The Palladium Empire once held sway over much of the continent, protecting all the Good folk. But over 500 years ago it fell. Droughts, rebellions, famines, corruption, decadence and the Gods all played their part. But perhaps the most important catalyst was the terrible attacks of the great dragon Skarag the Destroyer. (You had the misfortune of meeting him in the Prologue during one of his earliest attacks.)
Over the course of a decade, he relentlessly attacked a huge swath of the Empire. Humans in their cities, Dwarves in their mines, Elves in their forests, Halflings in their farmsteads, none were spared. Some fought, they died fiery deaths. Some hoped and prayed for him to pass them by, they were lost. Some fled far from his reach, their desperate condition only adding to the death spiral of the Empire.
For centuries, Skarag dominated a large area, the so called ’Skarag’s Shadow’. He was relentless, sleepless. Any who dared enter his shadow could face certain doom. Only the most foolhardy adventurerers dared enter, searching for hidden sites still full of ancient treasures. But no settlers dared try set up a home in the Shadow.
But a month ago, two well-cooked and half-dead heroes emerged from Skarag’s Shadow. They had an extraordinary tale. Two famous adventuring parties, the Battling Bards and the Welcome Party, had decided to team up and seek out an ancient Dwarven treasury said to lie deep within Skarag’s Shadow. The never made it to the treasury, but Skarag found them. In an epic battle, he killed most of them. But in the end Skarag the Destroyer lay dead!
It would have been dismissed as a tall tale, but from their Bag of Holding they brought forth massive proof. The bloody head of Skarag himself, the size of a bloody house. All manner of truth magic, divination, and investigation of the head were brought to bear by Royal decree. But the seers and inquisitors have declared that he is indeed dead and gone.
The campaign will see your party heading out into what was once Skarag’s Shadow, to explore and map. And perhaps to tame and settle! A new frontier has opened up. Are you ready to not just survive the unknown wilds but to make them your own?
(More exact details of why your party in particular is exploring, where you come from, the rest of the world, and such will come once you pick a party theme, as those things will be strongly driven by that.)