Character Creation- background and setting
You wake every day in the land of Enervus, a continent comprised of provinces knit together by a well structured and regulating government known as the Legion. The west coast is predominately their territory with their capital sitting a bit inland, but our story takes place in a secondary province further south near a town called Orin.
Orin was once a well established city, complete with a towering gate made of polished limestone with massive cedar doors. Through the Legionary Wars, the town was conquered and made part of their sprawling empire. Orin is the gateway of commerce; all the overseas trade comes through their gates along with the the crops/cattle from further south. They inventory and tax everything here, and any unregulated trade or sales that haven’t been sanctioned by their mark is considered illegal. Unconventional? Certainly; but the Legion maintains control through imposition.
The Legion has hundreds of years of solid establishment of law and order, bonding together different races and creeds under an umbrella of coexistence. Governors rule smaller towns, and the benevolent Emperor oversees Enervus from a distant stronghold. On the surface, it appears as though civilization has come together to create a thriving economy in a country that had been war torn for ages.
Most homes and towns on the outskirts of the major cities are a step above huts- ramshackle houses built with found lumber. Some cities have multi-story establishments built with milled lumber- and even some with panes of glass. Such is the case with Orin- it has a vibe somewhere between ancient Greece with old-western style housing and shops. The primary mode of transportation is by foot, by wagon, or by magics.
During this time of re-birth, Enervus is seeing rapid shifts in wealth and opportunity. Where the law’s reach ends, family and organization begins (read: Mafia). A sub-culture of organized crime and dealing became a way of life for many, then hundreds, then thousands. It wasn’t long before this parasite had its hold on the entirety of the continent.
It wasn’t long before the heartbeat of this organization took root just on the outskirts of Orin. A sprawling campus was built and the epicenter of criminal activity had not only a home- it had a mansion. What started as a brilliant Manor quickly developed to have matching wings- then a large courtyard (which soon spawned a marketplace)- then a series of outbuildings- it became a compound like no other. As construction spread on the outside, a network of passageways and secret meeting rooms spiraled its way through the dungeons below. Daily, the halls teem with business men and women, coming to make secret deals on various scopes and scales. All of these transactions pass through the approval systems of the Hub, which of course, demands a small tax for facilitating the deal.
What started as a way to take advantage of a fledgling economy quickly became an ever-present entity on almost every transaction across the land. The organization soon became known only as “The Hub”- inconspicuous, seemingly inert, and yet, omni-present. Its creator, known only as “The King,” is locked deep within the chambers of the Manor. The King’s very existence has been debated, with some proclaiming that he only exists as a symbol and nothing more.
While some might say the birth of the Hub was opportunistic, it has created a balance throughout the land that cannot be disputed. Economies and wealth stabilized and opportunities that didn’t exist before became commonplace for the citizens of Enervus. A family that had been farmers for generations now had the chance to be employed as couriers, merchants, and mercenaries- as well as blacksmiths, artisans, and so on.
As most criminal organizations do, The Hub has won over the favor of the Legion through coin. While The Hub collects a tax on its denizens, the Legion collects a tax on The Hub. The two co-exist peacefully to the point that it could be argued that they couldn’t exist independently. The Hub regulates what goes into Orin, Orin regulates what spreads through the rest of the countryside.
Your characters have been employed by The Hub for years as a group of Adventurers/Mercenaries. You take odd jobs to provide for yourself (and/or your family). At best, your character will be middle-class. Steady employment is the only way you will ensure your next meal- or your rent.
While you have established a working relationship with the others, you may have differing opinions on the morality of The Hub. You may not know much about the other character’s backstories. Your common denominator is that you need to maintain a living wage- and there is no denying that The Hub can provide it, as it does for thousands.