Over 500 years ago the Tiger Revolution swept the monarchy from power in Verland and installed a republican form of government.
Arcane magic has become commonplace due to the removal of an ancient geological impediment to influences from the planes.
Near constant eruptions by the volcanoes of Verland has caused an ice age to sweep across the globe. Food is scarce. Civilized settlements are few. The population is low, and most intelligent races are grouped in multi-racial city-states of varying levels of magical and mundane technology.
Owing to the influence of heroes of old, the metropolis of Talowdale is the largest, most influential, and most technologically advanced settlement in Verland, Perhaps in all the world.
This story focuses on a group of graduate students at the magical university at the center of Talowdale.