Makara West Marches
In the days long forgotten, there were only the Dragons – immensely powerful beings born of pure magic. The Dragons enslaved the primitive peoples of the world, teaching them to mine out great wealth, craft beautiful objects, build elaborate cities, all in their unending quest for opulence in service of their immeasurable greed. Eventually, the Dragons began to war with one another, and they pitted their paltry armies of mindless servants against one another, before joining battle with the hurricane wind of giant wings and blasts of arcane fire and ice, gouts of poison gas and bolts of blue-white lightning. The Dragons, in their hubris, neglected to notice the spark of awareness rise up from within their servants – that they could be freed and left to live a life of their choosing. They beseeched the gods, who heard them and gave them strength to fight. After freeing themselves from the tyranny of Dragons, the first peoples of Makara began to settle.
But, peace was not to be, and after many years of building and restoring, an enemy came from the frozen North – the giant king Surtur. The giants once again laid waste to Makara, ruining cities and burying knowledge amongst the rubble. Makara eventually prevails, and empires rise and fall in the centuries to come.
Even after a long time, The Primordials – evil entities of Chaos – continue to exercise control in Makara until the gods show themselves and win back control, but at terrible cost. The world is broken, and wild places are a rule rather than an exception. The lost ruins of past histories long forgotten lay buried in the sands of deserts, in the subterranean warrens known as the Underdark, and in the ruined keeps, cities, and outposts of an age long forgotten.
The ages that followed were marked with the rise and fall of empires, wars of gods and demigods, elemental chaos and thrashing power struggles between nations. These are the core assumptions you will have about the world around you:
The World Is Ancient. The ruins of ancient times and empires are peppered through the world.
The World is Fractured. No single empire or entity holds sway over the entire world.
The World is Mysterious. Wild places dominate, and even vast cities like Penarth or Stoneharbour are just islands in a sea of wilderness.
Monsters Abound. Fantastic beasts are all around, and most people have had a close shave with some creature in their lifetime.
You are Exceptional. Your skills and abilities are sought after commodities.
Civilized Races Largely Stick Together: The civilized peoples of the world draw sharp distinctions from the uncivilized. While elves and dwarves may hold a casual, or even virulent dislike for one another, they will always stand together against goblins, orcs, and the like.
Magic is Natural, but not Everyday. Many people have access to a little magic – a visibly answered prayer, a magical creature, being able to see in the dark, etc. Very few have access to a lot of magic, and powerful wizards often have transcendent attitudes, rarely choosing to meddle with reality all that much.
Gods are Active in the World. The gods of Makara are petty and insecure in their godhood. They make alliances and plan schemes, mostly out of the knowledge of mortal folk.