Thrones of Dust

Prologue

The fall of a country, the Noble Treason

A hundred years of war has consumed the kingdom of Setour. Even Rivemar, the province furthest from the war itself has suffered catastrophically over the decades. Generations of able-bodied men and women from the cities and villages marched to war, never to return. Harvests rotted in their fields, roads and bridges fell into disrepair, and across the land creatures began to encroach upon civilized land. Without the kingdom’s soldiers and law, banditry flourished in the countryside, tribes of monsters established themselves in the wilderness, and cities became nothing more than in-fighting gangs of thugs. Disease, starvation and despair spread their dark wings over the whole of Rivemar.

People fled the squalor of major settlements, abandoning their homes, leaving entire streets deserted. Eventually, whole cities lay empty, save for the infirm, the brash and scavengers, and the horrors that hunted them through the crumbling streets. Small, secluded villages cropped up, isolated from the rest of the world, dealing only with their closest neighboring communities. The wilderness closed in, and swallowed cities, roads and farmlands. Civilization vanished.

Then came what would in later times be described as the “Noble Treason”. Baron Rivemar, descendant of the deposed lord of the province, traveled the land, gathering to him heroes from each of the scattered villages. In rousing speech after rousing speech, he promised the insular people of Rivemar that help was coming. Then, with his band of twenty-odd adventurers in tow, he departed for the kingdom’s capital, in the heartland of Setour.

As it turned out, Baron Rivemar had sent out a desperate plea to the three nations that shared a border with Rivemar. In it, it broke all bonds of loyalty to the crown of Setour. He divided the land roughly into three parts, offering annexation to each of these rival kingdoms. In exchange, the kingdoms would re-establish law, military and trade, and restore civilization to his suffering people.

For the first time in decades, soldiers ranged cautiously into the forests, trade barges tentatively began plotting trade routes along the many rivers, and the all-consuming spread of wilderness began to slow. And amid these brave, foreign soldiers, workers and tradesmen, adventurers came. Some out of duty, others out of curiosity, others seeking the wealth of the nation, left behind in the ruined cities. But they quickly found that this harsh land tested the very limits of their power and ingenuity.

This is the story of one such group of adventurers, working to rebuild a keep that would cement a foothold in this harsh frontier. Some are natives of Rivemar itself, fighting to restore their homeland to its former glory. Others are outsiders, but no less invested in the prosperity of this land. Yet the reclamation of Chateau-sur-Tylmer is only the beginning of their trials.

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