Welcome to the continent of Faerun… the way I think it should be run. That’s kind of redundant, since the campaign setting for 3.5 emphasizes that each DM should make it their own, anyway.
At the dawn of time, a battle began. This battle pitted sister against sister, and from the primordial chaos between Selûne and her dark sister, Shar, the world of Faerûn was born. But with Faerûn was born another being, a cosmic force, bred of magic both dark and light. Mystryl, the goddess of all magic, was formed of the essence of both sister deities.
The world of Faerûn flourished, wars came and went, as did races. Then, one day, Mystryl was forced to sacrifice herself to maintain her mother Selûne’s world. The mage, Karsus, in a desperate attempt to save his people from the workings of the evil Phaeriim, cast his greatest spell, known now as Karsus’ Avatar . His show of arrogance in trying to wield control of all magic failed utterly.
But only for one brief moment; Mystryl was reborn as the goddess Mystra, weakened, but able to maintain her role of goddess of magic. Shar, in her malevolence, revealed a new source of magic, and named it the Shadow Weave. Time continued on.
Many magic users were affected beyond what was expected in the aftermath of Mystryl’s death. Some went mad at their goddess’s demise, only to maintain their power and delve into despair.
But others, despite their madness, knew not all was lost. Mystryl was not beyond hope. Moreover, this tragedy paved the way for things that even Selûne and Shar could not have forestalled or foreseen. If only the right cards were played.
And that brings us to today’s scene.
It is 1383 DR, and life in Faerun is going pretty much the way it’s always gone. The gods are petty, causing more drama than your local High School, and the common man of Faerun is running around blissfully ignorant of those goings on.
But you are an adventurer. For some reason, you were born with a gift or talent for finding trouble or attracting it to you. Thanks to some nicer-than-normal die rolls, you are an above-average person, and this means you get swept up in the deific squabbles of this world. (great place to reference Character Creation )
The Dragon Coast is in turmoil. The City of Elversult is recovering after being overrun by devils, led by the Lord of the Eighth Hell, Mephistopheles. How this Archdevil and his armies have managed to stay on the Prime Material is a subject of mystery to many, but most recently, an army of celestial beings overpowered the city, destroyed the new mythal, that somehow prevented all Chaotic Evil Outsiders from entering the city, and negated any Abjuration magic or magical effects within the cities’ boundaries, and ended the Archdevil’s reign.
Orcus, Demon Prince of the Undead, swiftly retreated from the region in the wake of the celestial overthrow, and the heavenly beings disappeared soon after Mephistopheles’ apparent destruction.
The region is in turmoil and adventurers must struggle to survive the chaotic change in the balance of power.
To the North, in the Moonsea, rumors tell that the once-great city of Melvaunt has fallen victim to a plague of undeath. The city lies in ruins, a shell of it’s former glory. The neighboring city of Phlan has repelled an attack by the Armies of Zhentil Keep, destroying the fortress. Phlan was aided in the attack by a mysterious undead army, headed by an unknown Death Knight of great power. That Death Knight has now turned his forces and attention south to Cormyr and Cormanthor. What remains of Zhentil Keep is retreating into hiding.
Meanwhile, the party has found itself in the Plains of Purple dust, in a travelling castle that apparently once belonged to Karsus, the archmage known for destroying Mystryl, the goddess of magic.