The Seven Cities
The Empires of the West Have Fallen…
The world of Erat is vast. Hundreds of miles to the east, across the Badlands, and the Great Plains, the mighty nation of Karystra grows ever stronger under the anointed rulership of their pontiff. Beyond that lie the dark lands of the Idaaran coast, where unknown nations wage wars of their own. Yet father eastward, across the sea, the cursed isle of of Atal crouches like a great beast, guarding the mysterious lands and empires beyond.
But in the lands west of the Throkkan Mountains, the great nations of elves and men have fallen to waste and ruin.
Centuries have passed since the great green wyrm Khalipanofax rose to godhood, riding a wave of death and betrayal that crushed the kingdoms of old…
Since the Kozuni used forbidden magics to create the first dragonborn…
Since the lords of Adrideor sold their bloodlines to the lords of hell for the strength to resist the Kozuni.
Centuries have passed since the nation of Ahlverahl was sundered by goblins and the betrayal of men…
Since the god-king Aechelleth was resurrected and marched on the elves…
Since his ancient enemy, Kodath Maelstrom, took the elven capital and made it a stronghold of the undead.
For Centuries the eladrin of the Feywild raided the settlements of humans and halflings, and the sorcerer priests of Khalipanofax wrung tribute and death from the many peoples of the west.
For Centuries the Blood Wars raged, and now, the empires of the west have fallen.
A hundred years ago a great magic swept the lands of the west, laying waste to the followers of the Jade Queen Khalipanofax.
A hundred years ago, the eladrin emerged from the Feywild bearing gifts, and pleading peace to the shattered remnants of the old kingdoms.
A hundred years ago the Redemption Age began, and the Blessed Lands of the west fell into a fragile, inconstant peace.
Today, unrest seethes in the Blessed Lands.
In the north, the nation of Aechell, guardians against the ravening orc hordes of Malechar, have turned their swords south in a bid for empire since the hordes of Kodath Maelstrom, god-king of the orcs, departed, en masse, for the vast wilds and frozen wilderness of the north.
In the cities, from Jen, shining on the shores of the Ahlnic Ocean, to Okorian, City of Pits on the edge of the Smoking Wastes, prophets roam the streets preaching, or raving, about the coming of cataclysm, and the return of the Primordial Lords.
Everywhere, the missionaries of Karys turn the hearts and minds of the people away from the gods of their ancestors.
And here, in the Seven Cities of Mokiir, on the edge of the Smoking Wastes, a fragile peace threatens to thaw with the coming spring.
After taking M’ziir on Tulvan 5th, it took about three weeks for Isra’Asiel Az’Aziil, the so-called Blood King of Azeth, to conquer Arkassin , and another six weeks to conquer the sixth city, Shek’Zur, renowned home of the Underkeep.
On the 16th day of Maridan, called Jehnidahl, the first day of winter, Isra’Asiel was crowned the Kaz’Kazzar, the High King, of a unified Mokiir, and Darakor, the last of the independent Cities, was declared in rebellion. The new ruler spent the winter settling his hold and consolidating his power.
On Aeguran 1st, the first day of 102 RA, also called Flame Day, holy to Aerus, god of war, the Kaz’Kazzar marched his now enormous army into the Grey Peak Mountains to lay siege to Darakor, stronghold of Queen Ren’Raatha Az’Ebbezuur, last of the freeholding Kazzar.
By that time, the Shepherd’s Guild had long since openly declared support for High King Isra’Asiel, which was chicken-or-egg to the unusually good trade that winter. At the same time, the Shepherds pulled their support from Darakor. It seemed reasonable for the Kaz’Kazzar to lay siege to the Ebbezuur stronghold as winter retreated, since the city must have been near the end of it’s stores.
Nearly ten months the siege of Darakor lasted. From Aeguran through the 1st of Maridan, called Marrimach, or Labor Day. Throughout the siege there were skirmishes, and minor sorties, but Darakor made few serious efforts to break the Mokiiran lines. More, it was clear that no significant food or other resources were making their way into the City. Nobody understood how they had held fast for so long and so easily.
On Maridan 1st, 102 an envoy under a flag of truce, exited Darakor to parley with the Blood King’s armies. With the envoy came an emissary from Queen Ebbezuur, as well as one from the dwarven city of Tor Endull, and Evette Bennigan, heir-in-exile to the throne of New Cormorell. At the parley, it was revealed that Darakor had indeed been home to the New Cormorellan Court-In-Exile, since they had been brought out of New Cormorell the year before. It was further revealed that Tor Endull, seat of the Silverlands Dwarves had forged an alliance with Darakor, originally a dwarven city, and had been sending them aid through old dwarven tunnels.
This alliance of Darakor, the Silverlands, and New Cormorell offered a truce with Mokiir, and an alliance against Aechell. With the human nation having stymied by Jen on the coast, and driven out of Rook’s Landing by the dwarves, it seemed almost certain that Aechell must next drive south into Mokiir.
The KazKazzar agreed to consider the proposal. Winter was, after all, coming, and his siege was accomplishing nothing. More, this surprise alliance was not something that Mokiir was ready or willing to make enemies of. An agreement was reached: King Isra’Asiel would withdraw his armies. Trade would remain blocked between Mokiir and Darakor, and negotiations for the future would begin on the first of the new year.
And so, everyone went home for the winter.
Now expire the final weeks of winter. It is almost 103 RA. The people of Mokiir are preparing for the end of the winter’s truce, and though all six of the cities prosper, there is unrest. Some take King Isra’Asiel’s inability to take Darakor as a sign that his upsetting the iron rule of the Nephalim is disfavored by the Powers which protect the Old Blood. Others say that his failure to take a wife is a sign that he is not serious or mature enough to rule. On the other hand, many believe that an alliance with the other nations against the human aggression of Aechell is necessary, and some of those feel strongly that unifying Mokiir was the only path to victory. Rumors in the dimmer corners of the Cities murmur about dark forces, and dark dreams, seeking a foothold in Mokiir. Those rumors make the Blood King either a pawn of the shadowy threat, or the only defense against it. Still others speak ominously of deep elemental powers stirring and threatening war against the gods. Those lonely voices speak of alliance with all god-fearing nations, even Aechell, lest all the land be rent asunder, and the people of the Blessed Lands destroyed utterly.
But for the people of the Pale Quarter, it is a time of plenty not seen before. Some of their own, former gang members under the leadership of the legendary white dragonborn called Pendred, used the turmoil of the summer of 101 to gain favor with the rulers of M’ziir and the Kaz’Kazzar, and now what used to be a slum has been absorbed into the City proper.