Once, a mighty empire ruled these lands. Now, what power there is resides in the hands of monsters, barbarians, and petty warlords.
Only a few generations ago, this place, known as the Land of the Great River, was home to two imperial provinces, Darish to the east, and Tharvengia to the west. For centuries the Bhright Empire prospered, standing as a pinnacle of learning, commerce, and religion. However, in the last century, two rival factions arose that would eventually tear the Empire asunder. The earthly followers of Delaquain, the Goddess of Honor and Justice, and Sarrath, the God of War and Order, long at odds with one another, eventually forced the Bhrait Empire into a ruinous civil war. Weakened by the internal struggle, the Empire could no longer defend its sprawling provinces from the predations of marauding barbarian tribes. This was especially true in the Tharvengian Province, and it was quickly lost.
The final downfall of the Bhright Empire came when humanoid tribes (orcs, goblins, gnolls, etc.) attacked the barbarians living in the defeated province of Tharvengia, routed them, and drove them en masse across the Great River into Darish. After devastating the Darish, the barbarians moved into the Empire’s heartland to the east. In the battle known as The Shattering, the barbarians destroyed the last organized forces of the Bhrait Empire, ending the civil war not with a final victory but with a final collapse.