A Terrible Portent, A Malevolent Force
The world is Eberron, the continent Khorvaire, and the year 1046 YK. Much has happened since the end of the Last War, and many believe that another war of that magnitude or greater is not only inevitable, but imminent.
A militaristic king has led Aundair to reject the diplomats of the Eldeen Reaches, instead increasing his border patrols and apparently preparing to take back the land his grandfather lost in the Last War. A war in the North would draw the Gatekeepers and their allies into the defense of their homeland, severely hurting the effort to stop the Lord of Blades.
While Breland has pledged its armies to a campaign into the Mournland, recent agitation by revolutionaries operating out of New Cyre has made the king wary of revolt. If the rebellion is not stopped, Brellish forces may be pulled back to defend their king.
The goblins of Darguun have continued their lives as normal, unaffected by the political intrigues of Khorvaire or the financial crisis that has struck the rest of the continent. However, they continue to serve as mercenaries to the few buyers still capable of paying their fees; that is to say, rebels and criminals, the only people who had money not tied up in Kundarak banks.
The Eldeen Reaches
The Gatekeepers, a secretive organization believed by most to be only a handful of druids but in actuality made up of thousands, have gradually become more open about their control of the Reaches. They have begun secret negotiations throughout Khorvaire, attempting to bring together an army capable of stopping the Lord of Blades.
Karrnath has fallen into all out civil war. After King Kaius I’s revelation of his true identity in 1032 YK, Karrnath was sharply polarized. Starting in 1043 YK, the Blood of Vol began an all out war against Kaius, attempting to seize back control of Karrnath’s undead legions to once and for all cement their power over the nation. Kaius has made a stand at Loran Rath, but has been besieged by his enemies, and the elite troops of the Emerald Claw approach from the southeast to tip the balance. As well, Thrane has declared a holy war against the Blood of Vol only a month prior, and its troops have already seized Thronehold and launched ships towards Karrnathian shores with the intent to purge not only the Blood of Vol, but all undead from Karrnath.
The Lhazaar Principalities
The pirates of Lhazaar were hit worst by the Fall of Kundarak, as their livelihood came from harassing – as well as carrying – trade out of the Mror Holds, which has now all but ceased. Forced into honest work, many of the residents of Lhazaar have taken up arms and talked of invasion of Mror, to seize the wealth they believed the dwarves had stolen from them.
The Mror Holds
Starting in 1036 YK, over ten huge expeditions were sent by an anonymous financier to Xen’Drik, paid for with gold borrowed from House Kundarak. When these expeditions failed and the financier vanished, the dwarves of the Mror Holds were plunged into a financial crisis. Banks across the continent failed when they defaulted on their Kundarak loans, and the ensuing recession across Khorvaire was blamed on the dwarves. Their trade stifled, the inhabitants of Mror withdrew into the earth, becoming increasingly nationalistic as the world heaped blame upon them. Refusing to intervene on Kaius’ behalf in the Karrnath Civil War, the dwarves have instead clashed with the pirates of Lhazaar, many of whom are enchanted with tales of the dwarves’ hidden wealth.
The king of Q’barra pledged his support to the Gatekeeper cause immediately, but has few funds and fewer troops to contribute. Since 1023 YK, Q’barra has negotiated naval protection from the pirates of the Lhazaar Principalities, and has only maintained a standing army large enough to patrol the few passes through the Endworld Mountains to prevent halfling smugglers from slipping through. Though Valenar had formerly posed a threat to Q’barra, the Galifarian Trust signed in 1016 YK between the tribes of lizardfolk and the human government formed the first step in perfecting a style of mountain and jungle warfare that forced elven raiders to cease their attacks.
The Talenta Plains
The halfling tribes of the Talenta Plains have long lived without major industry or government. However, the threat of the Lord of Blades has led to the unification of many of the southern tribes. This Talenta Confederation has allied with the elves of Valenar to patrol along the border and through the Blade Desert, and has trained its warriors in the arts of the bow and of sorcery – an art suited to, but not particularly common among halflings.
The theocratic and militaristic government of Thrane has continued to build up its forces in preparation for the “conversion” of the rest of Khorvaire, though they claim peaceful motives. Most recently, they have invaded Karrnath to purge the undead from within its borders.
The elves of Valenar, along with the halflings of the Talenta plains, are most threatened by the growing armies of the Lord of Blades. Valenar outriders, some of the only living creatures still brave enough to ride south of the Glass Plateau, have for many years observed the growth of the warforged army there. While at first they attempted to negotiate with the Lord for mutual rights to the Mournland, they have since realized that not only are they without hope of successful diplomacy, they have little chance against the Lord of Blades’ army on their own.
The gnomes of Zilargo, being diplomats to the core, have avoided being drawn into any armed conflicts since the Last War. However, the Trust has been dealing with Brellish rebels recruiting for their insurgency in New Cyre.
The Movers and the Shakers
King Kaius I
Known as the Vampire King of Karrnath, Kaius led his nation during the Last War before disappearing. His successor, Kaius III, ruled the nation for some years before revealing himself not only as a vampire, but as Kaius I himself. An outspoken opponent of the Blood of Vol and Emerald Claw, Kaius has recently been forced to once again lead his undead armies in battle against them in the Karrnath Civil War.
King Lorath III
Lorath III of Breland faces increasing unrest in the eastern regions of his kingdom, from rebels demanding that the course of the nation be decided by the will of the people instead of royal decree. Lorath faces a difficult choice: abdicate, or send troops against his own subjects?