The world has been a risky and dangerous place since the fall of the empire of Nerath nearly 500 years ago. Kingdoms have grown to fill the void, but their borders are more wishful thinking than delineating actual area under their control. Townships and cities are able to create pockets of safety, but are limited to policing the area covered by roughly a day’s travel on horseback. Evil creatures lurk in the woods and hills, and ruins from the ancient times keep watch over the dark wilderness.
You are slaves of the Bloodreaver hobgoblin tribe, and have been forced to work under their lash. For the last nine months, the Bloodreavers have been excavating an ancient temple deep in the Rhosarian Woods, in the north-western reaches of the kingdom of Melsper.
One day, you were gathered as a work group to continue clearing out cave-ins in the catacombs below the temple. It was in a newly-opened area of the catacombs, so the hobgoblin leaders assigned only a small group of slaves. They wanted the guards to be better able to deal with any hostile creatures without having their hands full with a lot of prisoners. As the work started, the guards were attacked and killed by zombies, allowing you to escape.