For eleven years, the Free State of Onnwal was wracked by war. Invaded and occupied by the insidious and cruel Brotherhood of the Scarlet Sign, Onnwal's people fought to regain their land and liberty. After countless battles and thousands of dead they prevailed. Onnwal is free once more, but at what cost? The capital, Scant, is a burnt gutted ruin. Destroyed by the Scarlet Brotherhood in a spiteful act of vengeance, it is haunted now by the restless shades of the thousands of innocents who perished there. Across the land, families mourn the loss of a generation maimed or killed in over a decade of war, while they struggle to plant and harvest their crops. Among the country's great and good, there are signs that the quarrelsome factions that put aside their differences to defeat the common enemy are rediscovering them.
Though the brand of the Scarlet Sign has been removed, other shadows deepen in Onnwal. In the tors and canyons of the Headlands, a fell and shadowy threat grows, while the ancient rivalry between the pious dwarves and the Flannae Headlanders erupts once more into open war. In the lowlands, many Onnwalons look fearfully towards the east and the growing might of Ahlissa, whose powerful fleets and bottomless treasuries helped win Onnwal its freedom. Others wonder if the Scarlet Brotherhood–justly feared for their spies and assassins - have truly departed the land or whether they lurk still, all the more dangerous now that they are hidden once more. And yet there is hope. The war has bred a generation of heroes, ready to raise spell and blade against the enemies of Onnwal. They won the war for their freedom–can they now win the peace?