“Is everyone ready?”
“Yeah let’s get started!”
The goblinoid peoples, unified again, have brought the might of their chief deity, Maglubiyet, to bear upon the world. For two years, the nations of the continent have been consumed by the war.
Tensions had escalated throughout the previous decades, and in response military budget’s have swelled… as did their size and pride. But one fateful summer negotiations failed suddenly and spectacularly following a public assassination. Since armies don’t marshall overnight, especially when they number well over a million, it was a race against time to settle differences… and time ran out. Hidden nationalisitc agendas, cultural suspicions, racial biases, and a little bad luck created a catastrophic diplomatic failure.
“Let me guess… was it Franz Ferdinand who got assassinated?”
“Shut up Kevin”
“Also… armies in the millions?!?!? In a Medieval world??!?
“MAGICAL medieval world… better medicine, food production, etc. all result in a larger population.”
As declarations of war were made, honor bound treaties dragged more and more nations into the conflict. And when, in an attempt to encircle the elves, the hobgoblins violated halfling neutrality, even the most stubborn human-led kingdoms entered the conflict. In a flash, the whole world was at war.
“Oh… so, it’s basically World War 1”
“I like how you made the halflings Belgium in the Schlieffen Plan”
“Someone had to be the Belgians.”
After a few terrifying weeks for the allies, the exhausted legions were finally halted at a defensible stretch of land. Fearing the spells and ordinance, each side went the only direction they could: down. Before long, a single line, stretching from icy peaks to stormy sea, well over a hundred miles filled with soldiers, trenches, and forts.
That was two years ago… and little has changed since.
Across mountains, rivers, swamps, towns and plains, war has taken its toll, producing a wasteland of carnage, decay, and death. Offensive and counter-offensives, each promising swift victory, only add to the bloodshed and the earth fills with corpses. Hundreds of thousands of humans, dwarves, elves, dragonborn, halflings, and gnomes have spilled their blood in resistance to the tyrannical Hobgoblins.
But old rivalries do not break easily, and the goblinoids have overcome any numerical disadvantage with near complete unity. Not only that, but their ranks have been swelled by large groups of orcs, humans, and tieflings, sharing their vision for a new world order.
“So humans, elves, dwarves, dragonborn, halflings, gnomes… are the good guys?
“And tieflings and orcs too… but also not?”
“But I thought the tieflings and orcs were bad, and don’t orcs hated hobgoblins?”
“And what about half-orcs?”
“Homebrew baby. I simplified it. Just like tieflings, orcs and all goblins and not inherently evil. You can choose orc or half-orc stats for your character. Half-orcs still have a stigma cuz… ya know… racism and all. Make sense?”
“Not yet, but keep going”
Back on the home front resources continue to be stretched thin, and people depressingly assume the war will never end. Common fantasies of a swift victory, or the sudden aid of a Bronze or Golden dragon, seem like childish suggestions. Some even speak of what was previously unthinkable: suing for peace.
The front thunders with machines of war as men and women of all races tear each other apart or waste away. But here, a hundred miles away, the air is still…the night serene… as three soldiers stand at attention in a canvas tent on a grassy meadow…
“So… are the Hobgoblins Nazis?”
“Yeah that’s the second one… this is the war before.”
“Yes and no… it’s kind of a blend. The hobgoblins aren’t quite as evil as the Nazis, but they are occupying like the Nazis did, and you can bet your ass they will have a secret police.”
“So what does that make our characters?”