The campaign is centred around the landlocked cities of Arstranwal and Varanswal. Both are but a shadow of their former glory; both, however, are ruled by a strong-willed ruler who does not accept Malki decadence, and who is doing his best to have his city live up to its past grandeur. Both are also extremely jealous of their neighbour, and the Count of Arstranwal and the Duke of Varanswal are always competing in everything; lately in trying to revive the ruined cities that dot central Umathela, like e.g. Rampart.
Count William of Arstranwal, a direct descendant of Loftusus the Ragged, has managed to keep the small community of Iqari in the city, even though the Soul Net Observatory is but a shadow of its former self, and is now home to a single astrologer.
The city has recently been attacked by three gigantic Cold Daimones. The monsters have wrought much destruction upon Arstranwal, especially in those parts of the city inhabited by lower caste Malki and civilised Umathings. Most of these people have either died or fled to the suburbs of Varanswal. The Cold Daimones were killed by an alliance of heroes from neighbouring Varanswal and distant Tarien. The fact that his city has been saved from destruction by adventurers from its rival has mightily angered the Count. It has also been a source of considerable mirth for the Duke of Varanswal.
Duke Roderick of Varanswal rules a large city that has been relatively spared by the vicissitudes of 10th century Umathela. The relationship with the surrounding barbarian Umathings is good, and what little trade still goes through central Umathela stops in Varanswal.
After the False Gods Revolt in 901 ST caused by the experiments of the God Learners from the University of Varanswal, the Hwarosian Mystics and the Jogram Witnesses were expelled from Varanswal, and the College of Immediate Expansion was forced to stop meddling in other peoples' myths. Now heavily reduced in membership, the University focuses its curriculum on orthodox Malkioni theology, and on more mundane subjects such as history and geography. A single God Learner remains amongst the academic staff; a well-known Emanationalist, he is known for his opposition to the School of Hwarosian Mysteries.