Shadow and Gold
Thralldom is not a new concept for Isger—even the nation’s name was bestowed upon it by its first conqueror, the empire of Taldor, back in 2133 AR. Taldor named its newest conquest Isger in recognition of the Isgeri tribe, which fought against the Taldans with remarkable tenacity before being overrun and pacified. Taldor ruled over Isger for almost 2,000 years, until the Even-Tongued conquest of 4081, when Cheliax broke from Taldor and acquired Isger by force as the first holding in its new and expansive empire. While several other lands conquered in that era eventually freed themselves, Isger was not among them, and it remains in thrall to Cheliax to this day.
Many argue that Isger’s fate as an acquisition is not a coincidence, but rather a geographical imperative. The trade routes through Isger provide access to Druma and
the invaluable markets ringing Lake Encarthan. Today, Isger’s Conerica River serves as a well-used trade route that slashes across the state from Cheliax in the southwest nearly
to Druma to the northeast. First Taldor and then Cheliax stripped away the few natural resources Isger possessed, so that modern Isger provides little to its patron-state apart
from its value as an essential trade route. Thanks to this strategic importance, Cheliax requires Isger to maintain a small standing army to protect the empire’s interests and
keep the roads open. Despite the vital task placed upon it, Isger’s army receives little material support and no training from Cheliax. Undermanned and underarmed, Isger’s brave army nonetheless has proven its resolve against external threats time and again.
Unfortunately for Isger’s army, the most recent national threat came not from abroad, but from within, when the savage humanoids of Chitterwood organized and attacked.
Amassed by powerful hobgoblin commanders, the likes of which were never before seen in Isger, hundreds of hobgoblin tribes, augmented by legions of goblin slaves and thralls, exploded from the forest. The goblinoids murdered an untold number of travelers and merchants along the Conerica Rover before their momentum carried them to the foothills of the Five Kings Mountains. The immediacy of the threat posed by this slaughter gave rise
to what might otherwise have been an impossible three part alliance: a small order of Hellknights from Cheliax, a contingent of Druma’s Mercenary League, and a regiment
of Eagle Knights of Andoran all coordinated efforts to strike back at the goblinoid hordes. Each group sought to stem the goblin tide before it could overflow into the group’s home nation. The Goblinblood Wars became a campaign most remembered for the sheer number of dead on all sides. In the end, much of Chitterwood was put to the torch, forcing the goblinoids that survived to seek refuge deep in the twisted caverns below.