A beacon fire, or funeral pyre, the embers of Ildranægh shall be to the elves.
- Qelurand the Last
Almost three hundred years have passed since the elven Wars of Abscission.
Emptied lands and fallen states lie in the wake of nearly three millennia of war. The kingdoms of the elves, foreigners to the lands of Eilarûn, struggle to stabilize and rebuild, clinging to former glory. Some have endured genocide, their cities returned to the wilds they fought to conquer. Others remain locked in stagnant civil war, or have fragmented into unstable, petty fiefdoms along ancient tribal lines.
The other races of Eilarûn, long in the shadow of elven supremacy, have begun the slow march toward empires of their own.
Tribes of men, refugees from a mythic land to the east, manipulated for generations into proxy wars, have also profited from elven strife, rising from nomadic barterers to fledgling nations, bronze replacing stone as the old bans on human smithing became unenforceable.
Human cities have organized along the Trade Road, claiming statehood over wide swaths of land – extending within the borders of traditional elven holds.
Dwarves, the only surviving natives of Eilarûn after the elven migration, have undergone great change since the end of the Alamir War. Once relegated to isolated mountain communities of freed slaves, five siblings claiming divine lineage have sought to establish rival kingdoms across the mountain ranges of Eilarûn, their coffers filling with gold as their forges supplied the tools that tore apart the elven lands.
The following spring, an envoy of one hundred elves – mages, engineers, politicians, and soldiers – is dispatched from Sûngylea, under the command of Lord Istuien Biros to provide aid and assistance.
Reaching the ancient forests of Ildranægh, they find thousands of square miles burnt by dragons, the first of their kind to have been seen since the elves exterminated them – nearly ten thousand years ago.