An Arrant Knave
An Arrant Knave is a campaign that began February 17th 2009. The current player characters for “An Arrant Knave” are as follows: Aaron Darkroot, Ellis Dewald, Orsik Hammerstone, Cairon, Jorgen Fjord, TBA2
The story takes place on a world that is commonly called Atouin by many of the inhabitants. Atouin consists of several continents, the largest landmass is the continent of Coralie, however trade and passage between those continents has slowed to a crawl over the past decades, and news from across the seas is extremely rare. A little less than a century ago the world was thrown into chaos when a powerful eruption blew ash across Coralie (the largest continent). When the smoke and ash cleared the world found itself irreparably changed, as a completely unknown phenomenon had appeared where a mountain once stood.
The appearance of a volcano was shocking to the people of Atouin as there had never been one before, but perhaps more shocking was the stream of demonic monsters that came out of those depths. The result was a decade long war, ravaging the continents of the world and forever changing the people. with entire cities and kingdoms razed to dust, merchants found trade perilous and unprofitable. Ports sent to the depths of the oceans made sea travel uncertain. the effort needed to rebuild each persons home prevented the recreation of stable life, and in a world still nursing it’s scars and recovering from devastation, anything is possible.
The end of the war was brought about by the betrayal of a race of lesser demons to their forces. Enslaved for years from wherever it was they came from, the Tieflings realized their chance to free themselves from bondage, and took it, hoping for better treatment than they knew under the demons. The sudden Tiefling uprising shattered the ability for the demons to maintain a command structure, and what had previously been a coordinated effort to subdue Atouin became pockets of unorganized monsters. Given this fighting chance the citizens of Atouin were able to overcome these pockets of demons, and won their battle.
With their homeland blockaded from re-entry, and no home to call their own in this world, the Tieflings integrated into the Human settlements, discovering a new life of freedom. The early survivors of the war believed themselves to have overcome all obstacles in defeating their demon masters, however continual racism against the Tieflings based on their origins keeps them from ever obtaining an important, or powerful stock in life.
Reeling from the war, the Humans are desperately trying to rebuild their kingdoms and defend their settlements from further harm. Most Human realms are having a great deal of difficulty returning to their former power, either raids from the more courageous creatures destroy the attempts to establish their communities, or those communities are simply so disorganized and lack a governing system that obtaining their former glory is more troubling than at first expected. Only the most courageous, or well armed of merchants now travel those menacing paths between towns and villages, the Human lands are less a secure territory, and more small spots on a map where one can find safety.
The Dwarves had a much easier time of returning to a comfortably lifestyle. Their large united kingdom rests in the northern mountain ranges, and enjoys large snowfalls each year. Due to the spring melts, most of the ash and debris from the eruption disappeared in streams and rivers, to drift out into the ocean. As the great halls and every structure that CAN be is built into stone and mountainsides, the war with the demons did not cause damage that lasted beyond a few years cleaning and restructuring. As such one of the most powerful kingdoms to come out of those dark days were the Dwarves. Taking that early advantage the Dwarves began expanding their borderlands, creating a buffer zone which would help defend the kingdom were it attacked again. this border zone is littered with traps and defenses. Some argued that the Dwarven race should try to expand their territory, seeing as they came from a position of strength, however the loss of population from the war, coupled with the slow rate of re-population Dwarves experience quickly quieted those voices.
The Elven forests suffered greatly from the demon war, previously holding dominion over any large stretch of woods, the Elves could boast of their communities stretching from one shore to the next. The great blast of molten ash and the demon’s love for flame however made short work of the trees the Elves held so dear. More than half their forested homes burned to the floor, and even today there are some places where the ash is still so thick no new life has grown, and blackened stumps are all one can see. The larger and more secure households were able to defend their homes, and keep their forests safe, but much like the Humans, the Elves find themselves almost obsessively trying to save the woods from shrinking further. Being able to hide, or disappear within their forested homes, the Elves devote the least amount of people to the armed forces of any race, preferring to devote their manpower to the restoration of the woods.
The Halflings of Atouin remained largely outside the war with the Demons, not believing themselves to be under threat from the battle. The Halflings who lived in the hillside communities, with their homes built right into the earth often would be able to hear the pounding of footsteps and the screams of battle above them. Those Halflings that had lived in the Human settlements were more willing to involve themselves. Due to their small stature some of the greatest commando units were compromised of Halflings, and there are several heroes that they can boast. The Halfling race in general found themselves largely unaffected by the war, due to their subterranean housing, and the large population that abstained from the fighting. The Halfling people live amongst humans however, thus the devastation of the human infrastructure has caused the Halfling communities to be in much the same situation as Humans.
The Dragonborn were never a race that enjoyed much of a presence on the main continent of Coralie. In the previous centuries the races of Atouin had become able to stand up to the dragons, and were able to occasionally defeat the creatures in combat. In the ancient days of exploration and ocean voyages however, no one had been able to last more than a few days on one of the smallest continents, that of Drakinvald. Drakinvald is the name that early Human explorers gave the place, naming it thus for the large presence of dragons. The Dragonborn are a new evolution of dragon, created by a supernatural event that united Human and Dragon. These people occasionally travel the world, and are present on Coralie in small numbers, often hired as body guards or mercenaries.