The Sans Arcana
In a world without magic.
It came on slow, only those most attuned to the weave first noticed the disturbance. The ripple became a wave and then the wave a tsunami. It was chaos, a world which had shaped itself around the weave of magic was now like a traveler in a strange land without a guide. Five hundred years since the plague had finished wreaking its havoc. A plague the leeched magic from the world, and where magic’s hold was strongest it was not merely sapped away but instead torn asunder. When it seemed the last vestiges of magic had left the world, it was only then that the true havoc emerged.
Monstrous humanoids; Orcs, Goblins, Trolls, Gnolls and the like, which had once been second fiddle to the goodly races of the realms had now found the playing field leveled. Humans, Elves, Dwarves and the other goodly races found that their reliance upon magic had cause them to forget how to survive without it and in their rebuilding and relearning stages, the ferocity of monstrous races was overpowering. Clans came out of the hills and mountains and for the first time in written history they united under powerful banners, they created kings and kingdoms. They drove men from their homes and their land and pushed them back across Toril. Centuries of defeats found the lines of mankind shrinking back.
It took those centuries for mankind to remember itself, to stop squabbling over the scraps left from the spell plaque and to create a new history for themselves. The powers of old were no longer and those that adapted to the world as it is now thrived. Five kingdoms rose and over time were able to unite for long enough to draw a line in the sand, to halt the Monstrous war machine. To create a stalemate at a time when utter defeat seemed all but certain. It is a testament to the change of mankind to find that they were willing to make a deal with the Monstrous races, who by this time were united under the Orc King, Baraktu Bloodfist. This pact meant that Bloodfist controlled the eastern half of Faerun, with a border running north to south, dividing the continent along where the battle lines had stalemated.
On each side of the line were border towns and cities, forts and castles which were meant to hold the line if either side should ever decide not to remain true to their word. Another five hundred years have passed since then, and each side has found enough turmoil and strife within their own borders to have had the time to think about sounding the drums of war again. At the center of the continent at the heart of the border a fort, Middleton, was established, a fort that has been maintained by mankind and orc for alternating years since the creating of this pact. This was created in hopes of one day fostering some type of peace instead of a constant state potential war. Initially Kings themselves would attend, but nothing ever came of these talks. Trade routes, alliances, and true peace….These things were not the topic of discussion, nothing of substances ever was. Eventually mankind started to send a mockery of lesser nobles and ambassadors – Bastard noble sons, princes so far down the line of hierarchy as to be inconsequential. The orcs never sent less than their proudest and most fierce leaders, with an honor guard that put shame to the squabble of limp wristed nobles that attended the leadership of mankind.
The time had come to send the envoy to Middleton, the fort at the heart of the continent, but unlike years past, this time the newly crowned king of Trystan kingdom, Hulric Trystan, a beloved and valiant leader and thought to be the shining light of mankind’s future, chose to attend the meeting himself. Hulric rode with his honor guard as did the rest of the representatives from the other four kingdoms and they met the Orcs at Middleton. It was a full day later that the closest town, Grossden, got word that Hulric and the rest of the nobles were found slaughtered and Middleton had been set ablaze around them.