Hope (3.5e Campaign Setting)

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History Prior to the start of the Lost Souls War, the continent of Erathe was a patchwork of over a dozen different kingdoms, a plethora of city states, and a variety of other distinctive races and cultures. The relatively normal pattern of trade, war, diplomacy, and innovation came to a crashing halt with the stunning surprise attack of a Demonic led army of the undead. This attack spread nearly simultaneously across the continent overwhelming smaller kingdoms and forcing the populations to become refugees fleeing east. The Lost Souls War, named for both the displaced citizens and the very real tendency of the demonic attackers to take their victims souls, created the most unprecedented crisis this world had ever seen. Millions of refugees continued to flee seeking protection wherever they could find it. The countries that had a border with the Eastern Ocean were overwhelmed by the flood. Only the Kingdom of Trevalyan had a solution of any kind.

Trevalyan had a history of fishing and ocean exploration and in keeping with that tradition had one of the most extensive fleets of merchant and naval vessels of any of the kingdoms of Erathe. Only a few years before the start of the war, one of the many expeditions sent out had made their way across the ocean and discovered a new land, dubbed Omio named for the leader of the expedition. A few small outposts had been created to further the explorations of this new land and contact had been made with the few natives. Most of the natives were orcs, but a single community of elves had also been discovered. Unable to handle the influx of refugees, King Dalyn the First, also called the Explorer, ordered a general evacuation to the new continent. Every vessel imaginable was pressed into service and every mage and cleric that could be spared was also pressed into service, amidst auguries and sacrifices to the Sea Goddess Kisra. This fleet set sail and soon an enemy fleet began harassing the evacuation. The demons and their undead allies offended Kisra by polluting her waters and failing to make proper sacrifice, in response Kisra sought an apology from Noxri, Lord of the Dead and Night. He refused. Overnight Kisra's fury became manifest as she forbid the demons and the undead from crossing or entering her domain, further sea water became dangerous to these creatures (treat as Holy Water). With this shift in power, the evacuation continued in earnest. In under two years, despite the press of the demonic armies, the entire surviving free population of Erathe had been shifted to Omio.

Erathe, now known as the 'Ruined Lands', had fallen to the evil hordes.

Emperor Dalyn, the last person to enter one of the evacuation boats, became the high king of the new lands by popular acclaim. The former rulers of the various lands took up positions in the new government as rulers in absentia of their former lands and assemblymen representing their distinct cultures in the new lands.

The first few years in this new land saw an amazing amount of growth as the displaced population established homes and settlements that quickly spread and overwhelmed the sparsely populated savannas. A spirit of cooperation and goodwill that would have been impossible before the war saw former citizens of countries that had been deadly enemies working together to rebuild what was lost. Dwarves, Elves, Humans, and Halflings all worked together and achieved many beautiful and great things.

Then the expansion encountered the borders of the main Orc kingdom. Barbaric, brutal and highly militaristic, the Orc nation did not view these settlers as a good thing and started to mobilize against them, expressing their displeasure by violently defending their borders. Several skirmishes over several several years followed while the two kingdoms fenced back and forth about the border. Then, in a random, meaningless skirmish, Dalyn's heir was killed. Dalyn, unable to contain his grief, broke down into a spiral of depression and indecision. A six year war followed as the immigrants tried to expand their tenuous hold on their new lands and the Orcs repelled their efforts. When Dalyn finally died of a broken heart on the death of his beloved wife, the war of expansion turned into a civil war as various factions fought to control the new kingdom.

Twenty years later the war ended with a strangely unified kingdom emerged. The most surprising thing to most people would be the inclusion of the Orc Kingdom into this new kingdom. Sixty years of relative peace and prosperity followed.

//more to come//

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