Colonization of the Midlands
In the year 681, the tensions between the decadent Empire of the Four Cities and the openly mutinous Vaalikonigreich have escalated to previously unseen levels. The colonization of the Midlands, the Western-most part of the so-called Continent of Giants, is the current topic of conversation in both nations.
The new emperor of the Four Cities has cut off all diplomatic ties with the Vaali, claiming they're a race of savages most uncivilized. Political intrigue and sabotage among the Four Cities has been rampant, more so since the city of Melvan was the only one to refuse to outlaw the practice of Necromancy in the latest Imperial Vote, becoming the de-facto "capital of the undead" after the other three cities purged any undead or necromancer in their territories.
The Vaalikonigreich is not without trouble, either. After a "peaceful" coup following the previous Monster Lord's death, the Rabbit Vaali have taken the over the throne, something never seen before and going against the Vaali's tradition of "Might makes Right". While the stronger Vaali races are outraged by their new ruler, their hands are tied, as the rabbits and their allies outnumber these races greatly. It doesn't help that the new council has allowed a number of undesirables into positions of power.
Both nations are now looking towards the Midlands. Each of the Four Cities sees development of the human colonies in the Midlands as a way to gain the upper hand against their political rivals, and a way to ensure that the next emperor comes from their city. On the other hand, the Vaali wish to expand their grasp, and take control over the hundreds of independent Vaali tribes that live in the Midlands, who refuse to follow the Monster Lord's rule.
Among all these conflicts, an apparent third party contacts a group of unlikely heroes, with a simple, yet challenging, job: travel to the Human colony of New Ereldes, and help in the Colonization of the Midlands.