The Story So Far
Two hundred years ago, the kingdom of Faranoth went through many drastic changes. From its thriving capital city on the western coast of the largest continent on the planet, its political power and economic influence spread across the globe due to its unrivaled presence across the world’s oceans. It was ruled by the mad king, Bartholomew Silverheart III, who was wise enough to recognize his own personal lack of wisdom and allowed a board of six trusted advisors to handle most of the kingdom’s day-to-day affairs.
When Bart III was young, he had also assembled a group of adventurers to be his champions, personal guard, and elite soldiers. Though powerful, time had forced them into retirement, and they had filled other roles. When a little bird told Bart that a conspirator was aiming to remove him from the throne, he put together a new group of adventurers with the primary goal of stopping the conspiracy and allowing him to remain on the throne so that he could continue enjoying the hedonistic delights that such a rank allowed him.
Unfortunately for Bart, the attacks from the conspirator become more overt as he was flushed out, taking a toll on his already weak sanity, and he stepped down to allow his son, Bartholomew IV, to rule in his stead. The adventurers eventually were able to expose and capture the conspirator, who turned out to have been the Paladin in Bart III’s original elite squad and one of his most trusted advisors. The Paladin had taken the Eye of Vecna in his youth and become a Blackguard who felt that a kingdom as large and powerful as Faranoth should be ruled by a single decisive man instead of by a committee headed by a lunatic.
Bartholomew IV made many sweeping changes to the kingdom’s government, including putting Bart III into the advising position left vacant by the conspiring Blackguard and sending his father’s adventurers into the world with his blessing. They traveled to a new city, where they were quickly noticed and recruited by the local lord’s vizier, a man who revealed himself to be the deposed Demon of Greed, Mammon. Mammon had encountered a run of bad luck and had his power stripped of him by an unknown force, and wanted the group to restore him so that balance could be restored in the Demonic Realms.
Mammon had full power over all the Lawful Evil Demons in his old realm, as well as the power to create and magically enforce what he called ‘contracts:’ trades between himself and another party in which both parties got precisely what was written down. These generally profited Mammon far more than the other party, but Mammon had found himself never wanting for applicants.
Though the details of how they managed have been lost to history, the adventurers eventually uncovered the mystery of Mammon’s lost power and restored him to his old throne. Much to Mammon’s great disappointment, however, the group had forced him into a truly unfavorable contract: Mammon was unable to form any new bargains for a hundred years following his reascent. This weakened his influence in the Demon Realms significantly, and he has spent the previous century rebuilding his vast cities to their former sinister glory.
The intervening time has been one of peace. Faranoth’s rule over the world’s sea has been challenged by many other kingdoms of many other races, reducing its presence and making it more equal among world powers. It is still a prospering nation, ruled by a distant nephew of the earlier Silverhearts, who carries the family name as Bartholomew Silverheart XI. Bartholomew XI maintains a steady and just hand in his ruling of the kingdom, and continues the centuries-old tradition of maintaining a board of six trusted advisors to aid his rule.