The Old World:
The sickness moved like a horrible wave across the Old World, killing all
in its path. Thousands fled aboard ships. However, the plague could not
be outrun. On many ships, the disease was contained through ruthless
measures—tossing overboard any who exhibited the slightest symptom.
Other ships were forever lost. In the end, those who survived found
the Ironlands and made it their new home. Some say we will forever be
cursed by those we left behind.
The weather is bleak. Rain and wind sweep in from the ocean. The winters
are long and bitter. One of the first settlers complained, “Only those made
of iron dare live in this foul place”—and thus our land was named.
Other humans sailed here from the Old World untold years ago, but all
that is left of them is a savage, feral people we call the broken. Is their fate
to become our own?
We live in communities called circles. These are settlements ranging in
size from a steading with a few families to a village of several hundred.
Some circles belong to nomadic folk. Some powerful circles might
include a cluster of settlements. We trade (and sometimes feud) with
Numerous clan-chiefs rule over petty domains. Most are intent on
becoming the one true king. Their squabbles will be our undoing.
Here in the Ironlands, supplies are too precious, and the lands are
too sparsely populated, to support organized fighting forces. When a
community is threatened, the people stand together to protect their own.
Some still find comfort in the old ways. They call on mystics to divine
the fortune of their newborn, or ask them to perform rituals to invoke a
bountiful harvest. Others act out of fear against those who they suspect of
having power. However, most folk believe true magic—if it ever existed—
is lost to us now.
The people honor old gods and new. In this harsh land, a prayer is a
simple but powerful comfort
The firstborn hold sway in the Ironlands. The elves of the deep forests
and the giants of the hills tolerate us and even trade with us—for now.
Ironlanders fear the day they decide we are no longer welcome here.
Monstrous beasts stalk the wild areas of the Ironlands.
We are wary of dark forests and deep waterways, for monsters lurk in those places. In the depths of the long-night, when
all is wreathed in darkness, only fools venture beyond their homes.