The fractured land of Astia is at the precipice of a new age. A bloody history of city-states vying for domination, but none ever truly succeeding have left deep scars and rivalries. Nonetheless, the world is stepping out of a darker time. Extensive trade between the cities in recent times proves too lucrative to risk major war (at least for the time being) and much of the effort that was once spent on violence, the powers have invested in roads, infrastructure, and most interestingly, exploring the further reaches of the world for goods and rare items to trade. This new era requires new institutions as those who do not adapt will surely perish. Needy merchants require safer roads as they travel further away from home. New regions need exploration, mapping, and the dangers of the each unknown land to be slain to make room for civilization.
This era began the enlightening of the world as, for the first time, the disparate people of Astia experienced the cultures and lands outside their home region. This time is an era of new adventures, lands never before seen, but perhaps more import, new dangers. For with each new connection to the outside world, with each new untamed land explored, new threats set their eyes on the Ast. For a bright and capable young person it is the perfect time to be alive; a time filled with opportunity and adventure abroad, even if the states back home still plot and undermine each other from the shadows. There are many paths to fame and fortune. Working in the shadows for one of the leading powers of Astia to politically maneuver, or exploring brave new continents, or protecting merchants from the vicious barbarians of untamed lands, not a man or woman alive mistakes the dawning of a brave new future. Adventure awaits.