The world of HND is one in which the players make their own stories. No NPC in the world is immortal, and since there are no respawns, every NPC is destined to become something of the past, of legend. There are kings of the land, and great men of history, but all will come and go with time. Great the rewards and great the honor to the one who manages to slay Saladin, William the Conquerer, Genghis Khan, and many others. Once slain, they will never walk the earth again. Each nation will start the game with one NPC hero, and others will come with time.
Each race starts with their own portion of the landmass carved out, except for the Aztecs who control an island off the mainland. The Aztecs are distrusted by everyone and at war with everyone to begin with. Each race has three primary cities which will always exist, even though they can be conquered. One of these cities is the capital, which is the final stronghold of that race. Each capital is ruled by a strong NPC ruler to begin with, but this can change as players rise through the world and wars are fought. Some example starting rulers are: Xerxes in Persia, Saladin for Muslims, Pope Gregory for Crusaders, and Alexander the Great for Greeks. The borders shown on the map are only a starting point, with every passing day land will be conquered by both players and NPCs and those borders will shift.
As such, the majority of the story within the world of Veshnin will be created by the players. What kings will rise and fall, what great heroes will become renown, what traitors will worm their way into the enemy ranks to pull off an assassination? The story of HND will be as varied and exciting as the stories found within Earth's history. One of the primary goals is to give players as much freedom as possible to create amazing stories for themselves and others. However, within this framework there is a back story to help set the stage for the players.
The land of Veshnin has been rocked by tumultuous war and power struggles for as long as any but the oldest sages can remember. The most ancient of learned men speak of a time so long ago in history that it seems like a dream of a dream, a time when the people of Veshnin lived and farmed in peace. That time is not now. Each race struggles with those along its borders, seeking to expand and push outward, conquering the whole land. So great is the conflict along each border, that nearly every race has instructed its military to kill members of any border nation on sight. In particular, the Crusading Franks, commanded by their Pope Gregory II, have set out to purge all the surrounding land of infidels. Beset on three sides by enemies, the Franks must surely either forge powerful alliances or be granted a miracle from their God in order to hold off their many enemies. The Norse Vikings, normally a reclusive bunch, have recently ceased their wars amongst themselves and set out to spread their non-stop war to the nearby Chinese and Franks. Spurred on to blood and fire by dreams of the grand halls of Valhalla, the Norse fight like those demon possessed, even sending their longboats to the previously-uncharted land of the Aztecs.
The Aztecs, however, are not content to sit back and defend their lands. The altars demand new sacrifices; the blood-hungry priests demand more beating hearts. In order to survive, the Aztecs cease the sacrifice of their own people and burst forth upon the mainland, killing indiscriminately and taking all prisoners back to their island to sate their gory gods.
Amid all this strife, there are rumors that the gods of each race must be vying for power, for the conflict on Veshnin to be so great. Many now claim that the gods are eager for more worshipers and more conquest, and are therefore sending their angels and demons to help their people in battle. The time is ripe for great heroes to rise up, heroes that can cast down angel, demon, and great ruler alike. In return for great deeds of service, the gods promise immortality. They promise that these heroes will never die.