This story will take place around an area of Dunarth known as the Middling Kingdoms. This grouping of disparate nations are all situated along the northern coast of the Middle Sea, a vast landlocked body of water. These nations prospered through trade with their close neighbors to the south, facilitating the transport of goods between them and the northern nations.
These Middling Kingdoms included the Empire of Meridia, the Kingdom of Candifar, the city-state of Freeport, and the Lands of the Albatross Clans. During the Sundering, however, these nations were wracked with earthquakes, vicious storms, and all manner of other natural disasters. This gauntlet left scars across the entirety of the world, but the majority of the damage occurred around the Middling Kingdoms.
Half of the city of Freeport was lost to the Middling Sea, a massive tsunami first flooding the entire city and then the back current ripping the rest into the depths. The Clans of the Albatross once held lands full of diverse life and beauty. The shifting climate and horrendous storms destroyed the ecosystem and left the lands bare and lifeless. The Kingdom of Candifar experienced a massive number of earthquakes that split the land in numerous places, leaving ravines, some without a visible bottom, littered across the nation. The Empire of Meridia, however, may have suffered the worst of the fates.
It too experienced a high frequency of earthquakes and storms, but unfortunately, those earthquakes released a dark menace: the Dark Elves. These particular types of elves long ago split with the kin on the dsurface, choosing to live as far from the newly risen man as possible. Their journey into the Underdark warped their minds, twisting their morals and corrupting their souls. They became depraved and wanton in their destructive appetites. The only way for the Dark Elves to experience pleasure was through the agony of others.
When the land split open, a tear was opened from the surface to the Underdark, right into the heart of a Dark Elf stronghold: Retortarx. Three millennia before the Sundering, the Dark Elves had launched an Unholy Crusade to the surface in a land far to the west: Talas. Led by the devious and cunning Matriarchs of the Dark Elven families, and with the assistance of the Dark Elven wizards known as the Thunderlords, the twisted elves had taken the Talasians by surprise. Holding their nation for over five-hundred years. It was not until the act of a single heroine, Estela, that the Talasian people were saved.
With a new rift to the surface created, the Dark Elves swarmed out like locusts. Still led by their tyrannical Matriarchs and vile Thunderlords, the Empire of Meridia did not hold for long. The nation’s ruler, Emperor Angranel II, told his wife Her Grace Twenadra and daughter Princess Penrose to flee to Candifar. The Emperor and his son, Angranel III, held Citadel Merin for eight days under constant onslaught before finally succumbing to their wounds.
King Rohan of Candifar took pity upon Twenadra and Penrose and granted them asylum within his lands. While Candifar was still recovering, Rohan knew he had a duty to help those that could not help themselves, thus earning his moniker: King Rohan the King. Twenadra heard the news of her husband’s death, and thus the fall of Meridia two weeks after their arrival in Candifar. Hollis Solvendiere and his niece, the wizard Mari led a contingent of Candifarian troops to hold the Dark Elves back. Mari constructed a mighty wall from her magics across the entire border between Candifar and Old Meridia, which became known as the Solvenwall
Twenadra, a beautiful woman, took a husband with a Candifarian noble quietly, and lived out the rest of her days as a mother instead of an Empress. Penrose, a young girl of fourteen at the time, took up the sword, wishing nothing more than to return to Meridia and take down the people that destroyed her family. Shortly after coming of age, despite her mother’s pleas and many suitors, she took up her sword and struck out for the Solvenwall.
Two-hundred eighty-six years have passed since The Sundering. The descendants of Emperor Angranel II and his wife Twenadra have scattered across Candifar. With the catastrophic results of The Sundering, many families came together or took in the less fortunate of their neighbors. It was common for Humans to adopt Dwarves, Elves to adopt Halflings, or Gnomes to take in an abadoned half-orcs. The fact remains, however, that the Imperial Blood of Meridia still flows strong through a few individuals…