The world is old. It has seen empires fall and rise and fall again. Now the fortresses and temples of those old kingdoms lie in ruins, and in their darkened halls squat monstrous creatures unleashed in the wars that laid their former masters low. Civilisation, such as it is, has retreated back to a few, isolated bastions against the encroaching wilderness: the solid walls of Fallcrest in the Nentir Vale, the old dwarven holdings at Hammerfast, and the port of Tribute, greatest city of the eastern coast.

Tribute is built amidst the bones of a far older metropolis, Nihei Sehir, the seat of the ancient dragonborn empire of Arkhosia. The dragonborn clans still have a strong presence here, but they no longer rule in Tribute. The Guild, a cabal of warlocks, rule over the city. The Guild’s members are powerful: they invest their servants with strange magic and bind creatures from the Far Realms to their will. Guild caravans dare the dangerous roads between the isolated towns and cities, Guild vessels sail the length and breadth of the Restless Sea, and wealth flows into Tribute from every corner of the known world.

That wealth brings opportunity. Many have come to Tribute seeking their fortunes, either in the employ of the Guild or combing the Arkosian ruins that surround the city for lost treasures. But Tribute has its dangers, too. Charlatans, thieves and worse seek to profit from newcomers. The old heads of the dragborn clans rail against the usurpation of their ancestral home, and mutter of rebellion. Rumours abound of strange creatures stalking the darkest alleys of the poor quarters at night, and many question the Guild themselves, the powers they wield and the pacts they might have made to get it. But if one must speak of such things, best speak of them quietly. Who knows who is listening?

Tribute - D&D 4E Campaign

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