The History of Dragonhead Bay
Your characters don’t know much about the history of the area. They know that Dragonhead Bay used to be part of the Illerian Empire, a human empire from the west that spanned the continent. The Empire was the light of civilization until the Plague of the Ten Sufferings. The plague swept through the Empire and wiped much of it out. Even worse, most of the plague victims rose again as the walking dead, and terrorized the countryside. A horde of these undead attacked Dragonhead Bay 20 years ago and breached the city walls. They destroyed many of the buildings and slaughtered most of the people of the town, though a few managed to hide and survive. Eventually the Templars rallied against them and defeated the horde, and the town was able to begin rebuilding itself.
Now there is a rather decent town built on the remains of Old Dragonhead Bay, though the inhabitants know little about the history or the surrounding area. The population is mostly poor farmers and artisans, and is mainly human, Halfling, and dwarf, with some elves, eladrin, and half-elves. Dragonborn aren’t native to the area but might have travelled through, and Tieflings are considered to be infernal agents and are generally unwelcome.
Magic is distrusted and feared by many of the common people, and is tightly controlled by the Society Arcanus, the Circle of Magi, a mystical order which regulates what magic can be learned, and by whom. They also are intimately tied to the Church of Pelor, especially its military arm – the Templar Order. These holy knights seek out infernalists and necromancers and kill them and their minions at every opportunity to protect the populace from their depredations. While they generally don’t interfere with the day-to-day occurrences of the town for the most part, they are an ever-present force, acting as a shield for the town against the dark things in the world.
The town is run by the Governor Arcanus, the Lord Mage of the local chapter of the Circle. Most towns exist with a similar structure of the Governor Arcanus, supported by the might of the Templars. She is the most powerful wizard in the local chapter, and the politics of the Circle are secretive and dangerous to anyone who gets involved.
The old Imperial Road runs through the town and connects it with the Dwarven city of Hammerfast to the south. Many of the Dwarves in Dragonhead have connections with Hammerfast, and trade moves between the two over the Road. Not much is known about the lands further away, and no one really knows what happened to Illeria, the capital city of the old empire.