Between the War of Flame and the Crimson Crusade, Grayson's Grey Rangers are decimated and in desperate need of new blood. You've signed on, and after rushing through the most intense training of your life, you're already hitting the field as threats close in on all sides. The Wildlands are well named, and they need you!
These are important features of the campaign setting, summarized for your convenience:
The War of Flame is Waning. Though it can hardly be said that the Southern Kingdoms have enjoyed very many decisive victories, they have managed to hold back the overwhelming tide of the Empire's forces. Assistance from the Desert Princes, Korindia, Dregordia, and even Nazatir have helped move some battle lines northward, even.
Civil War is Brewing in the Empire. One of the key factors in the Empire's lessening efforts is the transition from rebellious "incidents" to an outright uprising within its borders. The group known as the Unchained, led by former slave Jerik Tul, has grown into a small army, and now Kalinesh warlords and nobles are beginning to flock to his banner.
The Prelacy is On the March. Rumors have abounded for years that the Prelacy would one day embark on a full-scale invasion of the rest of the Southern Kingdoms, so much and so often that people tend to just roll their eyes at the notion. Within command and intelligence circles, however, those rumors gained a frightening dose of believability as evidence mounts, pointing towards a massive military build-up. Worse, there are more than a few confirmed reports of Builders having been seen in the very capital of the Prelacy, apparently negotiating to arm the Paladins of the Church of Archanon with weapons of "purifying fire." The Crimson Crusade is coming!
The Builders are Here. Ancient progenitors of the Dwarven race. Masters of the lost magical technology that is arcfire. One-time rulers of all of Shaintar. This ancient race has returned from Norcan Darr, and is appearing in greater numbers and with more powerful military capability. Some are seeking to regain their role in Shaintar's destiny, while a few seek to aid the Southern Kingdoms in preventing this. An unknown number are clearly allied with the Merchant and are aiding his schemes to manipulate all of Shaintar towards some hidden, greater goal.
The Merchant... is Not Alone. The mysterious and nefarious master of countless plots to control the destiny of Shaintar, the Merchant's final goals remain unknown to all but a few. What is clear is that he is more determined than ever to gain as much economic and political power as he can wield, and many believe it is the flow of crysarium that he is most concerned with. What is truly frightening is the increasing evidence that other beings of similar abilities and nature seem to be coming from beyond the Veil; some join with the Merchant, while others take an opposing role. One name that has been whispered among the shadows and revealed by a handful of prisoners - the Seamstress, pulling strings in some elaborate conspiracy directed at the Wildlands.