New Beginning

Although the climate was generally colder, then all but the dwarves and a few men were used to, civilization again began to prosper on the small northern continent and its surrounding islands. In general the Dwarves chose to settle along the mountainous eastern coast, the Halflings and Men chose to settle mostly the interior plains or the less mountainous southern coast, while the Elves chose several of the larger forested Islands off the coast. In the beginning life was hard there was little in the way of previous settlements on the northern continent and what small villages there were did not take well to the flood of foreign refugees. The treat that the horde would follow was always a concern in the early years but time passed and the refugees began settling into a normal life and no unknown fleet ever showed on the horizon.

The Northern Continent
(Politics and Power)
Very little of history of the old continent and the Empire survived the exodus, even the long lived elves only have second or third hand knowledge of the exodus and what few texts did make it were horded by the few who had them. So it was left up to each community to govern and protect itself. Eventually, communities banded together to form regional governments or self proclaimed Kingdoms. The Dwarfs eventually split into a northern and a southern kingdom within their mountains, the elves unified as one realm on three separate islands. The Halflings and Men mostly lived within the boundaries of either the Triad or the Western Alliance these being mostly trade oriented boundaries and less political in nature. Although in any of the large cities you could find many Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, and Men. The Triad so name from the three large cities that shared in the governing of their citied and the surrounding areas. Where the Western Alliance was made up of small towns and farming villages mainly in the interior. There are still many villages and small towns that remain independent but most of them are on the smaller islands.

The Return
The first expedition to try to return to the old continent set off roughly two hundred and fifty years ago and was never seen again. Since then there have been many more attempts over the last two hundred year and the few that did make it back told of rough seas or accidents that forced them back after only a week or so out. Then fifty years ago one of the expeditions did return. The Vertious and her crew returned with news of landing on the old continent and the wilderness that they found. Although their stay was short, they did bring back navigation routes and rough maps of the small area they were able to explore. News spread and the more adventurous or inquisitive followed other expeditions and soon the small enclave of camps became a village and then a town filled with explorers and adventurers.

The Old Continent
(A new Start)
It did not take to long before the expeditions established a permanent settlement on the northern tip of the peninsula where the Vertious first landed. Eventually as more groups of explorers and ships ranged along the coasts and adventured further inland several small tribes of men were discovered although most tended to be nomadic a few were farming or fishing communities. First attempts to communicate with these tribes tended to go poorly but eventually communications were established with the small fishing and farming communities and it was learned that although most of there language was quite different there were still a few words although somewhat hard to understand that were the same.

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