“The Hollow Men used to be warriors, soldiers for Kraggodan. Known as the Mountain Men, they beat back horrors in Nar Voth, they pushed the trolls off the span, and they led the dwarves to victory against some of the greatest villains Avistan has ever known. They served faithfully, until the Shining Crusade, nearly a century ago. My forefather was king then, and while he led our people to victory over the Whispering Tyrant, the Greathammers, foul politicians then as now, worked against the Mountain Men and their king at home. When the army and their king returned, on the throes of victory, they found a kingdom that hated them. The people had called for a Moot, the first since the Quest for the Sky, and my forefather had lost his throne to the Greathammers.
“As for the Mountain Men, they were discharged. The Militia was set up in their place, a ‘more reasonable’ expenditure of power for Kraggodan, according to the new King. The soldiers, with nothing else to do, settled in the Rat’s Nest. For a time, they plied what little trades they knew, but their trade was war, and the Greathammers turned their backs on them.
“Most of them left to be mercenaries or soldiers in other kingdoms. Those that stayed began to call themselves Hollow Men. They carved out their own kingdom, as it were, and to make a long story short, they are now nothing better than rapists, murderers, and thieves. They are a stain on the mighty Greathammer rule, and rather than take responsibility for them, King Iogan lets them roam the streets as they will, so long as they never steal from the royal coffers.”
- excerpt from True Histories of a False King, by Duri Skyking
Although the Hollow Men are allowed to exist in return for keeping the peace in the Forge District, all is not well for them. The Skykings are vocal opponents of the refusal to prosecute their members, and for the past several years, a mysterious cult has begun to operate in the district, working to destabilize the area and disrupt the Hollow Men’s operations.
When a rare shipment of gems went missing in 4713, the Hollow Men discovered that the Skykings were supplying these cultists with pesh, a highly illegal drug used to achieve religious euphoria by the cult’s members.