Dawn of the Gods
So, you want me to tell you about Marl, eh?
Let’s start at the beginning then: It’s been 300 years since then the gods returned. I know you know this, so do not roll your eyes. I am laying the foundation.
Clerics and churches had existed, of course. They worshiped and used their divine powers to heal and harm, but the altars were silent; their gods were absent. The believers waited and learned the old legends. They tried to open the portals described in their bibles. They rattled the cage of the cosmos and screamed into the darkness. Then came the second Godswar, and according to rumor, a band of mortals went to meet the Lesser King, the usurper, and slew him. They restored the balance and freed the gods.
Some say the gods were not captured, but exiled and had been walking among us for those thousand years. It’s a nice sentiment, but I can’t say I believe it.
The world has been changing. Healing in a way. Like mending from a long sickness. The Tiefling and Deva exodus was the first major change. Long sundered from their homelands, the planar gates had been thrown open and most returned to their realms.
Cults have sprouted up like weeds in fresh soil. Prophets, both real and false have crawled up, massing congregations around them. Some live as kings. Some are Kings. Worship and faith have emboldened the mortal heart.
But you learned all this as children. Maybe you heard the call of the gods and follow one even now.
When the Northern Exodus concluded with the Six Day War in the years after the Godswar, and the Kingdom of Marl was founded, King Solvan claimed divine right to rule from the god Bahamut. Now, the stories say that Bahamut died protecting the heroes who killed the Lesser King, and many used that claim to attempt to put Solvan out of power. In retaliation, he outlawed the worship of all gods but Bahamut and decreed that only the nobility had the divine stature to worship in the temples. By the time of Solvan’s death only humans held positions of nobility and all other races were pushed down, even the Dragonborn were marginalized and kept only custodial roles in the clergy.
The worst treatment has fallen on the Goblins, whose lands the Marlians took after the Six Day War. They were driven toward the mountains to the north. They attempted to build a home there, but the kingdom expands and towns and colonies are constantly build in the bitter cold and broken lands the Goblins call home. In retaliation the greenskins attack these settlements and launch raids into the city itself, using the labyrinth-like tunnels that the city sits on. Additionally, it seems each day new horrors awaken in the deep as King Solvan III drives exploration deeper into the Deeps, as his father and grandfather did. No one knows what, if anything, they are looking for. Some speculate that what they are looking for is why Marl was founded on the plains of Knarl.
I hope you find what you are looking for here. The colonies seem to be under constant siege. There is also plenty to do within the city limits as well, if you stay clear of the Chosen of Bahamut and cover that mark of Ioun a bit better. Not to mention the potential riches found in the Deeps themselves.
Regardless, there is no way past the mountains with winter upon us. You may go further south and hope you get through the Dead Woods before the first thaw. You could go west, back the way you came, but I can see in your eye that you have unfinished business here. Perhaps you can learn to fly and simply leap from the Cliffs of Naught.
Dig in gentlemen. Now, how about that drink?