The dwarves HAD an extremely powerful economic empire based in their underground nation of Dwyorrdeep. They controlled money through their international banking system (the only one on this continent) and used blackmail, assassination, and arcane might to force other nations to do their bidding. Most of the dwarves lived in the four great cities of Dwyorrdeep: Karnak, Ur, Lagash, and Hammazi. Only a few merchant houses sent dwarves to foreign lands where they established walled enclaves and flexed their might whenever they wished. No one loved the dwarves of the Dwyorrdeep Empire, but most rulers felt like they needed them.
When the Cataclysm hit, the Empire was destroyed, as well as all the underground dwarven cities. The few survivors were forced to the surface. The very civilized dwarves had almost no survival skills, manual labor outside of craft work being considered beneath them, thus many perished.
Over the past three years, the dwarven society has stabilized, the survivors have adapted and life goes on. However, dwarven life, as the dwarves have lived it for the last 5000 years, is over. As a race, they are forced to reinvent themselves or perish from the face of the world.
The surface lands of the dwarven Empire (or the Old Empire as it is already known) have been divided into three parts by post-cataclysmic geography. The [[/Flats]] are the mainstay of heroic play. Occupying the a central location, the Flat sits about 500 feet above sea level above the ruins of Karnak and Hammazi. The cracked landscape has a hard time holding fresh water and thus most of it is arid desert. To the east lies Muddy Bay, a salt water entrance to the Yelmani Sea. To the west sits the dangerous and expanding human kingdom of Nahland. In the center of the Flat is a great depression, a true area of desolation which most all living creatures avoid. The dwarves of the Flat inhabit the eastern and western edges. The western dwarves are under constant threat and raids by the human warbands from Nahland. The eastern dwarves seem safer from external threats but are torn by struggles for power. Currently, the most powerful city is New Pavis and its Lord Mayor Kamal.
This campaign will focus on these changes. The PCs (should they be so fortunate as to live past 5th level) will slowly help shape the new dwarven nation. They will hold the future of a race in their hands and perhaps even influence things like how magic, religion, and bigotry affect generations of dwarves yet unborn.
It is a time for heroes, a time for leaders, a time when those born low can raise to the pinnacle of society, if they have the strength to take it.
Are you ready...?
Pelor's County was founded by a group of religious refugees from Red Sand County. Florian Ironpike, one of the few surviving warriors of the Old Empire became converted to Sun worship only a year after the Cataclysm. Together Florian and his cousin Erwin, the first High Priest of Pelor, now called Brighteye, took 3000 new believers north. Kamal, Lord Mayor of New Pavis, sought compensation for the migration. In response, Ironpike issued a challenge to face all comers in single combat. He defeated five, killing two, before Kamal let them pass.
Eventually they came to the Painted Wall river valley and settled. In the last two years, Pelor's County has earned a reputation where anyone is welcomed, all peoples and all religions. The population of the County has grown rapidly since.
The County seat and largest settlement is Sun Dome with a population of around 1200 souls. The surrounding district (1 day's walk) has an additional population of 1000. Another 800 settlers are scattered across the county.
Count Florian Ironpike - 11th level Dwarven Fighter, Count of Pelor
Erwin Brighteye - 5th level Dwarven Cleric, High Priest of Pelor
Darval Grindstone - Sunwell Quartermaster, controls 80% of trade in Sunwell
Telus Verdis - 7th level Elven Druid, Ambassador from the south
Gus - 7th level Goblin rogue, Sunwell guildmaster
Master Voss Vanderwaith - 4th level dwarven wizard of the 1st Circle