Ashes of the Empire
Millennia ago the great human empire of Bael Turath rose from the Southern Lands, uniting the smaller kingdoms and city-states.
As it moved north it eventually started to encroach on another great empire, that of the dragonborn – Arkhosia. At that time the emperor of Bael Turath saw Arkhosia as a threat and tensions between the two great empires built. But the emperor was as paranoid as he was power-hungry.
The emperor sought out powerful entities from the Nine Hells and made a bargain for infernal power. That power came with a price, however, and he was changed in the process. Human no longer, the mad emperor thought his bargain was the road to securing both the empire and his own rulership forever.
Ever hungry for more, the emperor encouraged the noble families of the empire to do as he did, and many more infernal pacts were made, each transforming its practitioners into infernal-like creatures. Tens of thousands would make those infernal pacts, all within a years time now come to be known as The Metamorphosis. Human no more, they were now known as tieflings.
With newly found power and infernal allies Bael Turath began its expansion again, yet this time it was more often than not via military conquest. Soon, it had it’s sights on Arkhosia.
The Great War
Small skirmishes along the Turath-Arkhosia border began to escalate and soon the tiefling armies were on the move, marching north into Arkhosia. The dragonborn were caught unprepared although the ferocity of the attacks did come as a surprise.
For years the war raged on with no clear winner and no clear loser, save for the unfortunate people caught between the two giant empires.
Eventually, the dragonborn of Arkhosia gained the upper hand, how is not quite known, and the forces of Bael Turath soon found themselves retreating more often than not. The Arkosian armies pressed south, liberating what they could but more often than not finding burned out ruins of cities and villages, remnants of the tiefling retreat.
Arkhosia fought on into Turathian territory, like a spear aimed for the heart of the empire – the capitol city and the seat of power for the emperor. Tales and stories of exactly how they toppled Bael Turath vary, but the result is the same – the empire crumbled.
The Northern Lands are composed of scattered city-states and small independent villages. The remnants of the Arkhosian Empire also makes it’s home in the Northern Lands, although it is merely a shadow of it’s former self; the war having exacted it’s toll.
The Southern Lands are mainly the ruins of Bael Turath. Much of what remains is now small cities and villages surrounding a center area of devastation the closer one gets to the former capitol of the old empire.
Other smaller continents exist across the oceans, home to peoples who until now have isolated themselves from the events described above; their cultures and ways foreign those of the Northern and Southern Lands. Only within the last generation do they seek to once more communicate with the main continent as trade of rare and strange goods begins to flow across the large ocean.
There are those who question the motives of these people – is trade what they are really after or are they quietly taking measure of the cities’ and towns’ defenses with a plan to fill the void left behind after the fall of Bael Turath and Arkhosia?