Fifty years ago, a ragtag group of explorers, adventurers and other wandering types began to feel beaten down by their society. Cities were overpopulated, factions were at war, and the common folk couldn’t help but get hurt in the crossfire. Laws were strict, certain worship and certain magic was forbidden, and there was no end in sight. So these explorers began to journey east towards a mountain range that marked the very edge of their current civilization – and then they journeyed further, through the mountains and beyond, to an expansive and seemingly quiet land where they were no longer under the rule of these nobles.
In time they came across the ruins of a small coastal city that seemed to have collapsed thousands of years ago, positioned between the frozen tundra to the north and the scorching desert to the south. Here the explorers settled, building onto the structures left behind for them. They established walls around their new city, and then more walls when they realized the city was spilling out of the first set. They built homes, shops, temples and guilds, and they rebuilt an ancient ivory tower, for the original seven members of the Brighthaven council to sit.
Now, fifty years later, Brighthaven is a city still expanding and still finding out how best to take root in the wider world. Noble blood has little meaning here, and the merchant class have the most power. The sea provides an entry port for those not wanting to make the treacherous journey over the mountains, and trade routes have been established with other areas, as well as opportunities for employment and entertainment of all kinds. As with any society, there are tensions, disagreements, and areas for criminals to thrive, possibly even among the authorities, some of whom are rumored to have ties to the shadier parts of town – but so far, the city has managed to remain at peace.
Brighthaven itself may be well established now, but the lands around are not, and there is plenty of work for adventurers both in and outside of the city. The Adventurer’s Guild places job postings on the noticeboard at the center of town at dawn and at dusk each day, for any would-be adventurer to try their hand at. A cargo-carrying sailor being waylaid by a strange monster in the depths of the sea during their usual route, the discovery of protective enchantments in a specific area of presumed deserted marshlands a week’s travel away, or the strange arrival in town of somebody claiming to be an archdruid from a distant land – all of these things would be brought to the Guild’s attention, and compensated with gold and glory.