The date is 1703 Ms, and two hundred years have passed since the Great War that shook the whole continent. Fragile alliances have since either faded into cold indifference, or borders have receded as nations crippled by the war rebuilt.
Stories of the heroes that slew evil on the top of the mountain, on the teeth of the world, have become legends, then song, then stories, and are now mostly forgotten.
But evil never forgets and it does not slumber any longer. Dark things, quick in the night, take unwary travellers from the roads never to be seen again. Whole rivers of fish have washed up dead and rotten on the shores. Civil unrest and disease are rife in the few remaining vestiges of civilization.