Your background: why here?
The war against the dragons is over and we won, at least that’s what the officers told you as they announced your regiment’s disbandment. One of your dog-tags says you are honorably discharged.
Leischport has drawn you to itself. Some of you may be expecting to catch up with comrades, others may simply be seeking adventure. Either way, you’ll need coin.
You and several hundred other war-weary soldiers were paid out and left to find your own future on the roads, rivers and seas of the realm. Too many veterans, not enough jobs. Your time as a soldier has been lucky compared to many: you still have all your limbs and the diseases you survived have left you fairly immune to most evil vapors. Leischport in the Alshon seems promising for a hardy sort who doesn’t mind doing the kinds of things you trained for.
The Alshon region
Dominated by the river Alshon, a slow-moving but stable flow running roughly north to south-west. The lands around the Alshon are a mixture of savanna and various densities of forest from light woodland to jungle. In the north-east a mountain range wards the region, but on the south and west, it is open to littoral and more flood-prone plain.
Sub-tropical: Summer is hot but moderated by sea breezes in the south-west, winter is cold but snowfall is a rarity, except in the north-east mountain range.
Two towns: Leischport [LYSH-port] in the southwest and Schmitford [SHMIT-fid] some 16 or so leagues upriver. A trail also connects the two.
A number of lesser villages and strongholds, and scattered hunting estates. Stiglehold [STY-gil-hold] is a stronghold; the only significant villages are Talgia [TAL-gya] and Gaspon [GAS-pin], both riverine. Tallywood north of Leischport serves both the baronial hunting domain and timber felling. Karl’s Abbey serves religion trade and defense. Mardleton [MAR-dl-tin] south of Leischport serves border defenses and agriculture. Neilsfort [NYLS-fit] east of Mardleton is a border stronghold.
Leischport moves the region’s goods downriver and foreign goods upriver, while Schmitford gathers supplies from further afield for distribution around the region and downriver.
At least in the towns, a broad mixture of races. Probably fifty percent are fully human and thirty percent are demi-human or appear human.
Races not appearing in public: Dragonborn, Tiefling and Warborn. All three are proscribed on pain of death, and/or are used as components in enchantment.
Races highly unlikely to appear in towns: Elf, and any race found only in the Monster Manual.
Note on demi-humans: While it’s up to you how your character looks, demi-humans in the region look close to human – a ‘three generations removed’ sort of thing. Please bear this in mind when determining how your half-something or something-blooded actually looks.
Religion: The One True Faith dominates entirely. PHB gods listed as Forgotten Realms gods are a thing, but exist as local saints or local demons. In the Islamic sense: so while important locally another part of the One True Faith may deem them heretical or completely unimportant. Lathander [li-THAN-dir, birth and renewal] is acknowledged as a local saint in Schmitford and Karl’s Abbey, Waukeen [trade] somewhat respected in Leischport, and Malar [MAY-lar, the hunt] is significant to Tallywood.
Role of adventurers: A genuine occupation in the sense that someone might hire an adventurer to get them out of town, or out of the realm, or if they wanted someone expendable to go hunt something or someone.
Role of sexes: Women are equal, except when they aren’t. Confusing for outsiders.
Rule: Late feudal but with very extensive liberties granted to towns and to ex-soldiers and by default, adventurers. You carry tokens or dog-tags (one for honorable discharge, one for your enrollment) and can expect to show them at any non-town center and at any time when challenged by authority.
Justice: Feudal and property-aligned.
Public executions: You betcha.
Public mutiliations: Yes, as decreed by law, not for shitzngiggles.
Tech/Magic level: Pretty much what the PHB tells you: technology can produce an adequately-ground lens for a spyglass, but alchemists are a thing, not technicians, and they are very uncommon at that. Printing is known, at the wood-block level, and basic literacy is common. Most centers have someone who can scribe a magic scroll.
Medical: A few scattered and often, hidden centers teach the healing arts. Wealthy merchants and barons have access to these. Leischport is the only center known to be able to resurrect dead.