Survivors of a Broken World
The Fall of the Northern Kingdoms
Nearly 40 years ago, the demon Blight was released on Amar in an unknown northern city. He promptly summoned deamon minions, summoned a large army of monsters from aparently nowhere, and used them to rampage across the Northern Kingdoms.
In succession, each nation was attacked and collapsed. Reports of the destruction streamed into the Southlands from the many refugees that fled. None knew how the cities fell so easily, but reports of strange magic were common.
Most unnerving was the sudden appearance of elfin refugees. The kingdom of Arboreal was the largest forest in the known world. It was believed to be impregnable. Its dense woodlands and twisting paths were extremely defensible and it was protected by powerful ancient magics. Somehow, Blight overcame both and had crushed the entire nation in one swift stroke.
Though the Spine Mountains shielded most of the Southlands from invasion, it tapered off at the northern border of Stormhaven. With the scores of refugees streaming across its borders and rumors running wild, fears of an invasion sparked riots. King Thorson declared a state of war and mobilized every able-bodied person he could find to the northern borders.
Thorson sent emergency envoys to the other Southern Kingdoms, requesting any help they could offer. He declared that Stormhaven would fight to the last man to protect the Southern Kingdoms, for if they failed, the known world was doomed.
An attack never came. From Kharzik Kull, word spread of Blight’s inability to crush the kingdom of Uilaine. Though containing the biggest trade route into the North (by way of Kharzik Kull), Uilaine’s people were mostly nomadic tribesmen. Their highly flexible tactics, familiarity with the land, and sheer determination ground their invaders to a standstill.
Blight’s Army finally succumbed to its members’ inclinations. Demi-human tribes began to in fight and desert. Slowly, the army disintegrated, splintering and scattering itself across the remains of the former Northern Kingdoms.
It has been nearly 40 years since the fall of the Northern Kingdoms. Much of the knowledge available about them is lost and most of the Southern Kingdoms are falling apart. Races of half-men and monsters that have always existed in some of the less inhabited areas have steadily become bolder.
The economies of the Southern Kingdoms have been floundering since their richest trade partners have vanished. Much of the rich farmland of the Carpathian Delta is untilled and overgrown. The famed fishing wharves of Stasheff are run down. Few people travel any more and xenophobia is the norm outside of the main cities.
Stormhaven remains one of the few remaining bastions of human power. Being the last defense against total annihilation, they have remained a military nation. Quelling dissent and maintaining a strong sense of purpose with its populace, it has become almost brutal in its dedication. Being too busy with defending its northern borders from demihuman attacks, it keeps itself out of much international politicking.