The world is chaos. All structure and civilization has been torn asunder. The mighty city of Law and Order, Gyfraith, fell beneath the wrath of the Duwai and with it, all order fell. The creatures of old and nightmare have crawled back from the abyss from which they were cast long ago and roam the earth. Only the proud people of Falchder stand strong. Many of their cities fell in the first waves of chaos. Even as Dinas Antur and Porthladd Masnach stand, however, their walls begin to crumble. Small settlements try to form but are quickly raided and torched to the ground. Raiders are common and cults rule the land. The Infernal Lord and the Ice Mistress are indifferent to our suffering, running wild and free across the land and allowing all to do the same. Many cry out in terror, but others rejoice in ecstasy.
The storytellers say this was under the supervision of the Cynghorwyr (counselors) and the Dewisydd. The Gynghorwyr were the group of unlikely heroes who found the Dewisydd (chooser), under the guiding hand of the Infernal Lord, deep in the underground prisons of Gyfraith. Escaping from the Seven Valkyries of Order with the Dewisydd they fled into the Memory Desert and took shelter under the wing of Storiwyr, the last of the Brass Dragons. As per their namesake, they advised the Dewisydd on their vision of a perfect world, though many disagree with the advice given.
It does not matter whether the Gynghorwyr were heroes or villains, but they returned to the pristine city of Gyfraith only to find it in flames. Tired of their long imprisonment, the ancient Duwai broke against their chains and tore themselves back into our plane. The Infernal Lord, passionate and wrathful, turned his eyes to the city and people who had trapped him and the Ice Mistress. He brought down torrents of fire and let loose his minions into the city, where they burnt and annihilated all they saw.
Having seen their beloved city fall, the Valkyries realized that civilization was coming to a fiery end. They summoned Gorchymyn, the One God of Law and Order, and attempted to push the Infernal Lord back into his prison and retake the Dewisydd. Once more the Gynghorwyr escaped with the Dewisydd, but one of their own left them and joined with the Seven. He became known as Gadianton, Traitor to Freedom, and Champion of Order.
Thinking themselves safe in the Forgotten Dunes with the Dewisydd, Storiwyr told the Gynghorwyr the time had come. They had to give their final advice to the Dewisydd so the new world could be chosen. The Gynghorwyr had seen the chains that bound the people of Gyfraith, the chains that the Seven called Order and Security. The Gynghorwyr felt that freedom from these chains was better than being bound by them.
The Dewisydd, now filled with the wisdom of the Gynghorwyr, traveled to Gyfraith where the Infernal Lord and Gorchymyn fought. The Dewisydd merged many of the planes together, save those of order, law, and shadow, which allowed the Duwai to finally be freed from their chains. Gorchymyn, knowing more strength was necessary to vanquish the Duwai, used the Weapons of Destruction that had successfully struck down the Duwai long ago. The Duwai, however, filled with the power of the Dewisydd, stole the weapons and slew Gorchymyn, casting him back into the plane from which the Valkyries found Law and Order.
With Gorchymyn gone, the Duwai turned their sights on the rest of the world. Foremost among their doings was the razing of the center of civilization. Gyfraith was no more; only a few of her citizens and the Seven Valkyries remain. The Duwai gave their blessings to the Gynghorwyr, those who had freed them, and went out to free the rest of the world from the chains of civilization.
Thus the world is wild and untamed like in the Days of Old. The Ancient Gods and creatures run rampant once more and civilization is all but gone. Everyone is free, nothing to hold them back.
Most of the major city-states and empires quickly fell. The denizens of the Shadow Isles poured forth from their stronghold and took advantage of the collapse of civilization. Countless new tribes and raider clans have formed.
Some long for civilization though. They gather in small groups and try to rebuild. The Duwai hunt them down with vengeance, refusing to bestow mercy even to the meekest.
The Gynghorwyr returned to or made their own homes to live out the rest of their days. Some praise their decision while others curse it.
But there is nothing to be done now, the world is free and wild now, all chains broken.
You see, twenty-six years ago civilization was at its height and gave no signs of stopping. Twenty-five years ago civilization abruptly came to a halt and crumbled, razed to the ground by an ancient Infernal Lord and frozen in its own tears by the ancient Mistress of the Glaciers. Twenty-four years ago the destruction reached Porthladd Masnach.
The first organization to fall in Portladd Masnach was the Nightsong Guild. As a criminal organization one would usually expect it to love its newfound freedom, and it did, just too much. The freedom caused dissent in the guild, which was torn apart. It erupted into a massive gang war which the city guard was barely able to confine. The Greyhaunt Investigators rooted out the leaders of the gangs and made them public knowledge. Within days the war was over as every leader in every gang was murdered or assassinated. The Nightsong made a final stand which resulted in the utter annihilation of the central palace district. The Baron barely escaped with his life.
The Baron turned all his duties back over to the Warden so that he could go rejoin the Order of Illumination and help fight back the evil and the chaos. The Warden fortified the city walls and turned them into a keep that serves as the new noble district. Due to the insurrection, the slums and the noble district were reversed. The slums are in the center of the city, the poor living in the burned husks and ruins of the former palace district. Surrounding them is the ring which comprises the merchant district. The last ring is the thinnest, the noble district and city guard headquarters, with an extension jutting out of the main keep which forms the docks.
His force greatly reduced, the Warden took out a long-term contract with the Greyhaunt Investigators, who soon replaced the Adventurer’s Guild in Porthladd Masnach . The Guard has lost all authority outside the city gates and so relays the responsibilities of keeping the city safe from outside threat to the Investigators. The Greyhound Investigators pay as handsomely as they can afford to those adventurers who go out and fulfill tasks.
The merchant district has grown exponentially since the fall of Gyfraith, proving the city to be one of the few left in the world with a stable, and therefore successful, economy. The Guard and the Investigators are paid for by tax. While the Guard tax has always been in place, the Investigator tax is new and many prominent merchants speak out against it. What makes this worse is that inflation has doubled the price of all goods.
News from the outside world is common in the city thanks to the trade ships, though most residents never go outside the city gates. It is reputed to be far too dangerous for any individual outside the walls.
So what brings you to this city? Why are you in Dinas Porthladd Masnach? And how do you plan to support yourself in the times to come?