The Story of Sleepyoak
The town of Sleepyoak is a place where almost anything can happen, but the townspeople prefer it doesn’t. Sleepyoak is a quiet, peaceful town originally built as a logging camp near a section of the Karda Forest that turned out to be the home to all sorts of strange creatures— Eldritch, Fae, environmentalists… Over the years the townsfolk have learned to live at piece with the denizens of the forest one way or another, but the towns reputation has always attracted the curious and the adventurous. In the past this was armed brigands hoping to find something of value, and those who returned sometimes brought curious and valuable items back. Recently a hunter named Royce Bradley trapped a curious three headed beast and told stories of lost ruins which has lit the world’s curiosity into a blaze. Trappers want to see what profits can be made from such creatures, Soldiers want to claim it for King and Country (after they take everyones valuables), archeologists and other scientists want to study (and pillage) it all, and everyone else wants to make a few quid in the frenzy. But there are those who just want them all to leave…
Think of this as the early part of Britain’s empire here on earth. Guns are new, expensive, and slow; older weapons are still quite mainstream, sorcery, magic, and alchemy are fashionable. Unlike the British empire magic works here, but most people simply pretend to understand it because it’s quite a feather in one’s hat. There are those who are quite skilled at it, however, and they aren’t uncommon in some areas of science. Scientific advancements are not shared freely and discussed, instead rival scientists labor quietly hoping to learn what they need to make great discoveries that they can sell or use for personal power. All fantasy races exist, but have been displaced to the fringes of the empire in places like Sleepyoak (here the humans aren’t imperial, either), or have assimilated into life as a second-class citizen unless they have unusual skill. If they choose to reject the empire’s racist attitude of what they’re good for they’ll either be sneered at or laughed at. A Dwarven musician will never be taken seriously, but neither will a halfling businessman, unless that business is owning a tavern or restaurant (lazy buggers aren’t suited for real work). Basically, just think of the typical RPG cliches and anyone who doesn’t fit into that doesn’t fit into Imperial society.
Much like South Africa, it is the southern, fertile part of a continent populated by Dwarves, Gnomes, Trolls, Giants, and such. Much of this area has been colonized by the Imperials, but wars continue in some parts for control of the area.
A continent covered by a rival nation to the main nation. More inclusive, sort of.