Ash Island is a large island northwest of the main continent. It gets its name from the ash that occasionally falls from the sky, caused by the volcano near the northern town of Ashwind. The volcano has not erupted in hundreds of years, but some say the ash comes more frequently these days.
Ashwind was once a wealthy town, thanks to the large iron mine in the mountains nearby. Close to 10 years ago, everything changed when the miners were driven out or killed by strange beasts from the depths and the entrance collapsed. Expeditions were sent to recover the mine, but none returned. Since then rumors of a terrible creature in the mines have kept people away.
Now a poor and dangerous shadow of its former glory, Ashwind is under the oppressive rule of a tyrant king known only as the Red Wizard, who took over as ruler of the town. His leadership has been harsh and a secret underground resistance has sprung up, but has accomplished little. Few townsfolk know much about the resistance, but it is rumored that Catelyn, the owner and barkeep of The Rusty Pickaxe, is connected with them.
In the sleepy coastal town of Southport, rumors of strange happenings are everywhere. Some say there is a fire god that lives in the volcano, and the cult dedicated to him is responsible for the troubles on the island. Others hear tales of a strange woman who lurks in the Blackwood Forest, protecting it from all outsiders. Sightings of a mysterious group of strangers have been reported by travelers, rescuing them from trouble and then vanishing into the night. Most recently, ominous whispers from the Elves warn of a growing threat in the Great Swamp.
Unknown dangers are everywhere. All that is certain is that Ash Island is a land in trouble, a land in desperate need of heroes to arise from its people.