The Tremors and the Aftermath
Twenty years ago there was a massive earth quake that shook all of Aldgar, nearly leveling the capital. The ruler, King Thedas, was killed when his castle collapsed on him. Without leaving behind an heir his steward, Karn, stepped up and restored order as the country rioted and panicked. As time went on the Lords became less concerned about determining the proper heir to the throne and did not question Karn’s rule as the people began to love him for his charity and strength in the wake of such a disaster.
As his position became more and more secure he became more and more ruthless. He waged bloody war against the remaining kingdoms just to bring them all under the dominion of Aldgar. He introduced slavery to the realm as punishment for criminals. He heavily increased taxes on trade in order to “rebuild the capital” but instead pays the standing army so that he need not fear rebellion.
During the earthquake a passage opened up in the eastern mountains. While the mountains used to be impassable the passage could now be used to get to the land on the other side. Some people went forward into the new world and never returned. Some more went and only a few returned badly wounded and babbling of monsters and death.
Rather than closing the passage Steward Karn left it open and used it to exile the more dangerous criminals or political enemies, whether true or no. It was a much quieter method that drew less attention from the people than outright execution. This place of exile is known as the Outlands.