Imagine a world where Ogres are the wealthy of their day. Imagine a world where Dwarves are an upcoming naval power. Where Elves are a feared people bent on revenge, Humans dominate clear-field battles with their cavalry and pike-men, and Giants the protectors of all other realms in the west. This is the kind of universe Iron Fall occurs in, a fantasy with the technology of the mid 1700’s.
Long ago the Elves, Ogres, and Dwarves held a mutual alliance, making the lands of the west an almost entirely unified region. The Ogres, proud tradesmen and shrewd business men, ruled the sea from their island home of Ingrik to the west. The dwarves commanded the lands of the West north of the Mawflow River, whose mouth was the location of the Three Cities and the seat of this alliance. The Elves and their mighty cities of stone and steel dwelt south of this river, stretching far beyond the known world of the South. This age of peace was put to an end by the coming of Humans.
When the Humans came, they did so from the South, making bloody war on the Elves of those places. The Elves sent a large portion of their military south to deal with these, trusting their allies to the North and West to help protect should the need come. The need did come however, and all too soon. No sooner had the Elves left their cities virtually undefended when the Giants, wardens of the passes to the East, made a sudden retreat into their strongholds deep within the maze of mountain passes that sit among the Sundered Peaks and Hellmaw Mountains. The Ogres, fearful of what the Giants had been afraid of, withdrew support from all previous allegiances to wait out whatever storm may have come. It was left to the Dwarves to hold against the storm, and they were ill prepared.
Out of the mountains to the east came massive armies of Orcs, Daerins, Trolls, Goblins, Hags, and worst of all: Dragons. The Trolls, Goblins, and Hags came from the northern passes. Although poorly unified, these forces proved to be a significant force in battle, and caused the Dwarves great anguish with their periodic raids, both to military and civilian targets. It is said that the Barren Flats were magnificent fields of green before the land was burned and salted at the hands of these vandalistic raiders. The Daerins stuck to southern passes, and were supposedly wiped out by the barbarous Humans before they could largely impact the Elves. The Orcs stuck to conquering large portions of the mountain passes, and thus for the large majority, did not make it to the lands of the West.
The Dragons however were organized and widespread. They were the last to arrive, alongside their Kobold and Gnoll armies. They hunted many Giants back to their mountain fortresses and burned many Giant lords in the safety of their castles. Upon their arrival, the Dragons found a land ripe for the picking: warring factions making and breaking alliances, and the Elves still virtually undefended. Dozens of Elf cities were burned and sacked by the armies of the Dragons. Dwarven cities and fortresses were thought impregnable until this point. All thought for victory was nearly lost and the Ogres considering going turncoat when salvation was found by the Dwarves. They had mastered black powder.
With this in hand, the Dwarves invented all manner of powerful weaponry capable of defeating the Dragons including the cannon. Winning victory after victory, the dwarves pushed the Dragons out with their hoards, along with the Trolls, Goblins, and Hags. But, after an exhausting war, they could not assist the Elves. The war in the South was won, but by the hands of the Humans.
It is 200 years after this war. While some nations strive for supremacy, and others for peace, the world hangs in a slender balance. For as the Human Church loses its grip in the north it urges the south into a full-fledged inquisition. The Shattered Kingdoms are beginning to reform while the Elves plot a course for terrible vengeance. Many trading and pirating vessels alike disappear every year as the Ogres tighten their slipping grip on the sea. The Dwarves are seen abandoning their surface cities to the safety of the Great Forges Beneath. Strange men appear from the East, whispering tales of great wars on the other side of the world. Gnoll Corsairs are seen on the western coasts for the first time in over one hundred years. Orcs grow bolder with each passing season, raiding as far as fifty miles from the mountain crags. Giants have all but disappeared from the mountain passes they once dutifully protected, supposedly to rediscover the ancient cities long buried beneath the mountains. Reports of the dead race called Hags reappearing have stirred up old fears, and the Kobolds grow silent as a shadow looms over the East once more. Should an alliance break in this time of need, should one fall…