The city of Laurel’s Hope is seemingly always on the brink of disaster, recovering only to find itself once more beset by danger and destruction. After the economic booms of Queen Laurel’s reign, the city found itself beset by economic stratification, racial divides, and an unforgiving climate. However, what some call Laurel’s Curse is the city’s greatest burden—whenever danger comes to Cartas, it seems to find Laurel’s Hope first. From otherworldly beasts to demonic cults and orc incursions, Laurel’s Hope is first on the front in the war against death. Twelve years ago, the city was torched to nearly nothing by what witnesses call a dragon of shadow, and it has never completely recovered.
Self-proclaimed entrepreneurs like Corryn Mode see the city’s constant struggle as a business opportunity, building new, upscale homes where the impoverished once lived, like the city’s Black Orchard neighborhood where local legend Oren Abel spent his childhood. Others, like the organized crime racketeer Bell Syfor, look to extort the population for what little they have, stealing from rich and poor alike to fund a lavish lifestyle. The city guard, once led by the Dupont family, fell into disarray with the lineage’s death twelve years ago, and is now beset by corruption and occupied by new infestations of arcane beasts like those appearing all across the continent.
There is, perhaps, some hope on the horizon for this shattered city; with the recent death of Duke Tridan Klargas II, his son has come to power as the new Duke, and promises to bring an end to the city’s misfortune. Such a promise is a great one, and the new Duke is young and inexperienced, though headstrong and brash. Carrying a weight of shame passed on by his father and grandfather’s incompetence, Tridan III is hellbent on restoring his family’s dignity by whatever means necessary, but that motivation alone is not enough to restore the ill-fated city to a long-gone glory.
Laurel’s Hope is a city on the verge of collapse, as a group of particularly lucky adventurers are soon to discover. Though they might be able to alleviate some of the city’s misfortune, it seems unlikely that anyone would be able to do much for the city—and besides, there are other threats looming on the horizon: a resurgent Orc Nations, Elven soldiers on the way, magical beasts appearing from arcane depths, and a strange cult of Orcs and Toren seeking to “unite us”—whatever that means.
18 Garvus 242NE