A rarely discussed consequence of the barbarity of The Peninsular War was the children left behind. Not only in the great coastal cities of Kro Kerlup and Ekul where conscription,famine and the atrocities of siege warfare combined to decimate nearly an entire generation of those men, elves, dwarves and half breeds who were unlucky enough to be of fighting age, but also of each backwater village. It was a war in which every square foot of the peninsula was fought for. The peasants, as always, had little choice in the matter. They were rounded up by whichever side got to them first. Often times the lucky few who lived through several battles had fought for different sides in each battle.
The peasants did have one thing in common with the lords, the trained miltary men, the merchants and the soldiers of fortune. They died.
When the decade long war came to an end, the process of rebuilding was of course handled by the so called Great Kingdom to the North which had wisley remained neutral throughout the decade long skirmish. The people of the North were by nature a fastidious and industrious people. Slowly, the cities and villages were rebuilt.
The central problem in the mind of the Northerners was what to do with the tens of thousands of orphans. This was, mind you, an economic consideration not a humanitarian one. A great exodus of war children took place. The Kingdom used its substantial political and diplomatic gravitas to send the children throughout the great continent, thus spreading the burden. All over the continent orphanages were built and maintained (oft times unwillingly) by whatever province deemed suitable to sustain such an endeavor.
Lendore Isles, 890 AC
Home. A tough existence, but not unrewarding sometimes. Your group was one of the luckiest of these war orphans, although few among you are wise enough in the ways of the world to realize it.
The town of Restenford was one community called upon to take in war orphans. The town is little more than a village. However, luckily for you the town was home to a group of grizzled veterans of adventuring, who are now through injury or old age retired. The adventurers took you in. They explained to the town leaders that they should look to you orphans not as burdens, but as investments. In return for your training in the various adventuring arts as well as feeding and boarding you throughout your young lives, you are expected to provide the town with a portion of money earned throughout your adventuring careers. Most of you look up to your mentors with respect, as they have always treated you fairly and given you a means to survive in this world.You are the third (and last) group to be set upon the world from Restenford. Your intiation has just taken place. Each of you has vowed to return to Restenford at least once per year if possible and supply the town with 10% of your earnings. The village is always available to you as resting/training facility. The recommendation from your mentors is to stick close to home until you are skilled enough to venture forth into more dangerous and hopefully prosperous adventures. In the orphanage compound are your group of graduates along with some of your older compatriats who graaduated before you and have returned with stories of adventure and made good on their promise of yearly return.
Of course there are those who have not returned. It is understood that those who are not dead, imprisoned or debilitated in some way and have not returned may have broken the oath. Oathbreakers cannot be tolerated. The final act of your initiation was to be tattoed with an indigo die native to the isles of Lendore. The Mark is 2X2 inches and located on each orphan’s left shoulderblade. It is simply a crude “D”. For you are forever a Dreg of Restenford.