The World Born Dead
The ancient empires of Arkhosia and Bael Turath have risen and fallen, leaving ruins in their wake. The high elven kingdom of the Cendriane is but a distant memory fading into the mists of the Feywild, the plane of Faerie.
But from the ashes, a new republic has been built by the race of men. In two hundred scant years, the republic has spread its ideals across the world by force of arms, and been transformed into the most cosmopolitan empire in the history of the world.
From the great city of Nerath, on the banks of the river Kalareem, its world spanning teleportation circles linked to flying Arkhosian earthmotes to the north, Dwarven mountain fortresses to the south, and Turathi cities in the east. The empire’s client states represent the heirs to almost every great civilization that has made its mark on Creation. Except perhaps the Cendriane. The elves have retreated back to the plane of Faerie, which they call the Feywyld, though a few scattered bands still cling to the pristine primeval forests far from civilization.
In the distant reaches of the East, in the lands once ruled by the Tieflings of Bael Turath, rumor has it that the dead have begun to stir or perhaps cross over from the plane of Shadow. Strange storms are said to rain witchfire and emerald dust. And the gods themselves are said to have grown silent. The eastern provinces, are widely considered a resource poor wasteland, infested with demons and worse, where order is maintained by the swords and spears of the Nerathi Legion.
With the legions of Nerath on high alert, and being teleported by the hundred to defend against the threat of invasion from the demon worshiping Gnoll hordes of Khulan wastes, stirring in the north. King Elidyr Nerra I has sealed off the teleportation circles that traders and travelers use to maintain contact with the Nerathi outposts in the Eastern provinces in the hopes of stifling such talk of rising dead, before panic leads to rioting in the streets. The last thing the empire needs is another slave revolt.
In the midst of all this the monks of the kaorti order and the monastery of the Diamond Mind i.e. the devotees of the goddess Ioun, have funded an expedition to put the rumors to rest and discover just want is going on in the Eastern Provinces. The monks have outfitted two river boats to sail down river to the mouth of the Kalareem river and the Port of Valisca, and then march to The White City of Arkanast in the East, otherwise known as the last bastion of civilization in the barren wastes of the Eastern provinces. The monks have contracted dozens of hirelings for the trip.
Songs sung in taverns and temples, explain that the holy and pure Order of Hestavar has mounted a shining crusade to the East and the South to quell the demonic gnoll hoard and the restless dead that no doubt serve their demonic masters in the East. The order has openly begun recruiting the brave and righteous among the churches of Erathis and Pelor for the crusade. Soon they will expand their recruiting efforts to allied faiths.
It is whispered, the King has ordered a brace of the newly completed and trained Warforged White Raven’s that his late father commissioned decades ago to also investigate the rumors as a field test of their capabilities. The White Ravens may have already been dispatched via one of the Imperial teleportation circles to the rookery in the White City, though no one is certain of anything when the White Ravens are involved.