A Century of War has left the world of Talamah decimated.
Untold lives have been lost. Countless Villages, Towns, and Cities have been burned to the ground.
Groups of Mercenaries, Soldiers, Bandits and Monsters roam the lands, raping and pillaging their way to fortune.
Famine and disease stalk the land, following in the wake of what few Armies still exist.
In a world so dark and desolate, every life is precious.
In a world so dark and desolate, woman vastly outnumber the men due to the countless wars, leaving many bastard and orphaned children behind.
In a world so dark and desolate, is their finally a ray of hope?
Over a Century ago, Talamah was plunged into darkness. Every Kingdom, Country, and Duchy that could field an Army did so. The exact circumstances and reasons have long been lost to the annals of time. No one remembers why they fight anymore, just that they do. No one alive today has been untouched by War or not seen it first hand.
Very few people live outside the walls of their community. Mercanaries-for-Hire roam the land, often acting as bandits themselves. Bandits, too, roam the lands. The soldiers sent to protect often go rogue themselves, adding to the danger. Creatures of the Night, tribes of Orcs, and other evil creatures - no longer hunted by man - are eager to get in on the action to. There is no end in sight.
Or is there?
Engineers and Soldiers are perhaps the most common of occupations in this new world of war. Villages, Towns, and Cities are armed to the teeth, often requiring service from all citizens to patrol the walls.
Walls of at least 15 feet in height are constructed - of wood in the villages, and wood and stone in the Towns and Cities (if not larger). War Machines often grace the tops of the walls, the land cleared well away from the walls to offer the best of views.
Merchants often travel in large caravans under armed escorts but even these are not immune from attack. Traveling solo is only done at your own risk - there are too many dangers out there, waiting to pray on the weak.
Farmers as always, suffer. They have formed walled communities, only working their fields by day, long after the sun is up, often with men manning watchtowers, overlooking the fields, to warn of any approaching bands. This means less time in the fields which means smaller harvests, straining food supplies for all those that rely on them.
Brothels are almost over flowing with women from all walks of life. The human-slave-trade thrives, though Humans are not the only race being traded. The divide between the wealthy and the poor is at an all time high, though when those up high fall, they fall hard and fast.
Out of the ashes a new hope has risen.
A powerful warlord-turned-King has managed to pacify a large area, claiming the ancient title of King of Ribenheim.
Boasting a powerful, core army and a blossoming Navy, some sea-lanes have been restored a trade with the Western Isles has begun once more - a region largely untouched by the century of war.
The Warlord-King, however, has passed away and his powerful Daughter has taken his place. She seeks to expand her control, surrounding herself with advisers and people of power - and those seeking to gain the favor of her ear.
She seeks an artifact of power in order to do so. But where it lies is still a mystery. Rumors of the artifacts location are widespread and varied. Her many enemies will also seek to find it. So she has tasked two groups of people to find it - one publicly, soldiers of her own, though there are merely a diversion. A second group, collected in secret, believing they are searching for something else, has been formed to seek this artifact of hers.
With a plethora of mercenaries and soldiers-for-hire, forming this second, secretive group should not be an issue. Not with one of her Hidden People at its head.
So complete has the destruction of what was once known in Talamah that there are no reliable maps anymore. Villages that once existed do not. Towns that did not exist do now. A century of warfare has much changed the landscape of Talamah. There are perhaps more ruins than inhabited places. And because of this, there are twice as many rumors - rumors about haunting and treasures, lost cities of gold. Sadly, the tales of things that go bump in the night are true more often then not.
Many of the braver souls have gone exploring, many not returning.
Magic is uncommon in Talamah. It is rumored that once almost all people had a touch of magic. These days, only the select few can say they can touch the ebb and flow of magic. Many of these people are employed by those who would call themselves rulers in Talamah. Gone are the days of Battlemages though the destruction they wrought is hard to forget - the ground torn asunder, areas where nothing still grows, places that set every hair on your body tingling. But their magic remains in places, tombs protected by spells, magical traps triggered by the mere presence of people. Mages today can often sense such places and traps though they do not always have the knowledge of how to disarm them.
As such, most Mages are of the healing type though a few are known to have more destructive or illusive magic. Once magic is discovered in someone, they are often taken to one of the Mage Guilds Towers - fortified locations throughout Talamah where Magic is able to be practiced, usually free of outside interference. Often, these towers
The Races of Talamah are, surprisingly, more diverse then before. People are often displaced. Women are raped. There are more half-races then before, while also more races living with each other. Racism and disdain of the others races is still prevalent and certain regions ban all non-humans from their villages and cities, though this is often dictated by wars and battles from the past. In the more pacified regions, such bans are not nearly as common.