1000 years ago the lesser races were determined to be a scourge on the world. The “greater” races ( Humans, Elves, Dwarves, Eladrin, Tiefling, Dragonborn, Deva & Goliaths) finally all came together on something, and began to systematically eradicate the undesired races of the world. After a century of concerted effort, the were truly beginning to succeed. Great magics steralized entire tribes in a single blast. Bands of adventurers were highly paid to slaughter every man, woman, and child in orc communities. Many in the lesser races began to turn on each other, in the hopes of gaining special treatment from their betters… they were sorely disappointed. By 300 years after the purging had begun, many of the lesser races were almost extinct. Feeling that the lesser races were no longer a threat to humanity, the more “good” races decided to let them live. Such a life was not without drawbacks however. The lesser races were enslaved. Any criminals amongst the lesser races were executed without a second thought (regardless of the crime). Criminals of the greater races received a brand on their foreheads marking them as the Fallen (members of a greater race who had fallen and become part of the lower race by their own actions). Most of the known world is governed by the greater races, but there were some outlying areas where controll is tenuous (the barbaric humans of the marshes being one example). By 600 years after the start of the cleansing, there were small communities of lesser races from place to place, but the majority of the population existed in utter poverty or outright slavery. No longer were the lesser races thought of as a threat, but as animals. Less than true beings. Several cults existed that claimed the lesser races did not have souls…

Then the civil war of 816 AC (After Cleansing) came. The great empire that was built up dissintegrated, and while the lesser races have not improved their lot much, the greater races have lost some of their confidence. Entire kingdoms lie in ruins. Small bands of lesser races have come together and tried to carve out places for them, but have been exterminated out of hand. The greater races still rule with an iron fist, but they are not united. Kingdoms of elves, humans, and dwarves all vie for control and strive only for their own agendas.

During this time of turmoil and strife, the average citizens of the greater races are discontent. A major outlet for most of them is The Games. All major cities contain gladiatorial arenas of one kind or another. The populace thrives on these moments when they can forget that the edges of their perfect world is unraveling after hundreds of years of success.

It is a small crowd today in the arena. No more than a few hundred people. The group that will be fighting is untried, and their slaughter will bring a little peace, but the excitement should stay at a minimum. You walk onto the sand of the arena floor, the sun shining in your eyes. You look around at the people… and you are fairly certain they hope to watch you die this day. Criminals and others of the lesser races stand by your side, a hodgepodge of weapons and implements in their hands as they look around nervously. A trumpet blows, and the portculus at the other end of the arena begins to rise. You take a deep breath and steady yourself, trying to calm your frantic heart before it beats its way out of your chest. You decide you will NOT die this day, and you steel your nervers for the fight ahead as you hear a roar of some monster as it begins to step out from the shadows beyond the now raised portculus…


The Price of Freedom JaredMecham