The Willis Hangout campaign, Part 1.
Nineteen years have passed since the end of the Mage war. King Vern’s grip over Willis has tightened like a vice. Few know what actually happened; after the failed war with the dwarves, the wizards from the surrounding realms met in the floating mage city of Korinara. They were never heard from again. Some say the archmage Astinathis tore Korinara from this plane of reality, leaving nothing behind but a black void. Before anyone could verify the story, Willis laid siege to the elves of Vine Ring forest, which was located between the capitol city of Willis and the bordering Korinara.
Fighting was fierce in the beginning, when King Vern threw battalion after battalion into the forest, only to find their corpses stacked at the treeline neatly the next morning. Eventually the war cooled, although it has never officially ended. All trade with the elves has been cut off ever since.
While Willis has always had a unified population, the ruler has always been a human. Humans are the largest segment of the population, and the king’s vitriol has infected their beliefs. Dwarves are often referred to as “turtles” due to “their stubby arms, stubby legs, and hiding in their home when they get threatened.” Elves aren’t strictly barred from Willis, but many are treated as potential spies, often disappearing in the middle of the night to be questioned. Halflings are seen as thieves, and the slightest infraction will result in a grizzly public execution. Gnomes are seen as repairmen and servants, but little more, walking unnoticed among the humans.
Since the mage war, anyone wishing to be a magic practitioner must register with the city and complete a “training course” before being allowed to practice magic. The primary loophole in this is the clergy, whom are allowed to practice freely. Many rare and powerful magic items still exist and can be found within the realm, but few are newly crafted.
Trade is still strong within the realm, and is just now opening back up to the outside world after years of seclusion. Many adventurers head to Willis in search for artifacts, to find glory in the arena, or to profit from strange quests ordered by the king himself…