The Southern Locke is a mostly forgotten corner of the empire, slowly dying under the weight of its own corruption. Situated far from other centers of civilization, the mines that once attracted people to these lands have all but dried out, the great river that once drove its trade has been supplanted by gentler, safer routes, and the national boundaries that once made its location tactically important have long since shifted away as the empire subsumed its neighbors.
Yes, these lands are clearly dying, but still it maintains a population too stubborn (or poor) to move on. Even those who hold power here, who have the ability and means to forge new lives in the north, refuse to leave, knowing that the little wealth and power they have here is preferable to the life of mediocrity that similar status would hold in the Great States.
Into this broken land is borne a band of heroes, gathered by fate and forged in battle. The only hope against a darkness that slowly gathers its strength.
A darkness older, deeper, and far more sinister then the slow decay that its residents fear.