Our story begins in the realm of the human kingdom of Pinital on the continent of Karallia. The kingdom is roughly one thousand years old. It is currently ruled by Sebastian, a paladin of Heironious, but is a fairly tolerent place for other religions.
While the capital city of Pinital is land locked, the realm has two ports: Brakken to the southwest and King's Landing to the east. The kingdom is bordered to the south by the Wood-Elf forest kingdom of Lobellin the Fair. Despite problems with the wood-elves in the early days, the humans and elves now regard themselves as solid allies.
From southwest to west to northwest to north to northeast, the kingdom is ringed by several mountain ranges. In these mountains are known drow, giant, goblin and gnoll communities, and much unknown wilderness. In the mountains to the northwest is a small human kingdom, Kanchek, which has recently been released from a 100 year winter caused by a powerfull sorceress. Trade there has flourished. This combined with Sebastian's expansion to open the southwestern port of Brakken has caused a flow of people into the area directly west known as the Darkwood, a massive and wild forest at the foot of the mountains.
The Ingot mountains to the northeast hold an ancient Dwarven kingdom: Gramulain. In the foothills of the Ingots there are independent communities of Gnomes and Halflings. Beyond the Ingot mountains lies the Great Brackish Swamp inhabited by Lizardfolk and the jungles of the Kronenborg Basin. There are human settlements in the jungle but they are not under the claim of the kingdom of Pinital. This is a lawless area. At the Northernmost tip of the jungle, at the edge of the Great Brackish Swamp, lies the Kronenbourg Monastary a legendary institution older than the kingdom itself, and the only lawful area for miles around. There is another Elvish kingdom far north of Kronenbourg but they are furtive, and not much is known of them.
Pinital's recent history is thus. Sebastian was formerly in the employment of the Duke of Bel Ale. At that time, the Dukedom was on the border of the wilderness and having much trouble with giants from the southwestern mountains. Additionally babies in the towns expanding into the Western Marches were being abducted by devils and kept for their own nefarious purposes. Sebastian raised an army, built a stronghold and with the help of his several companions solved these issues and saved the babies. As a result, he was made the Count of the Western Marches.
It was at this time that Sebastian pushed foreward to found the port of Brakken. Shortly after this, the Duke of Bel Ale began to go mad. He assassinated the rightful king of Pinital and his only heir and brought his army to the capital in hopes of siezing the crown. As one may expect of a paladin, Sebastian led his army to the capital where he surprised and defeated the Duke's army, slaying his former leige in the process. The clergy of Heironious successfully pulled the strings to place Sebastian on the throne.
During this period of upheaval, a band of adventurers working for Sebastian found the resting place of an avatar of Heironious known as the Overseer in the Darkwood. They performed the rites and brought the relics that brought him back to life. It is believed that he had some part in the success of Sebastian's army. A temple of Heironious was constructed over the site which has since become a small community known as the Overseer's Glen. More recently, Sebastian has mobilized his fleet from King's Landing and along with many fellow paladins, sought to end piracy in the eastern seas. The king has been gone for nearly a year. As far as culture, think medieval europe, with magic of course.
The same band of adventurers who found and re-animated the Overseer was responsible for slaying the sorceress and freeing Kanchek from her endless winter. They refounded an abandoned town in the foothills at the only path from Pinital to Kancheck where they built a massive inn known as the Owl's Roost and have been quite succesfull as trade with Kanchek has flourished. These adventurers joined Sebastians troops and Kanchekian troops in a succesful campaign against gnolls who were raiding after the 100 year winter ended.
Kanchek is a small city state with a heavy military influence. When in formation, the well drilled Kanchekian troops are as fearesome as any. They are a predominantly good and lawful people. Heironeous is the major diety there and evil temples are not tolerated. It is a city carved into the mountains. Most everything is made of stone, and it is crowded. Mineral resources are the biggest business there and its artisans are quite skilled. There are few magicians there, and fewer theives.