It’s been a thousand generations if it’s been one since the last great civilized empire. Men are born and die, living amongst their neighbors and family, never wondering what is over the next range of mountains, where the overgrown road used to lead. No, they are beset on all sides by the dangers of the wild and they are satisfied merely by surviving, being able to harvest the next crop. To those unlucky, they are overtaken, either individually, in the dark woods or snatched from their home; or even as a group, towns overran and destroyed by monsters, or vicious goblins that still hold instinctive blood grudges for deeds long past, and long forgotten. Brindol was one such town, on the brink of finally being destroyed despite a past of resilience.
However, by luck or fate, there are those who are products of this vicious world. Men and women of all races strong enough, wise enough, or perhaps just crazy enough to venture into the dark, crush the bones of their enemies under their heels, and perhaps buy the common people another generation.
The world demands rites and tests of power for those who wish to conquer even a small part of it. Power is there for the taking, through strength of heart or power sources as old as the world itself. Likely both. Whether willful of that fact or not, it changes these people. They stop being completely mortal, the first step to becoming a legend moving them beyond their families and friends. There are mysteries waiting out there in the uncharted, unknowable regions of the world, splendors of an age long past, and the unending hate of the creatures it spawned.