Conflict in Cantha
Part One: Two Factions
Cantha is a nation beset by troubles: civil war, nonhuman invasions, criminal corruption, and greater horrors. In its eastern regions, two vassal states—the Luxons and Kurzicks—are locked in a civil war that has lasted for over two hundred years. In its northernmost reaches, lumbering Yeti, swiftly moving Tengu, and relentless Naga defend their territories, preying upon human travelers. Within the heart of the Canthan capital, criminal cartels grow rich by exploiting the poor, while on the fringes of civilization, cults and madmen stalk a landscape corrupted by manifestations of evil.
Despite a benevolent emperor and polite populace, conflict and injustice thrive everywhere. Fortunately, a brave few are struggling to liberate the land. Canthan heroes have countless opportunities for adventure as they fight to bring order and justice to the empire.
Factions at War
Over two hundred years ago, Emperor Angsiyan forged a peace treaty between the Luxons and Kurzicks, ending centuries of conflict. For the first time, Luxons and Kurzicks were at peace. Canthans everywhere celebrated the success of the emperor's negotiations… until Shiro Tagachi assassinated the emperor.
Shiro's assassination was part of a dark ritual that was supposed to grant him extraordinary power. The assassination succeeded, but Shiro was slain before the ritual could be completed. Upon his death, Shiro's soul unleashed the ritual's power, detonating waves of magical energy for miles in every direction. At sea, a violent storm created waves hundreds of feet high, battering Luxon ships into tinder. On land, a deadly wind blasted across plains and through forests, hammering Kuzick caravans along the way. This shockwave nearly killed the land of Cantha, until the storm stopped as suddenly as it began. On that day, the waters of the ocean froze in place and the Echovald Forest fell silent, after tens of thousands of innocents had been slaughtered.
The death of the twenty-sixth emperor changed Cantha forever. The Luxons had made their fortune through maritime trade, but a frozen sea brought their fleets to a standstill. The Kurzicks had survived by hauling goods across the land, until the powerful creatures that once protected the forest turned on those who lived within it. The Luxons and Kurzicks searched for new ways to survive—and they found them. Fixed within the frozen sea, and hidden within the deadly forests, stockpiles of rare amber and jadeite waited for those brave enough to recover them. Desperation led to greed, as Kurzick houses and Luxon clans warred for vast stretches of valuable land.
Both the Luxon and Kurzick cultures had been absorbed by the empire long ago, but the loss of the emperor offered greater opportunities. The Luxons and Kurzicks had been vassals of Cantha, but since their overlord had been slain, both factions saw a chance to seize power. The result was a civil war that would last for over two hundred years. From Amatz Basin to Eredon Terrace, the eastern regions of Cantha became a battleground, and the border between Luxon and Kurzick lands shifted from day to day.
Today, the benevolent Emperor Kisu rules over Cantha. The Luxons and Kurzicks remember the bloodshed of the last two centuries, and they still ceaselessly contest for land and power. The emperor cannot stop their continual conflict—in fact, he knows that as long as the two factions fight, neither one will be strong enough to rise up against him. He also knows that as long as they are eternally ready for war, they will be prepared to defend his land against more sinister threats. Luxons and Kurzicks are both still Canthans, after all, eternally watchful for evil in their midst... including malefic forces as dangerous as the infamous Shiro Tagachi.