Seventy-three years ago they came. The Skulde barbarians broke through the Southern Wall like a tidal wave, crushing city after city. Armies were raised and then fell. The walls came down season after season, and before long it was clear that we had lost the Old World to the invaders. We rushed to the northern shores, terrified of the menace that burned away all that we held dear. So many died during that flight, but some thousands made it — crammed onto sailing ships, barges, or whatever seemed like it might make the journey north across the sea.
When those desperate flotillas landed, they stumbled onto land, praising their ancestors and their gods. Yet our elders today look back on those moments bitterly. For our grandmothers and grandfathers had leaped out of the fire into the icy bite of the iron wind in this new land. The winters are long, the soil poor, and the wind harsh. Little solace is found near the sea, where the razor-sharp rocks of the barrier islands crush unprepared fishing boats, and stories abound of worse dangers lurking beneath the waves, waiting to consume captains who are too prideful in their sailing. In the Hinterlands of the north or the Veiled Mountains of the west, we searched for the star-forged iron, but paid for it in blood — the Broken have little fear of us, and plunder where they can. And who can ignore the baleful eye of the Princedom of Alkergrund Forest, where those that get too close or make the wrong move are never seen again.
Yet for all of its dangers and discomforts, these shores have brought us something of the greatest value — life, and a future for our sons and daughters. Magic, considered a dying art in the Old World, is strong here, and there are whispers of children born with arcane gifts that promise greatness. Ever since our arrival, there have been hints of treasure here, gold and gems and artifacts left behind by a kingdom that ruled here once long ago, bright and beautiful, before the Princedom. Explorers come back from the deep wild with trophies from wyverns and tales of ancient crypts holding the knowledge of the ancients.
Despite what the chiefs will tell you, we are new to this land, and there is much to be discovered and conquered. You seem to me like one who has been marked to set out in this world, and fulfill your vows to your clan, your gods, and your self. This world will give you nothing for free, but it is upon this earth that we will make a new home for our people.
Welcome to the Ironlands.