Generic Fantasy Campaign 97423
Obligatory Heroic Legend
There is a tale many know, and some believe. It tells of a Scourge of evil that once attempted to claim this land for its own ends. It tells of a prophesied Hero and his cohorts who rose from their humble lives to overthrow this evil force and prevent its horrible will. It tells of courage and valour winning over trickery and deciet.
Some see it as a messianic story of divine intervention, as a reason for religous belief. Some see it as a shining example of the power of a few good people working together. Some believe it is simply a folk tale, meant to entertain, and perhaps instill a sense of morality, and nothing more. Some claim it is merely a tooth-fairy story from the immature infancy of civilization.
There exists another such tale, seen by some as just another story, by others as historical fact. It tells of another (or perhaps the same) agent of evil’s attempt to lay seige to the world. Those who believed in the Hero hoped and prayed for him to return, or for his successor to arise, and once more prevent the imminent death of the world.
Their prayers were never answered.
The Calamity & Origins
Civilization was destroyed. The land was laid waste. But the nameless agent of destruction had underestimated the people of the world. A few intelligent beings yet survived. Equipped with naught but their wits and will to survive, they overcame the waste and repopulated the land. This event is commonly known as the Calamity.
Some, through sheer force of will, bent reality to ensure their survival. These people became known as mages, and generally were leaders among the survivors. This is the birth of what is now known as magic. Such power was seen before, but was limited to the chosen people of the gods. Even with many people now forsaking the gods, this power remained. This marked the Origin of Arcana.
Some, whether through arcane magic, divine meddling, or some freakish acceleration of evolutionary mutation, developed and adapted to the environment they were forced to survive in. This caused the diversity of intelligent races that now populate the lands. Humans developed in the ruins of civilization, elves in the woods and wilderness, dwarves in the harsh cold and rocky areas, and so on. As time passed, interbreeding and wandering races caused the subraces we now know. This is called the Origin of Races.
The land was sundered and reformed into several masses. The two largest of these continents became home to the vast majority of survivors among the intelligent races. This gave rise the two kingdoms of Elisia and Avalund, and is known as the Origin of Countries.
(Relatively) Current History
The countries of Elisia and Avalund reach an uneasy stalemate after a war that never really ended. Each had legions of soldiers, mages and dragonriders armed ready to fight at the crack of a twig constantly for years. The years passed with little ease in tension, until one day, something or someone in Elisia snapped, and an Avalund that had grown complacent was all but demolished. The ground crumbled, the people perished, and the entire continent was left defaced and destroyed. Only shambles of Avandria, the capital remained standing.
Seeing this destruction and death, those involved vowed to ensure it would never be repeated. Military force was abandoned, save for a few city militias. Magic was banned or harshly restricted. The dragons cut off contact with the lesser intelligent races. A fearful peace fell over the world.
In this time of peace, Avandria was rebuilt and became a haven for those who wanted to live separate from the world. It became a self-sufficient citystate populated and run by those who wanted no involvement in the outside world. So strong was this feeling that a protective barrier was erected around it. Try as they might, the powerful members of this new Avandria could not completely prevent the xenophobia and geocentrism that is inherent in such a system.