“Once, the land of Daernika was at peace. Three guilds vied for control in seemingly neverending power plays, but the land was at peace. Those guilds were the Sanctuary, the Boros, and the Volucris Liga.
The Sanctuary is a guild of religion, headed by the Church of Sanctus, the God of Piety and Loyalty. Sects devoted to dozens of other deities – good and evil – make up the rest of the organization, which is quartered in the Great Basilica in the north-west of Daernika. Indeed, the second most powerful group within the Sanctuary was the Sect of Torog, the King that Crawls, evil God of the Underdark, Torture and the Undead. Many in that sect wished to overthrow the Sanctites and seize control of the Sanctuary. Others were vehemently opposed to this, content with the power they already had and more interested in working outside of the Sanctuary.
The Boros are the official rulers of Daernika, enforcing the laws of their Senate with the disciplined Legion. During the times of peace, the Boros Legion served as a policing force. During times of war, however, the Legion quickly mobilized and expanded into an efficient military, going so far as to impose martial law in order to restore order.
The Volucris Liga is the final of the three major guilds. An unruly band of wild inventors, the Volucris Liga are devoted to creating increasingly complex machines and technologies. Some, especially those in the Sanctuary, criticize the Volucris Liga for thinking too much of mere mortals. Yet the guild continues its work, inventing massively destructive weapons, flying machines, new metals, and anything else one could think of.
Then the world ended. Quakes tore the very earth itself asunder, swallowing villages whole. Entire cities were consumed by flame and ice. Days of horror passed as nature waged war on the land of Daernika. When finally the world quieted, chaos quickly took reign. The Boros Legion was deployed across Daernika to ease the suffering and facilitate order. The Sanctuary’s priests all prayed for relief and used their divine powers to summon food, aid, and healing. The Volucris Liga wasn’t heard from.
Finally, a group of Boros scouts reported that the island where the Volucris Liga had taken up residence had been forced ashore by the true cause of the Cataclysm – an entire continent had crashed into Daernika. Mountains rose where the two landmasses had met, but the surviving Volucris Liga swore they had seen the other continent for a moment before the island skittered across the beaches and the mountains rose in front of them.
Resolving to shelve any explorative expeditions until after the crisis had been dealt with, the Volucris Liga moved to the home of the Boros, the Capitol, a massive city in the center of Daernika. Only a few years after the Cataclysm, as the land was beginning to recover, did the Broken Spine Tribe come pouring forth from the mountains. Massive hordes of goblins, orcs, evil humans and stranger, darker things, the Broken Spine Tribe raped, pillaged and butchered their way across Daernika. Only the fact that the Boros Legion was already in the field prevented them from razing the whole land. For the forty-five years since, the three guilds have been trapped in a desperate fight against the seemingly numberless Broken Spine hordes.
The Broken Spine Tribe were not the only aftereffect of the Cataclysm. Indeed, as all the world cried out under the furious barrage of nature, certain members of the Sect of Torog saw their god’s hand in this. Raising arms and cries of revolution, those devotees attempted a coup, and nearly succeeded. It was only when the Torogese loyalists joined the fight against the would-be revolutionaries that the latter realized they could not win. And so they fled, creating their own Church of Torog outside the jurisdiction of the Sanctuary and attracting many more followers than the loyal sect within that organization. Known simply as the Torog, these evil priests have fought a secret, bloody war against the Sanctuary ever since, though even they have combatted the Broken Spine Tribe to some extent.
It is into this war-sundered land that you venture, your fatigued feet marching beside fields sown with decades of blood. Nowhere is truly safe in Daernika, for the Torog or Broken Spine Tribe could strike anywhere, at any time. Thus, many head towards the bastions of relative safety – the cities. Your adventure begins in a simple town on the road to the Capitol, to which you now journey."
This was how our campaign began, and though it has progressed much from there, many of the fundamentals about Daernika remain the same. There are still great factions vying for control. The Broken Spine Tribe still threatens the land. And yet, there are now heroes where there were none, and ever stronger villains continue to lurk in the shadows….