The Ashen Empire
The world is held within the iron fist of the Ashen King.
The Iron Fortress of the Ashen King.
Millennia ago, when the world was still young, a cataclysmic event known as the Upheaval brought on by the twin gods of magic and weather tore apart the world. From the ruins of a city once known as Goree, a ruler rose known as Ganar the Iron-Fisted, or better known as the Ashen King. The Ashen King rebuilt the city of Goree and founded the empire of Kadara.
That was 200 years ago.
Now, the Ashen King, having unlocked the very secrets of eternal life, has spread his influence over the entire southern region of Tirnidion. Through creating alliances and military subjugation, Ganar brought the world to an uneasy, militant peace.
However, turmoil plagues the land, and threatens both the Ashen King and the denizens of Tirnidion.
To the north, the once-beautiful forests have been twisted and corrupted by the powerful Lich King, Khazalar. The settlements continue to stake out an existence in the Fens of Nuren, each of them paying tribute to Khalazar and praying that the increasing hordes of undeath do not overtake their lands.
To the south, hordes of demons and abominations spew forth from the immense wound in the earth known as Gorguluk’s Scar. The noble human baronies of the south struggle in their conquest against the swarms of demonic entities.
Within the immense capital city of Goree, where the oppression of Ganar are felt most, whispers of rebellion and subterfuge are constant. Whether these whispered rebels are able to topple the 200 year reign of the Emperor are yet to be seen…
The dwarves are a dour and industrious people, born from the stone and the blood of the titans. They were lead aboveground by their god Ravvus the Unbreakable. However, in the years since, In order to preserve their vast underground cities and ancient traditions, some have given in to the demands of the Emperor, creating ever-advancing magical and mechanical weapons. Others wage war against him, in an effort to return the world to what it once was.
Most hill dwarves come from Flintmantle, the chief weapons designing and manufacturing facility. Most of them are loyal to the Emperor, or at least accept that the only way that they can retain any semblance of their old life is to follow him.
Most mountain dwarves originate from Greywall, the ancient, ancestral home to the dwarves. Fierce warriors, they rejected the Emperor’s offers and now wage war against him. Deep within their ancient underground city they forge great weapons and train great warriors.
Dwarvish tradition favors strength and honor, but their ancient traditions warn against arcane magic. As a result, dwarvish characters often favor the Barbarian, Cleric, Fighter, Monk, and Paladin.
Elves are an ancient people, one of the first to populate the world. They were created by the Lady of the Woods, Alleria, who planted the first seed of the Lytegrove, the elve’s ancestral home. Over time, the roots of the Lytegrove grew, and the thick forest that sprung up around it is known as Mythenbeil. The elves have formed an unspoken pact with the Emperor: That they would leave each other alone, as both understand that should the two factions ever war, the world would surely be destroyed. As a result, the gates of the Lytegrove are closed; no one may leave, and no one may enter. And yet a few elves who hear the calling of adventure find their way to the outside world, where untold adventures begin.
The high elves reside within the deepest bows of the Lytegrove. Believing themselves to be the first created by Alleria, these haughty and graceful elves have an innate knack for arcane magic.
Due to their affinity for arcane magic, high elves favor the Wizard.
The most common elf, the forest elves have the deepest connection to the forest than any other. They have keen intuition, and are deeply attuned to their ancient ways.
Due to their connection with the wood, forest elves favor the Ranger and the Druid.
These dark and twisted elves are the only ones unwelcome in the Lytegrove. Said to have abandoned tradition and Alleria, these elves now reside in the Underdark, worshipping twisted and vile demon lords and evil gods.
The drow’s connection to malevolent beings leads them to the paths of Warlock and Cleric.
Using the powerful magical blood of both chromatic and metallic dragons, the wizards of the Ashen King created Dragonborn, man-made creatures specifically designed for combat. Their draconic ancestry gives them breath weapons and supernatural strength, and some are even said to have leathery wings. Most common folk fear or mistrust dragonborn, seeing them as a reminder that the Emperor has power enough to create his own monstrous army.
Due to their martial training and draconic ancestry, dragonborn favor the Barbarian, Fighter, Monk, and Sorcerer.
Half-elves are rare in the land of Tirnidion. Due to the elves having closed their gates to all outsiders, interbreeding is rare, and as a result both humans and elves look at their mixed kin with a mixture of curiosity, pity, envy and distrust. As a result of their lack of a central homeland, half-elves have an intrinsic wanderlust that keeps them moving on to continually experience new things.
Half-elves, because of their varied nature, are equally likely to pursue all paths.
Seen as tragedies in the eyes of humans and pitiful weaklings in the eyes of orcs, these mixed breeds are often seen as the result of brutality and war. Most are born near Gorguluk’s Scar, where most hordes of orcs come from. However, their strength and relative intelligence make them valued tacticians in orcs’ eyes, and powerful warriors in the eyes of the humans.
Half-orcs’ strength leads them to the paths of the Barbarian and Fighter.
Feared and mistrusted by most common folk, tieflings are the result of demonic blood tainting that of a human’s. Most are born near and around Gorguluk’s Scar, where the hordes of demons spew from. Many tend to be evil, although this is less because of their demonic blood and more because nearly all around them fear and reject them, leading them to embrace their demonic heritage.
Tieflings tend to favor casters, as their demonic blood gives them a natural inclination towards the arcane arts. As as a result, most favor the Warlock, WIzard, and Sorcerer.
The most common denizens of Tirnidion, humans are also the most short-lived. They are the youngest of the races, and what they lack in connection to the natural world they make up for in ambition and variety. The current reigning Empire of Kadara is nearly completely populated by humans, and as a result most elves, dwarves, and other races are shunned and seen as outsiders and trouble.
Most civilized humans reside near Goree and the Titan’s Gate or the Baronies of Haxcell, Haldrim, and Strathmore.
Because of their varied nature, humans are equally likely to pursue all paths.
Like elves, the blood of the fae flows through these small, joyful creatures. They are, however, the most rare of the races that live throughout Tirnidion, having only the mountaintop city of Mightbury to call home. They have a natural penchant for illusion magic, and their magical nature gives them resistance to magic.
The underground-dwelling cousins of the gnomes are a hardy, resilient people whose joy is often quashed by the oppressive nature of the Underdark. However, they are a cunning and resourceful people.
Gnomes, because of their connection with nature and magical blood, favor the paths of the Druid, Ranger, Bard, and Wizard.
These diminutive humanoids came to be around the same time as humans. During those times, they lived in harmony with the humans. However, once the Emperor came to power, he exploited the relative weakness and stature of the halflings and enslaved them. As a result, nearly all halflings in Goree are slaves. However, those who find themselves escaped or bought out often find themselves on roads to adventure, struggling to reclaim their lifestyle of comfort and peace.
The diminutive stature of the halflings makes them ideal Rogues.
When the barriers between the plane of Ayrus and the Elemental Chaos wear thin, humans are occasionally born with the power of the elements flowing through their veins. The genasi are incredibly rare, only occasionally being born in remote locations with powerful attunement to the elements, such as near a volcano or an ever-raging whirlpool.
The air genasi are quick and graceful, and as prone to change as the wind. They favor the path of the Rogue.
The earth genasi are strong and steady, and as such favor the path of the Fighter or Barbarian.
The fire genasi are volatile and impulsive, and favor the path of the Sorcerer.
The water genasi are contemplative and independent. They favor the path of the Druid or Ranger.