The Northwest Barony
A long and bloody war has finally reached its end as the last of the elven nations are crushed by the might of the Empire, but victory has not come without a price. The elves’ reckless use of arcane power has blighted vast stretches of the land – streams are poisoned, crops will not grow, and livestock have been stricken with plague. While the nobility of the Empire hold victory feasts in their halls, the peasant folk are slowly falling to famine and disease. The Emperor himself seems oblivious to the plight of the commoners, and it is only at the insistence of the church that he has agreed to establish new territories in the hopes of finding new lands for the stricken and dispossessed.
Baron Kelgar, a recently titled warrior who fought valiantly in the war, has been granted a barony far to the north, in a largely unexplored wilderness area. Although he has proven himself a hero of the Empire, his criticisms of the Emperor’s selfishness and decadence have not endeared him to the royal court. Kelgar’s barony is a wild and inhospitable place, inhabited by dangerous beasts and hostile subhuman tribes, and while Kelgar was granted lands and title, the Emperor did not grant him any additional troops. Kelgar is expected to tame and settle this land with the shattered remnants of his household staff, his loyal friends and retainers, and a motley assortment of refugees and camp followers.
It was Baron Kelgar’s hope that the dwarves, a race of beings little known to men, would prove to be valuable allies, but he has since discovered only a handful of survivors from among the once-stalwart dwarven clans. Each group of refugees has reported the same thing: their tunnels and cities have been overrun by the same vile creatures that now roam the wilderness.
The Emperor has promised to send men to the Barony, to help build a stronghold and to assist in the exploring and clearing of the wilderness, but help has been slow in coming. The crown refuses to send substantial aid until Baron Kelgar can prove the worth of the land, so he has put out the call for stouthearted adventurers who seek to make a name for themselves on the edge of a new frontier.