The Lands of the Southern Reach Once a collection of kingdoms and provinces South of the Empire of Thune. 1000 years ago Ansel the Mad Emperor entered into dark pacts and his Madness spread across the land escalating into larger and larger conflicts as he began using his own people to fuel his dark rites. The Lands of the Southern reach had banded together fairly early on and fought to defend their lands. The dark powers of Thune though rove them back, and the had anticipated and begun construction on a great wall to provide a permanent barrier. This wall was created just in time in a final outpouring of power of many powerful mages. THe combination of craftsmanship and magecraft and some say a divine blessing by the gods sealed the gate preserving the lands beyond.
For a long time after this the Southern Reach was undisturbed and relatively peaceful with conflicts within the different domains of the Reach but the wall held and there was no threats from beyond what had become known as the Dark gate. But 300 Years ago the gate was breached but it had power beyond mere structural strength and without the proper rites limited its opening to a fraction of its full size. Even so this was more than enough to overwhelm the defenders and even the combined forces of the nations did little but delay the tide. The war changed however when a little known brotherhood stepped forward. This brotherhood had been recruiting and training ever since the wall had been constructed and was made up of people from every kingdom in the Reach. They were few but they were mighty.
With this new aid the battles shifted slightly and a way was devised to seal the gates but required for a force to act from the other side and while conventional armies balked at this the brotherhood saw the need and forced their way through the gate enacting the plan and sealing themselves off beyond the gate while the seals were rebound and made stronger on both sides.
In the Memory of this brotherhood land was granted apart from any one nation and an Academy was established. Recruiting exceptional young people with potential to train them as heroes as the brotherhood had been. And while the individuals that emerged from this Academy were key in helping resolve disputes and aiding various nations with bandits and minor supernatural incursions there was yet again a time of long peace and the academy lost its way. It has now become a prestigious institution that the wealthy and nobles will send their children to at a high price and the low - folk will gather funds to send their children so that they can have a better life. Keeping to its original mission in a small way the Academy still offers scholarships to those it finds have great potential