Kingdom of Cadryn
If any of the lands of men could truly be considered good and lawful, it would be the aged Kingdom of Cadryn. Supposedly founded by men from another world, often seen as a metaphor for lands far away, Cadryn has built itself steadily over the past centuries to become the strongest, most populous state in the land. It is currently a center for arcane learning, industry, and more.
Originally the “Kiingdom” consisted of only the capital city, a small town at the time. Ancient texts describe it as a land surrounded by mountains but was an ideal agrarian community where all were considered equal. By the will of the gods, the mountains were flattened and spread far and wide to make the lands that are presently known. The town was led by a council of elders until a dark entity gained power over them and soon had the settlement under its sway. A group of heroes led by Laian the Conjurer fought the evil and freed Cadryn, but at the cost of the deaths of the former leaders. The people who survived begged Laian to be their king, something he agreed to only reluctantly. Thus began the Great Expansion.
Over the following centuries, Cadryn built itself up from a small town to a city. The smaller, independent villages were eager to join the emerging state. Even the larger towns, who once saw themselves as rivals to Cadryn, now joined them in earnest. From Watergate to the north to Eralmin in the south, the Kingdom expanded its borders and enjoyed boundless economic growth as populations grew at an incredible rate. Wars were unknown, Kings ruled justly, and peace was held by all…but the utopian times were not to last.
Unknown to the Kingdom, an evil also grew in the wastes to the west. The Darkness that was supposedly banished almost a millennium prior stirred and drew evil followers from across lands yet unknown to the people of Cadryn. Wicked sorcerers, summoners of the dead, plied their trade deep in the swampy recesses of the Quagmire of the Fallen. Here they raised an army of shambling corpses, clattering skeletons, and fell beasts too terrible to describe. The land was set aflame.
Wars were fought, people were slaughtered and villages burned. Thousands upon thousands fell to the Ebon Host, as they were called due to the black armor worn by their soldiers, and for a while it seemed as they would be triumphant. At the siege of the Citadel, however, the King’s agents managed to find an artifact hidden deep within the monastery. Guarded by Raan a’Tal, a powerful monk and one of the original companions of the First King, the agents were given a powerful staff created during ages past that could destroy the evil force. The leader of the agents, a knight known as Lord Jeryn, bore the staff against the gathered hordes while on the ramparts of the Citadel. In a brilliant flash of light, holy fire ripped through their lines and turned them to naught but ash. Their dark masters tried to flee but were too consumed, dissipating into the wind. Lord Jeryn laid the staff back to rest and sealed the chamber, but as payment for saving the realm he had to take up the mantle of the guardian and ensured that none but he knew where to find it.