The Harphaven Sagas
The world (known as “the world” to its inhabitants) is recovering from cataclysm, at the tail of a dark age. That cataclysm is shrouded in legend, half-truths, and speculation: some say it was a war between the gods; others say it was a great plague brought on by unchecked wizardry. All agree that it sundered kingdoms and changed the very face of the land.
What remains are small collections of villages ruled by petty lords, little islands of stability in a vast unknown wilderness. These islands are linked by the tenuous, fragile threads of trade routes. Some routes are short and safe, well-maintained and -patrolled by the people who depend upon them; others are long, dangerous, and mysterious, bringing goods from lands which most people on either end consider to be barely less than legendary.
But trade is powerful and inexorable. As pioneers seek their fortunes on the longer routes, communities and the lords who rule them expand their horizons and raise their ambitions. New settlements spring up along these routes; some are sponsored by nobles looking to expand their domains, while others are created by powerful merchants or hardy pioneers looking to carve a domain for themselves.