The king is dead long live the… Immortal lord.
4 years have past since the start of the Lords conquest, 2 years since its end. From whence he came there are only stories. What is known is his will is strong, his flying fortress impenetrable, and his hate of the gods palpable.
The ‘Just’ king Navitum, of house Bardune, fought well to keep his throne. He even managed to turn the tide of conquest for a time. But, the end came and when it did it was to the sound of great wings soaring. The Skybound, a tribal group of mountain dwelling humans who ride mighty griffins, stayed neutral for many years. Its unknown what finally swayed them to the Immortal Lord’s cause but when they finally took up arms there was no stopping the Red fist banners from spreading.
The rest of the resistance lasted but a year. His air superiority overcame even the most bunkered hold out. Where the Lord commanded, boulders fell from the sky. Merkesh, the jewel at the heart of Loholt, was crushed and so with it King Navitum. The death of the king was the death of the rule of law he enforced. Now the forest claims the towns and roads once held safe under his rule. The woods are dangerous. Their only law…tooth and claw.
The Immortal lord rules from his floating castle. He has abolished all faiths and temples but those devoted to him. The Red fist upon a black field is his heraldry. The decrees of the Lord are enforced by the Griffin riders and the Knights of the Gauntlet. Standing armies have been outlawed. In their stead mercenary bands have formed, offering protection and other services for a cost.
All swear fealty to the Lord.
The diminished number of Elves in the Dark wood pay tribute with magics and plundered artifacts from their burial sites.
The Dwarves of Krogavar pay tribute in slaves they abduct from those foolish enough to travel the roads un-escorted or from captured Orcs that are ever ready to storm Breach from the Red wastes. Brooding under the Heart mountain they slowly retreat from civilization. The old pact of maintaining Breach, a fortification meant to stop the spread of denizens originating in the Red wastes, starts to no longer hold sway over them.
The baronies of Vale, Celube, and Kesh pay tribute by turning their collective worship onto he who is now their Lord, forsaking all other gods. The barony of Veris lays abandoned, a stark example of those that go against the Lords will.
The Knightly orders are the enforcers of Law. They serve a Noble and that Noble sets forth the law of their lands. The Knights of the Gauntlet, their heraldry a red gauntlet on a black field, serve the Immortal lord directly. All lands may enforce their own laws, but they also must enforce the law of the Lord as well.
The floating castle has moved from common sight. There are rumors of the directions it could have gone but few if any know for sure. This absence leaves only the now isolated baronies to try and hold civilization together.
Mourn, an ancient land to the South East has been clutched in darkness and death for well beyond living memory. During the rule of house Bardune it has always stayed on the far side of the Barrier peaks. Since Bardune’s fall from power, rumor spreads of the creep of death moving beyond the natural partition.
The Black tower of sorcery stands abandoned. Said to be cursed and now uninhabitable there is no longer a watch on the mountain pass that gives passage between the Keshian plains and the old Whispering forest.