Ambercrest: the godless city, the city of lords, the city at the crossroads.
Resting on the edge of the plains stretching north from Moorhaven, over a ravine where the Beilavain river glistens and bubbles in the sunlight, on the border of the sprawling Vides woods… Ambercrest must once have been a great crossroads of culture and knowlege. Indeed, its Arcane Academy still stands tall and untarnished, a beacon guiding travelers to the walls of Ambercrest for miles around.
But times have changed.
Those walls are crumbled and decaying and the travelers are few save the merchants of the city itself, scrambling in all directions to greater metropolises where they can find the necessities the city needs to survive. Few are the citizens of Ambercrest who have ever seen or heard of anything further away than Moorhaven, except for legends of the distant lands of the elves and the dwarves.
The arcane arts have come to be regarded with superstition and distrust. Visitors to the Academy are few and far between, and the area surrounding it has collapsed into slums and fallen into the hands of thieves. The city once labeled “The Godless City” for its reverence of arcane powers above divine ones is no longer friend to the magical in these dark ages.
The aristocracy, once known for its strong and benevolent rule, no longer thrives. Those who rose to power as lords did so through battle: the walls of Ambercrest are the walls of the lords’ houses, and they once encircled the city as its protectors. Now four of the seven lords’ castles have crumbled, and those that remain stand far from the threat of battle on the cliffside edge of the city. One crumbled castle has become the refuge of the mysterious slumlord Daggerpalm. The surrounding slums have come to be called Rubbletown.
The three remaining houses are those of Crimsonhelm, Talonguard, and Hallodawn. Their tabards are emblazoned the red four-pointed star, the green raven, and the black morningstar, respectively. In recent memory, the house of Crimsonhelm has held de facto power over Ambercrest… however, there are many people of Ambercrest who assert that the aristocracy guards little but its own interests.
Lord Gregory Crimsonhelm was a strong and weathered warrior, largely unremarkable as a head aristocrat from the moment he took his title until his death of natural causes two months ago. His eldest son and intended heir Jeremy Crimsonhelm was a strong warrior like his father, but is said to have died honorably in battle three years ago. Arnold, his unconventional and less popular younger son, took the title Lord Crimsonhelm in his stead. Well-known for his physical weakness and affinity for the arcane arts, Arnold is considered quirky and something of a joke.
Immediately upon his father’s death, Arnold Crimsonhelm shut himself away and has done nothing to rule Ambercrest. The people have grown uneasy about his complete lack of action. Some even say he has gone mad. Whatever the reason, Lord Crimsonhelm has not been seen or heard of for two months.