It is the year 998 YK (Year of the King). The 8th day of Lharvion (July). Sul (Monday). The Last War ended two years ago and the Five Nations are only just beginning to adjust to a fragile peace. The Day of Mourning in 994 YK caused heavy losses to the other four nations and forced a cessation of Hostilities and ultimately the Treaty of Thronehold, which set Borders and recognized new nations that had emerged during the war (with the notable exception of Droaam and the Shadow Marches). The treaty also granted the warforged status as sentient beings and forbade the research, construction, or use of creation forges.
You are in the city of Xandrar in the northwest of Breland. Breland is one of the largest and most powerful of the five nations. There are those that say, that if the war had continued Breland would have won but King Boranel wanted peace and was one of the main architects behind the Treaty of Thronehold. Breland is one of the more cosmopolitan nations and most races are welcomed here. Xandrar is a largish city (12,800 inhabitants) and a main trade centre. It is practically on the border to Aundair and the Eldeen Reaches and its harbour sees a much daily traffic of ships carrying goods across Lake Galifar. Recently however an underground resistance movement, The Swords of Liberty, who want to abolish the monarchy, has become very active in the region. At first there was not much official reaction (the resistance has many followers in the border regions where losses were great during the war), but in recent months they have started to attack foreign traders and travellers potentially endangering trade relations with Aundair and the Eldeen Reaches. As a result Mayor Garrit Tomraan (gnome male) has called for military action against them. The local noble, Countess Yassiv ir’Oeskai, forced into what she considers an ill-advised and rash course of action, has subsequently withdrawn a large part of her forces in the City Guard for this campaign leaving the Guard severely understaffed. This has forced the city to start hiring mercenaries to help with policing the city. You have all been hired for the Guard at a weekly rate of 100 gp.