The PCs start out as level 1 characters in the settlement of Gregholt. Gregholt is a small steading, with sheep and a small silver mine providing the bulk of its economy. The Steadholder, Gregor, is a tough, balding old dwarven fighter, and he does a good job keeping his people safe on the harsh frontier. 70% of the steading’s population of 400 are dwarves like their leader, with the rest a mixture of humans, elves and half-elves.
For the last 3 months, Gregholt has had neighbors – a group of migrant halfling miners have agreed to help operate the mine for a year in exchange for a share of the profits, and they have set up a camp above the mine. The mercenary Hades Battalion has also moved in while they train their new recruits before heading back to the Gnoll front. Their captain, the flamboyant Tiefling Daeris Elthan, has set up a fortified camp about 2 miles from Gregholt on land he leased from Gregor, and the steading and the mercenaries are on fairly good terms. The Hades Battalion has a fighting strength of 150, with about 90 being new recruits, and also features ~30 camp followers of various types. Players who wish to play Eladrin, Dragonborn or Tiefling characters are probably new recruits in the battalion.