What You Know
Three thousand years ago, the Dungeon Hazard transformed the world and hid the stars. In the sky high above, an endless maze of shifting stone remained, discharging golems into the world below. Light still trickles down through the cracks of the stonework, sending shafts of sun and moonlight across the land, but the stars are hidden.
Anywhere that was once unclaimed by society was changed in some way, shape, or form into what is now known as a Hazard Zone.
To this day, nobody understands why the Dungeon Hazard happened, but life settled down and continued on, albeit in a much more fragmented style than it was before. Many places were consumed by the Dungeon Hazard, particularly small villages and rural pockets of civilization. There are no recorded numbers of how many people were lost during the Hazard.
These days, society has broken up into communities that have secured a Hazard Zone. Some of these more powerful communities have gone ahead and formed a Hazard Guild or Association, eventually growing their particular sphere of control to such that they could be called a Kingdom.
Life progresses as normally as it can in such a world. Any number of races come and go in major population centers from one corner of the world to the next, attempting to establish communication with Lost towns and colonies. None still living remember what happened in the events leading up to and during the Dungeon Hazard – if they exist, they have not come forward to record them into society or publicly announce them.
Most places have long since adapted to the ways of a post-Dungeon Hazard world. Certain advances in technology have brought the overall quality of life upwards and certain concepts which may seem out of place are instead integrated into the economy of a majority of places. For example:
- Associations become stakeholders or shareholders of Guilds as a way of sponsorship
- Democratic votes on a local level are fairly common
- Gender and racial equality is, for the most part, achieved – many places are quite cosmopolitan
- Firearms are present, however they are only about as effective as crossbows in terms of range and require higher maintenance, so it is typically reserved for emergencies
- Modern industrialization such as factories, etc. exist in certain places but they are specialized economies!
- Hot water is quite common, as some Hazard Zones provide plenty of fuel that can be exploited due to constantly regenerating monster populations.
While most everybody is treated the same as anybody else, there is still the issue of stereotyping, such as a dwarf expecting to be good at crafting, and elf to have good marksmanship and magic capability, etc. This is somewhat of a sore point for some, but others generally accept it as the stereotype is, for the most part, propagated by the most visible members of their race such as legendary Hazard Specialists and public figures.