In a time now long past the world was warm, adventures did battle with forces evil and diverse, knights rode against dragons; the age of heroes. Nearly a century ago the age of empires and adventure came to a close. The gods grew quite, magic begin to thin, growing hard to work and the world started to grow cold. Year after year winter grew longer and colder until some hundred and ten years ago there was a summer that didn’t come. The world is still waiting on that summer, waiting for the clouds that now perpetually fill the sky to part, waiting for the snow that’s claimed all but small pockets of the world to melt.

A thousand stories played out in the last breath of the old world, as magic died and the mortal kings froze in their castles. But the stories that matter are the stories of those that found refuge, those that found the spire and places like it. As ice and snow claimed the world around them word spread of a places of warm places, places protected from this coming doom. Cities possessing ancient magics or enclaves of mages wove protective enchantments over their walls and lands forming pockets of livable ground, one such pace was the city of Ptolus.

People from accost Tarsis and the Whitewind Sea fled to Ptolus, through unknown magic the city under the spire was shielded from the decline and cold that was fast choking the world. Most of the Empire of Tarsis flead to the city and still more came. So many refugees crowded into the city that the nobles, fearing faimon and worse, closed the gates. Even with the city sealed untold masses gathered outside Ptolus’ walls as the winter closed in around them. It’s best not to think of the tragedies that played out in those years just know that some survived both inside and outside the city. A second city was born from survivors of those refugees who were denied entrance, a city of outcasts; Ptolus’ bastard child, the city slums of Sorrow.

Shacks and shanty buildings crowd the narrow dirt and mud roads in Sorrow and her people pack in tight. Those who can have found work, mostly as laborers, miners, farmers and the like. A few with talent and luck work inside the city as artisans and craftsmen. Most in here find there dinner at the charity of the church or by less than legal means. Round yurts a makeshift wall and the tattered remains of once proud banners marks the southern quarter of Sorrow, it seems a separate city unto itself, the Orc encampment.Outside Sorrow to the east now dots circles of green, small farms aided by arcane and druid magic growing crops and raising livestock for those that can afford to dine on such luxuries.

It’s in this roughest of Ptolus’ streets that we find all of you. Through birth or misfortune you find yourselves in Sorrow, dreaming of getting out, getting even, or making your mark. Greeted each morning by gray skies above an endless sea of snow the west, a frozen ocean to the east, the walls and spire of Ptolus constantly looking down on you.

The Frozen City