Let's start with the campaign setup. From this, I want you guys to construct a group template. After that's done, we'll talk individual characters.
The game is set in Faerun (i.e. Forgotten Realms) prior to the Time of Trouble. Consider the entirety of canon from the moment the game starts thrown out the window. Only truth expressed up to that point in history counts. If you need an exact date in the timeline, it's 1357 DR.
If you look at the map below, you'll see the merchant kingdom of Sembia at the southern edge. To the north are the Dales, which contain a variety of city states of varying power, each vying for influence over the other Dales.
You will notice the convergence of two trade roads to the north of Sembia, just above Essembra (an independent city). These roads are the primary trade route between Sembia, the Dales, and the major kingdom of Cormyr (off to the west of this map).
On the southeast of this convergence (though not marked on the map) is the Standing Stone, which is a large stone obelisk constructed ages ago to mark the end of the human/elven wars. The terms of the treaty are inscribed in an ascending circle wrapped around this monument.
To project their power into this tumultuous area and also setup a post to protect the roads from bandits (or grabby Dalesmen), Sembia has created a keep across the road from the Standing Stone. This small keep has been named Stone Keep, after the nearby monument.
Stone Keep was built about 18 years ago and is still under the rule of Baron Wilhelm Kohn. The Baron is a good man, although a bit bitter as he knows damn well he was given this position to keep him disconnected from Sembian politics or the lands he should rightly be awarded back home.
Since the founding of Stone Keep, it's become a popular stopping off point for merchant caravans which rest within its aegis. Many citizens looking for a new life -- or the opportunity to trade with these caravans -- have also settled in the area, creating a mixed community of shops and farmlands that sprawl haphazardly to the south and west of the keep.
The keep has just over 100 professional men-at-arms, mostly skirmishers and light cavalrymen. This force can be supplemented through civilian militiamen -- who are paid a stipend for each day served -- or full conscription of able-bodied locals during a crisis. Conflict with anything more than brigands is extremely uncommon.
The keep has only one main gate, which faces east toward the road and Standing Stone. It has five buildings inside the walls. In the middle is a structure that's home to the Baron, his seneschal, the captain of the militia, the keep's library, and a planning room. To the east (directly within the gates) is a small chapel. To the west is the barracks. To the north is a building that houses military supplies and horses. To the south is a peculiarly large inn, which was provided by the Baron to its proprietor. Most of its capacity is unused, but the innkeeper is required to house any of the locals that might flee inside the wall should conflict break out.
Your characters are at this keep and its town for some reason. And you have to be more than just passing through. If you're visiting, it's a long-term visit.
The area is very predominantly human. Most metahumans are either elves or half-elves from Hillsfar and Elventree. The elves to the east are rather cloistered and xenophobic. Other metahumans could travel into the area but are rare. So I will allow metahumans, provided you have a reason to explain how you came into this area.
If you play a half-orc, you are the result of rape by goblinoid raiders. Expect to be scorned. (Note that in this era, "goblinoid" is used to refer to combined hordes of goblins, hobgoblins, bugbears, and orcs...sometimes also trolls and ogres.)
Final note! While we're using the Pathfinder rules, that doesn't mean we're using all of the Pathfinder trappings. For example, if you play a sorcerer with dragon heritage, that means you're convinced it's in your bloodline somewhere. You don't have any features that would distinguish you from a normal human.TL;DR version:
You're not welcome in this game if you can't take a few minutes to read the setup.
Holy or unholy. Only one homie. Only this gun. Lonely 'cause don't anyone know me.