Humans seem to worry about Good and Evil a lot. They capitalize them! As though good and evil were important. As though they were anything other than opinions and points of view. Habits. Human gods tend to go on a lot about good and evil. The other races, the Dwarves and Elves know there are powers older than men in the world:

LAW and CHAOS

And this is an age of chaos.

Good King Omund died fifty years ago and with him went the rule of Law. Now the forest claims the towns and roads once held safe under his rule. The woods are dangerous. Their only law. . .tooth and claw.

Omund was betrayed and his castle fell to AJAX the INVINCIBLE, now called OVERLORD.
The Invincible Overlord rules from his floating sky city, and none have thus far successfully challenged his rule. He abolished all faiths and temples. He executed the Dukes of Aendrim who served King Omund loyally. Leaving only the far-flung baronies to try and hold human civilization together.

Now, all swear fealty.

The High Elves of the Viridian Wode pay tribute with ancient artifacts they plunder from ruined Celestial cities.

The Dwarves of Kenkarra pay tribute in slaves they abduct from those foolish enough to travel the roads unescorted. Brooding under the mountains in their fabled Hanging City, they do not like this deal with the Overlord, but lack the power…or the will…to rebel.

The Hawklords of the High Aerie now act as the Overlord’s royal guard. Mounted on their giant hawks, they project Ajax’s power, enforce his law and extend his influence into every corner of the wilderness.

Alone among the free peoples of the world, only two powers have strength to reject the Overlord’s rule.

Xavixia the Fire Queen, the Lady of Brass, battled Ajax to a standstill before landing her flying fortress in the barony of Oll. There she raised a mountain range to defend herself and slowly over the years transformed the green and verdant land into a mirror of the Plane of Fire. Now Oll is dead, and red sand like ground rubies cover the land.

When Omund fell, Zyll, the Archlich, the Grey Blight established his own kingdom to the south. None may contest the rule of Death in that grey land. But some men, some cities, still persist. They may live under the rule of an undead demigod, but at least the roads are safe.

Dalrath, Bedegar, and Tor, the baronies of men isolated and outnumbered, desperately fight a losing battle against the encroaching wilderness. Law dies. Chaos thrives.

It’s been three years since the Iron Tower, last of the Free Companies of Khatovar, assailed the overlord in a flying pyramid the Tower’s sorcerers discovered in the Infinite Desert, far to the east. Ajax was ready for them, and his wizard Mortum dispelled the magics that kept the Floating Pyramid aloft. The great structure fell into the grey swamp. Half the Iron Tower were killed, the rest scattered. The IronTower is no more.

The overlord remains. . .invincible.

[Credit to Matt Colville for developing the backbone of this world. Hats off to you sir.]

Age of Chaos

Steve_DM