Shadow and Gold
Today, what little of Isger’s army that survived the Goblinblood Wars remains depleted. As such, Isger’s steward, Hedvend VI, elected to allocate the remnants of his forces entirely to the defense of the Conerica River and the roadways that skirt its banks, guarding the precious flow of trade goods. As a consequence, he surrendered much of the surrounding hinterland to banditry. The steward’s agents posted bounties on brigand leaders, hoping to solve his problems on the cheap by luring in warriors desperate for work to save the burnt-out villages scattered around the countryside. The verdict is still out as to whether Isger’s attempt to contract out its security can improve its desperate situation, but as long as trade along the river continues to f low, the steward does not seem overly concerned.
The Goblinblood Wars left behind hordes of Isgeri orphans, and the ensuing years of unchecked bandit raids only served to further swell the number of unwanted, homeless youths. Tragically, the only institution to respond to the mounting crisis was the church of Asmodeus. Cheliax’s House of Thrune installed a number of monasteries across the Isgeri countryside to collect, feed, and clothe orphaned children, all the while co-opting them into their dark fold.
In the shadow of the Goblinblood Wars, however, a new peril seems to be building in war-torn Isger—a plague of undead. Numerous small villages that border the wilderness have already fallen to various plagues of unlife, and rumors persist that while the nation was distracted in the fight against the hobgoblins, powerful necromancers or priests of Urgathoa took advantage of the chaos to entrench themselves in various remote ruins and caverns. The most conspiracy-minded of Isger’s citizens look no further than the mysterious and sinister Lady Kaltessa Iyis, a powerful diabolist rumored to have more than familiar ties to the archdevil Mammon. Rumors that Lady Iyis has seized magical control over the nation’s leaders and has been turning the dead of the Goblinblood Wars into a secret undead army seem to gain more traction with each new village that falls to the growing plague.