The Ashen Covenant Rises
The Empire of Nerath
This human-led empire united the known world – for a time.
Human warlords saw opportunity for laying claim to new territories in the years following the fall of Bael Turath, empire of Tieflings and Arkhosia, kingdom of dragonborn. The humans conquered vast tracts of land and formed this empire 700 years ago.
The people that they conquered or allied with were made colonies and allowed to keep their customs so long as human Nerathi representatives were allowed to govern and tithes were made.
There are rumours that the swift success of the empire were due to some hidden power or force. One early emperor, Magroth the First was a known lich but he was killed by his own guards. Future emperors were more just and good, complete opposites of that undead creature but they could never completely shake the shame that their great empire was at least tacitly empowered by Orcus via Magroth.
When the empire began to decay after five hundred years it was said to have been due to latter generation’s failure to pay homage to that demon lord.
Over the next century the empire devoured itself through civil war and assassinations. Orcs and Gnolls took full advantage of Nerath’s time of weakness and destroyed it after learning the art of Demon summoning from a mysterious figure called the “Ruler of Ruin.” It has been gone for a full century and most of its once great structures are ruins.
There is a faction of humans who make pilgrimages to Nerathi ruins who call themselves the Gray Company. Their leaders claim to be of Nerathi Royal blood and they want to recover lost artifacts of their ancestors and rebuild the kingdom. They feel that it was the “weak” demi-human populace that “polluted” the grandeur of their empire that is at fault for the nation’s fall.