Welcome to the dark fantasy setting of Alvá
Alvá has passed through two glorious Great Ages of enlightenment and heroism and now finds itself lost in the early days of the third age, which has brought with it nothing but sadness and despair.
Since the dawn of time the stalwart and steadfast Dwarves have kept a constant vigil, ever watchful that they might stand in defense of the overworld and keep the surfacers safe from the terrible threats that lurk below – in the dark places, the forgotten places. But now the Dwarves have lost their kingdoms and their cities to the Greenskins; a loose alliance of Orcs, Goblins, and worse.
You see the Greenskins have long coveted the wealth and wisdom of the Dwarves, and despised their pride and now through sheer force of numbers they have exterminated the Dwarves through a short, bloody conquest. The few Dwarves that escaped the fire fled to the surface as outcasts, vagrants and refugees – throwing themselves on the mercy and kindness of the surfacers for whom they have sacrificed so much and protected for so long – but loyalty is fickle and such acts are soon forgotten and the Dwarves have found themselves hated and despised by most.
Worse still the Dwarves have lost not only their wealth and cities but in another sense their identity. With most of their Loremasters slain and almost all of their tomes of knowledge lost the Dwarves no longer have any records of their past, though only a generation or two since the great Exodus of the Dwarves so much has already been forgotten. And though family or caste was once so important and prized among their kind they no longer recall who hailed from which family – which has left those that remain scattered, broken and leaderless.
So far the Greenskins have been content with their newly conquered lands but in time they will no doubt cast their glance upward, toward the surface with fresh blood-lust in their hearts. And what of the darker and more dangerous evils that dwell deeper in the darkness? Without the Dwarves to hold the line surely they will stir in time, and when that occurs will they rise unopposed or will the Greenskins war with them, or indeed will the Greenskins fall under their dominion to form the greatest armada the world has ever known?
And what of the other races of Alvá? The Elves, Halflings & Humans?
The Elves care little for the other races, for the most part they consider themselves separate and the concerns and woes of others beneath them. They think of all others as mere children and while the Elves have enclaves and libraries with records of events dating back to the dawn of time – they do not share knowledge with outsiders.
At the dawn of the third age the Elves are primarily concerned with a disease spreading through their people, a peculiar pox which is fatal. It’s origin and why it specifically effects Elves are a mystery and right now studying it and finding a cure occupy them completely.
Man, capable of the most chivalrous heroism when given a worthy adversary to face has, due to lacking one, turned on itself and the various kingdoms are beset by warring, squabbling and nefarious political maneuvering. Alas the records of men are not to be trusted as they do so like to embellish and revise the truth until it resembles something quite different.
The Halflings are a travelling people and tend to integrate with others, a few live among the Elves, while most find homes within human settlements. As a result the Halflings are perhaps more tolerant of the Dwarves. Having little society of their own the Halflings do not keep records, in fact many of them never learn to write, and those that do often only keep personal journals which are often buried with them upon their death.
And so you have Alvá in it’s darkest hour. A world with no history, fractured, lost people and enemies of good knocking at the door. Alvá needs heroes, will you heed the call?