The Crimson Covenant
What does the world and its civilizations do after near total devastation? They adapt and rebuild, they stand their ground to hold on to what once made them great, and some use the time of weakness to try and establish a new order.
The Spellplague lasted for 96 years and with it many great kingdoms fell, many new ones were established, and the order of magic within society had changed. Once those who could tap into and control the weave held a great deal of power and political sway. New technology, entire defense strategies, and political hierarchy had been established with magic and its use in mind. When all magic collapsed into chaos, the world at large had to adapt. It had to adapt around the wild magic and the chaos it brought with it. People in general still distrust its use and are moving towards establishing order without it, that way if a catastrophe occurred again, they would not fall into ruin due to their reliance on an “untrustworthy” source of power.
While the event that caused it is over and the weave has been rebuilt with the Goddess of Magic, Mystra’s, resurrection, it is still far more rare and difficult to attain. While the pantheon of Gods work to decide where the Lady of Mysteries will land within their order, the mortal realm must decide where the power of magic will lie within their’s.
The North Sword Coast is an area that had a great deal of challenge adapting to the changing world. An area where the great wild still had plenty of control and established nations were separated by both distance and politics. Great cities like Neverwinter, Luskan, Baldurs Gate, and Waterdeep once stood as the greatest cities in all of Faerûn, but they stood separate from one another. Unlike most areas of Faerûn that had a collection of cities, villages, and keeps belonging to a single unified force, the Sword Coast kept itself independent with tentative agreements that came together under a military and political force known as the Lord’s Alliance.
When the Spellplague came, not every city in the area fared well. Neverwinter and Luskan faced near complete destruction when the volcanic mountain of Mt. Hotenow exploded and the great magics that once protected them were no longer in place. Waterdeep became more insular than ever, as their political leaders looked to keep a death grip on their established power. Baldurs Gate was one of the few that saw little change and adapted quickly, outside of some drop to their trade due to the colleges of magic falling into disarray.
Small villages and towns also fared poorly, many coming under fire from malicious forces throughout the wilds of the Sword Coast. Undead lead by the now outed Red Wizards of Thay, Orc Tribes of the Sword Mountains, Goblin Tribes of the Neverwinter Woods, and many others had been left unchecked and caused a great deal of damage, leaving many of the smaller villages in ruin.
However, survival and expansion is a strong instinct of a world lead by the human race and many of these dead cities found new investors and ambitious souls that would work to establish something for themselves. Villages like Leilon and Phandalin are the largest of these types.
Though other instincts invade the minds of people, be them human or otherwise, and that is one of establishing power. The Sword Coast is weaker than ever and ripe for the taking. Many forces have already begun their assault for domination in an attempt to root out the old power structures in favor of their own. In the wake of many great tragedies stands a symbol of those who take responsibility.
The Crimson Covenant has found its way into the fabric of the North Sword Coast, leaving its finger prints on a great many tragedies befallen small villages and the murders of important figureheads within the city of Neverwinter. Theories are abound, but nobody seems to know what they are after. If they are in fact after anything but chaos.