Hell of a Summer
“Five words can defeat a thousand swords.” – Zil proverb
The nation of Zilargo is a study in contradictions. On he surface, it is an easily accessible, remarkably open nation, filled with beautiful architecture, friendly inhabitants, and a peaceful yet energized feeling that welcomes visitors to stay and unburden their weary souls. Zilargo itself is seemingly idyllic, with song and cheer taking the place of the violence and crime common in the other nations of Khorvaire.
The truth is far more complex and rarely realized except by the gnomes themselves. The gnomish thirst for knowledge is well known, and Zilargo is renowned for its libraries and universities and for the skills of its learned alchemists and elemental artificers. Weak as they are physically, the gnomes have refined the use of knowledge as a weapon. When diplomacy fails, they fight their wars with blackmail, espionage, and careful assassination. A gnome’s innocent curiosity may be just what it seems – or it may be a well-honed facade concealing a cunning and manipulative mind.
The gnomes’ natural gift for illusion is a manifestation of their racial bent toward deception; a gnome will rarely engage in direct conflict when he can strike from the shadows or trick others into working on his behalf. Most gnomes derive great pleasure from these subtle games; two gnomes might be engaged in vicious political feuds with one another and still be great friends.
Zilargo is a subtle society; the gnomes are bound together by a complex web of favors, secrets, and debts. The low incidence of crime is no coincidence.
For more than eight centuries, a hidden order of spies and assassins known as the Trust has been watching from t he shadows and enforcing the rule of the Triumvirate. Originally founded as a syndicate to monitor the behavior of the students and patrons of the Library of Korranberg, this organization has slowly expanded its powers and duties to cover the entire nation, gathering information on all activities and using this knowledge to eliminate threats to society.
While the Trust usually targets only true criminals and other dangerous individuals, the existence of this secret society can be very disturbing to outsiders. Every
citizen of Zilargo knows that anyone around him could secretly be an agent of the Trust. Adventurers who carelessly threaten the status quo may soon find themselves called to account by the representatives of the Trust.