In the northern part of Astoria, high among The Iron Hills, lies the ancient dwarven city of Ember. The city and region surrounding it are brutal, tortured lands under the dominion of a fell tyrant named Lord Davian Ignus. The so-called “house” of Lord Ignus is nothing more than a brutal tyranny. The common people are enslaved, tortured, and used for the purpose of establishing the lord’s own power. The people here are of little hope and despair fills their lives, and darkness pervades the minds of all the nobles here. All folk living under the banner of Lord Davian (whether dwarves or not) survive in a society of castes: The Noble caste, the Merchant Caste, the Crafter Caste, the Farming Caste, and the Caste-less (the poor and homeless folk of the region).
Lord Davian (or Lord Ignus, as he is most commonly known) has a reputation for being more than just a dwarf. The lord never appears in public, and those who have seen him proclaim that Lord Ignus is a burning husk of flesh and bone, made immortal by evil magic. Legends report in the last days of the Sundering, his body was seen torn to shreds by the Legion’s minions. Now he is said to live as a burning, evil revenant.
From the twisted, dark spires of his citadel, Lord Ignus commands over seventy legions of dwarven soldiers. Some say they are part demon, bred by the Legion during the age leading up to the Sundering. It is also said that Lord Ignus is possessed by a demon in spirit form, and he is scheming to lay claim to Astoria with his own half-demon, half-dwarven army. But because Lord Ignus never appears publicly, the truth remains unknown. It is possible that Ignus is simply no more than a deranged dwarven noble filled with paranoia and murderous intent.
The people living under the tyranny of Lord Ignus are slaves and no more. They are herded into villages, farmlands, and deep mines to toil laboriously. They give all that is produced or extracted over to the nobles in charge of them. Even the nobles are treated by the Lord as worthless peons. There is no freedom in these northern lands. Every day the people are enslaved to oppressive rule, and every day the villages are sacked by Ignus’ own army. Random victims are carried off to the deep mines and nobody knows what happens to them, for they never return to their families.