d&d two: world building.
The world is in its Second Age. Everyone knows this. The Great War happened just over a century ago. The War marked the end of the First Age, a golden age in which human, elven and dwarven empires stretched out all across the Known World. However, discontent wore at the hearts of men, elves and dwarves and greed made each race suspicious and territorial. The humans went after the elves for their rich forests, the elves for the humans' fertile plains. The dwarves attacked the dragonborn, a lesser empire, in hopes to gain cities and power while the other Great Empires squabbled. The Great War raged for three whole years.
The Dwarven War with the dragonborn was not easy. Even with advanced dwarven technology and metallurgy, the enemy would not stand down. The dragonborn outmatched the dwarves physically, fighting to the bloody end, honor-and-feud-driven. Villages were razed to the ground on both sides, rendered useless by the bitter ravages of battle. The dragonkin endured few deaths, managing to slay platoons upon platoons of dwarven soldiers, enough so to strike fear into the Dwarf Overseers and populace. They enlisted the aid of the infernal tieflings, humans cursed by demonic forces. The dragonborn struck hard and true at their newfound adversary, decimating the tiefling population and crumbling their towns to dust. With the dragonborns' attention split, the dwarves pushed the defenders all the way to the Pearl City, Ezrath, the dragonborn capital. Refusing surrender, the massive city was reduced to rubble by dwarven catapults. The remaining dragonborn took flight, accepting their great loss. The victorious offensive dragonborn returned to find themselves without a home. Exiled, the dragonborn wander the world to this day.
The war between elves and humans was a long and cold one as well, the elves proving themselves to be more valiant and noble warriors, matched only by the humans' sheer numbers. With both sides suffering thousands upon thousands of casualties, the conflict was settled when the humans took drastic measures with scorched earth, burning down entire elven countrysides and forests. The elves opened diplomatic channels, hoping to end the madness, and thus a treatise was made. The Great War came to an uneasy end through treaty, all sides regarding what there was to gain as no longer worth what had been lost. All three of the Great Empires were no more. Entire cities were abandoned and ruins uninhabited in the wake of the War's destruction, kobolds, orcs, gnolls and unsavory beasts now occupying the land.
Now, over one-hundred years later, an uncomfortable alliance binds all empires together in a dangerous and unforgiving world more controlled by monsters than by man.