They’ve asked me to describe our world to them, but how does one describe a world that once was so vibrant with life? This generation has known nothing but war and have lived amongst the waves for their entire lives. They have grown up watching for the sea dragons while scanning the horizon for others of our kind on their ships. How do you describe the beauty of an evergreen forest in a dewy mountain valley for the younglings that have only seen masts and felt waves slapping against the hull.

My children and my children’s children ask me to describe what once was beautiful but now has been savaged by the Culuz and the necromancers, in their vain attempts to grab at power, wealth, and land. The Culuz, the snakes as the humans call them, who invaded our lands and decimated our heroes and kings in one fell attack. They seem to grow stronger and consume more each year of their onslaught. And those parasites, the necromancers, who choose to turn away from the world when we needed every body to defend against the Culuz. The necromancers who took the bodies of the dead and used them against both sides in their own grab at power.

Nearly a century has gone by since the attacks began, a quarter of my life has been spent running and fighting for our survival. No, not just ours, but for all the warm blooded races of Algia, the Humans, the Dwarves, even the half races.

So when they ask me, I tell them what once was, and how it will be again. For I have hear the rumors, in every port, and on every ship. The rumors that Heroes are rising again to the call to turn the tides back against the Culuz and Undead. That the Knights of Cathos are riding again, that the great port city of Truscal has not been given up and that they are fighting to take it back from the Culuz, that even our homeland of Shalik has been purged of the Undead. But yet these are still rumors, and until proven true I cannot bring my ship to port and drop it’s anchor for the last time.

I do long for that time though. To finally stop speaking about the world that was and to show my descendants what I have been trying to describe for all these years.

- From the Journal of Captain Elrain Greenleaf, of the ship Avenging Arrow

Welcome to the Lands of Algia.

Some call them the Lost Lands or even the Shattered Lands of Algia. It is a world that has been under siege for nearly a century. A world that has once again begun to find heroes to rise up and fight back against the Culuz, a lizard race of dragon like creatures from a different world, and against the tide of the Undead. The war with the Culuz is finally slowing down and the goodly races of the world have a chance to catch their breath and begin to fight back.

At the forefront of this battle are the Knights of Cathos, once thought to have been wiped out by the Culuz, with their leader Tri Dragonsbane. Another bastion amongst the humans is the refugee city of Arcdale, far to the north in the Icespine mountains and across the Aud sea from the mainland. The dwarves, after suffering tremendous loses in the early years of the invasion, withdrew to their citadels and fortresses throughout the lands, waiting for their time to come forth again and openly battle the Undead and Culuz. The sea elves, known as the saviors of humanity from their daring rescues with their great ships as the Culuz converged on the last remaining cities of Man, still roam the seas and rarely come to port. Their shorebound brethren roam the lands in tiny clusters throughout the forests of Andasum and the desert Isle of Shalik, the elven homeland. The Night elves returned to their homes below the surface and have not been heard from in decades. The northern and southern tribes of the beastmen, known as Shifters, and the Minotaurs have suffered as well and are now few in number. The Goliaths, Tieflings, Gnomes, Halflings, Half-elves, and assorted other fey races survive by being on the outskirts of civilized lands.

While the open lands have gone wild again during this war, and monsters roam freely across the great plateau, the true enemies of the peoples of Algia are the Culuz and the varied Undead. This is not to say that the orc and goblins tribes will not raid a human town and wipe out a farmstead for a few pieces of copper or a cow but the greater threat to everyone is the Culuz, a reptilian race hell-bent on genocidal destruction of every Algian and taking the planet for themselves. The race as a whole is cunning and strategic in their actions, brutal in their treatment of other races, and it has been rumored that they are cruelly strict in their hierarchy and relationships within the Culuz. There are many different types of Culuz, from small little minions to the monstrously large Dragons that are capable of destroying entire cities.

The next greatest threat is the horde of the Undead. Before the invasion of the Culuz, the necromancers served their purpose, much like rogues or mosquitoes – annoying but something that could be tolerated. The necromancers worked to keep the undead in check from Zalgozar. It was a twist of fate that led the two greatest necromantic archmages to separately perform tremendously potent rituals the night of the Culuz invasion. Both spells went wildly out of control and the backlash of the unbridled spellmagick transformed both mages into archliches and wiped their previous existence out of history. One became known as Grimloch and the other Gravemyst, and while neither remembered their previous life, they both retained their magic and their drive for power over all the living and dead. Over the next few weeks they built up an impressive force and began attacking both the Culuz and the Algian races, taking the bodies of the fallen and replenishing their forces with those creatures. The following decades saw the undead army spread and their influence continues to grow.

Lands of Algia 4E

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