The Great Collapse is come.
The World is broken.
The Rok’thal and their allies, in a single night of violence and death, have destroyed it. By using their innate elemental powers, the Rok’thal caused the stone foundations beneath the surface of Gen to crack and shake bringing utter ruin to town and tower. No castle, bulwark, or defending wall was left standing in the cities that were struck hardest. Yet even in the villages of field and fen, in the open grasslands, and high in mountains of stone, not a single home was left unharmed. All the peoples of Gen felt the terrible grip of the Rok’thal, for the very soil and stone of their lands rose up against them. The Elven forests became choked in ash and dust; the Dwarven mountain halls cracked and fell in ruin. The Human kingdoms of the central plains saw their fields shake and writhe like the back of a great serpent, felling crops and castles alike. Neither keep nor cave, barn nor bastion withstood the elemental magics and mighty Golem warriors of the Rok’thal.
Yet the hardest blow of that fateful assault was not against the vast halls of the Dwarves nor the verdant fields of the Human farmlands. No, the darkest hour of that night fell when nigh all else in the campaign of destruction was complete and nearly all the lands lay in fire and ruin. This final stroke fell, not only from the greatest of the magic workers of the Rok’thal, but also from the hands of their allies and masters. The Midendor Northmen, an outcast sect of humans long exiled to the far northern tundras, gathered their clans and marched alongside the Rok’thal. Together, this mighty army laid siege to the Great Free City of Genoa. The Ichtari, a vile race of a kinship with the peaceful Sithik and the true architects of the invasion, led the Midendor and Rok’thal in pursuit of conquest and blood.
The mighty city of Genoa withstood bandits and raids for many centuries, but never had her defenders seen such an array of power and ferocity as they faced that night. Allies could not come, for all the neighboring lands were also besieged, and thus the commander of the garrison saw that his city and his men had little hope of defeating the great evil before them. He ordered the populace to flee the city, but he and all the men of his company stayed to hold the fiends at bay so that all might escape that were able. The Ichtari were enraged that any would stand against them, and flung the full might of their army at the eastern gate, and it was there that the last soldiers of the Free City made their stand. The commander of the watch, a cunning and well respected Gnoll warrior named Fendrun, drew his forces behind fallen walls and into corridors, where his few men could hold against their many foes. Fendrun's forces desperately stood until nearly all the city was empty, then Fendrun himself was slain in battle against a powerful Ichtari mage. By then fully half the city lay in ruin and ash from the force of might and magic released that dreadful night. In the end the Great city fell, and all who remained were put to the sword by the invaders.
In Genoa the designs of the Ichtari and their servants were ultimately fullfilled; though in other regions their assaults were less effective than they intended. Far to the south in the Selfay Desert, lay the home of their hated Sithik cousins. There the shifting desert sands surrounding the capital of Selseeth confused the stone magics of the Rok’thal, protecting it from harm. Without the support of the powerful elemental magic of the Rok’thal, the small force of magi and warriors the Ichtari sent there were defeated by the alert Sithik defenders. Also, while the great warrior Fendrun was lost in the battle at Genoa, the Gnoll homeland in the northern coastal swamps was left relatively unharmed. The Rok’thal magics were dispersed in the marshes and boggy terrain, and the attacking forces of Rok’thal golems and Midendor warriors were soundly defeated by the agile Gnolls. Other kingdoms lacked these natural defenses however; and most of their surviving peoples became refugees, fleeing from their burning homes into the wilderness.
After a short time passed, the Ichtari gathered their strength and began to expand their armies into the conquered areas. Castles and outposts were occupied and many refugees were put to work as indentured serfs, tilling the land and gathering food and goods for the new empire the Ichtari were buliding. The Rok’thal and Midendor were spread throughout the lands as the army of the new imperial overlords, sent to suppress the people and hunt for any rebels who escaped the night of the Great Collapse, as the dreadful time of the attacks came to be known. Some few villages and remote holds went unnoticed during the attacks, becoming centers for fleeing refugees. These hidden strongholds also became outposts for the new Genthian Rebellion that formed in defiance of the new empire. The city of Marshdown in the Gnoll swamps changed its name to Fendrun, in honor the hero of Genoa. This city and the mighty Sithik stronghold of Selseeth in the Selfay deserts, became the command centers for the rebellion, whose ultimate goal is to drive back the rising power of the new Ichloth Empire.
So it was and so have things stood for 12 long years. The Great Collapse has occurred, and you exist in a world at war with itself. Will you be a wary rebel, fighting for the freedoms of all the peoples of Gen? Shall you be a warrior for the new Empire, bringing the iron fist of domination to its subjects? Or will you find a role for yourself that even the world cannot foresee? The World of Gen is Fractured, and regardless of your chosen path, you are its only Hope.