Celious is a foreboding land forgotten by the gods, and in the midst of the darkest of ages. For all is not as dark and dangerous as it seems, there appears to be a light beginning to shine through the fogy darkness.
The races of Celious were forged from the very elements of the world. Dwarves were forged from the earth in which they reside, formed with stoic behavior in mind. Elves were forged from the air, given a deep appreciation of the nature that surrounds them. Humans were forged from water, the balanced race that would produce many new technologies that would improve the world of Celious. Orcs were forged from fire, leaving them a very short tempered destructive and consuming people. It is said that the Halfers were more carved out of the plants of the earth, for they are a stoic and much enslaved race that understands there place.
For thousands of years, the races lived in a peace and plenty. Populations grew and families migrated across the land in search of new homes and challenges. Sea and river travel allowed the population to further expand; trade routes brought the prosperity to all. But with further expansion comes new kingdoms with different views and attitudes. Friendships and alliances became strained and the people of Celious did not treat each other as they once did.
As time passed conflicts arose between the races. The elves did not like the land being cleared by the humans to make way for their ever-expanding cities. The dwarves did not like the orc and goblin’s encroachment on their land, claiming their underground passages destroy the rock used to forge dwarven kingdoms. The humans did not like the dwarven kingdoms as they were not willing to open their gates to regular human trade. And the orcs and goblins didn’t like anyone. After almost a thousand years of constant warring an orcish warlord decided that it was time for the orcs to dominate Celious.
Granted it took the self proclaimed “Lord” Kharrion about 10 years to forcibly unify the orcs and goblins but once they were all fighting under one banner he set his eye on true empire building. Kharrion would then spend the next 50 years using this force to become the Lord of all the known lands. The humans, elves, and dwarves were so busy with their own in fighting that they did not take notice of the orcish Lords assent to power, that is until Lord Kharrion had begun making serious inroads into their kingdoms and lands. It then took the humans, elves, and dwarves another ten plus years of decimation before they were wiling to unite against this common foe. Unfortunately it was too late, they were able to hold off the Lord Kharrion for another few years but in the end they fell under orcish hoards and became slaves.
During this Cataclysm the orcs somehow, either by plan or by twists of fate whipped out the printed word.
Five hundred years after “The Cataclysm” there are a few free cities that hold out against the current Lord of the Orcs, Lord Dak Stunak. His rule has been harsh, tales compare him to Lord Kharrion himself, for he seeks to destroy all that is left of the civilizations of man, elf and dwarf.
You have been living in this world of fear and terror, orcs and other monstrous races have dominated the known world for five hundred years. Humans, dwarves, halfers and even the illusive elves are used as slaves in the great mines of the Orcs. You are free from slavery at the moment but you know that at any time raiding parties of orcs and other monsters will descend on your peaceful village and take what they want.
The world that you live in is a world without the written word. You and all that you know are illiterate. This is the way it has been for hundreds of years and literacy has been all but forgotten. This is not something that you miss or even care about, at this point. You and all that you know have no need for writing in a world that is so full of dangers, simply surviving is the greatest concern for all. There is however, a great and rich tradition of storytelling, the history of the lands are passed down from generation to generation by bards and village storytellers. This is not a formal trade but one that has evolved from slave camps and village campfires.
You have grown up hearing the myth of the “Island home of the Vault of all Knowledge” a place where peace and prosperity survive, where there is no hardship. Could this mythical place be true or just a fanciful dream?
The basic economy of the continent of Cerious is generally futile in nature. There are orc chieftains that control land and enslave all of populace. They then pay tribute to the the current Lord of Orcs. Some of the orc chieftains are fortunate enough to have mines so that they can generate a great deal of wealth. However, most are stuck relying on agriculture or raising livestock to use to pay tribute. This system allows for a great many alliances and almost constant conflict between the orc leadership.
There is trade as it is… The Port Deepwater is one such port that relies on trade and a strong army and navy.