The best thing about Altera are the Bards. On any given night, in any given tavern in any of the five kingdoms, you can find one of the College’s Bards telling stories, singing songs, acting out pageantries, or in any number of ways amusing the large crowds with stories from long ago – the stories of knights and dragons, wizards and witches, the legends of how the ancients made our world safe for all of mankind. For children, they are the lifeblood of excitement and the dreams with which they go to bed. For adults, they are just mythology and legends.

For three thousand years, the world had been safe from monsters and magic. King Eventide had put an end to those threats and all knew him by his face printed on every coin. That’s not to say there wasn’t the occasional argument about trade or border lines – but nothing as great as the world had faced in the old days. The golden age of Altera had begun and it had stuck. The family of Eventide had held the line of succession for three thousand years, one single son after another – like clockwork, each building on the legacy of the last. The Bards claimed it was some great magical compact made with celestial beings, but everyone knew magic was no more than a fairy tale. Everyone would seem to be wrong as dark forces from long ago strive to make their way back into the world from some long exiled prison and nothing of the old world remains to protect it.