It is a time of magic in the Kingdom.
Not that that's a change from status quo, the Kingdom has been under the rule of a magical oligarchy for about 3,000 years (2999, and don't you forget it), and that's more than enough time for things to settle down into a comfortable kind of stagnation. Life remains hard in the Kingdom, as, for the greater good of all, Magic is restricted to the chosen few by the Ministry of Magic (and the renegades who learn about it illegally), and Science has been a threat to the Kingdom for the last 2,000 years, after a mistake in a chemistry lab at one of the Wizardry colleges vaporized half a city (or so we're told, they rebuilt that half of the city awfully fast, "Magic!" was the only explanation given), and the Ministry of Science tightly controls anything more complicated than basic transportation clockworks. The Council, a group of the 50 most powerful wizards in the Kingdom rule over Wizardia with a withered, pale yet iron fist (they have something of a high opinion of themselves, everyone else thinks the name is stupid and just call it The Kingdom, since as far as anyone knows, it's the only major kingdom).
Most of the people in The Kingdom live in Magiarra, commonly called The City for the same reasons behind the adoption of "The Kingdom". Imagine twenty square miles of Midtown Manhattan dropped on the coast, with it's sprawl of six to ten story buildings. A few hundred thousand people are crammed into the narrow streets, cramped apartments, dirty alleys and other dank, dark places in, on, below and above The City streets. Corruption abounds, gangs and other criminal organizations are common, and that's even before you get into the problems the city has with monsters of all sizes and shapes. Some rumors say that The City is just as extensive below ground as it is above, that it's where the denizens who prefer the dark live. Beyond the city, it's your traditional fantasy countryside, with towns, villages, a few larger population centers here and there in the plains, forests, mountains, deserts and coasts. Your standard fantasy menagerie is present and accounted for, with elves, dwarves, goblins, orcs and so on going about their lives, as well as the lesser beasts that are more interested in eating your face than civilization.
The Ministry of Monsters keeps the beast, goblin, orc, and other members of your standard flora and fauna mostly in check, but they don't have the manpower to cover outside the cities, and in the cities, the buildings are too close together and there's too many to adequately cover them all, limiting their effectiveness in the cities. Of course, the Ministry of Crime is doing their best to fight crime, but they can't be everywhere at once, don't you know, and the only thing that gets them running faster than a Crime Alarm is the sound of gold clinking into a leather purse, so crime is rampant. Given that daily life in the Kingdom for the average person means dodging the manifold razor-tentacles of a slime-beast and paying at least three bribes to both the Ministry of Crime officials and organized crime, a group of heroes for hire can make a good deal of money, and indeed, groups like Valorous Sword rake in the gold. However, in order to get the best jobs, you have to have a sparkling resume and reputation, and if you don't, you're stuck going from job to job in the slums, cleaning out buildings of Dire Cockroach infestations and evicting monsters from buildings (the Ministry of Monsters states that only beings not considered monsters may live in dwellings, lower creatures like orcs must live outside).
And that's where you guys come in, a rag-tag collection of badasses who could probably go toe-to-toe with some of the better, more reputable hero teams out there, but you've all got a stain on your records that keeps you out. Some of you just want a second chance. Some of you think that this is where you belong, helping the unfortunate and downtrodden instead of serving the rich and the powerful by cleaning out the Reptiloids from their castle sewer systems. And some of you just want to make a buck and maybe kill some stuff while you're at it. It's all up to you in...
(Copyright Head on a Stick Productions, 2008)
Oswald von Bruckenheimer, Frontline Mage
Anata Larian, Duelist
Anton Valdino, Bruiser
Novice Martin, Healer
Renard "Red" Naepactorin, Player
Lucius Postumus, Assassin